Karin Ann Press Page | Shore Fire Media


Photo Credit: Cameron LindforsDownload
Photo Credit: Cameron LindforsDownload
Photo Credit: Cameron LindforsDownload
Photo Credit: Cameron LindforsDownload
Photo Credit: Cameron LindforsDownload
Photo Credit: Cameron LindforsDownload

Latest ReleaseView All

through the telescope

Release date: 5.10.24

Press Releases View All

May 10, 2024

Karin Ann Explores Childhood and Identity on Debut Album through the telescope, Out Today 

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April 17, 2024

Karin Ann Collaborates With Imogen Heap Ahead of Debut Album Release

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March 22, 2024

21-Year-Old Slovakian Artist Karin Ann Announces Debut Album 

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February 9, 2024

21-Year-Old Alt-Pop Sensation Karin Ann Unveils Single "she"

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Biography View

Over the course of her debut album through the telescope, the 21-year-old Slovakian musician Karin Ann seems keen on executing a speedrun through aesthetic iterations that less restless songwriters might occupy for the course of a full album. Gothic grandeur, sighing and sophisticated indie balladry, theatrical art-pop, strutting alt-rock riffs that explode into radio-conquering choruses — Karin Ann is not only adept at inhabiting these varied landscapes, but, through the strength of her emotive vocals and evocative lyrics, tethers them together into a compelling whole.

It’s an incredible introductory statement from an artist who — inspired by the moody songwriting of Birdy, the world-building of musical theater, Hozier’s arena-conquering folk, and the stunning slowcore mysticism of Mazzy Star — Karin Ann devoted herself completely to her musical ambitions at the age of 14. “I wanted to try it and live my Hannah Montana fantasy,” she jokes.

As a young queer woman, she felt at odds with the socially conservative society of Slovakia. Karin was drawn to the arts — she was constantly drawing as a means to cope with her ADHD — and spent her young adulthood pursuing art and graphic design as a vocation. But a hand injury left her unable to draw, and forced her to withdraw from art school.

It was an existentially devastating blow to her sense of purpose. However, inspired by America’s Got Talent contestant Grace VanderWaal, she began writing songs on her ukelele to process her feelings. She recounts the darkness of this period in the bleak lullaby “neverland,” a song she reconfigured for through the telescope. The title is a reference to the death of author JM Barrie’s brother Peter, whose death as a child provided the inspiration for Peter Pan. Karin’s song grieves the loss of what she saw as her identity at the time, and stares into the abyss of youthful desperation, exhibiting a remarkable compassion for her teenage self at an emotional nadir.

During this time, Karin also threw herself into the online fan communities of her favorite musicians — and found herself in the process. “There are so many negatives about social media but without being able to connect worldwide I don't think I would be here anymore,” she says.

Karin took to her musical ambitions with the same seriousness with which she took art school. She connected with a UK-based producer on the internet and made plans to record together. “I was transparent with my family about the whole process,” she says, making sure to clarify that, “I wasn’t planning on meeting up with him alone. I’m big into true crime, I’m not stupid.”

This early material caught the attention of music industry forces, but these songs didn’t feel totally authentic to what Karin wanted to create. “I was 16 and headstrong and rebelling against things. I didn't want to be told that I didn't know what I was doing.” She had wanted to do folk-inspired music, informed by her love of instrumental scores and a childhood spent around figure skating and ballet music. But, instead, as she puts it, “It was more like, ‘Let’s make something that could be a hit in Slovakia’.”

Even though she was still finding her artistic footing, these early tracks provided evidence of her prodigious talent. Songs like “looking at porn,” “babyboy,” and “we’re friends right” were streaming hits that indicated not only a hard-earned command of songcraft, but a fearlessness in confronting mental health challenges and LGBTQ+ issues. " She backed up these topical songs with an activist fervor, using her platform to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, particularly in Slovakia and Poland. For both her music and activism, she received awards: In 2021 Karin was voted “Discovery of the Year'' at the Czech Republic Music Awards, and she was the first Slovak artist to appear on a Times Square billboard as a part of Spotify’s EQUAL Music Program highlighting women making a difference in the music industry.

She was also grateful for her early live experiences — a headline show in Prague in support of Amnesty International, tours opening for YUNGBLUD and Imagine Dragons — but the hectic schedule was getting to her. She found herself unable to write and, even worse, her health began to deteriorate and she was diagnosed with tetany, a rare neurological disorder. Karin was forced to take time off to recuperate. While she felt that her own body was disrupting the momentum of her nascent career, the break turned out to be a blessing.

As she was recovering her strength, Karin — now just entering her 20s — reconnected with LA-based producer Benjamin Lazar Davis. Davis (known for his work with the likes of Okkervil River and Joan As Police Woman) first came to Karin’s attention for his production work on Maya Hawke’s “Thérèse,” a track that Karin found inspiring in its world-building and patiently unfolding soundworld. Davis, alongside his creative partner Will Graefe, was interested in working together with Karin but was very open-minded about where things would go. What was first supposed to be a collaboration on two or three songs quickly snowballed into through the telescope.

For Karin, the recording process was transformational. “Will and Ben legitimately changed my life,” she says. “The way they viewed music and the process of recording was super beneficial. Working with them, there was such freedom and latitude — I felt no expectations or pressure to write things in a certain way. They just brought a thoughtfulness and openness that gave me time to really process things and chill and let the music come together.”

Listening to through the telescope, it’s quickly evident that Davis and Graefe were just the collaborators Karin needed to creatively flourish. “pile of bones” is melancholic folk done with an artful brutality, Karin singing of decomposing bodies and the embrace of soil with a desolate poetry reminiscent of Frightened Rabbit. “false gold” recounts a regretful relationship with a defiant sense of uplift. The track’s anthemic qualities are deepened by the sonic peculiarities — droning strings, reversed tape warbles, a climactic traffic jam of vocal samples in the bridge — that testify to the album’s “I’ll try anything” recording process.

And, on through the telescope, Karin does indeed try anything. That the snarling gothic disco-rock of “she” flows into the rhythmic arpeggios and asymmetric phrasings of the icily balladic “olivia” then into the aching acoustic reflection “memories of you” reads as the album’s heat check moment, Karin Ann asserting that she most certainly has the range to pull these stylistic shifts off.

That run gives way to “i don’t believe in God,” a song whose stark title belies its sophisticated reckoning with the spiritual crises of the modern age. Growing up a queer woman in the confines of a dogmatically Christian Slovakian society, Karin’s very existence felt at odds with some of the more conservative teachings[1] [2] [3]  of the Church. However, though she’s abandoned formal religion, in challenging times she still recognizes a yearning for spiritual reassurance. As technologically mediated socialization renders us “more and more 2-D,” what options do we have for grace? It’s a grave question that Karin ponders with a refreshing directness and unsentimentality.

through the telescope does not shy away from grand gestures and bold statements: these ornately orchestrated songs tackle love, identity, mental health, and memory with an empathetic curiosity — all while allowing listeners to come away with their own interpretations. Karin Ann’s commanding presence and intuitive understanding of how to build a beguiling soundworld lends her songs an existential heft beyond her years. It’d be impressive if through the telescope merely didn’t collapse under the weight of its creator’s ambitions; that it coheres into an indelibly entrancing whole is resolutely jaw-dropping.



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