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New York Cool - Music

Kirsten Price Playing a Great Gig
at Joe's Pub
425 Lafayette Street
February 8, 2008

Written by Corey Haydu
Photographed by Amy Davidson


Kirsten Price’s sexy, gritty voice heated up Joe’s pub on Friday night. Price, a London transplant living in Brooklyn, classifies herself as “alternative soul”. She sings catchy sultry self-written tunes, that stand out in the viral/myspace music scene, but are truly exceptional on stage. She is Norah Jones with a harder edge, and a louder presence. She is Ani DiFranco with a better voice, and a more melodic result. Price started the night on the guitar, and then did the second half of her set on the piano. She rocked it out on both instruments—playing beautifully and bouncing around and gyrating energetically. Tackling both instruments so seamlessly transformed her from exciting new singer, to brilliant musician.
And of course, Price is a real musician. In her twenties she was writing songs constantly without ever having really trained. She “had a bit of a break down” and dealt with it by playing piano six to eight hours a day. Finally, she realized she had so much say and she “wanted to communicate it” properly. So Price auditioned for a conservatory in London. She didn’t have the classical repertoire of many of her peers, but her talent earned her a place in the school. She picked up what she needed from that training, and incorporated it into her unique sound.

Now, Price is working the way all new singer-songwriters are— touring, and (perhaps more importantly?) building her online fan base. When asked how she feels about the need to play into the online music scene, Price is surprisingly positive; “ [Doing music online] doesn’t mean it’s not valid. It would be stupid not to use it. It’s a window to the world.” Ultimately, Price is unusually optimistic and open about all forms of musical expression. Her opening act, the appealing Jeff Brodnax, is a man she met on the subway! “I never had the balls to do it myself” she says, but there are “some really incredible individuals on the subway”.
Price is appealing on many levels—her sound is unique without alienating anyone. Her onstage personality is vibrant and dry, flirty and tough. Her attitude is positive and warm. And her boundless energy wraps it all up in a package that feels as if it is moments away from a breakout success. She, if of course, not so sure. “That’s the business we’re in,” she says, her dressing room crowded with a manager, a publicist and a fellow musician, “in one hundred years, we’ll understand who’s good and who’s not.”

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