Chrissy Coughlin
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Chrissy Coughlin

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
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Chrissy Coughlin’s songs go down easy, almost like a smooth broth. Self-assured and seasoned, her style is reminiscent of Sheryl Crow and Natalie Merchant. Especially noteworthy are the songs “Holding Out” and “On With the Show,” which could be candidates for AAA radio. “Wait For You” is an excellent song to build on –– a relaxing piece that could be perfect for a TV teen drama.
Coughlin’s set had raw energy, drive and motivation. Her powerful voice filled the room and one can only imagine the intensity of Coughlin’s music if drums, bass, and backup vocals were added.” - Music Connection Magazine-Bob Leggett


Chrissy Coughlin’s sound is an amalgamation of pop, indie, and folk, but overall it’s good songwriting, and she switches styles with aplomb. “Back to You” starts the album out kicking; it’s a peppy, upbeat tune marked by a strong beat and understated organ. The lyrics of this toe-tapping power rock song are somewhat trite (“If I don’t turn around and stay I would be a fool/I’m coming back to you”), but it’s absolutely fun nevertheless. “Watch Your Step,” takes things in a totally different direction, with reflective lyrics and acoustic guitar and piano. The lyrics of this introspective tune, in which she voices her worries over a friend having a rough time, are thoughtful. “I know you’re used to flying/Now the curtains are drawn/How quick the daylight’s gone/And all you’ve got are the stars above/Tell me what you gonna do my friend?”

The standout track “Big Log” is a classic Southern rocker—a sultry ballad with a languid electric guitar, with tension bubbling beneath the surface. “Perfect Time” is another upbeat tune, again featuring organ. The message—take advantage of the present moment—is simple, but the straightforward melody and infectious rhythm make it a perfect sing-along. The autumnal “Wait for You” is among the most memorable tracks on the disc. It starts with a melancholy piano riff and slow guitar picking; ambiguous lyrics add to its appeal. We don’t know who Coughlin is waiting for or why, but her plaintive vocals hint at longing and desperation.

Coughlin tries her hand at jazz with Carlos Antonio Jobim's bossa nova classic “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado),” which features piano, cymbal washes, horns, and a long sax solo. The song showcases her husky, nuanced vocal, and her adventurous choice in covering this standard pays off. The disc concludes with “Honestly,” a straightforward tune about following one’s calling. The music perfectly fits Coughlin’s inspirational lyrics and it is a heartfelt, powerful end to the album.

Coughlin has been compared to a wide range of female singer-songwriters in the country, folk, and rock traditions, including Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams, Sarah McLachlan, Joni Mitchell, and Ricki Lee Jones. While traces of these artists’ influences can be found on her second album, what she really shares with them is a penchant for musical exploration and adventure, embracing multiple genres, and balancing them with wonderful results. She is at turns delicate and introspective, self-assured and in control, but she is always worth a listen.

- A Feminist Review- Karen Duda


Chrissy Coughlin creates a sturdy unpretentious form of RocknPop, utilizing ingredients from rich country music stews and satisfyingly deep rhythm 'n' blues concoctions.

In the tradition of artists like Bonnie Raitt, she creates polished yet also gritty chart friendly tunes, which remain honest, revealing, and perceptive. She is not afraid to share/show the fragile (‘'Honestly’') and roll out punching with the restrained anger of '‘Watch Your Step’' or offer up her love unconditionally (the title track) this latter tune specially stands out and is destined to be a much needed non cynical summer hit, playing from car radios across the nation.

Elsewhere Coughlin explores the hidden darker fears of a bright city, the loneliness of the religious fanatic and what she calls the ‘’excess in our society’’ while never having to resort to cliché or brooding angst. Talking about summer, the opening track, ’'Back To You’' was written to be a blast of bright windswept rock, meant for daughter, mothers, and distant cousins to dance to, and with a less attuned writer, could have drifted sadly into MOR safety.

That it still manages to thrill is a tribute to the soul of this composer and her producer. Look out too, for the driving somewhat bluesy cover of Robert Plant’s, ’'Big Log’' which adds a sweetly harmonic and female slant to the steamy original, although its inclusion here is not at all necessary, her originals will capture the listener (be it thoughtful truck driver, or thrilled business man on mental leave from the daily grind.) This is big shiny music equally at home in glossy brooding dayglo jukeboxes and pulsing intimate from personal players during those times we just want to be alone and rescued at the very same time.

Find out more at her official website, and hear tracks from this release at the Next Big Thing site.

- Next Best Thing


"Chrissy's musical mark is not far off from a a sister-golden hair Lucinda Williams. Her designated single, "Don't Do it Alone,"off of her self-produced debut CD, You Never Know, gradually becomes a seductive pastoral drone thanks to self backing vocals punctuated by high coos and low moans. It resembles a Natalie Merchant with echoes of Rickie Lee Jones. Her September 11th tribute song is musically and lyrically the album's fullest song. Overall Coughlin does what most fall short of - establishing a true signature sound throughout her entire CD." - The Washington Times-Paul Stelter


Chrissy Coughlin strikes a pose on the CD's front cover: a blond bombshell ready to knock your lights out. The back photo, howver, depicts her minstrel-like trudging down a path with her guitar case. Whichever pose best fits her personality, one thing is for certain, she's created an engaging, impressive freshman release.

You Never Know is the kind of debut which makes one wonder why so much crap gets airplay when genuine talent like this exists, waiting to be discovered. Coughlin's soulmates would likely be Natalie Merchant, Sarah Farmer, The Indigo Girls, and Sarah McLaughlin, with a twist of Dylan. Still, her songs have their own identity.

One nice change from standard fare is that the tracks typically extend beyond four minutes and something. The tune, "Hallelujah", for instance, clocks in at over six minutes. That's perfect for a song like this that has so much weight and substance. It is a truly uplifting and inspiring melody, the kind of track that would win awards if it was part of a movie soundtrack. It draws a perfect melodic balance between lightness and darkness.

While most artist seem to to have an annoying need to showcase their diverse abilities by mixing styles on CDs, Coughlin wisely keeps her mood consistent throughout: rock with tension, grace, intelligence, and style. - ON TAP Magazine- Tom Peirce


It can't be easy being a singer-songwriter and playing in bars and lounges where you're not even sure if the crowd is listening to you. But audiences would be well advised to listen closely to Chrissy Coughlin, a local singer-songwriter with a beautiful voice that reminds you of a cross between Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones, and Natalie Merchant. That's an impressive trio to be compared with, but Coughlin is a gifted artist and her songwriting is top notch. "Hallelujah", a song she wrote addressing Sept. 11th, is as good as any written about the aftermath of that horrible day. - Washingtonpost.com- Joe Heim


There are many good songwriters and even more good singers striving to be noticed. Chrissy Coughlihn has the talent to compete in both worlds.

A willowly blond with a great deal of confidence and poise, she is clear about her plans--to have ownership in everything that shapes the rest of her life. Her songs show her fragile side. And her skill in spinning a good yarn with a catchy hook makes it difficult to pick which cut on her debut album, "You Never Know", is the best. - Washington Post - Maria Villafina


Chrissy Coughlin, a new pop/rock artist busily promoting her recent album Look Ahead on the NYC and Boston circuit, hit our summer music craving spot on.

Putting her love for performing and singing on the back burner to pursue an education, it wasn't until grad school (where Coughlin was earning a degree in environmental management) when she found herself fiddling with the guitar and suddenly intent on putting her thoughts down on paper. That's when she began song-writing. A few years later, doctors found a tumor in her calf, an experience that she says gave her the jump start and inspiration she needed to make a change and follow her dreams. Ranging from pop hits to emotional ballads, many of Coughlin's carefully crafted originals delve into relatable themes of relationships and love, the lyrics a perfect soundtrack for sitting poolside or working out. "I think there is a little Sheryl Crow in [the album], and [in general], my voice tends to be compared to Natalie Merchant," she says on her MySpace.com page. On her musical influences, she adds, "I love Patty Griffin. I love Lucinda Williams. I love Aimee Mann. I love U2. Maybe you will hear a little of them as well."

Chrissy recorded her album in the secluded and cozy woods of New Hampshire and found her producer off a friend's recommendation. (He seemed like a good fit, so I just went for it," Coughlin says.) And going with her gut, she explains, has paid off. A handful of great songs to choose from, my instant favorite became the album's first track, "Back to You," an upbeat and poppy crowd-pleaser. Led by the happy sounds of an electric guitar, Chrissy sings, “If I don't turn around and stay, I would be a fool/I am coming back to you," the kind of tune that begs for a convertible and sunshine.

"I hope you agree that these songs capture the rawness of emotion, hope, love, patience, knowing, frustration, confusion, and even a little anger," she says. To listen, visit Chrissy’s website . We recommend the songs "Watch Your Step," "On the Surface" and "Perfect Time."

-Meredith Stebbins



- Woman's Day Magazine


Discography

(2003) You Never Know
(2008) Look Ahead

Photos

Bio

Chrissy's seasoned voice coupled with her warm personality are an unstoppable combination. She calls to mind Sheryl Crow and Natalie Merchant with tinges of Rickie Lee Jones and Lucinda Williams.

And 2008 was a good year for this New York City based singer-songwriter. The winter was full of excitement moving to and 'officially' becoming a 'New Yorker', the spring welcomed the release her new CD, Look Ahead, and the summer and fall were chock full of performances to support her new release. 2009 is poised to look even brighter.

Raised in numerous places including Detroit, Kansas City, and Washington DC, Chrissy is no stranger to moving around and making things work for her. Her ease with meeting people from all different walks of life through her travels throughout the country and the world has afforded her the ability to translate those experiences into intensely thoughtful songs.

Chrissy didn't start off a singer-songwriter. In fact, it was only after a post college career in the environmental field, when she allowed herself the time to sit down and to develop her craft. Music has always been in her blood as an accomplished flutist and singer but songwriting was new. And she was more than ready for the challenge.

Living in DC, working an intense job, playing out at night, and performing songs from her debut CD, You Never Know, confirmed everything Chrissy was feeling up to this point that it was the right time to dedicate all her attention and efforts to music full time.

Chrissy quit her job, packed her bags and moved to the cozy woods of New Hampshire. Living in a beautiful and tranquil environment she enlisted the help from some of Boston's best musicians to record and create Look Ahead. And it has paid off.

Look Ahead is full of songs deeply rich in wisdom, perception, longing, and sophistication. The songs evoke strong emotions in the listener as Chrissy beautifully describes feelings that make you grin one minute and cry the next. Her song, "Back to You", a classic rock song, pleading to return to her lover as well as her hauntingly angelic ballad, Wait for You, that delicately balances patience and interpersonal strength, are two perfect examples.

With the release of Look Ahead, Chrissy has entered a new level in the music world.

And there's no looking back.