Winnipeg, Canada’s Kris Ulrich today announced his new album Big in the USA will be released on March 31st, 2023, via Birthday Cake Records. The album sees Ulrich – a Daniel Lanois-esque man of many talents (producer, musician, co-writer, and road warrior) who spent years as a hired gun guitarist for some of the most celebrated names in Canadian country music – fully branching out on his own, his voice and vision crystallized by a period of deep reflection. He has also shared the title track’s new single, a heartfelt and contemplative, yet winking song wrapped in a breezy casing, alongside a video. “I wrote this song as a way to talk openly with myself about my insecurities surrounding an artist career,” Ulrich says of the song, which fittingly serves as a self-aware summation of the album, and a recommitment to his art. “It can be so easy to lose the meaning of why you make art amidst all the noise, both internal and external, that comes when you commodify it. The last verse is a reminder to myself about why I started making music in the first place.” Big in the USA is now available for pre-order.
Ulrich has acted as a connective tissue in his musical community – with his hand in projects by Dweller (a project with Georgia Harmer, Field Guide, Julian Psihogios), Boy Golden, Field Guide, Cassidy Mann, Roman Clarke, Fontine, and more – and for years cut his chops primarily as a hard-touring sideman for artists like Dallas Smith and Jess Moskaluke, further building a reputation as a guitar-wielding wunderkind serving other people’s sounds and songs. But when the world came to a standstill in 2020, the forced stop and time off the road sparked a lot of introspection. “I found myself on stage wanting to be part of the whole creative process, rather than just the performance,” Ulrich explains. “So I leaned into exploring the musical feelings I had when I first started loving songwriting.”
While risky to let go of these gigs that often came with tour buses, arena shows, hotel rooms, and job security, Ulrich’s newfound clarity led him to rediscover what making music and writing songs meant to him. Big in the USA is his return to this musical truth, to the spirit of sonic exploration and experimentation he felt when he first started playing and writing songs as a kid. “These songs were born from a feeling that I wouldn’t ever make anything again. But they ended up leaving me with the clearest vision I’ve ever had for my music. It represents a shift in my relationship to production, guitar, and songwriting,” he says.