The story goes that Englenz learned to read musical notes before she was able to read words, demonstrating her natural aptitude for music. Later, she went on to play piano, guitar, and French horn, and was awarded a scholarship to study music performance at the University of North Carolina Asheville. She has such a natural gift for melody and mimicry that she can summon birds to respond back to her voice. (She once even won an international bird-calling contest in 2009). Today, she is making her name as a performing singer, songwriter, and musician in the Southeast. Her soulful singing has a range and depth of feeling that has led many to compare her to vocal greats Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell. Kristen’s deeply felt songs carry layers of meaning, which peeled back, reveal a vulnerability and passion for emotional expression.
Kristen’s new album, The Extent of Play, recorded at studilaroche by Atlanta sound engineer Benjamin Price (Little Tybee, Hello Ocho, Faun and a Pan Flute) features her breathy voice and finger-picked guitar in a stripped down, live-to-tape setting. Tracks on the album are spun together with carefully layered lyrics that reflect the human condition and makes one feel what most people are too hesitant to openly express. Kristen’s sound is enhanced but not overpowered by the ethereal notes coming from guest musicians George Kotler-Wallace’s (Book of Colors) pedal steel, and subtle support from Ryan Donald’s (Little Tybee) bass.
“The Extent of Play has a genuinely appealing quality absent from nearly every other local release in this genre,” writes Jeff Clark of Stomp And Stammer. “There is a stirring intimacy to these performances that holds you in their grasp.”
Englenz has appeared at Jack of the Wood, UNC Asheville, and Altamont Brewing Co. in Asheville, NC; The Red Light Café, Mammal Gallery, Eddie’s Attic, and The Red Clay Theatre in Atlanta,GA; New Earth Music Hall, and the Go Bar in Athens, GA. She has opened for Americana artists Hannah Aldridge, Richard Buckner, and Lara Ruggles. Her original track “Georgia Peach” recently debuted on 98.1 FM the River, Asheville’s adult alternative station.
“Kristen is a sweet, kind, and talented young woman; and those qualities come through in spades in her music. You’ll leave her show mellow, thoughtful, and entertained, ” comments Mark Van Allen (Zac Brown Band, Govt Mule, Clay Cook), pedal steel aficionado, recording engineer and producer of the audio recording of “Bells”. [+]