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The best kept secret in music


June 05, 2003
Ann Vriend's split personality is her strength on Soul Unravelling. The songwriter either dives headfirst into after-hours jams with her band, the Dropouts, or meditates over charming piano balladry. Life from the piano bench is the topic of "Still Life #7" and lonely girls in big cities dominates "The Only Living Girl in New York." These piano-bar carols are as fragile and restrained as Vreind's full-blown songs are fun and groove-centred. Plenty of Rhodes and Clavinette (especially in the reggae-fashioned "Crazy Things") are front and centre and keep the album warm and funk-filled. - Brent Hagerman

June 10, 2004
ANN VRIEND at Holy Joe's (651 Queen West), Saturday, (June 12), 10 pm. $8. 416-504-0744.
Soul powerhouse Ann Vriend is used to people saying her name like it rhymes with friend, but it's pronounced "Vreend." And with that voice of hers, she's used to suggestions that she do Canadian Idol.
"I'm, like, 'Dude, it's just not me. It's not my thing,'" she laughs over the phone from her home in Edmonton, huddled over some tea.
Vriend's thing is introspective song writing over production built from the piano up, as heard on her debut, Soul Unravelling. She's been a virtuoso since early days spent tinkling the ivories in her parents' basement.
No surprise she quit university for music. "I just finally got the guts to do what I really wanted to do, and not what I sorta wanted to do," she says.
Preparing to record album two and perform in Vancouver this summer, she puts her all into the live show. But she says she's still not used baring her soul onstage.
"I'm still not fully comfortable with it, but I try to seem comfortable so my insecurities won't get in the way of a song," she says. "There's nothing worse than seeing someone do a half-assed job."
- Soul-ed Out


Soul Unravelling


Feeling a bit camera shy


“Soul Unravelling” is the much anticipated debut album by Ann Vriend.

A prolific writer and tremendous music lover, Ann has been putting words to music since her early childhood, much of which was spent “fooling around” on the piano in her parent’s basement.

Meticulous and thought provoking, infectious and imaginative, Ann is passionate about the craft of writing pop music. She approaches it with the flair of an artist and the love of a fan. Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, and Leonard Cohen are a few of her major influences. A timelessness exists in Ann’s work, creating a familiarity that seems as though you have known her songs for years.

Ann has already reached some impressive milestones in her career including: performances at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, New York City’s Bitter End, Fez and Arlene’s Grocery, demos recorded at Sony Studios NY, command performances for a number of major labels, and first place in a songwriting contest. Add to these a steadily growing and active fan base. All of this has come about in the space of only two and a half years.

Currently she works with an impressive band of college classmates. As “Ann Vriend and the Dropouts” they perform regularly about town, and The Dropouts are the core band on “Soul Unravelling”.

Showing no signs of slowing down, Ann has already written enough tunes for her next album. Ann Vriend is an ambitious young artist with an exciting career ahead of her.