Chris Gatton is a singer-songwriter living in Columbus, Ohio who describes his musical style as “whimsical, but deadly serious” (an expression which is also in her instagram organic).
According to Gatton, this line is his “own attempt to capture the playfulness of the writing, but also the heaviness of the content”. He tries to “evoke that boundary between playful imagination and real depth.”
When asked what kind of genre his music would fall into, Gatton replied, “I struggled with the genre question, but I think it would be appropriate to call it something like indie pop, alternative indie or jazz.”
Chris Gatton graduated in 2010 from Capital University with a Bachelor of Arts and Music (guitar focus) and a minor in Creative Writing. He directly credits three Capital University professors with contributing in part to his current success in the music industry.
Stan Smith is a guitar teacher at the Conservatory of Music, and Gatton described how: “Stan was able to identify both my strengths and the areas where I needed to grow as a guitarist and musician, and he done in a way that always made me feel encouraged and supported. I felt like he could see my potential and he taught me with that in mind.
Dr. Dina Lentsner is a professor of musical composition and theory at the Conservatory of Music, whom Gatton also considered a mentor: “She was able to reframe many of my musical and artistic interests in a different context. His career stems from this long European heritage of pedagogy which also made its way into the art and music of the 20th century, then into more modern music. It also really influenced my aesthetic.
Dr. Kevin Griffith is a professor of creative writing and poetry in the English department, and Gatton describes him as “incredibly quick and very intelligent. Kevin could always meet me where I was at and help take me to the next level in my writing, and that really shaped me as a writer. Kevin also introduced me to a lot of my poetic influences, like William Stafford and James Wright.
After graduating from Capital University, Gatton followed different career paths including teaching guitar, audio production, applying for graduate school, and composing films before finally deciding to pursue a full career. singer-songwriter: “I think I was 32 and still doing a bit of [film composing]but i wasn’t sure how i was going to start [writing songs again].”
Then, in the summer of 2020, he met Dave King (drummer and founding member of The Bad Plus). Gatton sang for him the song “Adelai”, which was written nine years earlier. Dave was really enthusiastic about Gatton’s voice, songwriting and guitar playing. He encouraged Gatton to continue writing songs; and in the fall of 2020, after hearing the new songs Gatton had written, Dave suggested making an album with him leading production and behind the drums with his collaborators in Minneapolis.
Gatton’s debut album, titled “My Favorite Razor’s Edge”, is available on Apple Music, Spotifyas a digital or vinyl album. According Chris Gatton websitethe album was recorded and mixed by Brett Bullion, mastered by Huntley Miller, and features producer and drummer Dave King (of The Bad Plus) and bassist Erik Fratzke (Happy Apple).
“My Favorite Razor’s Edge” features eleven songs, with the two most popular songs being “Little Dragon Girl” and “Ghost Boy”. The title of the album comes from the lyrics of “Little Dragon Girl”, which is a very poetic song (like all the other songs on the album).
Gatton wrote two of the songs on the album, “Baby, My Baby” and “Bundle Up, My Little Darling”, for his two daughters before they were born. These two songs, alongside “Aldelai” and “Boy In The Clouds”, are the oldest songs included on the album. The oldest piece of songwriting on the album is the chorus of “Cares”, which Gatton actually wrote while at Capital University.
Even though the album is a mix of old and new, all of the songs have a unique, cohesive sound that ties them together beautifully.
Be sure to check out Chris Gatton’s debut album and follow him on social media for more updates on his upcoming performances and musical releases.