BIOGRAPHY

Kalen is a singer/songwriter/keyboard player is known for her unique rock-noir sound. Her live show, in which she fuses soulful blues, moody trip hop and electro-dance with punk energy is praised for it’s ability to transport the audience. Her main project is KALEN & The Sky Thieves, where she is backed by three talented musicians, known as “the sky thieves”: on drums - Wayan Zoey (The Funk Ark, Russ Kaplan) , on bass - Jay Giacomazzo (I, Revere) and on guitar - Will Hanza (Loopgrass).

Kalen & The Sky Thieves is a high-energy dance-rock, trip-hop band based in Brooklyn. Since forming earlier this year to promote the release of Kalen’s Fallen From The Sun EP, Kalen & The Sky Thieves has packed venues throughout the Northeast, including the Mercury Lounge in NYC, Fete Lounge in Providence, RI, The Empire Ballroom in Portland, ME and DC9 in Washington, DC. The band was nominated for Artist of The Year through Brooklyn’s RAW chapter.

With her late avant-guard funk act, Ladybug Stingray, Kalen played everywhere from NYC’s Webster Hall Studio, to Brooklyn’s The Knitting Factory, to LA’s Whiskey A-Go-Go and headlined festivals such as The Wassaic Summer Project. Since Kalen + the sky thieves formed earlier this year, they have packed venues from NYC to Portland, ME. Since it’s independent release at the end of 2012, KALEN’s Fallen From The Sun EP is on heavy rotation in triple A and college radio, charting on CMJ Top 30 throughout the country.



Her solo work has been favorably compared to Grace Jones, Peter Gabriel, and Portishead. Reviews of her solo career have been impressive. Streetcred Music Critique enthused: “Kalen paints us a picture with her brilliant lyrics. She is a talented young artist who can wail the blues like a veteran.” Ishrat Ansari, owner and booker of West Village landmark, Café Vivaldi, insightfully remarked: “Kalen is a very promising singer-songwriter who brings in influences in her writing and music ranging from Pablo Naruda to Eric Satie.” Daily Vault enthused “She has an excellent range and handles ballads as well as she does roof-raising tracks.” Fusion-jazz luminary, and Zawinul Syndicate member, Gary Poulson recently said: “Kalen has ‘otherworldly’ vocal prowess. She has the rock energy of Janis Joplin, the soul diva gospel chops of Alicia Keys, the ethereal expression of Kate Bush, and she can rap like nobody’s business.”

Kalen writes conceptual but digestible songs about love, life, politics and the absurd. “The whole EP, Falling From The Sun—the image of crumbling things—is not negative, things need to fall apart before being rebuilt,” Kalen says thoughtfully. “The EP is about personal things and a commentary on the world. It’s involution and evolution.”

The atmospheric and harrowing “Rabid Girl” is stunningly theatrical. Here Kalen elongates her voice from brawny low tones to silky highs, and her vibrato is delicately controlled but deeply affecting as an emotional exclamation point. Kalen’s phrasing manages to be sassy but also sorrowful. The track details a young and beautiful drunken girl unraveling in New York City. Kalen’s writing is visceral, blunt, and artful with arresting lines such as: “Awake beaten tomorrow/To relive/And re-die/Beaten tomorrow” and “Her hangovers must come like war/Helicopters slicing their way to the jungle floor/But never to carry her to safety..just booze, blood, battle and blues.”



Falling From The Sun also features highlights like the sensual and spiritually open “It Takes A Lifetime” and the smoldering bluesy “Hit The Road.” Though each track inhabits its own unique emotionally cathartic world, there is a longing and danceable undertow that makes the EP cohesive. On a larger scale, this strong sense of self bespeaks Kalen’s cultivated artistic presentation. Her music is stark with splashes of raw vulnerability, it’s sublime, cerebral, and manages to be both disturbing and comforting at the same time. Her onstage fashion is just as dramatic. She cuts a striking image with power piece jewelry, torn clothing, chunky boots, and cherry red lipstick. “It’s a gypsy, flamenco look, like Billie Holiday but modernized with rock n’ roll,” Kalen explains. “I love the ripped clothes, the chains, and the flowers and femininity. I love bringing them together, marrying the gentleness with the edginess. These things make women special, we can be romantic and bold”

Kalen grew up in New Hampshire and started studying piano at 7. “It was a great experience, I loved my piano teacher, he saw in me a desire to improvise. I wrote my first song when I was 11, it was called the ‘Storm’ in D minor, the saddest of all keys,” Kalen says laughing, “My piano teacher and I produced it together with sound effects. It was a marriage of peaceful minor chords, and dramatic lightening smashing. Ever since then, I’ve been interested in the beauty and the drama.”

That initial formative experience prefigured Kalen cleverly irreverent approach to self-producing. The EP is a detailed and nuanced recording with strings, accordion, piano, guitar, and edgy experimentation. It was recorded both in her apartment and at Tainted Blue Studios in New York. “My engineer (Matt McCorkle) and I set up stereo mics and recorded hammering mallets on pillows to get muffled hits. I also did stuff like recording pinching sand my between fingers, sliding sand across wood, and recording the sea. There is a lot of sound design on the EP. We combined that, along with electronic arpeggios and layered it with organic instruments and vocal harmonies. It was a conscious mix,” she reveals. Overall, the multiple layers of the soundscaping are as powerful as the level of musicianship. The players are nationally recognized A-list players, such as Jaleel Bunton, Ben Zwerin, Wayan Zoey, Zack Hagan, and Leo Heubach.

Falling From The Sun is the result of someone with inimitable style, with such a distinct and strong vision she was able to write, direct, and star in her own sonic movie.