Carrie Hryniw
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Carrie Hryniw

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Band Folk Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Painter/musician Carrie Hryniw displays both kinds of her Pieces"

Local songstress Carrie Hryniw's musical path has been a winding one. After earning herself a degree playing classical piano, she spent some time traveling and studying music in India before returning home to Canada and picking up the guitar and teaching herself to play.

Once Hryniw began writing her own songs, the next logical step was to get out and start performing, but, having no recorded material to showcase her talents, Hryniw ran up against a brick wall finding gigs until she added another of her interests into the mix: painting.

"I use my art show to create gigs for myself," Hryniw explains. "I'd go to these venues and no one would want to book me, but it was a bit easier to get an art show booked, because I could just take a portfolio or even a couple of paintings and say 'this is what I do.'"

The art shows gave Hryniw the opportunity to perform and start gigging while she worked on her debut album, a wonderfully laid-back collection of acoustic tunes titled Pieces of Me.

While she admits to sometimes feeling as though she's engaged in a little bit of shameless self-promotion, Hryniw concedes that the album titles is accurate, since music and painting are both important parts of her personality, ultimately coming from the same place in her heart.

"I think everything in the arts is pretty interconnected,” she explains. "When I sit down to play music it's sort of when I need to have some space and time to myself to be creative, and that's sort of how it is when I sit down to paint. I just need to have that time alone to see what will happen."
- Eden Munro with Vue Weekly, Edmonton

"Finding solace in Pieces; Engaging local singer-songwriter mines personal experiences in debut disc"

When singer-songwriters make their first recordings, their own life experience is reflected as much as – if not more than – their musical experience.

Edmonton’s Carrie Hryniw called her debut disc of 10 original tunes Pieces Of Me. As that title implies, it has a lot going on: songs inspired from challenging personal experiences; fluid layered arrangements; multiple points of view, and even graphics for the liner she adapted from her work in the visual arts. In the end, the whole effect really does have a strength beyond the sum of the parts, marking the arrival of a serious new talent to watch out for.

Apart from her own guitar, keyboards and appealing voice, Hryniw enjoys the backing of some choice local players: bassist Thom Golub, guitarist Rob Taylor, drummer Peter Hendrickson, and cameos from Brett Miles on sax and vocals, Jamie Philp on lap steel guitar and trumpeter Eric Weiden, among others.

Hryniw has had a thirst to make music since she was a child, first at the organ and then playing the piano. When she graduated from the University of Alberta with a bachelor of music in 2000, her training included an introduction to Indian classical music, an interested she pursued further with table percussion lessons during a six-month trip to India.

That trip and her travels across Europe and Canada contributed indirectly to a couple of tunes on Pieces Of Me that take on topics of war and human strife. During the last several years, she has also and to deal with a brief, failed marriage and first-time motherhood. She came to appreciate the therapeutic effects of songwriting and how “personal hardships can inspire a lot of songs.”

Hryniw says she draws her writing inspirations from various sources. “From my observations of other people, I came to think a lot about the parallels between women in various societies and came to see the life of women alone as a universal theme. That comes out in a couple of songs as therapy or as a way of finding solace, but I only included a couple to avoid overkill. I want to write about other things, too, and now that this recording is over I can focus more on that.”

Pieces Of Me first took root as a set of demos a couple of years back during her collaborations with guitarist Rob Isabella, and finally came together during a fresh set of studio sessions from April to June this year. Hryniw says she had a better idea of what she wanted this time around. Her friend Brett Miles put her in touch with some other musicians, and she enjoyed the engineering of Nik Kozub for the whole process.

Given that it’s a first outing, Pieces Of Me has much to recommend it. Now that she’s made it over her first big musical hurdle, Hryniw wants to work on live performance, adding “I’ll see where it takes me.”

- ROGER LEVESQUE, Special to The Journal, EDMONTON

"Carrie Hryniw - Finding Grace"

Canadian artist Carrie Hryniw’s pop tunes on Finding Grace are rooted in an elegant combination of piano and guitar. She demonstrates sharp skills on both instruments and favors an understated delivery that keeps her vocals—equally tasteful and unadorned—front and center. The intimate production highlights Hryniw’s confessional lyrics, which tell the story of a woman who has been disappointed and let down by love.

Hryniw’s opening track, “Just Pretend,” with its shuffling, mellow acoustic guitars and breathy, almost stilted vocal phrasing, could be the female equivalent to any of Jack Johnson’s pop offerings. The spare, subtle harmonies of “Broken Bones” bring to mind Sarah McLachlan in her Surfacing days. As a whole, Finding Grace is a beautiful, albeit heartbreaking, listen. - Performing Songwriter Magazine - September/October 2008

"Carrie Hryniw - Finding Grace"

Pure acoustic guitar opens up this mesmerizing CD titled Finding Grace. Soft lyrics feather their way into your consciousness. Brilliantly written songs so emotional you can not help but get drawn in. Carrie’s voice stands on its own. Minimal arrangements that showcase a talent ready for the world stage. This voice is distinct and you will readily recognize Carrie when you hear her. A refreshing change from the overproduced cookie cutter sound alike hit machine infesting the current airwaves. Melancholy reigns here but it is a good hurt because you know Carrie is going to be OK. Tho despair can be heard the sweetness of that voice wraps around you like a warm hug from a long lost friend found on the lonesome highway of life. When even the chorus can be altered, leaving itself void of the “hook”, you realize it is not about making hits. It is about playing what you feel.

And, no matter the great quality of sound on this CD, which is well produced by Carrie Hryniw and recorded and mixed by Nik Kozub, when you get the chance to hear Carrie sing live, you truly appreciate the power and depth of this voice. Carrie belongs in large concert halls.

“Just Pretend” lets you know you are going on an audio trip relating to Carrie and definitively about Carrie and her personal self. “Pretty Things” is written about a dear grandmother and her life as it is, and you can feel Carrie’s words embracing her loved one keeping her warm and well. “Her house is full of pretty things/that keep her company”. A more heartfelt tribute I know not.

Then this not so well known artist takes a full on leap to tackle Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. Carrie is up to the task delivering with as much soberness and insight as the man himself. Haunting melody with vocals so potent and yet again, LIVE, this song blew me away. Excellent!

My favourite song, “Broken Bones” is the fusion between deep dark poetry and wondrously arranged black dots floating on five lines and four spaces. “somewhere beneath your skin and heavy coat of cynicism/somewhere beneath your thin transparent taped on grin/I will find you/I will find you”. Carrie knows where the bottom is and how to escape and take you with her.

On “Here I Am”, Carrie and her brother Kyle do a little massaging of “No Woman, No Cry” by Vincent Ford , yeah not Bob Marley, as she knows how to get your attention.

“Finding Grace” I have eluded to in a pre-review as ranking up there with Roberta Flacks “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and after listening to the CD I stand by that statement. “you said in order to stand first I must fall/in order to win first I must lose it all”.

Find it, buy it, listen to it, be calmed by it. You will love this album. - The Moose Jaw Times Herald - Fraser Wareham, October 1, 2008


"Pieces of Me" released in September 2005.

"Finding Grace" released in April 2008.



Carrie Hryniw was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and began her musical training as a classical pianist. She continued her studies in the Bachelor of Music Program at the University of Alberta.

Upon graduating, Carrie began to explore the world through songwriting and travel. While experiencing the people and places of Canada, Europe and India, she taught herself to play the guitar and began to write.

In September 2005, Carrie released her debut recording Pieces of Me, a collection of songs that originate in aloneness and carry feelings of hope, hardship, and beauty. The album opened many doors for Carrie as a performer. Since its release she has played several venues throughout Alberta and British Columbia, and was invited to play at South Country Fair in 2006 and North Country Fair in 2007. In April 2008, Carrie released her second full length album, Finding Grace, which is a collection of songs inspired by her attempts at love and poetry.

Her repertoire ranges from the delicate love song, to the silly little ditty, to the powerful and profound. Carrie's lovely voice and sensitive style draw the listener into the snapshot images she creates with her lyrics.

Carrie Hryniw currently lives in Edmonton where she continues to perform regularly and explore songwriting.

Carrie's musical style is influenced by many of her favourite performers and songwriters such as: Damien Rice, Justin Rutledge, Sarah Harmer, Martin Sexton, Leonard Cohen, Josh Ritter, Joni Mitchell, and Gillian Welch.