Athena Reich | Stranger Things Have Happened

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Pop: Quirky Rock: Punk-Pop Moods: Mood: Fun
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Stranger Things Have Happened

by Athena Reich

Quirky Pop, wild punk, righteous cabaret, gorgeous folk, & poignant lyrics with beautiful string and horn arrangements. High-energy virtuosic vocals and intimate songwriting.
Genre: Pop: Quirky
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Ballad of Chicken Shower
4:11 $0.99
2. Blue Eyed String of Pearls
3:59 $0.99
3. Jesse
3:31 $0.99
4. Merry Go Round
2:39 $0.99
5. Contra*dick*tions
3:20 $0.99
6. Limbs
3:13 $0.99
7. I am Just a Hole
4:15 $0.99
8. Anarchy
2:44 $0.99
9. Back to Canada
2:52 $0.99
10. Fingers
3:23 $0.99
11. Sunny Sunday Afternoon Lull
5:40 $0.99
12. Duality in D
4:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Check out Athena's other albums, "a sly sardonic grin", "Athena Under Attack" and "Stories from the Road", available here on

"Stranger Things Have Happened" is Athena's 3rd release and is her quirkiest, liveliest, and wildest CD to date. Featuring a full band of amazing players from Montreal (including internationally renowned concert pianist Francine Kay) and gorgeous string and horn arrangements by Greg Pliska. (Greg has arranged for Carly Simon, Karen Elson, Hem and James Iha of the Smashing Pumpkins). Folk, punk, ska, pop and cabaret combine with exceptional musicianship, creativity and energy. Athena's lyrics are as poignant and radical as ever and her voice is as untamed, vituosic and emotionally expressive as her live shows.

Athena Reich is a bilingual Jewish Mennonite originally from Canada, which, once you get to know her, explains a lot. She is currently working on her 5th CD with Emmy/Grammy winning producer Cynthia Daniels. She has shared the stage with Peaches, Jim Carrey & Sarah McLachlan and toured across North America for 3 years. She is also an actress who recently appeared as part of the 365 Days/Plays Festival at Lincoln Center & The Public Theater, and in the Punk-Rock Musical "Love Sucks" at the New York Musical Theater Festival 2007. Her music is storytelling piano-pop with a theatrical twist. She is constantly pushing boundaries, mocking taboo, and making you pee your pants with laughter.

"Underexposed Intriguing Indie Upstart Athena Reich "
Village Voice 2007

“Athena’s songs take you places only the spirit goes.
She’s wonderful. What a joy”.
Jerry Springer, Air America Radio

"If she doesn’t have you laughing hysterically at the banter, you’ll be sobbing into your sour-apple martini with her brutally honest lyrics and a voice to die for”
HX Magazine

"Musical contortionist and self-described "anarcho-feminist and cabaret-punk pop star," Athena Reich serves up a delightful buffet of bravado and bliss on Stranger Things Have Happened. Theatrical and thrilling, Reich hams it up like a natural born drama queen, but knows how to keep it in check, as is clear from opening track "The Ballad of Chicken Shower." Reich also has a rough and tumble rocker persona which she whips out on "Contra*Dick*Tions" and "Anarchy." In terms of sheer musical variety and enthusiastic performance, Reich rules." - Baltimore OUTloud

"There are a couple of things that make Athena Reich stand out among the wasteland of today's music industry. Those are her look, the structure and content of the songs on this album, and her stunningly impressive voice. Her voice is really what makes the difference between a four ranking and a perfect five ranking on our system. The album itself (Stranger Things Have Happened) is very good. It has the balance of a psychiatric ward as it flows from emotional music to an insane outburst, to some disturbingly funny lyrics, back to emotional music. The album can best be described as a Broadway musical on acid...We here at give the album a 5/5 and can't wait to hear the next album."

"Athena Reich is an original artist. Her style is hard to pin down with one label, but that's just fine. On her record we get sensitive ballads, angry punk songs and cabaret pearls. Her voice and approach is refreshingly unique...This album is a striking piece of work." - Luna Kafe, Sweden

"This woman is odd...and I mean that in the best way possible. I mean, with a song title like "The Ballad of Chicken Shower" I guess you don't need me to tell you that. That song is a cute little waltz that actually includes some squawking. Her voice is as unique as her song stylings. It's perfect for the songs, which range from pop to punk to ballads. Many with a cabaret-ish feel." - Collected Sounds Rea

"Stranger Things Have Happened is Reich's quirkiest, liveliest, and most fully integrated project to date. Combining folk, punk, ska, pop, and cabaret, Reich intertwines her exceptional musicianship into gorgeous and innovative melodies." Outsmart Magazine

Athena Reich: vocals, guitar (tracks 4 & 11)
Greg Pliska: piano
Cordell Hennebury: guitar
Jean Cyr: bass
John Fraboni: drums
Francine Kay: piano (track 7)
Tim Halliday: cello
Madeleine Messier: Violin
Sean Craig: sax
Dave Mossing: trumpet
Bruce Pepper: trombone

Produced by Athena Reich and Greg Pliska.
String and Horn arrangements by Greg Pliska.
Recorded by Paul Johnston at PJ Studios and Hendrick Hassert Studios in Montreal.
Vocals recorded by Mere and Touch at Running Water Lab in Stamford, CT.
Vocals edited by Denise Barbarita in New York.
Piano for "I am Just a Hole" recorded at Manhattan Beach Recording in New York.
Mixed by Gary Maurer at Stratosphere Studios in New York.
Mastered by Rick Rowe at Media Lab in New York.
Manufactured at
CD design by
Photography by Denise Grant, Jesse Harold,, and Athena Reich.



to write a review

Neil Semer

original, bold CD
Athena's writing is bold, funny, provocative and always interesting to hear. She's a unique artist with a great voice and point of view. Never generic or dull.

Olivia *StarFrosting*

ululations and funky folk, spunky rock n roll--Athena, stranger things have happ
I would say this album is worth having simply to finally own "The Ballad of Chicken Shower," which I've heard Athena belt out live and transfers well to disc. There's also beautiful redos of "Merry Go Round" and "Blue Eyed String of Pearls." If you want to know just how absolutely, brilliantly *fucking insane* Athena is, check out "Limbs." God, why must everyone wear clothes? Support Athena and buy her new album, getting by on the beautifully-rendered recording until such a time as you can catch her live.

Paul DeCoster

A unique voice that singelhandedly unifies all the genres she tries.
Diversity in music, while encouraged, is often difficult to pull off because unwitting fans can get confused as to what an artist is about. Not so with Athena Reich. She dips her hand in jazz, punk, and string arrangements with an operatic voice that can go from beautiful to DaDa in the space of a second. Her voice and songwriting style can take her to different territories and remain unquestionably hers. I strongly recommend this album because it makes the argument for stretching one's artistic boundaries.

This girl is on fire!
Volume is an understatement when it comes to describing Athena. This girl was on FIRE! With her flaming red hair, piercing green eyes, bright red lips, her larger than life vocals, and an outfit borrowed from Cyndi Lauper's closet. Athena has amazing presence...diva-esque vocals... If you are looking for an energetic, bold and powerful performance by a female singer, then you have come to the right place.

The Montreal Gazette

confessional & caustic
Reich's confessional, sometimes caustic work evokes Ani DiFranco.

Belle Canto

the ethel merman of alternapunk
I was lucky enough to be present while Athena recorded these vocals. Lucky, because I can blackmail her with the outtakes, and because I got to witness some truly original and risky work right there in the moment. Athena is staying completely true to her inner voice and what a strange and wonderful voice it is. I hope more singer/songwriters can hear this CD and learn to attack their material with the same commitment and passion.


Powerful and fun, a winning combination
Right from the first notes, this album pulls no succeeds in mixing strong lyrics with complex yet extremely catchy music. You will not stop listening to it. I dare you to stop listening to it!

George from T.O.

Stranger Things Have Happened is an album you won't soon forget.
Athena Reich puts together one awesome track after another.
You can't wait to hear the next chord and the next song.
What range and what an eclectic mix!

You get whimsical and sweet treasures like "Jesse" and "Back To Canada" but then Athena Reich blows you out of the water with something like the hard-core kick ass rocker of "Contra-Dick-tions" which has the all the best elements of an alternative rock radio song except of course that it doesn't suck like they do.

Athena Reich doesn't shy away from the dark in the world either, but has this amazing ability to juxtapose harsh content with pretty melodies and sounds so that even in songs with uncomfortable lyrics Athena keeps you locked in and fully engaged and wanting to hear it through.

It is a credit to her skill and talent how she makes all her songs so beautiful.

This CD is powerful and thought provoking but it's also an incredibly easy listen.

It's also an album you will listen to over and over again.

Randy Hall

Not easily digestible, but in a good way. A unique exploration.
I have a strong distaste for art that is different for the sake of being different...almost as much as I hate status-quo pablum rock. Athena is neither. She is who she is without regard for left or right. Either you like her or you don't, but you cannot deny the honesty in her music and lyrics. She definitely has something to say, but it may take a few rounds before it starts to sink in. Not always easy to listen to, but who the hell cares? Art does not exist to merely make us comfortable. It is a reflection of life through the soul of the artist. Athena's greatest gift is her honesty.

glenna g.

This is brave music.
This is brave music. Each song has a distinct muse at work, and Athena lets the music decide where it needs to go. This is evident particularyly on track 4, "Merry Go Round", where the vocals rise and fall as though at the mercy of an amusement ride. Indeed, this album is an amusing ride, and it merits repeated listening.
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