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Kristi Martel | Ravengirl

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United States - Rhode Island

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Rock: Acoustic Jazz: World Fusion Moods: Featuring Piano
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by Kristi Martel

Ravengirl is 15 tracks of beauty, power, & healing. Its polyrhythmic palette of sometimes danceable, sometimes haunting songs surprise & delight every listener. It’s avant soul folk. It’s alt-rock. It's acoustic explosive gorgeous music.
Genre: Rock: Acoustic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Oya!
0:45 $0.99
2. Day of Rain
3:17 $0.99
3. Autumn Nightwork
4:28 $0.99
4. Ravengirl
6:15 $0.99
5. broken
3:43 $0.99
6. For Josh
3:15 $0.99
7. Littlebird's Flight
4:29 $0.99
8. Crossing Into Dreams
2:21 $0.99
9. Harder Than Dying
4:44 $0.99
10. Into the Fog
4:39 $0.99
11. Dear Emily
7:48 $0.99
12. Photophobia
4:53 $0.99
13. The Third Death
2:51 $0.99
14. Wishes (Full of Grace)
6:19 $0.99
15. Give
4:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
About Ravengirl…
Kristi Martel’s former life partner, Amy Caroline “Littlebird” Nuara, died by suicide in August 2003. Kristi and Littlebird had just made plans to move from California back to Rhode Island, because Littlebird liked Providence from her years at RISD, and Kristi missed her homestate. They had also just finalized plans for Kristi’s next CD project, “The Mule.” Littlebird’s death changed just about every aspect of Kristi’s life, but she managed to follow through with those two plans, moving to RI in November 2003 and recording “The Mule” in January 2004. Although she could not write new songs for 11 months, Kristi began a list of song ideas that she knew would later become "Ravengirl."

The first song Kristi wrote after Littlebird’s death came from words Littlebird sent to Kristi through a medium. The next answered the hundreds of fan letters Kristi received, fearful that Kristi too would take her own life. The next was a response to Littlebird’s family and friends who had blamed Kristi for Littlebird’s death. The next became the title track, a song expressing the miracle of healing trauma through feeling the pain. Kristi kept noticing that she still felt joy every day, in spite of the huge and traumatic loss and grief she also experienced. She noted it, she counted the blessing, and she came up with the goofy joke version that she must be some kind of superhero to still be able to experience joy. Her superhero name is Ravengirl. And the album, with its 7 tracks written before Littlebird’s death and its 8 tracks written after, will break open your heart to feel your pain only to remind you that that is where you’ll heal and find your joy.

About Kristi Martel...
When Kristi Martel was three she sang to salt and pepper shakers atop tables in restaurants. Her family encouraged her to do this. Everyone in the restaurant would clap. So she kept singing and making up harmonies and began piano lessons with an intense desire to be a famous musician.

Today, Kristi Martel's sweet presence, stunning vocals, intricate piano rhythms, and fearless songwriting endear audiences nationwide.

"...love emanates from every note." - Vienna Teng

"Incomparable!" - Utah Phillips

"Damn!" - Cesca Waterfield

Featured on MTV/LOGO, NPR, WERS, and in Curve Magazine, and voted Rhode Island's Best Female Alt-Rock Vocalist, award-winning songwriter and avant-soul piano diva Kristi Martel grew up in New England and earned an ASCAP grant and two music degrees (Bard and Mills College) before beginning her touring and recording career. Her piano playing combines her love of blues dissonance and syncopation with her classical training. Her powerful voice is at once sweet and bitter, able to leap and soar, whisper and rattle, expressive of any emotion she chooses and fluid throughout her multi-octave range. She is visionary in her lyrics and composition, writing her prayers for solace and quirky relationship narratives in the same breath.

Through Sealed Lip Records, Kristi has released seven CDs. “Ravengirl” is Kristi’s goofy joke superhero name for herself, her recognition of the crazy blessing it is that she felt joy everyday, amidst the profound grief, after her former life partner’s suicide in 2003. The album is full up with that joy, with the healing and transformation Kristi has undergone to be singing still so powerfully today.

The Sacred Whore Demos (LP 2009)
Ravengirl (LP 2006)
Quaint & Curious Ravendemos (LP 2005)
The Mule (LP 2004)
bound (single 2003)
brave enough (LP 2001)
give me a little... (EP 2000)



to write a review

Melinda Marshall

One of the Best albums of 2006
Wow, this cd is so beautiful and haunting and I cannot stop listening to it! Everyone needs to buy this cd especially anyone who has been battered and bruised by life and needs a bit of healing grace. Listening to some tracks on this cd you feel like you are being let into a very personal sacred place in the Kristi's heart and it is very painful in some places but overall it is a journey that no one would regret taking.

Rick Massimo for The Providence Journal

Highly recommended
Singer Kristi Martel has a booming, beautiful voice and sets it to strong, sensitive original compositions on 'Ravengirl.' Highly recommended.

Don DiMuccio for Motif Magazine

Rare and Exceptional
Kristi has a rare voice with exceptional range that she tinkers and toys with throughout Ravengirl, as she does during live performances. In the CD's included booklet, each track has a preamble which serves as backstory to the song. Much of who Kristi is, is reflected in her music...Kristi is clearly a gifted pianist with a sweet voice that does justice to illustrating her words...Kristi Martel is an extremely talented artist, who has already proven herself in the fields of not only recording, but also performance art.

Bob Gulla for The Providence Phoenix

Pouring it all out -- THE JOY OF HEALING: Martel celebrates life of her new disc. For many, the tired adage 'honesty is the best policy' is just that, an antiquated expression. But for Kristi Martel, it's been one of the keys to her success...fans...will be truly ecstatic after hearing Ravengirl... Martel proves that she's a powerful storyteller, with meaningful lyrics, passionate performances, and an emotional mission.


Not for the faint of heart
This album is not for the faint of heart. It touches all aspects of human emotion all within 15 songs- gracefully, beautifully, its beyond touching- it really blew my mind- and I've listened to all Kristi's albums. Has something for everyone, between bitter break-up songs set to an upbeat tune, to beautiful masterpieces of piano, and soulful lyrics and songs. You simply cannot miss this album, it is a culmination of over 10 years of songwriting and life experiences- from a singer/songwriter/pianist avant-soul diva who always knows how to reach out and touch a listener..... ENJOY!

New Fan

Intensely personal and moving
A friend invited me to one of Kristi's performances and I went knowing nothing about her or her music. By the end of the show, I felt like she had shared so much of herself and her experiences through her music. I bought the Ravengirl CD on the spot and haven't stopped listening to it. GIVE is one of those songs you play over and over, and RAVENGIRL is addictive! Her voice, her lyrics, her arrangements...all captivating! This is one of those CD's I'll be buying for friends because I want to share her music with everyone I know!

Brian Jewell for Bay Windows

Arresting, intense and surprisingly uplifting...so compelling
In this arresting, intense and surprisingly uplifting album, Martel works out some of her feelings about her lover's suicide...raw awareness, bemused and hurt but grateful and joyous, ...makes Ravengirl so compelling. The album begins with the eerie instrumental "Oya," a sort of rite of passage easing us into Martel's psyche. Martel then wraps us in the gentle "Day of Rain," a song about the day you realize the crying is finally over and are able to look back, calm and clear-eyed. The collage of memories that follows is tinted with the full spectrum of emotion, and Martel's nimble voice constantly shifts with the music... "I am doing fine, I am doing fine," she bubbles; it's not some ironic mantra or attempt at manifesting, just a cheerful chorus of simple truth. She's doing fine indeed, and the album soars way above fine.

Ben Collins for WERS 88.9fm Boston

WERS 88.9fm's Artist of the Week: Kristi Martel
There must be a ton going on in Kristi Martel's head. You'll get this impression from the structure of her music. In nearly every song in her 2006 release 'Ravengirl,' the intricacies are so slight but strongly crafted...The depth and diversity of her music should be no wonder, really...She plays directly to the emotion of every track. Best of all, she's a startling lyricist to compliment her trained voice. To aid her anti-folk, somber-sounding music, she puts together beautiful arrangements of dark words...Her music will undoubtedly merit her assimilations to Fiona Apple. Her voice will shoot her comparisons to Bjork. Her lyrics will, and have, draw her Ani DiFranco fans. But, need not worry, she's not Ani DiFranco-depressed yet. She album is filled with a lot of quirk and a fair amount of fun...'Ravengirl' has already earned a 'highly recommended' from the Providence Journal. The Providence Phoenix, usually a tough crowd, bragged of her 'meaningful lyrics, passionate performances, and an emotional mission.' You'd worry that this could get to her head and maybe effect her music. But, in the head of Kristi Martel, there may not be enough room left for arrogance.

Matthew Surrence

Beautiful songs about the richness of life and death
From the opening piano chord of the first song, Oya!, which anchors the album in a nature-grounded spirituality, to the closing song, Give, Kristi's self-described theme song that has appeared, in various versions, on all of her albums, and here is knittled with a feeling of ruminative female solidarity as performed by WomanSpiritRising, Ravengirl finds the Rhode Island singer/songwriter continuing to try to come to terms with the soul-shattering event that has become her unwelcome but rich central subject: the aftermath of the 2003 death, by suicide, of her lover, Littlebird, also a musician. Kristi's vocal dynamics are so accomplished she can keen as mesmerizingly as Bjork when recalling an anguished incident from childhood (For Josh), then swoop down to a sardonic growl to indict a treacherous rival-in-friend's-clothing (Photophobia). In these songs, as well as the ones directly related to Littlebird, such as the haunting title track, the unflinchingly heartrending but ultimately inspiring Harder Than Dying (lovely cello by Janet Taggart Blake), the transcendent Litttlebird's Flight, and the bitter Dear Emily, the beauty and depth, utterly lacking in cloying sentimentality, that Kristi unearths in herself in her words, her singing, and her expressive piano playing, as well as the exemplary support of her musical collaborators, make Ravengirl another remarkable release from this superb artist. Great artwork, too.