Karyn Ann
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Karyn Ann

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Solo Americana Soul




"#WomenCrushWednesday: Karyn Ann's "Be Loud""

It’s no secret that Portland, OR holds one of the most diverse local music scenes in the States. With artists ranging in genres from experimental avant-pop to heavy metal, the Northwest city houses artists always looking ahead and making attempts to push boundaries in their sound. While these artists look forward, others tend to look back at what made music great, and what opened those doorways for the rest of them. In these cases, a nostalgic look back to a bygone era produces an oft richer, and more timeless product.

On her latest record, Be Loud, Portland songwriter Karyn Ann has done just that. Ann has said before that she often feels she was born in the wrong decade. There’s validity to this claim, and it comes in the form of her soulful sound, demonstrated at the very beginning of her sophomore release.

Be Loud opens with “Be Still,” a pop rock cut that explodes with nostalgia, taking listeners back to the 60s, evoking memories of songwriters such as Carole King or Joni Mitchell, the boundary pushers of their generations, who opened the floor for artists like Karyn Ann to thrive. In looking to the past, Ann pays tribute to the greats who paved the way.
As “Be Still” grows and swells with Ann’s unique voice, a choir of voices breaks out in the chorus, offering texture and an awakening moment in the song, grabbing attention and leading you hand in hand into the rest of the record.

As Karyn Ann continues to take you through this journey, not once does her sound break character. Everything, from her vocal performance, to the mixing and production, to the songwriting itself, lends itself to a time passed, labeling Ann a classic voice for our modern era. “Same Old Thing” opens with a swanky southern riff, painting a picture of a late night at a 60s bar, before booming into a brass chorus. “After Burns” quickly follows with its emotional balladry, pairing Ann’s classic, echoing voice with a beautiful piano refrain and lush acoustic guitar.

Only halfway through the albums concise 10 tracks, Be Loud offers up yet another highlight in its title track of sorts, “Quiet Love.” Once again drawing in with a low balladry, Karyn Ann’s songwriting explodes as the chorus come to, a choir of voices once again joining her in the titular refrain:

“You’ve gotta let your love be loud!”

Though Karyn Ann’s magnificent second album packs in only 10 tracks, the beauty and poetry within them flow smoothly, clocking the running time of the record to a hearty full-length time of around 42 minutes. As a whole record, Be Loud achieves exactly what Karyn Ann set out to do. If she truly was born into the wrong decade, she is using her talent to live within the right one. With a voice and style like hers, this album can sit comfortably beside King’s Tapestry and Mitchell’s Blue to be played on a sunny summer day.

You can hear music from Karyn Ann’s new album ahead of it’s official release at her show tomorrow night, July 26th, at McMenamins Mission Theater in Portland, with support from Hayley Johnsen and Leo London. Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm. For more information, click here. Otherwise, look out for Be Loud when it drops on August 3rd. The album is available for preorder via iTunes here. - Brenden Swogger

"Karyn Ann Live from The Rye Room [Video Premiere]"

Do you ever wake up feeling blue? Maybe you’ve had a beautiful dream about someone lost to you, and the longing to be near them lingers. The subtle sadness brought about by our dream selves sparks Karyn Ann’s performance at The Rye Room. It is spellbinding.

She has a quiet power that will take you to a different time and place. Her vocal tone is melodic and pure, and you are transported. Somewhere the noise of the outside blurs. Someplace the world is a little softer and safer. A picture filtered through the film of an old camera. It’s no wonder the self-described neo soul troubadour says “sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong decade.”

Perhaps, but this decade also needs performances like this.

Karyn Ann invites the listener to slow down and reflect. In an almost meditative three minutes, you’ll find yourself in a dreamlike state akin to that brought on by songs like Joni Mitchell’s “River.” Colin Hogan (of The Colin Trio) on melodica creates a kind of enchantment so strong you might miss the melancholy of the lyrics on first listen.

“‘My Dreams’ was a song I wrote to question the purpose and causes of dreams,” Karyn Ann writes. “As I often have dreams that don't make sense... [I] wanted to play around with idea: ‘I'm sleeping, so why isn't my mind at rest?’ The whole idea that we can subconsciously experience stress fascinates me.”

Karyn Ann’s ability to recreate the experience of that idea through her performance makes it memorable in a way that will compel you to hit repeat. The instrumentation creates the dreamlike state, while the lyrics describe the unease of stress or sadness. The song created through this juxtaposition is simply brilliant.

Does it remind you of a dream? Tell us about it. - Kelsey Greco

"Karyn Ann: 'Be Still' [Song Premiere]"

Seated behind the piano with a microphone in front of her, Karyn Ann belts out "be still, be still"—titular lyrics to the first track from her forthcoming sophomore record, Be Loud. As the song unfolds so does the power of her vocals, which are accompanied by a mellifluous choir that includes Margaret Wehr, Tara Velarde and Tim Karplus and some smooth guitar licks provided by Mark Bowden.

Listen to "Be Still" below while you wait till spring to hear the other 10 tracks on Karyn Ann's sophomore album 'Be Loud'Listen to "Be Still" below while you wait till spring to hear the other 10 tracks on Karyn Ann's sophomore album 'Be Loud'But before "Be Still" was a fully formed ballad, Karyn Ann started writing it "while reading a book on mindfulness and meditation," she says. "I found myself in a transitional state, just starting to date my now-husband and looking ahead at my next album. I became more acquainted with writing on the piano, and the chorus for 'Be Still' just got stuck in my head. I don’t even remember where it came from. My producer Mark Bowden got really excited, demonstrating where the progression I wrote could translate into jazz chords. Then my friends from The Colin Trio [including Colin Hogan on Hammond organ and Brian Link on bass] came in and gave it this full-band feel. They understood exactly what we were going for."

It all went down at 8 Ball Studio in SE Portland a year ago, where Karplus also provided the sound engineering as Bowden produced. "We did full-band takes over three days and ended up with 11 tunes," Karyn Ann says. "We’re now in the final mixing stages" to prep for a May release of Be Loud. - Chris Young

"Album Review: Karyn Ann, Into the Depths (Self-Released)"

[SINGER-SONGWRITER] Into the Depths, the sophomore release by Portland singer-songwriter Karyn Ann Patridge, shows considerable growth from her confident but uneven debut, 2013'€™s Accept Uncertainty. Patridge accompanies herself on piano and guitar, bringing varied textures to her songwriting. Sturdy and elastic, her voice best recalls Patty Griffin'€™s emphatic, empathic singing, with a touch of Bonnie Raitt'€™s sultrier vibe. It doesn'€™t seem like she'€™s consciously emulating those artists—she just might have the chops to one day join their ranks. Opener "Best Intentions"€ enters with brightly strummed acoustic guitar and skillfully recorded vocals, and producer Mark Bowden adds tasteful electric guitar lines that match Patridge'€™s eloquent singing. Then, after a piano-vocal intro, the album'€™s title song bursts into expansive, full-band production with a warm Tapestry vibe—a lush soundscape she hasn'€™t explored before. When the album moves back into sparer textures, it feels slightly like retrenchment. There's no drop-off in quality, but once she'€™s unveiled that large, full-color canvas, the more modest numbers seem like sketches by comparison. Perhaps this will prove a transitional collection, and Patridge will move further into the depths of more developed production next time out. Whatever path she chooses will be one worth following - Jeff Rosenberg

"Karyn Ann, Stephanie Scelza and Pretty Gritty"

Karyn Ann started the way most acoustic singer/songwriters get started: by lugging a beat-up guitar around to local open mics and coffee shops. But she is finally beginning to outgrow the open mics and gain respect in her own right, as a skilled songwriter and a confident singer. Karyn Ann's influences range from Bonnie Raitt to Brandi Carlile, but her low contralto voice could be best compared with a singer like KT Tunstall. Tonight she'll be celebrating the release of her second album, Into the Depths, an impressive eight-song collection of acoustic soul and Tapestry-era singer/songwriter ballads. It's a long slog from the dim coffee shops to the bright lights of the stage, but Karyn Ann is well on her way. - SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY


Into the Depths (LP, 2015)
Be Still (Single, 2017)
My Dreams (Single, 2018)
Be Loud (LP, 2018)

Who You Were (2020)

Don't Practice Law (2020)

Probably (2020)

I am not Yours (2021)

Wasting Time (2021)



Described as a “combination of Patty Griffin grit and Amy Winehouse grace” by American Songwriter, Portland-based Soul/Americana singer-songwriter Karyn Ann has been charming audiences across the US with her powerful vocals and emotive lyricism for nearly a decade. Her debut album Into the Depths (2015) and follow-up Be Loud (2018) garnered critical acclaim and radio play, and since then, this geologist-turned- road musician has built up a steady fan based along the West Coast and beyond.

She’s shared stages with Portland locals like Haley Johnson, Liam St. John, and Fox and Bones, as well as international acts like Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls (at the 2017 Women’s Redrock Music Festival). Her song “The Ender” is featured in the award-winning film Undeserved (2016), and her latest release "Wasting Time" appears in the awarding winning indie-short Second Story (2022).

Despite the pandemic, Karyn Ann continued to release new music, dropping three singles “Who You Were”, “Don’t Practice Law'', “Probably" in 2020. She was selected for the 2020 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist showcase, placed runner-up in the Red Lodge Songwriters Contest, and placed TOP 100 in the singer-songwriter category of the Great American Songwriting Contest. She also produced/recorded an EP - “I Am Not Yours” (2021), which highlights the lyrical poetry of Sarah Teasdale. Her latest single “Wasting Time” is an indie-folk tune that manages to be both delicate and richly soulful. With Ann's haunting vocals and lyrical finesse, the song captures the joy of living while reminding us that life is a collage of fleeting moments. 

Currently Ann is working on an indie-electric/synth rock EP slated for release in 2022 titled "Consequence of Fear". www.karynann.com

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