“Anybody’s Different”

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BIOGRAPHY

indie soul songstress

“Holy wow! What a voice, what a performance.... She had a commanding stage presence and a control of dynamics that actually made my jaw drop making me grin like an idiot.... if you have not heard of her, get on that, because she was absolutely phenomenal!” The AU Review (Australia)

 

Edmonton-based Ann Vriend (pronounced “Vreend”) was born in Vancouver, BC.  When her parents discovered their 3-year-old could play nursery songs on a Fisher Price xylophone, they encouraged her musical development by enrolling her in violin lessons.  At age nine, when Vriend sought to accompany herself as a songwriter, she took piano lessons from an elderly woman down the street who charged $5 per visit.  In high school, in order to be able to do submit her home-made recordings for a school project, Vriend was coerced into performing 3 of her compositions at the school talent show.  Accolades from her fellow students translated into projects with older students in bands, scholarships at music college, 1st place in a songwriting contest which paid for her debut album, and praise from critics and loyal fans around the world.

 

Ann Vriend's new album, entitled "For The People In The Mean Time" tells tales of her rough, inner city neighbourhood against the backdrop of explosive indie soul beats and harmonies. Despite the subject matter, backed with heavy grooves For The People In The Mean Time is upbeat without forcing needless optimism" writes the Calgary Sun, adding "Vriend's voice is unmistakable, catching and powerful" Or, as the Halifax Chronicle puts it, Vriend has “a vocal range from vulnerable delicacy to blasts of soulful power.”

 

“For The People In The Mean Time” was nominated for Pop Album of the Year at the Toronto Independent Music Awards (despite Vriend's residence in  Edmonton), garnering 4/5 Stars in Beat Magazine (Australia), as well as 4/5 Stars in the Star Phoenix (Saskatoon, Canada).  Vriend has just returned from an Australian tour, where she showcased at Big Sound, and made the top picks of the 150 act festival in the AU Review.  Her single “A Need So Wide” is receiving national Australian radio play and has just been added to daily rotation on ABC Radio.

 

In addition to her strong album Vriend is also a powerful live performer: to date, and despite being an independent artist Vriend has sold more than 16,000 albums off the stage. As a balance between her intensely performed songs, “Vriend is fantastic in concert – a very, very, funny woman that tends to belt out her songs in between her most entertaining comedic intervals” (A n E Vibe Magazine).  In 2013 Vriend won the Canadian nation-wide “She's the One” contest at the Ottawa Bluesfest in the solo category, and last year her live show with her band garnered 4/4 stars in Die Rheinpfalz, Germany.  “A delightful stage presence—she has an engaging, down-to-earth manner, and the audience loved her.... do yourself a favour; go and see her!” -- writes Scenestr Magazine (Australia).

 

Vriend's guest performance on CBC Radio's beloved “Vinyl Cafe with Stuart McLean” has aired 4 times in Canada and the USA since its original broadcast January 2014, while “For The People In The Mean Time” placed in many “Top 100 Of The Year” radio lists in 2014, including on CKUA Radio.  Vriend was recently interviewed for ABC Radio's “The Inside Sleeve” (Australia), and has appeared on their beloved 'Spicks and Specks” comedic music trivia show.  A tune from an earlier release, “Feelin' Fine.” reached Gold Rotation on Edmonton's Magic 99 station, and according to station program director Kurt Leavins was the “most requested song we had by any local artist in the station's history.” Writes !Earshot Radio: "Soaked in heady rhythm and blues harkening back to the 70s.... her intensity is unapologetic, energetic and vividly engaging.”

 

Stated forcefully by the Toronto Star: “Don't miss her.” (3.5/4 stars)

 

 

 

 

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