Born in a one room cabin in the woods of Bothell, Washington, Chris Riffle has lived in and around the Northwest most of his life. Growing up with no electricity or running water in the mountains of Washington State and spending summers living in a teepee, Chris learned how to live simply. There was no shortage of music in his formative years. His dad played guitar and sang original songs and his mom was always the first to get out the guitar around the campfire at night.
Chris' interest in music didn't begin and end with folk music. Throughout high school and into college, he was a founding member of Chrysler-Stewart and the Stewartesses-- a lounge pop ensemble influenced by Sergio Mendez and Brasil '66, the B-52s, Jan & Dean, and Combustible Edison.
At Fairhaven College, in Bellingham ("The city of subdued excitement"), he started branching out on his own, singing and recording his own songs. His single "Wonderboy" (a catchy pop song from one boy to another) made its way to KUGS-FM and became a local favorite... "Evidently, I wasn’t the only one enamored of Chris. Through my incessant phone calls to KUGS to demand they play one or the other of the two songs they had in their rotation, I found out that his songs were among the most requested.” Carey Ross – What’s Up Magazine. He quickly began opening for acts like Death Cab for Cutie, Mary Lou Lord and Dub Narcotic Sound System and made a substantial splash on the Bellingham, WA music scene.
Moving to New York Chris has been able to perform and record with renowned musicians such as Rob Jost (Bjork, Imogen Heap), Jimi Zhivago (Ollabelle, Glen Hansard, Rufus & Martha Wainwright), Blake Fleming (Mars Volta) and Julia Kent (Antony and the Johnson’s).
Chris’ new album Out of Town is a tale of two coasts- and two lives- coming together. Artfully uniting his roots in Washington's mellow core scene with the gritty vibrance of New York's Lower East Side, Out of Town explores the dichotomies of life: the struggle to grow independently while establishing an identity alongside his new husband, the love he has for living in a city that inspires him while also yearning for constant escape, and the implicit ups and downs that accompany being an artist. Stylistically bringing to mind Elliott Smith, he writes in an achingly beautiful way, at the same time tinged with an air of hope and inexplicable despair.
Out of Town was recorded at One East (Rolling Stones, Lou Reed), produced by Jimi Zhivago (Ollabelle, Kim Taylor) and mastered at the Magic Shop (David Bowie, Arcade Fire). Chris just returned from an extensive North American tour opening for Heather Nova and a 20 date tour across Germany promoting his new album.
"A writer and performer of uncommon depth and intimacy -- Nick-Drake-meets-Elliott-Smith" - DIRECT CURRENT
"Chris Riffle could be New York's unlikely mellowcore champion of the year" - THE DELI MAGAZINE