Ann Vriend

Ann Vriend

 Edmonton, Alberta, CAN
SoloPopSinger/Songwriter

"Once every generation a singer-songwriter emerges with the creative fire to set the music world ablaze. Ann Vriend has the fire." --US Biographer David Ritz See http://www.annvriend.com/shows for show listings prior to 2008, http://www.annvriend.com/music for video material.

Biography

Ann Vriend: Retro Soul Songstress

Ann Vriend's new album, entitled "For The People In The Mean Time," tells tough tales of the struggle of city life against the backdrop of explosive retro soul beats and harmonies, with Vriend's unmistakable voice guiding the way.  Borrowing sounds from the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone, P Funk, Aretha Franklin, and Ray Charles the album has an old, familiar quality to it, yet Toronto producer Tino Zolfo has simultaneously kept it contemporary to current pop -- albeit on his signature quirky side of that category.  "For The People In The Mean Time" will be officially released March 11, 2014, with a single airing on Australian radio station Triple J this January, and a guest appearance on CBC's Vinyl Cafe with Stuart McLean airing in April in Canada and the U.S. 

This past July Vriend won the Canadian nation-wide She's the One contest at the Ottawa Bluesfest in the solo category.  To quote Obscure Magazine: "With her soaring vocals, impressive songwriting ability, and instrumental prowess, Vriend is truly an all-in-one package."  She will tour Australia, Canada, and Western Europe in the next 4 months in support of her new album. 

Edmonton based Ann Vriend (pronounced Vreend) was born in Vancouver, BC.  When her parents discovered their 3-year-old could play nursery songs on a Fisher Price xylophone, they encouraged her musical development by enrolling her in violin lessons.  At age nine, when Vriend sought to accompany herself as a songwriter, she took piano lessons from an elderly woman down the street who charged $5 per visit.  In high school, in order to be able to do submit her home-made recordings for a school project, Vriend was coerced into performing 3 of her compositions at the school talent show.  Accolades from her fellow students translated into projects with older students in bands, scholarships at music college, 1st place in a songwriting contest which paid for her debut album, interest from NYC record labels, and praise from critics and loyal fans around the world. 

First, the voice: Soulful, inspiring, brave and bluesy (Rip It Up, Adelaide) with a vocal range from vulnerable delicacy to blasts of soulful power (Halifax Chronicle) Vriend's vocal sound has been described as an enchanting cross between the girly timbre of Dolly Parton and the blues-filled prowess of Aretha Franklin -- and as almost confronting in its candour by The Sydney Morning Herald. 

Besides this, Vriend's songs possess a natural knack for melody, garnering her hits on both independent and commercial radio stations -- including Gold rotation for her tune Feelin' Fine -- and have charted on college stations as far away as Germany and the Netherlands. 

Without any publishing representation Vriend has been commissioned to write songs for organizations such as the Canadian Tourism Corporation and the Commonwealth Games, and her music has been featured in a U.S. DVD release of Party of Five. 

After being invited by the Songwriters' Association of Canada to perform alongside Canadian songwriting heavyweights such as Marc Jordan and Dan Hill, Hill invited Vriend to write with him.  The result is many successful ongoing songwriting sessions and a song Vriend and Hill wrote together, entitled The Greatest Killer, which appears on For The People In The Mean Time.  Hill is quoted as saying: "Ann Vriend is a brilliant songwriter, and equally gifted as a singer and piano player.  Her way of writing accessible and yet highly unique and authentic songs, is, in my opinion, unparalleled by any new singer/songwriter emerging in N. America today."

But at the core of Vriend's career is her live shows.  Despite being an independent artist she has sold more than 14,000 albums off the stage.  As a balance between her intensely performed songs, Vriend is fantastic in concert a very, very, funny woman that tends to belt out her songs in between her most entertaining comedic intervals (A n E Vibe Magazine).  Her rapport with her audience can be heard on her live album, Closer Encounters, released in 2009.  It is this connection that has sustained her career to this point, and she enjoys an avid and committed international fan base.

Stated forcefully by the Toronto Star: Don't miss her. (3.5/4 stars) 

 

Lyrics

Everybody Sings In Nashville

Written By: Ann Vriend

Mama said I’m the one with the voice in the family
and I sang proud everywhere I'd go
people clapped and looked at me with envy
Daddy spent his precious time taking me to shows

but Mama, everybody sings in Nashville
yes, everybody’s got a song
I’m doing my best
but I must confess
for Christmas this year I’ll be coming home
comin' home from Nashville

I was the one who sang the prom song
I won first prize at the county bar
It was only natural I moved down to Nashville
everyone was sure that I would be the biggest star

But Mama, everybody sings in Nashville
yes, everybody’s got a song
I’m doing my best
but I must confess
for Christmas this year I’ll be coming home
comin' home from Nashville

they got everything down there in Music City
the boys all have their boots shined and the girls are blonde and pretty
I sing my heart out for them everyday
but Mama, things are gonna go my way
they're gonna go my way!

yes, everybody sings in Nashville
everybody’s got a song
I’m doing my best
but I must confess
for Christmas this year I’ll be coming home
I ain’t giving up on Nashville
I think it’s got a place for me
I’m doing my best
just like the rest
Mama, you’ll be proud of me, you’ll see
in Nashville

Long Distance Call

Written By: Ann Vriend

They drove through the countryside
They drove through little towns
Stopped and sang a song or two
And brought the houses down
He told her some secrets
She told some of hers, too
These are the things that happen
When you have so many miles to get through

He told her he's a liar
he said so with a smile
She didn't know if she believed him
But it kept her occupied
And one night they played all night
As if it paid for all their sins
They didn't play for money then
They played so it wouldn't have to end

And then the day came when she had to sail away
She'd never noticed how some feelings are like waves
The ocean is so big
People are so small
She said you can think of this song as my long distance call

Can't believe how broke they were
How they stretched out every dime
Had his tunes on the stereo
And miles and miles of time
Don't know what he's doing now
If he's still as broke as she
But as long as he's still playing
She knows he's still happy
And he's free

And then the day came when she had to sail away
She'd never noticed how some feelings are like waves
The ocean is so big
People are so small
She said you can think of this song as my long distance call
And then the day came when she had to sail away
She'd never noticed how some feelings are like waves
The ocean is so big
People are so small
She said you can think of this song as my long distance call
long distance call
long distance call

Grafitti On My Heart (You Must Not Love)

Written By: Ann Vriend

I love you and I hate you just like cigarettes
Though it’s the thrill and not the drag that I regret
Salty mouths devouring
And hunger like a pain
If you were a crime I’d steal you
Just to give it back again

You must not love the beautiful
They always leave a mark
You fall into their bosoms
And they tear you apart
I’m a far too willing casualty
Graffiti on my heart

I let you clips my robes, my wings
Oh, the fires I’d walk through
If you were a species
I would evolve for you
He said, “Why don’t we live in the forest,
And disappear from here?”
And for a flashing moment
I lived for the idea

Oh, you cannot love the beautiful
They’ll never leave your soul
Your eyes find them like jewelry
You can’t leave them alone

You must not love the beautiful
They always leave a mark
You fall into their bosoms
And they tear you apart
I’m a far too willing casualty
Graffiti on my heart

The ants they go a marching
In the daylight all is well
It’s the sunsets and all afterwards
That cast a shadowed spell
The vampires and the sinners
Tattoed me from the start
Lured me like a piper
Yes I’m marked
I’m an all too willing casualty
Graffiti on my heart

Oh, you cannot love the beautiful
They’ll never leave your soul
Your eyes find them like jewelry
You can’t leave them alone

You must not love the beautiful
They always leave a mark
You fall into their bosoms
And they tear you apart
I’m a far too willing casualty
Graffiti on my heart

You find them in the cities
On the roadway, in the park
The apple pie and spelling bees disintegrate and part

(repeat chorus)

If You Were Here (Duet with Matt Epp)

Written By: Ann Vriend and Matt Epp

I got to Memphis now I'm in Paris
blue suede Mississippi angels in stone
beer on the balcony wine on the terrace
won't bring you here to Tennessee won't fly you to Paris

I wish you were here...

chandelier and coat tails sisters at the juke joint
cigarettes and candlelight velvet and sweat
these are a few of my favorite things
they lure me with music
but only you make me sing

I wish you were here...

I traveled the world and I've seen many faces
no beauty could lead me astray
your heart is my house; I don't need an apartment
if you were here I would stay!

I wish you were here

I wish you were here

I wish you were here...

The Way You Let Me Down

Written By: Ann Vriend

the way you let me down
is gently, like i'm falling in a pit full of feathers
it doesn't hurt;
I'm just lower than where i started

I've made myself a target
at the shooting gallery
full of holes and ragged
but I line myself up faithfully

the way you let me down
is gently, like i'm falling in a pit full of feathers
it doesn't hurt;
I'm just lower than where i started

I wear love like a siren
a screaming, flashing light
you can't hold an accident
but you can make me feel alright

the way you let me down
is gently, like i'm falling in a pit full of feathers
it doesn't hurt;
I'm just lower than where i started

oh, what you do to me
is such a sweet, sad melody
the way you let me down!
the way you let me down....

what you do to me
is such a sweet, sad melody
the way you let down

Discography

For The People In The Mean Time - March 11, 2014

Love & Other Messes - January 1, 2011

Closer Encounters (Live Album) - October 7, 2009

When We Were Spies - March 11, 2008

Modes of Transport - 2005

Soul Unravelling - 2003

Set List

Material from new album and back catalog (4 discs in total), as well as 1 or 2 cover songs per set (eg: "I'm Your Man" [Leonard Cohen], "Rockin' in the Free World" [Neil Young], "Hungry Heart" [Bruce Springsteen], "Crazy" or "Always On My Mind" [Willie Nelson]). Set length varying according to time allotted by venue, and song choice selected according to venue style and audience.