Kari Lyn shares new single, “Anyways” (Interview)

Toronto Folk-Rocker Kari Lyn Explores the Duality of Comfort and Grief on “Anyways”

The grief from losing a loved one can often feel unbearable, but those small moments where we still sense that person’s presence in our lives can offer great comfort. Toronto-based folk-rock songstress Kari Lyn captures this duality of melancholy and comfort in her reflective new single “Anyways” – available now.

With countrified guitar, soothing harmonies, and her straightforward vocal delivery, “Anyways” deals with the unexpected death of Kari Lyn’s father in 2017 when she was living in Australia, halfway around the world from her native PEI.

“Taking that 30-hour flight home was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through,” she says, “but when I returned home, the biggest thing anyone said was how proud my father was about my traveling and the fact that I was following my dreams.”

One of her favorite memories is of dancing with her father to “It’s Your Love” by Tim McGraw. “He would pick me up and spin me around in the living room, which sparked the beginning of my love of music,” she recalls. “You can hear the inspirations from that song in ‘Anyways.’”

“The radio turns to our favourite song
And I’ll find a dime just to lead me along
I know you’re right there with me
I hear your voice within me
I feel the love reach from the tune
In my heart we spin around the room
Like the way we used to do”

“Dimes, to some, represent that someone is watching out for you above and that you are on the right path,” Kari Lyn explains. “That is where the line in the bridge, ‘I’ll find a dime just to lead me along,’ comes from. I’ve found dimes in the most random places, when I’m going through the toughest times and it always gives me comfort.”

Kari Lyn has spent her whole life surrounded by music and storytelling. Growing up in North Rustico, PEI, listening to the “Saturday Night Hoedown” radio station, and stories told by her “PEI-famous” grandfather, Tommy Gallant, she was constantly inspired to share her truth through her lyrics. At 19 years old, she left home for a trip to Thailand, resulting in almost five years of travel, getting out of her comfort zone, and experiencing everything from scuba diving and climbing active volcanoes, to learning new languages and cultural traditions.

Inspired by these travels, she returned to PEI and wrote and released her debut album Hit The Ground, which was nominated for Rock Album of the Year at the 2020 Music PEI awards. Currently, this Cottage-Core Rockstar has upcoming releases from her newest EP, Nightmarin’, which explores themes of duality.

Listen to “Anyways” below and learn more about Kari Lyn via our mini-interview.

Care to introduce yourself?

My name is Kari Lyn. I’m a Cottage Core Rockstar originally from the small 600-person town of North Rustico, Prince Edward Island. I spent my whole life surrounded by music with a huge Acadian family, but it wasn’t until I left home for 5 years of backpacking around the world that I really found my voice as a songwriter. I’m excited about this current project Nightmarin’, and this single, Anyways, as it shows my growth and duality as an artist.

Tell us about the process of writing “Anyways.”

Anyways started as a poem. That isn’t how I usually start my songwriting process, but I was having a bad day where I was missing my dad a little bit more than usual, and I started writing about some of my favourite memories. It wasn’t until a few weeks later when I was in my feels again, that I decided to turn it into a song. I have a voice note from the writing process where I’m trying out different lines until it goes silent for a few moments, you can feel the tears coming down in the silence, then the line comes to me, completing the verse…“Guitar frozen in my hands”, the lyric from the song, was exactly what I was doing writing the song.

What’s it like being a musician in Toronto?

Being from PEI originally, pursuing my music career in Toronto is completely different and I feel like I’m still exploring and discovering all of the music opportunities in the city. Toronto is overflowing with talented musicians, and it really pushes me to be the best that I can be. I’m excited to collaborate with these talented people and keep growing myself as a musician and songwriter.

Who was the first Canadian artist to blow you away?

Avril Lavigne! When I was younger I used to try everything I could to look like her. I even tried to learn how to skateboard because of her iconic song sk8er boy. I would spend countless hours listening to her CDs in my room, jamming out with her posters on my wall.

You’ve been making music for a short bit now. What’s one piece of advice you can offer to those starting out?

Don’t be scared to tell people about your music! Songwriting is a super cool skill! Tell the world. Honestly, when I first started I was always scared to tell people that I wrote music and that they should check it out. I would always think I was being annoying. Turns out people love hearing about it.

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