Photo by Emily Parr
In October of 2016, as the heat of Canadian summer gave way to frost and foggy mornings, Ariana Brophy packed her guitar, belongings and a bed into the back of her truck. Two days earlier, she’d released her second EP, ‘Sweet Things’ (2016), and was now embarking on her second cross Canada tour, which would take her from the wild Alberta prairies to the bustling hub of Montréal and—although she did not know it yet—further still, across an ocean, to England and the untiring sounds of London.
Along her journey Ariana has shared her craft of weaving tales of heartbreak, love, hope and loss on top of a canvas of stylized fingerpicking and expert harmony. With vocal clarity that would suggest she has been singing a lifetime, Ariana’s listeners are invited to observe an unreserved and vulnerable portrait of the soul behind her lyrics and the vibrant landscapes that have shaped her. Stephen Thomas, of Folkroom Records (UK) praised her as “one of the [Folkroom’s] stars of 2019,” saying “Her vocals.. songwriting, and the gentle warmth of her guitar result in a wonderful listening experience [akin to] sitting alone by a freshwater lake in the waning twilight… Perfection, in other words.” Ariana’s performances highlight strength in fragility and—with her balance of conversational humour and tales of human pain— prove that laughter can share a stage with tears.
Raised as the daughter and granddaughter of musicians, Ariana grew up with song as a means of communication and introspection. Harmonising with her dad, Ariana took to singing before she had mastered speech. Phil Muz, the owner of the Aviary (and previously Artery), Edmonton, AB, wrote of how Ariana, with this ear for sound and story, ‘won the hearts of Edmonton art lovers’ with ‘her resplendent and haunting voice’ and ‘honest, topical and picturesque lyrics.’ From the release of her first EP, ‘Ink and Water’ in 2015, Ariana grew in popularity within the Alberta music scene with performances at New Moon Folk Club(2016), Canmore Folk Festival (2016) and The Works Festival (2016, 2017) before being considered for ‘Female Musician of the Year’ at The Edmonton Music Awards (EMA 2016). By the time her second EP, ‘Sweet Things’ (2016) had gained a nomination for ‘Adult Alternative Recording’ at the EMAs in 2017, Ariana was looking again to the open road in pursuit of encounters with new souls, sounds and stories.
In 2019, following a residency at the National Centre for Folk Arts in Somerset, UK, Ariana released her third album ‘Naked,’ as well as writing a song for the unreleased film, “I Had A King.” Following a return to the National Centre for Folk Arts in 2020, Ariana announced the upcoming release of her single “Her Name,” with a full-length album and UK tour to follow in the winter.
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