The first thing you notice is that voice: gorgeous, graceful, and somehow earthy and ethereal at once. It is an instrument perfectly matched to the songwriting talents of the artist who channels it — Halie Loren. Her music conveys the wonders of the invisible world: wounded defiance, stubborn love, hard-earned hopefulness.
Fed by the hyperborean beauty of her childhood Alaska home, Loren’s gift for discovering the playfulness, pizazz, and sensuality inherent in a lyric appeared early on. But it was her talent for turning those feelings into genre-defying original compositions — songs at once universal and deeply personal — that captured wider attention.
With purity of tone and rare interpretive prowess, she brings a fresh and original perspective to time-honored musical paths, channeling her innate understanding of connectedness across musical boundaries to forge bonds with diverse audiences in North America, Asia, and Europe.
After her debut jazz CD, 2008’s They Oughta Write a Song, won a national independent music award for best vocal jazz album, it received distribution in Asia by JVC/Victor Entertainment and in North America by Justin Time Records. She followed with the live album Stages, an Editor’s Pick at CD Baby and “best live album of the year” at Wildy’s World. After Dark followed in 2010, with the Loren original Thirsty winning the Independent Music Awards’ Vox Pop poll for best jazz song of the year.
In its savvy concoction of jazz standards, re-imagined pop classics, and shimmering new originals, 2012’s Heart First revealed a confidently maturing artist on her own heartfelt journey. Japan’s Jazz Critique magazine honored it as the best vocal jazz album of 2011.
Fly Me to the Moon, a bonus track, spent three weeks at No. 1 on the iTunes Japan jazz chart. It was among the top 10 jazz CDs in Hot New Releases at Amazon in the U.S. and Canada, and reached No. 1 on the iTunes Canada jazz albums chart.
Loren’s music has proven irresistible to concert halls, whose numbers now include performances with the Jazz Orchestra of Sicily, the Corvallis-OSU Symphony Orchestra in Oregon, and the Monroe Symphony in Louisiana. For the past three years she has traveled the world with the members of her original band, including Canada, Japan, Italy, China, Hong Kong, and South Korea.
September 2013 saw the release of Simply Love, with three sparkling new originals and ten radiantly re-imagined classics from contrasting eras of the American songbook. It rose to the top of the Japan charts in pop and jazz even before its June release date, and claimed No. 1 in its first week and by its third week, climbed to No. 1 spot on Billboard Jazz / Japan. Singles included the string-infused original Cuando Bailamos, Carole King’s 1974 B-side hit I Feel the Earth Move, and the sweetly honest title track, which Loren co-wrote with Benita Hill.
Butterfly Blue (2015) finds Loren drawing inspiration from blues and soul music influences in a deeper way than she has in the past, without losing any of the warmth, charm and sensuality that has always characterized her unique vocal approach. But the thread that connects the album’s mix of jazz and Songbook standards, reimagined pop songs, and original pieces is captured in that seemingly contradictory title. “A lot of these songs were chosen because they explored different aspects of imprisonment and freedom Loren explains. “Many of them have to do with ideas of being beholden to thoughts, feelings, and experiences from which you alone can also free yourself.” Worth noting – Halie and her band toured very successfully with a number of sold out shows in Japan to support the JVC release of Butterfly Blue in early 2015 – the album became Halie’s third consecutive release to reach #1 on the Japan Billboard charts .
Listen to Halie Loren’s artistry flowering in the months and years to come, and you will hear the sound of timeworn, time-tested music opening to new possibilities.