Kristen Haynes

Kristen Haynes

BandPop

Sounding like the love-child of David Byrne and Nina Simone, with a music that is simultaneously raw and refined, London-born, Brisbane-based Kristen Haynes is a singer and songwriter noted for her far-ranging influences and pan-cultural fascinations.

Biography

A musical nomad, Kristen draws inspiration from American song, Brazilian samba, North African blues, and Macedonian Romani wedding music, to name just a few. As her rhythms and melodies celebrate cultural multiplicity, Kristen’s intimate and considered lyrics reach within, towards areas of unity and shared humanity. Weaving the strands together is Kristen’s nuanced and heartfelt voice, soaring over the sweet sung harmonies, exquisite guitar, and earthy rhythms of her outstanding band.

True to her multi-faceted musicality, Kristen received her Bachelor of Music in Jazz Voice from the Queensland Conservatorium, and then proceeded to perform with indie rock stars The Boat People, afro-funk outfit Kafka, underground neo-soul project The Work, and at venues including the Brisbane Powerhouse, QPAC, The Zoo, The Troubadour, Maggie Black’s, the Conservatorium Theatre, and GOMA. In 2003, Kristen performed for the Australian Premiere of Steve Reich’s “Music For 18 Musicians” with new-music innovator Vanessa Tomlinson. In 2007, she was the lyricist for the short film and Tropfest entry “$quid,” starring TV personality Josh Lawson (Thank God You’re Here, The Librarians). Kristen was recently featured on SBS radio’s Peace Song Tapestries, performing a cappella renditions of folk songs from around the world. She currently holds a residency at the Press Club's world music night, Calabash, and works extensively in the jazz/chamber pop sphere with wunderkind double bassist Adam Storey.

Lyrics

Unkind

Written By: Kristen Haynes

Blood clots stem the flow, I think I know, I think I see the end
Madmen at the door again, breaking through my defences once more and
Pretending I control the score, I can stop the war, douse the flames with my fears
Or cold and noble thoughts, feeling like I ought, feeling like

What good am I to you if you need me - if anyone needs me?
Dragging myself from my sorry state, turning up late
What good am I to you if you need me - if anyone needs me?
Always part of me left behind, a tortured mind is so unkind
So unkind

As a kid, I know what I did, shut the world with my bedroom door and opened up
The way we said it was, the way we think it is, the way we wrote it all down
And though I’m fully grown, I like it on my own, when I sleep all day and read all night
In the silver light, every night, every night

What good am I to you if you need me - if anyone needs me?
Dragging myself from my sorry state, turning up late
What good am I to you if you need me - if anyone needs me?
Always part of me left behind, a tortured mind is so unkind
So unkind

If I had my way, I would sleep all day, and wouldn’t stop ‘til the moon cast its silver light
Every night

What good am I to you if you need me - if anyone needs me?
Dragging myself from my sorry state, turning up late
What good am I to you if you need me - if anyone needs me?
Always part of me left behind, a tortured mind is so unkind
So unkind

Now

Written By: Kristen Haynes

Now I’ve done it
Now I’ve done it
Now I’ve done it
Now I’ve done it

I did a bad thing
I did a dumb thing
I took the wrong path
I said the wrong thing
And now I’ve done it
I went the wrong way
Now I’ve done it
I took a bad turn

Who could have known?
I didn’t listen to me when I said I should stop and think
Brushed it aside

And now I’ve done it
I made a big mistake
Now I’ve done it
And there’s nowhere to go
Now I’ve done it
And there’s no turning back
And I’m sorry
But there’s no turning back
I’m sorry
But there’s no giving in
I’m sorry
But there’s nothing I can do

It was a moment or two
I let down my guard
I didn’t look or see and I

Now I’ve done it
I thought I’d done all right
But now I’ve done it
And it turned out all wrong
Now I’ve done it
And there’s no turning back
And I’m sorry
But there’s no turning back
I’m sorry
But there’s no giving in
I’m sorry
But there’s nothing I can do
I did a bad thing
But there’s nothing I can do
I did a dumb thing
But there’s nothing I can do
I took the wrong path
But there’s nothing I can do
I said the wrong thing
But there’s nothing I can do
I made a big mistake
But there’s nothing I can do
And now there’s nowhere to go
But there’s nothing I can do
I did a bad, bad thing

Now I’ve done it
Now I’ve done it
Now I’ve done it
Now I’ve done it

Unkind

Written By: Kristen Haynes

Blood clots stem the flow, I think I know, I think I see the end
Madmen at the door again, breaking through my defences once more and
Pretending I control the score, I can stop the war, douse the flames with my fears
Or cold and noble thoughts, feeling like I ought, feeling like

What good am I to you if you need me - if anyone needs me?
Dragging myself from my sorry state, turning up late
What good am I to you if you need me - if anyone needs me?
Always part of me left behind, a tortured mind is so unkind
So unkind

As a kid, I know what I did, shut the world with my bedroom door and
Opened up the way we said it was, the way we think it is, the way we wrote it all down
And though I’m fully grown, I like it on my own, when I sleep all day and read all night
In the silver light, every night, every night

What good am I to you if you need me - if anyone needs me?
Dragging myself from my sorry state, turning up late
What good am I to you if you need me - if anyone needs me?
Always part of me left behind, a tortured mind is so unkind
So unkind

If I had my way, I would sleep all day, and wouldn’t stop ‘til the moon cast its silver light
Every night

What good am I to you if you need me - if anyone needs me?
Dragging myself from my sorry state, turning up late
What good am I to you if you need me - if anyone needs me?
Always part of me left behind, a tortured mind is so unkind
So unkind

Welcome a Man

Written By: Kristen Haynes

Welcome a man home
Welcome a man home
Down those steps you walk alone
Down those steps you walk alone
Welcome a man home
Welcome a man home
Down those steps you walk alone
Down those steps you walk alone
Let a man into your home

Welcome a man’s arms
You can keep him safe from harm
If you give the man your arms

Give him your own bread
You’re alive and you’ll be dead
So give the man some bread

Give him your own lips
You have both need of the kiss
So give the man your lips

Keepeth your own soul
For without him you are whole
Don’t give the man your soul

Welcome a man home
Doesn’t matter where you’ll roam
Let a man into your home

Why

Written By: Kristen Haynes

I used to look for answers
I used to ask them questions
Why - why - why - why

I thought I needed reasons
Before I knew that life was
Why - why - why - why

Before the day
Before the day I borrowed
(Why - why - why - why)
Before the night
Before the night I stole
(Why - why - why - why)
Before the light
Before I saw the light in me

I have been known to wander
I have been known to fall

I have been known to suffer
I have been know to crawl

Before the day
Before the day I borrowed
Before the light
Before the light I stole
Before the night
Before I saw the night in me

On the pavement
On the fifteenth floor
Under neon
Through the concrete door
In the presence of the dearest me
In the hour I was nearest me
The sound of the street running through my veins
The air in my lungs - how it still remains
Why - why - why - why
Why - why - why - why
Why - why - why - why
Why - why - why - why

Set List

Original songs - 60 minute set

Unkind
Sea
Welcome a Man
Now
Time
Uwoza
Heart
Soldier
Yemanja
Why
Stranger
Please

Traditional songs and covers

Rumelaj (Romani folk song)
Cler Achel
Beaux Dimanches
Usti Usti Baba
Motumba
O Ronco da Cuica
Chaje Shukarije
Viborita
See Line Woman
Senor de los Milagros
Magalenha
Bemba Colora