Karyn Ellis: MUSIC profile

Karyn Ellis' latest release Hearts Fall is best appreciated out doors, during spring in a backyard on a warm night, drunk on wine.

The songs creep up on you quietly, disguised as lullabies - then flirt with blue grass, walk the indie-folk line with tight rope precision before they softly explode into rich and emotional songs that are nothing short of enchanting.

Her tunes are unbelievably charming because they are organic and simple - but layered with elements of the sweetest pop conventions ever - conjuring up immediate reminders of what we love about musicians like Tanya Donelly, Hope Sandoval, CocoRosie and Martha Wainwright.

Except Karyn Ellis does it her own, clever, beautiful, introspective and quirky way.   The songs are both hilarious and lonely.   Carefree and nostalgic.

Themes span through everything from contemplating stars burned out a million years ago - to reflecting back on relationships which seem just as far away.

Her vocal delivery sounds as effortless as it is unique and her songs transform and evolve into flirtatious pieces of pop perfection when performed live.

With background training in opera and guitar - and experience busking on the streets of Europe for train fare and hostel fees, Karyn Ellis' songs have a depth to them that holds up to the best the masters of this genre offer.

Her first EP -   the critically acclaimed bird was released in 2003 - and it's jewel case is literally a handmade work of perfection - fashioned out of a piece of cardboard, some green paint and a coffee filter.

Just looking at the cover-art alone - is a testament to what a sweet and enjoyable artist Karyn Ellis is.

Remember the cool chick in high school, who sat alone in the halls at lunch, strumming her guitar? Everyone had a crush on her because she was intriguing as hell, but had a way of keeping everyone at arm's length, straining to get closer? Then she'd smile and your heart would melt.

That's what watching Karyn Ellis perform on stage feels like.

From the first notes - you'll be head over heels in love.

The same way you were with Belly.

The same way you were with Juliana Hatfield.

The same way you were with Kristin Hersh.

The songs sound like sexy, foot-stompin' rustic pieces of sing-along folk-rock glory gift wrapped in finger-picking bliss!

Karyn Ellis puts on a show not worth missing.

Trust me, you'll be kicking yourself.

She performs this month Phog on Wednesday May 17 th .

For more information on Karyn Ellis and how to get your hands on her incredible releases - visit www.karynellis.com

Dan MacDonald
upfront Magazine
May 2006 (issue #93)

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