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Pop - Released March 23, 2010 | 429 Records

Here's a talent to discover and savor, as Sonya Kitchell's name is likely not on the top of your to-find list, but should be. Her winsome, thin, and dusky singing voice bears inevitable comparison to Feist, wafting through these original songs based on a certain surreal romanticism. Kitchell also plays piano, guitars, and fronts a spare ensemble of violins and cellos, adding further to the haunting refrains her voice conjures, perhaps comparable to Robyn Hitchcock. There's serenity and sensuality combined as her chordal piano punctuates the cleverly titled two-beat "Convict of Conviction," but on occasion Kitchell stretches high notes in cloudy refrains that are half somber, half plaintive. Where "Mr. Suicidal" might be morbid in a light rock pulse, the light, steady and evocative "Snowing" displays perfect snowflake imagery for the cold winter months. The string arrangements are not at all syrupy, matching the elusive nature of Kitchell's singing, especially during "Gypsy Eyes," which can easily be her signature song and sound. Certain credit where credit is due goes to bassist and arranger Garth Stevenson for giving Sonya Kitchell the tools to create these siren songs of uncertainty, impending blues, and thinly veiled hope. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo

Pop - Released January 1, 2006 | Velour Records

Although still a teenager when she recorded her debut album, Words Came Back to Me, Sonya Kitchell made a noticeable impact with this 2006 release. The 12 original songs on the album owe a heavy debt to Joni Mitchell and Rickie Lee Jones, but they come across with a beautiful integrity and authority all their own. Kitchell's songs are as influenced by soul and jazz as they are by folk, and the whole album has the organic, expressive feeling of the best singer/songwriter records of the 1970s. Kitchell also has a penchant for remarkable hooks, and her lyrical content is honest, clever, and engaging, making for a nearly irresistible combination. That the album was picked up by Starbucks for the Hear Music Debut series, which made the album available in Starbucks stores, ensured Kitchell would get the audience she deserves. © TiVo

Rock - Released January 1, 2008 | Velour Records

It's hard to believe that Sonya Kitchell was only 17 when she made This Storm. All the songs have a mature lyrical and emotional approach that belies her years and they're delivered in a voice that has echoes of Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Billie Holiday, and Norah Jones, with a trace of David Byrne and Rickie Lee Jones, too. Still, Kitchell manages to incorporate and transcend all her influences. She's an original and powerful singer without a trace of the teenage warbling, breathy sexuality, purring coyness, or over singing that often passes for emotion with younger performers. Maybe it's her jazz background; she studied composition at the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at the Kennedy Center in 2003, and toured as one of the vocalists with Herbie Hancock's band to support his Mitchell tribute, River: The Joni Letters. Whatever the case, she's an artist that deserves all the superlatives that have been heaped on her. With producer Malcolm Burn (Daniel Lanois, Peter Gabriel) she's fashioned an album full of stunning low-key beauty. "For Every Drop" opens the album on a strong note showing off Kitchell's lyrical gift, strong singing and melodic strength. Her jittery phrasing is perfect for the stuttering backbeat and leads up to a soaring chorus. "So Lonely" is a simmering torch song about an affair with an older man, and Kitchell's vocal conveys all the excitement, danger and heartbreak of forbidden love. The string section gives the tune a classy sheen. "Here to There" combines pop, R&B, and country to investigate the unexpected ups and downs of life. The tune's jaunty midtempo bounce belies the song's skeptical lyric, sung by Kitchell with an offhand grace. "Effortless" and "Borderline" have new wavey grooves that recall mid-period Talking Heads, funky without being straight out funk. "Effortless" moves between a thumping chorus and a lilting verse with Brad Barr's slashing, icy lead giving the song a fine pop sheen. Kitchell's jazzy phrasing and clever internal rhymes make "Borderline" one of the album's most catchy tunes. It's a subtle call to action with a chorus that imprints itself on your mind after a single listen. This Storm is an album of rare warmth and beauty, with a bright pop pulse that heralds Kitchell as a superlative new talent. © j. poet /TiVo

Pop - Released January 22, 2016 | Rockwood Music Hall


Rock - Released January 1, 2004 | Velour Records


Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | Velour Records