Kari Lynch - LowellArts Featured Artist of the Month!
You’ve heard of her. After touring with the Kari Lynch Band for the last few years, she’s excited about her new solo project. “The first music I released was a solo, acoustic, 5-song EP called One Happy Love Song,” Kari shared. The truth is that even before that, she was a solo act. From the time she was 7-years-old, she was making her own construction paper tickets, doing shows, and already had a faithful audience - her family.
Not long after graduating from Grand Valley State University, she formed the Kari Lynch Band. In 2015, Kari moved to Nashville, Tennessee.
What followed were years that were rewarding, demanding, exhilarating, and certainly successful. Little Games, another solo EP, was released in 2016. Shortly after, she states, she “connected deeply with another group of musicians (the current guys in KLB).”
The Kari Lynch Band has opened for some of country music’s shining stars, Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, and The Charlie Daniels Band, to name a few. They’ve played thousands of shows. “We've spent years hitting the pavement touring as an independent band and our time and energy has definitely paid off in some big ways, but it is definitely also very tough to tour the way we do so relentlessly,” Kari shared.
As Covid shut down live performances, everything changed. “Initially, I was very disappointed about the loss of momentum Kari Lynch Band would experience and pretty panicky about how to deal with that. Then I went through a little period of numbness, sort of a ‘what do I do with my hands?’ If I’m not touring every single second and just constantly on the go, how do I do life?... I’d been touring pretty straight for the better part of 12 years and had never had that much time off, I wasn’t sure how to ‘be,’ if that makes sense?” Kari goes on, “Once that smoke cleared and I settled into the new normal, that’s when the creative energy was able to come through and it just started pouring.”
Kari’s talking about her new solo project, a full album that she hopes to release in early 2022. “Kari Lynch Band is still here, but I’ve realized I have another creative side of myself that I hadn’t been giving as much attention to over the last several years — my solo music — while focusing all of my energy on the band project only, and it’s really nice to be able to do both and to realize it doesn’t have to be one or the other.” Kari describes having the time and freedom to follow that creative path. She speaks about the joy and affirmation this project has given her.
“But, it’s also pretty undeniable the magic that happens on stage when we are all together doing the Kari Lynch Band project. I feel very lucky to get to do both, to get to do music I really love with both projects, to get to do Alt-Country with Kari Lynch Band and then get to do more Pop/Rock with my solo Kari Lynch music.”
Her excitement about the project is obvious. She is co-producing this album with her best friend, Nathan Stone, in his basement studio in Nashville. “It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience making this music with our little two-person team.” Kari seems to thrive on the hard work producing entails. “Nate is incredibly talented, has a great background in Rock/Pop-Rock and he is one of my best friends, so it's just been awesome to create together.”
I wondered if solo performing would be comfortable after years with the band. Kari answered, “Performing is a radical and fun outlet for me and a time to really connect the music with other humans in a very physical way...there is absolutely nothing like being in the zone and fully putting yourself out there, and then feeling that connection come back to you from the crowd…. I want to make them proud to be fans. They’ve put a lot of their energy and love into my career and my music, I want them to always know that their efforts have been worth it.”
“I've just recently released two singles from the project, Cigarettes, which came out on October 7, 2021 and Monsters which came out on October 29, 2021. They are different than what people have heard from Kari Lynch Band and from my previous solo releases, as they fall on the Pop/Rock - Alt Rock end of the spectrum, with a very late ‘90’s early 2000’s influence. When I started writing these songs and recording them, my only rule was ‘NO RULES’” - it’s been really nice to write and record music exactly as I hear it in my head and exactly as I want it to sound without it having to fit in any box.”
Spend some time with her latest releases. Listening to Cigarettes, I was immediately struck by Kari’s golden, smoky voice coming across so clearly. This song offers a chance to peek inside that creative brain of Kari’s, and also her hungering heart. She sings, “I would give anything to feel something burning inside me again.” I was right there yearning alongside her.
Kari came out the other end of this quiet time with something fresh and honest. Make sure you get a hold of these new singles. She had a chance to just stop, and instead ended up with something beautiful and worthwhile.
“And you know, I’m so proud of this new music. I’m proud of all the music I’ve created and the time spent putting it out in the world. I’m proud to have written all of these songs solo, and I’m proud of Nate and I for making them into what they are now and creating music that feels like it should take up space out in the world.” Kari Lynch.