Michele Ari
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Michele Ari

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"First U.K. Review"

'Ari, Michele'
'85th and Nowhere'

- Genre: 'Punk/New Wave' - Release Date: 'June 2005'

Our Rating: 8 out of ten stars
Remember the climax of 10,000 Maniacs' "Eat for Two" when Natalie Merchant's bare voice fades from view with the fragility of a little girl? That's how Florida-based singer/songwriter Michele Ari's debut album, "85th and Nowhere," opens with the jangling first cut "My Sleeping Beauty." Sounding nothing like most of today's few female alternative-rock vocalists, who are often lacking the emotional rush of their '80s predecessors, Ari (http://www.micheleari.com) has a bittersweet vocal style that is at once enigmatic and revealing.

"My Sleeping Beauty" spellbinds with its jagged, ringing guitars a la vintage Peter Buck and Ari's stormy-day singing. It's the perfect song for an evening drive, filled with mystery and mesmerizing chime. "Please" continues to the record's hypnotic pull, and it becomes obvious that there is an undeniable power in Ari's voice. Like Merchant, her vocals grab the ears and refuse to part with them. She isn't seducing the listener as much as putting them in a trance.

"Nevermind" and "1,000 Kisses" flirt with country inspirations; however, the bulk of "85th and Nowhere" is a throwback to moody mid-'80s college rock. The self-deprecating "Pretty" is Ari's little masterpiece, as haunting as the Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale." It's a track that R.E.M. will probably want to cover, too. Ari's melancholic singing on "Pretty" is heartbreaking and astonishing.
author: Adam Harrington
- Whisperin and Hollerin

"The Collegiate Girl is Back"

The Collegiate Girl is back.

Don't misunderstand -- the Collegiate Girl is not a singular person. Rather, it's almost like a genre. Back in the late '80s, there were a number of female artists, such as 10,000 Maniacs, Suzanne Vega and Edie Brickell, who rebelled against the superficial pop of Madonna, opting for well-written verses and a down-to-earth image and voice. Ever since the arrival of Tori Amos and Hole in the early '90s, though, that all changed. It wasn't cool -- or commercially viable enough -- for a woman to write smart, poetic lyrics without an accompanying rage.

Singer/songwriter Michele Ari doesn't sound angry at all; what was once the alternative is now the alternative to the alternative. Yes, Ari is old school; the jangling guitars on "My Sleeping Beauty" could've been found on any Guadalcanal Diary record in a campus station's vinyl archives. Her vocals are subdued, moody and very pretty on "Pretty," a revealing look at a woman's psyche when her self-confidence has eroded and all she feels she has left is her physical beauty. "Pretty" epitomizes the Collegiate Girl mystique: wounded, intelligent and dark. Ari probably cried to Morrissey songs in her dorm room -- and we certainly need more women like that. At times, she sounds a little bit like Chrissie Hynde, although not as ticked off.

Those who miss the Collegiate Girl will be kicking themselves if they pass this up.

Michele Ari: www.micheleari.com
Kyrby Raine
- Ink 19

"Out of Seattle"

Michele Ari
85th and Nowhere
by Karla Ash

Florida-based singer/songwriter Michele Ari is not cut from the same cloth as most of today’s female rockers. While guitar-strapped chicks these days seem to take their cues from either Courtney Love or Jewel, Ari seems indifferent to both. In fact, there’s nothing on 85th and Nowhere that suggests she even listened to either artist, as the dominant sound here is left-of-the-dial riff rock. Her setup is guitar-bass-drums but nothing that’ll bleed the ears. She’s not into cranking the amps; instead, as on the first tune “My Sleeping Beauty,” her and her rhythm section lock onto a groove and don’t let go. Less than two decades ago songs such as “My Sleeping Beauty” were common on college radio. And, no, that’s not a knock on her lack of originality as she’s summoning, not plagiarizing, what worked in the past. Although the music is dated by the memories they revive, it’s actually timeless.

Ari has a pleasing, pleasant voice. She has that girl-next-door quality to her singing that is appealing and was once considered sexy by campus DJs--probably still is. She reaches the highest of highs on “Pretty,” a brutally honest look at her insecurities that seems to have been ripped from a diary. This is a subtle, emotionally powerful record that is personal and addicting. Keep an eye out for this lady; she is going places.

More information on Michele Ari can be found at her website, http://www.micheleari.com. - The Wig Fits All Heads

"From Sunny florida"

August 1, 2005 - This six song self released album, "85th
and Nowhere," reveals a classic sound that is very soft
on the ears and enriching to the soul. Singer/songwriter Michele Ari emanates tales of heart break and falling in
love in her strong, easy flowing, smoky voice that
resembles Chrissie Hynde. Her analog recorded tracks
give this album a very raw feel allowing the simplicity of
the guitar, drums and piano to resonate.

The second song on her album, Please, has a very 70's sound, unquestionably reminding me of The Pretenders.
The subtle male backing harmonies effortlessly
compliment Michele as she sings about waiting for yet another fall back in a relationship.

85th and Nowhere, is the third track and yet another that I really enjoyed. It demonstrates how her simple song
writing style can say so much. Anyone can relate to what she’s been through. She goes on to sing that she’s “sitting
in that café in NY wondering how I’d pay my rent” and that she sacrificed everything for the one she loves and is now found in this situation. This song is fun because it’s more upbeat and sounds almost like a Go Go's song from the 1980's. For those of you who missed out on that generation, listening to this song will remind you of how great the
80's were!

"Pretty," is one of the last tracks and I must have played it
a dozen times. It’s got a very blues and melancholy feel during the verses and the song picks up more in the
chorus. The music demonstrates a very longing feel that matches her ever so longing lyrics. The guitar solo is very romantic and the piano adds the final touch to a perfect song.

The last song is a great choice for a last song. It’s got a
very “happy ending” feel to it. It is titled 1,000 Kisses, and
it is a relief to see that she was able to get through the
trials and tribulations of life and is on her way to the right path.

It is obvious that Michele is a very poignant song writer, delivering a CD that carries you through a journey in life. It
is very easy listening and relaxing. I would definitely play
it while reading my favorite book under a cozy tree on a late Spring afternoon and then play it again and again the next day and thereon after.

Michele Ari is based out of Tampa, FL and plays shows on
a regular basis. To sample music visit Michele’s page at Myspace.com or visit the official Michele Ari website. Music may be puchased at CDbaby.com.

CD Review by Liz Fernandez - Copyright © 2005 Florida Entertainment Scene – All Rights Reserved.

- Florida Entertainment Scene

"The Kids Think She's All Right"

by Jacob Dykstra , added on 08/06/05 02:14 AM)

Florida-based singer/songwriter Michele Ari doesn't sound young. No, that's not meant to be an insult. A quick glance at the pictures on her site (http://www.micheleari.com) reveales her to be a youthful, attractive woman and not an old hag. But she's not a kid unlike most of the female singers today.

Back in the '70s and '80s, there were no rocker girls; there were only women. Sure, exceptions like the Go-Go's and the Bangles did exist, and Madonna was already a star barely out of her teens. However, for the most part the industry signed grown-up chicks.

Ari is a flashback to those days when female musicians were mature and somewhat classy, the complete opposite of babies such as Britney Spears and teen-angst monsters like Courtney Love.

The music on Ari's debut EP, "85th and Nowhere," has a dusty, low-fi sound; the guitars sound brittle and mysterious, especially on the opening track, "My Sleeping Beauty." This is not rock & roll for kids in the sense that they'll have no sense of identification with the enigmatic lyrics and the vintage left-of-the-dial rhythms that Ari is reaching back for.

You can feel Ari's emotions building up with each track, setting them loose with the disconsolate "Pretty," which Patsy Cline would've crooned if she were still alive today.

This is a small record with big feelings, and they reverberate through the skin upon Ari's gently sung every word.

- girlposse.com

"Live from Sweden!"

a Review by Anna Maria Stjärnell

5 out of 5 stars

Michele Ari has a terrific voice and a smart way with words. Her debut album is a confident collection of songs.

"My Sleeping Beauty" has a ringing guitar and a wistful lyric of faded love.

"Please" is an up-tempo song that instantly memorable. Ari sings a strong lead while Ronny Elliott provides a nice backing vocal.

"Nevermind" starts with the intriguing lyric "Woke up in last nights makeup". It's musically reminiscent of Nick Lowe's early eighties sound.

The country-tinged "1000 Kisses" closes the brief but sweet collection. Michele Ari is an talented new artist.

Posted on August 12, 2005

- Collectedsounds.com

"From Scotland Yard to the Towers of London"

An album of considerable ambience from the London bound American girl.

With a voice like this her life was surely always going to take this path. What a tragic waste of such natural ability had it not! Michele Ari sings in a way that most people could only ever hope for. She has such melodic pull. A capability to evoke countless emotions. It?s a haunting almost. A subtle presence that gently ghosts you, yet so firm in it?s manifestation! It?s the perfect narrator for her lyrics, bringing an intensity of unquestionable depth!

85th and Nowhere is a 6 track mini album of considerable ambience. An inspired vehicle in which to introduce us to Michele. Opening song ?My Sleeping Beauty? is an achingly heartfelt composition that seems to combine bitterness and poignancy together in uncontrived similarity. A penetrating insight I?m sure! Second track ?Please? and third one ?85th and Nowhere? have bounciness, good guitars and rock n roll drum beats. The former containing a lyrically acerbic outpouring of frustrating anger, and the title track, with a new wave kinda feel to it, finds Michele sounding like Deborah Harry did when she was at her best in the 80?s.

?Nevermind? is a call to arms for reckless abandonment and self indulgence and it?s all wrapped up and complimented by excellent guitar riffs. But the gorgeous ballad ?Pretty? is where her voice is most powerful. A full and infiltrating richness so overwhelming and formidable nothing could ever possibly distract from this! The album closes with the acoustic, summertime sounding jangle of ?1000 Kisses? and it?s lyrical leanings that suggest someone is falling in love, or at least liking someone enough to want to kiss them 1000 times. It?s an endearingly lovely smiley joyous song and an inspired choice to end on!

Michele currently resides in America but is in the process of relocating to London. I think England?s shores may possibly allow itself a warming smile at the thought of her arrival*

(Please see bio*)

- Music News Scotland/Subba-Cultcha London

"She's no pop princess"

By Jennifer Layton , Assistant Editor

Sometimes all I’ve got is pretty when all else seems to fail ...

Despite her misgivings in the fifth track of 85th and Nowhere, Michele Ari has a lot more going for her than just pretty. She picks up the mantle dropped in the late 90s by Natalie Merchant (and stomped on over the past decade by the neverending parade of pop princesses), shakes it out, and tries it on. Not a bad fit.

Because it’s been a while since we’ve heard the female collegiate singer/songwriter style, it does take a couple of songs to adjust. Think more performance art poetry than pop charts. Ari is going more for the intellect than the impulse. Once you let go of the need for glitter and glam, you can get lost in these six musing tracks and their honest introspection. You can even appreciate the contrast of a sweet, 60s folkie voice singing modern jangly pop/rock.

The standout is the title track – very Debbie Harry, with elements of 80s new wave in the music. I also liked the smouldering, tragic vibe of “Pretty.”

We’ll be losing this American artist to London soon, but I doubt we’ve seen the last of her. At least I hope not. This album fills a void in today’s top ten, infusing it with some much needed sophistication and thoughtful songcrafting.

- Indie-Music.com

"My Space/CD Baby"

Please visit My Space and CD Baby for all of the amazing comments and reviews by the people who matter the most: the fans! - People Have the Power!

"The Front Man is a Girl"

When you visit the myspace page of Michele Ari the heading reads, "The Front Man is a Girl", and for some reason reading that sparked something in me. These days there are thousands of female vocals and many fine female singers right here in Chicago. However, is there a difference between a vocalist and frontman? I say yes, and Michele Ari is a bonafied frontman. Her and her band, based in Nashville, just released their second album mal a' propos and the first two tracks, "6am" and "Boxes" are currently streaming at Fearless Radio. There is a strength and a confidence in Michele's voice that fits perfectly the contemporary alt-pop backing. It's nothing complicated or groundbreaking, but there is always room for well-written pop. The frontman is the center piece, the attention getter, and the hook, and Michele is all of those things and more.

Michele is coming to Chicago on November 21st and will first be playing at the Fearless Radio's studio at 4:00pm and then be playing with one of my favorite new local bands The Streets of Fire at Cal's. The Streets on Fire also just released an album, their debut, and are proving that lo-fi funk is not dead in this town. I recommend you stop by Cal's on the 21st to check out both Michele Ari and The Streets on Fire. - Gaper's Block- Jason Behrend


"Sugarcoated": 3 song acoustic CD

"85th and Nowhere" 6 song EP

"mal a' propos"- recently released 5 song EP.

Internet and radio play on the following, but not limited to:
Fearless Radio
WMNF 885. FM Tampa, Fl
WSUN 97.1 FM, St. Petersburg, Fl
Big L Radio London 1395 AM w/ Opal Bonfante (who has also interviewed Pete Townsend, Richard Carpenter and Brenda Lee)
1107 AM, Moray Firth Radio, Scotland
Sure Radio, Sheffield University, England
WCOM 103.5 FM, North Carolina
Complex Radio, Charlotte, NC
1485 am South Africa
WRVU 91.1 FM Nashville
WTSR 91.3 FM, New Jersey
WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago (alongside The Who and Sex Pistols!)
Live 365, Rae of Sound, internet
Desert Highway Radio, internet
DJ Otto-German club and radio DJ
Markie Gee- New England club and radio DJ
Ellinikos FM- US
WOT 90 Halifax, Canada
Hot Station FM- Greece
Radiokamata- Greece

Currently Michele is being interviewed by UK radio broadcast journalist David Spencer who has interviewed The Damned, Simon LeBon, Roger Waters, Martin Fry (ABC) and others. The interviews were at the request of Mr. Spencer who found her on My Space.

"Ari plays rich alternative music, though assigning a label to it is difficult … a good sign of someone with a unique talent. Hints of new wave and 60’s pop can be heard in her music, but it’s definitely one of a kind. Rae of Sound is happy to feature her on our playlist."



Michele Ari is an artist of considerable standing. She’s one of those open and honest people who wear their hearts firmly on their sleeves in the name of their art. Her debut album, 85th and Nowhere, had not only her homeland of America enraptured, but also caused genuine excitement throughout Europe.

Respected music reviewers from revered music publications had nothing but genuine praise for her debut effort. The Swedish music press described her work as a confident collection of songs musically reminiscent of Nick Lowe’s early 80’s sound. In Scotland the press mused that she has a capability to evoke countless emotions and an intensity of unquestionable depth. The career dictating London journos were impressed enough to write sounding like Deborah Harry did when she was at her best in the 80’s. 85th and Nowhere also drew this comment courtesy of the Manila Standard in the Philippines: probably one of the most important artists that you have not heard yet. These quotes, and so many others, are genuine snippets from reviews by people who have been in the business long enough to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Just seeming moments after her debut release Michele was invited to play the London International Festival of Poetry and Song alongside such giants as Patti Smith. Her music has had a ringing endorsement from Opal Bonfante, a Radio One London personality who has interviewed the likes of Pete Townsend and Brenda Lee, as well as David Spencer of Sky News UK who has interviewed The Damned, Roger Waters and other musical greats. She took over the airwaves of the United Kingdom with her song My Sleeping Beauty capturing 100 percent of listener votes on Moray Firth Radio, the country’s farthest reaching radio station. In her current residence of Nashville Ari leaped ahead of the other nominees in Deli Magazine’s “Artist of the Month” poll, winning by a landslide.

The title of Ari’s new EP, mal a’ propos, is telling. The term refers to someone or something that’s out of place or untimely, and one listen to this artist’s music makes it clear that she doesn’t quite fit in among her contemporaries. Favoring the quirks, sharp edges and left-of-center mentality of old school punk, new wave, power pop and college rock over the formulaic predictability of much of today’s indie rock, her music puts a fresh twist on the sounds from a more exciting time in rock and roll.

Mal a’ propos is a solid leap forward while maintaining the qualities that enthralled listeners to Ari’s previous work. 6 a.m – which begins subtly and builds into a driving pop/rock number – is at once clever, heartfelt and infectious, with lyrics that make it clear the songwriter isn’t afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve. Atom Bombss and Transatlantic Love Affair drive that point home in the form of introspective, captivating pages out of Ari’s mental diary. Rounding out the malapropos EP are Boxes, a high voltage kiss-off that recalls Blondie’s punk roots, and Don’t Go, a come-hither power pop gem boasting hooks that are likely to make a home in your head for days.

Michele is a catalyst for these times. Her voice is no fluke, her talent is as natural as the seasons and her grasp of song writing is uncanny. She remains a much needed transfusion of new blood for the veins of a genre quickly running out of ideas and direction. Half the world is unaware of her existence and the other half is unable to keep the secret! Expect many ‘I discovered her first’ claims when she finally strolls onto the map that will place her alongside many other luminaries of this fickle industry. Don’t take the word of the press, or the actions of a country. Find out for yourself and be privy to the worst kept secret, but the best bet for success, this music industry currently has to offer. In the words of Karla Ash, a writer for Seattle-based The Wig Fits All Heads, Keep an eye out for this lady. She’s going places.