Nikki Lunden
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Nikki Lunden

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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"Lunden's Calling"

Nikki Lunden's music career began 26 years ago when, at the age of 3, she was given an organ for Christmas. Even then, Lunden was able to pick out the theme from "M*A*S*H."

From there, there was no going back.

"I think that music chose me," Lunden reflected. "Nothing comes close to the physical or emotional feelings I get while performing. It's the skin I'm most comfortable in."

Since shortly after graduating from high school, Lunden has become a staple in the Iowa City music community, with her bands Heinous Canis and The Trollies and through numerous solo shows and recordings. On Saturday night, she'll celebrate the release of her fourth solo album, Depends On The Weather, with a co-release party alongside fellow IC musician Kate Kane at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St.

"I've been waiting for this so long, once Saturday night is over, I can sleep again," Lunden said with a laugh.

Lunden, whose dreadlocks are constantly threatening to escape from her ponytail, has a ready grin and a slightly nervous disposition. Later, she says, that it's nothing personal, but giving interviews just isn't where she's comfortable.

"I feel like such a dork when I talk," she said. For the other side of Lunden, one needs to encounter her on a "gig day."

"I transform," she said. "It's like Peter Parker turning into Spider-Man. Suddenly, he has all these abilities and powers he's never been capable of before."

Indeed, for Lunden, much of her musicality manifests itself in unconscious ways. Songwriting, she said, "is like getting hit by a car," with melodies often appearing nearly complete in her mind.

"I was counting paint cans at my old job, and the whole song was there in 10 minutes," she said, adding a little sheepishly, "I faked a headache to go home and write it."

Self-taught on guitar since age 9, Lunden counts other acoustic-wielding females among her influences, most notably Jewel and the earlier albums of Sheryl Crow. With Depends On The Weather, she's branched out into more fully rounded sounds, thanks to accompaniment from area musicians.

"You had to create a stereo to listen to it," Lunden said excitedly. The help with playing and recording the album is something she said is representative of the tightly knit network of Iowa City local musicians.

"This town is just cram-packed with talented people," she said, citing both the UI and public-school systems as beneficial. While speaking, she sports a Lipstick Homicide shirt, and she seemed secure in saying, "If I needed anything, I know everyone would jump in and help out."

Depends On The Weather marks what Lunden calls her most personal album to date, with songs ranging as far back as three years ago. Now, she said, she's ready to take the stage solo once more.

"At this point, I'm not using the album for radio play or anything like that," she said. "It's very straightforward - this is me, this is what I do, this is my sound. It's raw. It's Nikki."

E-mail DI reporter Anna Wiegenstein at:

anna-wiegenstein@uiowa.edu - Iowa City Press Citizen


"The Nikki Lunden Experience"

excerpt:
The combination of Lunden's songwriting skill and the intriguing riff from the powerful electric guitars is quite lovely. Trying to assign a genre to the band's sound is a baffling task. On stage, folk rock and funk fight it out. In the end, it's the audience that wins.
- James Trainor - CRAM Magazine (Cedar Rapids Arts and Music)


Discography

Nikki Lunden Trio - Java House Live 2009 self release

Nikki Lunden - depends on the weather - February 2008 self release

Nikki Lunden and the Heinous Canis - drag it with your teeth EP July 2005 self release

Nikki Lunden - The Riverside Sessions (solo) 2004 self release

Nikki Lunden - Life Like Live In Iowa City (solo)2004 self release

Nikki Lunden - choose your own expericence (solo)2003 self release

The Trollies - Roundtrip Weekend 2002 (unofficial)
self release

The Trollies - Fountain Pennies 2001 self release

Photos

Bio

Nikki Lunden's music career began 26 years ago when, at the age of 3, she was given an organ for Christmas. Even then, Lunden was able to pick out the theme from "M*A*S*H." From there, there was no going back. "I think that music chose me," Lunden reflected. "Nothing comes close to the physical or emotional feelings I get while performing. It's the skin I'm most comfortable in." Since shortly after graduating from high school, Lunden has become a staple in the Iowa City music community, with her bands Heinous Canis and The Trollies and through numerous solo shows and recordings. On Saturday night, she'll celebrate the release of her fourth solo album, Depends On The Weather, with a co-release party alongside fellow IC musician Kate Kane at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St. "I've been waiting for this so long, once Saturday night is over, I can sleep again," Lunden said with a laugh. Lunden, whose dreadlocks are constantly threatening to escape from her ponytail, has a ready grin and a slightly nervous disposition. Later, she says, that it's nothing personal, but giving interviews just isn't where she's comfortable. "I feel like such a dork when I talk," she said. For the other side of Lunden, one needs to encounter her on a "gig day." "I transform," she said. "It's like Peter Parker turning into Spider-Man. Suddenly, he has all these abilities and powers he's never been capable of before." Indeed, for Lunden, much of her musicality manifests itself in unconscious ways. Songwriting, she said, "is like getting hit by a car," with melodies often appearing nearly complete in her mind. "I was counting paint cans at my old job, and the whole song was there in 10 minutes," she said, adding a little sheepishly, "I faked a headache to go home and write it." Self-taught on guitar since age 9, Lunden counts other acoustic-wielding females among her influences, most notably Jewel and the earlier albums of Sheryl Crow. With Depends On The Weather, she's branched out into more fully rounded sounds, thanks to accompaniment from area musicians. "You had to create a stereo to listen to it," Lunden said excitedly. The help with playing and recording the album is something she said is representative of the tightly knit network of Iowa City local musicians. "This town is just cram-packed with talented people," she said, citing both the UI and public-school systems as beneficial. While speaking, she sports a Lipstick Homicide shirt, and she seemed secure in saying, "If I needed anything, I know everyone would jump in and help out." Depends On The Weather marks what Lunden calls her most personal album to date, with songs ranging as far back as three years ago. Now, she said, she's ready to take the stage solo once more. "At this point, I'm not using the album for radio play or anything like that," she said. "It's very straightforward - this is me, this is what I do, this is my sound. It's raw. It's Nikki." E-mail DI reporter Anna Wiegenstein at: anna-wiegenstein@uiowa.edu