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Keren Ann

Singer/songwriter Keren Ann Zeidel, who records bilingual neo-folk music under the name Keren Ann, was born in Israel in 1974 to a Dutch-Javanese mother and a Russian-Israeli father. She was nine when her parents bought her a guitar, on which she learned to play songs by Joni Mitchell and Serge Gainsbourg. In the years to come, she would also learn to play the harmonica and the clarinet. Zeidel and her family, including a brother and sister, lived in Israel and Holland before settling in Paris, France, when she was 11.

In the 1990s, Zeidel met musician/arranger Benjamin Biolay, with whom she would form a fruitful partnership. Later that decade, she had a small part (as Judith) in Alexandre Arcady's K, and in 1998 she released a handful of singles (including "I+I+I") as a member of Shelby. The singles attracted little attention, but Zeidel bounced back by releasing her full-length solo debut, La Biographie de Luka Philipsen, in 2000. On it, she combined trip-hop, folk, and French pop to sublime effect, citing Russian literature, Jewish folk music, French poetry, Bob Dylan, and Suzanne Vega (whose "Luka" is also referenced in the title) as influences for her unique sound.

La Biographie was enthusiastically received in Europe, garnering favorable comparisons to Françoise Hardy, Portishead, Beth Orton, and Dido. In addition, it earned several nominations for the French equivalent of the Grammy, the Victoires, including Best New Discovery (Artist and Album) and Best Song of the Year. One of its songs, "Jardin d'Hiver" (co-written by Biolay) also became a hit for Henri Salvador, whose best-selling album Chambre Avec Vue contained five songs co-written by Zeidel and Biolay.

In 2001, Zeidel returned the favor by assisting with the writing of Biolay's Rose Kennedy. Her follow-up to La Biographie, La Disparition (The Disappearance), came out the following year. She recorded a version in English at the same time. While preparing the album, Zeidel listened to a lot of Beatles, Chet Baker, and Tom Waits recordings, resulting in a bluesier, jazzier sound. As with La Biographie, much of the material was written with Biolay. Late in 2003, the English-language Not Going Anywhere arrived and was distributed by Blue Note in America the following summer.

After relocating to New York, Keren Ann released the half-French, half-English Nolita in 2004, which marked the first time she'd worked without Biolay, choosing instead to write/produce most of the tracks herself. She followed it with a self-titled release in 2007, earning some of the warmest praise of her career in the process. In subsequent years, she composed music for the European TV channel Arte, and wrote and produced for actress, model, and singer Emmanuelle Seigner (the wife of Roman Polanski). In 2011, she returned to her solo career with 101, another self-produced collection of folk, dreamy pop, and French chanson. Keren Ann has also worked with Barði Jóhannsson as Lady & Bird, producing an album in 2003 and a live album with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in 2009. ~ Kathleen C. Fennessy, Rovi
full bio

Comments

TOTALLY WOULD MAKE A GREAT SONG FOR A SCARY MOVIE
@Justin, glad to know that. but still, war has killed many creative kids.
If I were French, I may plead.."La soeur, me chanter pour dormir." Sadly I am not...
wendy_lothro p
Karen Ann has the knack of sharing simple truths and makes me feel peaceful and joyful- Thank you
I am in a very fast and busy industry, listening and oil painting has been "just what the Doctor ordered". Very glad I found Keren Ann. I am a Hugh fan... Thanks for giving me a little peace in my crazy world. :)
@ ultra otter om shanti: There are clearly some downsides to living in the Middle East, but Israel, is a country many would be fortunate to live in. To be a citizen of Israel is not to be unfortunate. In addition, some of the most alive and creative people I have come across in many fields have come from this country. Generalizati o n s can be quite pricey, friend.
home130
Love End Of May!
Listening to Karen Ann. So smooth....
it's wonderful that a little girl in the war ravaged middle east managed to survive the bloodshed over there and be able to actually live life and create. i think of all the children in the middle east right now who will never be singing their songs this time around. she was fortunate to be able to get out of the way of the bombs. peace om shanti otter
UNDER THE STONE THERE'S A STONEFISH!
I love her song 'Not Going Anywhere'. It's one of the best song I've ever heard. Her lyrics are beautiful!
About 4 of her songs show up on my station. And its not silly at all.
"I always try to not remember rather than forget"
One of the most perfect lines ever.
Not silly. I fell in love with her two years ago when I bought one of her albums while on vacation and played it in the rental car the whole trip. I have all her albums now and look forward to seeing her in person.
sufferingart i s t
I really enjoy her sound! I think I'm in love with her actually (since first hearing her music two minutes ago), but that's just silly, isn't it?
love her!

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