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“Amythyst Kiah Found Her Powerful Voice. Now She Has a Sound to Match It.” —The New York Times
“One of Roots music’s most promising new voices” —Rolling Stone
“Kiah’s spirit, vast talent, and musical savvy yield dazzling results” —Pitchfork
Amythyst Kiah’s Rounder Records debut, Wary + Strange, marks the glorious combination of two vastly different worlds: the iconoclastic alt-rock that first sparked her musical passion and the roots/old-time music scene where she’s found breakout success in recent years, including recognition from Rolling Stone as “one of Americana’s great up-and-coming secrets.” With an unforgettable voice that’s both unfettered and exquisitely controlled, the Tennessee-bred singer/songwriter expands on the uncompromising artistry she most recently revealed as part of Our Native Daughters—an all-women-of-color supergroup whose Kiah-penned standout “Black Myself” earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best American Roots Song and won Song of the Year at the 2019 Folk Alliance International Awards. When met with the transcendent quality of her newly elevated sound, what emerges is an extraordinary vessel for Kiah’s songwriting: a raw yet nuanced examination of grief, alienation, and the hard-won triumph of total self-acceptance.
In bringing her album Wary + Strange to life, Kiah revisited another form of therapy: the powerfully cathartic records she turned to for solace as a child and teenager. “The way I listened to music when I was younger was very much based on trying to find some kind of healing,” she says. “The way that someone like Tori Amos took these incredibly personal things and expressed them with piano and vocals was spellbinding to me, and it was my dream to create something that evocative.” At age 13, Kiah started writing songs on a Fender acoustic guitar from her parents; she later broadened her musical vocabulary by studying in the Bluegrass, Old-Time, Country Music program at East Tennessee State University. Not long after self-releasing her 2013 debut, Dig, she began garnering acclaim from leading outlets like NPR and The New York Times, who remarked that Kiah’s “razor-sharp guitar picking alone guarantees her a place among blues masters, but it’s her deep-hued voice that can change on a dime from brushed steel to melted toffee that commands attention.”
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