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First, the voice: “Soulful, inspiring, brave and bluesy” (Rip It Up, Adelaide) with a “vocal range from vulnerable delicacy to blasts of soulful power” (Halifax Chronicle) Vriend’s vocal sound has been described as an enchanting cross between Dolly Parton and a young Aretha Franklin and as “almost confronting” by The Sydney Morning Herald.
Besides this, Vriend’s songs possess a natural knack for melody, garnering her hits on both independent and commercial radio stations — including Gold rotation for her tune “Feelin’ Fine” — and have charted on college stations as far away as Germany and the Netherlands. Vriend has been commissioned to write songs for organizations such as the Canadian Tourism Corporation and the Commonwealth Games, and her music has been featured in a U.S. DVD release of “Party of Five.”
Vriend’s latest release, entitled “Love & Other Messes,” “has critics drooling over her stylistic and lyrical qualities. Impossible to categorize, Vriend’s unique style brings together elements of soul, pop, country, jazz, blues and gospel and so, as many critics agree, it sounds both familiar and strange at the same time” (The Weekend Telegram). Recorded in May 2010 with a stellar 7-piece band, including two-time 2010 East Coast Music Nominee Coco Love Alcorn and 2009 Emerging Artist of the Year Chloe Albert on background vocals, the album has a live and vibrant organic feel while maintaining a polished performance quality, described as “a retro look at old pop records of the ‘60s, with Vriend playing the country diva, the Amy Winehouse of the prairies. Sometimes she’s channeling Dolly Parton or Blossom Dearie doing early Loretta Lynn and Aretha Franklin” (Ottawa Sun).