Singer-songwriter Lily Kiara (Amsterdam, Netherlands) plays folky songs that have evolved into individual vignettes and stories which hook the listener into rapt attention. She writes melodies with a melancholic undertone and performs the repertoire with a poetic stillness which engages the audience in a very unique way.
Joni Mitchell, PJ Harvey, Suzanne Vega and Rickie Lee Jones are all inspirations but Lily's songs are original to the core.
After Lily Kiara had seen Ani DiFranco play for the first time in 1992 at the student cafe of Bennington College where Lily was an exchange student, she immediately borrowed a guitar and started playing and performing in earnest. She also started her own label, also inspired by Ani DiFranco and she has released a series of folk and singer-songwriter albums under her own name and her side project - the band known as the river.
In 2015, Lily toured throughout 12 states in the US between New York and New Orleans. This was done with the International Songwriters Collective (ISC) and at the end of the tour she continued with a series of solo dates in Texas. Not bad for an Amsterdam singer-songwriter who did it all herself.
In the Netherlands Lily has opened for Duke Garwood (Mark Lanegan) and one of the fathers of the American folk movement - Eric Anderson. She has also played in numerous European cities and even performed in faraway Adelaide in Australia.
Lily Kiara's new album on Zip Records is called "Fishing in the Field", an album which features innovative jazz musicians on lap steel, guitar, trombone, percussion, trumpet, clarinet, banjo, bouzouki and voice. This combination creates sounds not usually heard on typical folk albums. They work to perfection on "Fishing in the Field".
The other activity which consumes Lily is dancing (Contemporary), and there are some "dance effects" which can be discerned in her songs. Balance, passion, movement and a graceful melodic flow permeate the album and although this isn't music to dance to, it has the effect of heightening the senses and enlightening the mind.
With poignant lyrics that carry messages of hope, peace, togetherness and irony, "Fishing in the Field" is a folk album with soul and solemnity.