November 3rd, 2021 9pm Stage 3
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For Ruby Landen, writing a song is an act of owning your experience. The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter is known for crafting dexterous melodies and emotionally-charged lyrics alongside sparse instrumentation and loose, gentle rhythms. On debut album Martyr, well, Landen offers a cathartic charge, masterfully exploring both sorrow and euphoria in a way that transforms resentment and grief into a blend of serenity and liberating self-assurance. Written during a time of deep melancholy in Landen’s life, the album sees a lifelong existential crisis come to the forefront. While this internal process puts a spotlight on those darker, more pessimistic thoughts, Martyr, well also creates a portal in which we too, can face our demons.
Martyr, well is the sound of an artist honoring their past, and the often tumultuous journey it takes to leave the confines of agitation and anxiety. There’s power in exploring the moments that have shaped us, allowing Landen to carve out a lustral environment, where sorrow and despair is bravely amplified. With an affecting emotional candor that steers towards stark honesty, Landen’s debut album shows an artist unafraid to dive deeper. With infinitely layered textures and carefully constructed dynamics, Martyr, well doesn’t shy away from the difficult reality of those who have felt trapped by circumstance or experience; instead, it creates a communal catharsis, a much-needed mirror, that we all so deeply crave. By Sammy Maine
Karen Dahlstrom is a performing songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. Her original songs are inspired by old-time folk and American roots music. Karen performs both as a solo artist and as a member of the alt-folk band Bobtown. She’s won songwriting awards at the Mid-Atlantic Song Competition and is a two-time finalist in the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Competition. Her debut EP, Gem State, includes songs inspired by her home state of Idaho. Her latest release, No Man's Land, is an intimate collection of songs recorded with just voice and acoustic guitar. In 2019, New York Music Daily included her in their best song, best album and best NY concert lists. “Dahlstrom’s vocals, sometimes stark, sometimes plaintive, sometimes completely devastated, are nothing short of shattering.” - New York Music Daily