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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Decorated Canadian Folk-Roots Musician AV (Ann Vriend) Drops Vintage Soul and Gospel Style Love Song

Decorated Canadian Folk/Roots musician AV (Ann Vriend) is a two-time Maple Blues Awards "Cobalt Music Prize" recipient, and is an Edmonton Music Award-winning artist. Celebrated for her vintage sounding, soulful musical style influenced by the likes of Aretha Franklin and Amy Winehouse, AV's soaring vocals and award-winning songwriting abilities have garnered her significant attention in Canadian and international circles. The multi-instrumentalist seamlessly combines Folk, Roots, Blues, and Soul, and is well known for her musical dedication to social issues in Canadian society. AV has made her musical mark locally, bringing together her community each weekend throughout the pandemic with her regular Porch Concerts. As she prepares to release her brand new, full length album early next year, AV has just released her third single from the project, called "Anything I Know" on Friday, October 22 2021.

AV's "Anything I Know" is a vintage Soul and Gospel style love song inspired by her community, and was co-produced by esteemed Canadian producer, Chris Birkett (Steve Earle, Sinead O'Connor, Quincy Jones).

AV's folk-roots filled "Anything I Know" is a song about love without much in the way of money or possessions, inspired by a couple she saw while on a routine bike ride in her hometown in view of Edmonton's "Shelter District" - mainly known for various women’s shelters and a jail. After spotting a couple who had their few possessions in the shopping cart beside them having a romantic picnic at the top of the hill overlooking the city skyscrapers below, AV penned the tune about the perseverance of love in any circumstance. The vintage sounding, sparse, yet upbeat and powerful acoustic soul tune; with Hammond organ, upright piano, features a singing style heavily borrowed from the gospel tradition, infused with folk elements, and an 80's style drumbeat.

AV is a powerful vocalist with an undeniable passion for writing and performing music that she feels an undeniable connection to. Through her gospel and r&b inspired, old-school sound, AV's mission is to bring light to the social and economic issues she witnesses everyday in her own community. Her new single “Anything I Know” will be sure to delight her current and soon-to-be fans, alike.

AV is known most for her virtuosic, soaringly powerful vocals, and not far behind that for her multi-award-winning abilities as a songwriter -- and she ain’t too bad at the piano, either. She has been delivering her undeniably unique brand of old-school, inner-city soul to audiences around Europe, Oceana, Asia, and North America throughout her under-the-radar but consistently award-winning, critically acclaimed career.

Growing up in a household that encouraged critical thinking and challenged the status quo, AV has always written songs about confusion, searching, and questioning -- of herself, and the culture around her. The outcome is what she half-seriously, half-jokingly calls “existentialist gospel" : drawing musically from the emotionally intense and rhythmic gospel and soul styles of African American culture, as well as from her parents’ vinyl ‘70s folk/pop collection.

It is with a huge, respectful nod to her influences that AV addresses the social issues that face her and her community of her somewhat notorious inner-city Edmonton neighborhood of McCauley; in which there is a high concentration of people suffering from extreme forms of trauma and abuse; often resulting in addiction, mental illness, stigmatization, neglect, and further abuse.


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