A V A I L A B L E N O W
There is something truly electrifying about the music of Kira Lynn and not just because it’s instantly accessible yet utterly unique and framed by the Nashville-based singer/songwriter’s emotive and exquisitely polished voice.
You can hear it in the dazzling new single “Over” which Kira Lynn describes with a laugh as the too-familiar story of lovers reflexively falling back into each other’s arms — for better or worse. With its soaring chorus and cartwheeling melody underpinned by plinking synth, “Over” is the kind of smart, earwormy pop gem that bursts through the radio.
“Over” is the first of several sparkling songs (see also the forthcoming “The Highs Are Worth the Lows” and “Let’s Keep The Lights On”) heralding a fresh musical direction for the Edmonton-reared musician formerly known as Kira Lynn Hladun whose completely self-penned first album, 2010’s country-tinged Modern Soul, was released just as Kira Lynn was exiting high school.
As if that weren’t achievement enough, she returned two years later with Something Like Love, powered by a $10,000 10k20 Rawlco Radio recording grant Kira Lynn received while studying music at Alberta’s MacEwan University. (She later returned to MacEwan to study public relations, graduating in 2015).
More recently, the singles “I Won’t Let You Go,” written with Nashville vet Ralph Murphy, and "Fallin' For You,” caught fire at country radio while heralding a vibrant and fast-rising performer on the contemporary scene.
Like Taylor Swift — who similarly used country music as a springboard to a more pop-oriented sound — Kira Lynn is an artist finding her authentic voice, channelling it into original songs performed on both guitar and piano. All of which confirms Kira Lynn as a triple threat: brains, charisma, and boundless, genre-defying talent. World — you’ve been warned.
“I am melody-driven. That’s been a big takeaway from co-writes I’ve done,” Kira Lynn says when asked to characterize her songwriting style. “But I’ve also kept a journal since I was little, always had stories to tell. Co-writers help me condense my stories while allowing me to pursue melodies.”
When it comes to lyrics, Kira Lynn is fearless, and prepared to raid her own personal life for useable material. Witness both “Over” and “The Highs Are Worth the Lows,” the latter prompted by a meaningful but ultimately failed long-distance relationship.
By contrast, “‘Keep the Lights On’ wasn’t based on a story so much as me thinking about somewhere like Paris or New York or Las Vegas where the lights are on all the time and you can enjoy each other all night long,” she says.
As for her Nashville base, Kira Lynn insists it only seems like a strange place for an aspiring pop artist to those unfamiliar with its true spirit.
"There are all different types of music here, that's why it's called Music City. Shelli Azoff at Azoff Music suggested that Nashville might be a great fit for me and referred me to industry contacts here," Kira Lynn says, explaining that after a chance encounter with legendary American entertainment executive and manager Irving Azoff and wife Shelli, her mom sent her debut to their office for feedback. She continues: “As the pop side of my music has developed, it’s been as much about influences heard in Nashville as anything. There’s a much bigger pop scene here than people may realize.”
There is also talent aplenty in the hip Tennessee capital, with guys like ace producer and engineer Greg Strizek (Blake Shelton, Dolly Parton, Beth Nielsen Chapman) available to join forces. “Greg was great in helping me structure these new songs,” Kira Lynn offers of their collaboration. “I had the pleasure of recording my latest two singles with Greg at Ronnie's Place studio plus some of my acoustic demos at his own studio.”
Ironically, suffering through serious kidney problems in 2016 served as a catalyst for Kira Lynn’s current full-throttle career trajectory. “I was reminded that life is short. I had been so focused on Plan B and going back to school that I lost sight of Plan A. I have this opportunity to pursue a dream that could become reality and to do something I really love. Now I am just going for it.”
The immediate strategy? To release singles and see how it goes, with a new EP or album coalescing later. “It’s all about trial and error. As an independent artist, I have the freedom to choose my release times, track them myself, and go from there,” she says. “I definitely see the positives of releasing music across multiple platforms.
“At the end of the day, I really hope people get a chance to hear these songs and relate to them. And I hope radio will play them,” Kira Lynn says. “I am not afraid to be vulnerable and I am going to say what I want to say. I hope that touches people.”