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Acclaimed for her pitch-perfect 4-octave voice and exquisitely crafted art songs, Coney Island native Carol Lipnik’s latest studio album, Goddess Of Imperfection, is now available. A collection of pastoral meditations on loss, hope, chaos, and love, the work features original songs and collaborations with Obie Award-winning playwright/performance artist David Cale and Mexican composer Tareke Ortiz. The majority of songs were developed with pianist Matt Kanelos as part of Lipnik’s two and a half year-long residency at Pangea, a celebrated run that helped establish the NYC boîte as a locus of the downtown cabaret scene. Songs penned with Ortiz were originally developed as part of a Joe’s Pub residency at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Produced by Jacob Lawson (who produced Lipnik’s celebrated Almost Back To Normal), Goddess of Imperfection combines Lipnik’s uncanny ability to channel the magic and mystery of the natural world with
her stunning vocals to pierce through the chaos and anxiety of the recent past and invoke a more hopeful future.
"What separates Ms. Lipnik from every other conjurer of the otherworldly is her phenomenal voice. With a four-octave range, impeccable pitch and several distinct personalities within that voice, Ms. Lipnik evoked singers as disparate as Diamanda Galás, Maude Maggart, Yma Sumac and the yodeling Joni Mitchell. Her instrument is, in a word, phenomenal."
- Stephen Holden, The New York Times
"The soulful spirit of Laura Nyro meets the surrealist warble of Yma Sumac in this alt-cabaret star whose phenomenal four-octave range conveys everything from dark and delusional Alice in Wonderland mushroom fantasies to face-in-the-sidewalk security-state concerns. Lipnik's latest album, the
ironically titled Almost Back to Normal, blends folk and art music and serves as a siren song to lost cosmopolitans everywhere. Dark, funny, and cosmically aligned, Lipnik augments her original material with smart reinterpretations of tunes like Michael Hurley's "Werewolf," the Talking Heads’ “Heaven,” and American standards like “Moon River"."
Richard Gehr, The Village Voice
"Lipnik may be a streetwise Coney Island-bred New Yorker, but her songs are galactic."
- New York Music Daily
Read the Village Voice Interview by Tyler Coates:
Q TRAIN OCCULT: CONEY ISLAND NATIVE CAROL LIPNIK’S MUSIC WEAVES SPELLS FROM THE STRANGE
"Lipnik commands her audience like a sort of downtown Joni Mitchell — a witch whose sound is as powerful as it is strange."
"Ms. Lipnik is a musical master of caesura, the subtle pauses between words that can make all the difference in delivering a line. Carol Lipnik is a magical muse of a performer…(she) uses her voice like a spiritual instrument. Backed by a trio of musicians who really get her intentions…the performer enraptured a full house of enthusiastic Carol Lipnik devotees… This artist is well worth your time and money. As one patron told me afterwards, “She is what we need for our times at the end of the Empire. She gives us much needed hope.” Another, visibly moved from the performance, found her “heartbreaking.”"
- Andrew Poretz, Theater Pizzazz"
"Carol's haunting voice reveals the sad, tender heart that lies beneath the thick scarred hide of freaks and monsters everywhere"
- John Kruth, Observer.com
"You get the sense that both her message and her voice are coming from a very deep, honest and pure place, both anchored and flash.. her voice climbs up into the stratosphere on heavenly steps... Coming from Lipnik, these feats strike one not so much as acts of bravery than as the natural behavior of someone who lives someplace above the clouds where fear can’t reach."
- Trav S.D., Chelsea Now
"Carol Lipnik is a wonderful amalgam of Joni Mitchell, Lotte Lenya, Theda Bara, Yma Sumac, and Stevie Nicks—but totally original. I... thrilled to her whole show...—with ethereal vocals that went from pop to jazz to operatic trills, all while spanning topics like wolves, sea creatures, bees, and the elements, with heavy amounts of “Carol Lipnik reverb” on the mic. There is no preciousness here—Carol is vocally spot on, totally immersed, and delightfully playful as she lives in the moment of each syllable. A lovely version of “Moon River” was the perfect finale to pulsate my chakras."
- Michael Musto, Out Magazine
"There’s a reason she’s become one of the most talked about singers in decades... it is her crystalline voice that caresses the poetic savvy of her musicianship and the force of her bonhomie that truly sets her apart from every female singer on the club scene today. No one is doing what she does. Her moody charisma sparkles like a canary diamond in the perfect setting. The lady is unique and highly skilled at casting subtle spells through her songs of mystic and obsessive messages on personal journeys and universal topics. Mostly, she is a fierce conduit of fantasy. It takes a lot of talent and intelligence to pull this off with simple grace. Lipnik accomplishes this with ease and no frills.
- John Hoglund, Cabaret Scenes Magazine
On Goddess of Imperfection:
"The songs are mesmerizing, thoughtful, haunting even at times. They’re meditations that look at ourselves, the people around us, our culture,and songs that push back against the pressures of perfection."
- Joseph Planta, The Commentary
"In a world of many imitators, Lipnik is a complete original. Every song is a surprise and every word and gesture adds to the magic."
- Kevin Scott Hall, EdgeNewYork.com
"Earth-mother nightingale Carol Lipnik is a mesmerizing find. She has an ethereal soprano and a hippie air;
she writes fantastical tunes, full of mythic imagery, that carry the listener to worlds unknown. At last, her moment has come."
- James Gavin (biographer of Peggy Lee, Lena Horne, and Chet Baker)
"Attending a Carol Lipnik concert is like going to Church that caters to society's fringe... Whatever she sings, she has an awe inspiring range and a stage presence that is otherworldly... In our age of overproduced, quotidian talent, she is something to cherish.
-Ryan Leeds, Manhattan Digest
"Carol Lipnik took the stage and we knew we were in for a very different cabaret act – a bit of Kate Bush, a little Yma Sumac, a touch of Klaus Nomi and a soupçon of Stevie Nicks, all combined in a performer who is nonetheless completely original… her ethereal sound immediately cast a spell on the audience… she was mesmerizing, and saved some of her most stunning, soaring high notes for her closer, “My Piano.”"
-Michael Barbieri, Nite Life Exchange
I almost feel that the CD (Almost Back To Normal) should come with a warning label about side effects: that the ground and sense and sensitivities will seem to shift, dizziness may occur from being helpless against being hypnotized and haunted, with possible lingering sensations of depression and addiction to the disc. I mean this all as a compliment to the hefty power of the singer's charisma. Her unusual sound, her four-octave voice, radiating both beauty and raw anguish simultaneously, can make us surrender and simply marvel.
Rob Lester - TalkinBroadway.com
"Carol Lipnik might not just be the best singer in New York – she might be the best singer anywhere."
- New York Music Daily
"The breadth of material is surpassed only by Ms. Lipnik’s vocal range: four octaves capable of crystal-shattering heights that enhance the out-of-body experience she seeks to create."
- Lou Montesano, Elmore Magazine
"Last night at Joes Pub my witcherly mermaid sister Carol Lipnik cast her spell and cast her net pulling up jewels and pearls, and alchemizing the night - we enthralled by her siren call. It was a concert of magic, majestic and healing and uplifting and inspiring, a beautiful band, a divine aural experience aided by Ali Babs on back up vocals with what can only be referred to as crack musicians bringing Carols other worldly music into this one!
Honestly folks, Carol is the real deal - it does not get better than this..."
- Penny Arcade
"I can probably count on 5 fingers or less those who have redefined music in recent memory. How Carol Lipnik is able to transcend each prior album and create new genres is testament to her virtuosity not only as composer, but performer as well. There is a prismatic brilliance to ALMOST BACK TO NORMAL that cannot be categorized; from moments of sweeping grandeur to delicate fragility as fleeting as a snowflake's beauty--all with minimum instrumentation. this is her magnum opus."
- George Maida
The Electric Croude
"Sometimes she sounds like an acolyte of a Celtic goddess, and at other times like someone who’s benefited from private vocal coaching by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi...Lipnik’s performances are consistently sure-voiced and engaging. The woman has undeniable charisma... she needs to be seen to be believed...."
- Mark Dundas Wood, BistroAwards.com
I had the pleasure of catching Lipnik's act a few weeks ago and I can say with some certainty that I have never seen or heard anyone quite like her…She is a treasure among us.
- Kevin Scott Hall Edge Media Network
"Lipnik's songs have a mythic quality…she sang, casting spells upon the audience. Her arms became branches, as she took on tree-like power poses worthy of Usain Bolt or Athena. Her vocal power, enrapturing, had us shaking our heads in admiration and awe." - Broadway World.com
"Like a spiderweb, Carol Lipnik is surprisingly strong in her ethereality, maintaining an eerie self-possession as she shares enigmatically spooky folk-art songs in an octave-spanning wail. In her weekly March engagement at Pangea, the East Village's cozy new cabaret space, she teams up with pianist Matt Kanelos to share selections from a new album of original music."
- Adam Feldman, Time Out NY
"Carol Lipnik is a disciplined artist in full command of her considerable abilities - and her enraptured audience."
- Downtown Express
"Singer/songwriter Carol Lipnik doesn’t need a giant metallic lion and a football game or an elaborate The Sound of Music-themed extravaganza to make a memorable impact. Her incandescent voice gets the job done with no need for gimmicks."
The Clyde Fitch Report
Read the whole article/ interview here
"Ms. Lipnik is categorized as “Alternative Folk” on iTunes, but “Alternative Alternative” might be more apt. There are hints of Joni Mitchell, but Lipnik is otherwise original in every way. Her live shows, equal parts performance art and séance, have become a fixture on the downtown scene, attracting regular patrons who keep coming back for more as well as visitors to New York who have read or heard about her. Adventurous listeners will be rewarded."
-Lou Montesano, Elmore Magazine
CAROL LIPNIK/Goddess of Imperfection: An interesting art chick record that's going to be a defining wedge in the modern generation gap. With a tortured artist effect cabaret style, Lipnik tackles the uncertainty of the world and everything in it. Younger tastes raised on beats might not understand the theatrical nature of her work and moldy figs might not get the cutting edge cabaret vibe. With all the professional touches on board, it has the makings of a long legged, underground classic that'll be easier to pass around in the digital age than it would have been in the purely physical media age. No matter how you cut it, the times they are a changing.
- Midwest Record
DC Theater Arts Interview with Deb Miller
"If you are in NYC and you only do one thing culturally go and see Carol Lipnik at Pangea. If you love music and appreciate great songwriting and singing, if you came to NYC to experience magical happenings in tiny rooms that could never happen anyplace else in the world, if you dreamed of intimate nights surrounded by smart, talented, interesting people, this is what you're here for.
Now DON'T MISS IT!!!!"
- Mx. Justin Vivian Bond
"The ethereal vocal phenomenon Carol Lipnik"
- Stephen Holden, The New York Times
LISTEN TO CAROL'S CONVERSATION WITH JUSTIN SAYRE ON JUSTIN'S SPARKLE & CIRCULATE PODCAST
A Surrealistically Spellbinding New Album from Spectacular Singer Carol Lipnik
New York Music Daily
"With a four-octave voice and a madhouse sense of wonder, perhaps an influence of her Coney Island rearing, Carol Lipnik is not your usual cup of tea. She is without peers... Carol and Matt's musical collaboration can be experienced during their weekly Sunday residency at Pangea.
New Yorkers? Run don't walk! Out-of-towners? Book your flight! Welcome to the wonderfully eccentric world of Carol Lipnik".
-TALK MUSIC TALK with Boice
Listen to our conversation with Boice on his FAB podcast! We played a few tunes unplugged, too!
"The queen of Coney Island phantasmagoria"
- Lucid Culture
"Lipnik's moody voice conveys the feeling of being stuck at midnight in the middle of the winter in Coney Island, the neighborhood of her youth..."
- The New Yorker
"Carol Lipnik is that rare bird, the complete artist, with the soaring voice of a Dawn Upshaw, and the probing musical intelligence of Joni MItchell." - John Kelly
"One of New York's FINEST singers and most original songwriters!!! ...Carol's new songs, which are truly art songs, set in the jewel like quality of her voice reach such levels of glorious individuality that we were all gobsmacked."
- Penny Arcade
A must...MUST...SEE & HEAR. Carol Lipnik is a treasure that is soaring and inspiriring. Treat yourself and take that evening out in NYC to be taken away to other worldly places...And she does...Love her madly....
- Joey Arias
"Carol embodies all we love about Coney Island, not only in her incredible singing voice and musical style, but in her personal dedication to the eerie and fantastic."
- Richard Eagan
"The Barbra Streisand for the weird."
- Marilyn Cvitanic
Winner of the 2015 Broadway World New York Cabaret Awards
For Best Alternative Cabaret Show
Read my interview with Tricia Vita on the Amusing The Zillion blog
TIME OUT NEW YORK
Carol Lipnik's music does more than evoke a shadow-world of mysterious, often misunderstood creatures, from sideshow freaks and b-movie monsters to love's obsessive victims. It creates that world, bringing it into audible being through her stunningly versatile four-octave voice and expressive, impeccably crafted songs. Her live shows draw audiences in with an intimacy and intensity that is both theatrical and deeply musical. Whether performing as a duo with pianist Matt Kanelos or with a full-band featuring or with a full-band featuring Michael Visceglia on bass guitar, Mark Bonder on piano, and Matt Beck on guitar, lap steel and ukulele, her repertoire - ranging from mad, carnival-ride tangos and waltzes to dramatic Bowie-esque rock and intricate, semi-acoustic art songs is unified by the singer's visionary commitment to the beauty of strangeness and the strangeness of beauty. Carol Lipnik's songs and performances are, in the truest sense, enchantments.
Carol Lipnik, grew up in Coney Island in the midst of its long decline. Her earliest memories are of shyly pedaling a blue banana-seat bicycle around the abandoned amusement park (especially off season) and staring up at the totem-like, decaying rides. After studying fine arts at Pratt Institute and The Art Students League, Carol opted for the immediate, emotional gratification of singing, and found that she had a knack for it -- as well as a seemingly limitless vocal range. She drew from her visual arts training to create a singular cinematic style rooted in Blues, Pre-War Berlin Cabaret, Folk, etc., as filtered through her very own carnival and psychedelic sensibilities.
Carol’s popular weekly performance residency with Matt Kanelos on piano at the East Village Boîte Pangea has repeatedly been a featured top cabaret critic’s pick in Time Out. Carol has built a dedicated following through performances at Joe’s Pub, The Rose Theater at Lincoln Center, The David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, The Abrons Arts Center, the Hudson Opera House, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, and The Spiegeltent at Bard. She has released eight albums on her Mermaid Alley Music label. “Almost Back To Normal”, was funded by a grant from the Peter S. Reed Foundation. She has collaborated with and composed music for performance artist John Kelly's “The Escape Artist” and these songs are also included on his debut CD recording “Beauty Kills Me”. She composed the score for Mythologies (with Scott Killian and Jacob Lawson) for the Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance Co.and was an artist in residence at the Kimmel Center SEI Theater Program (in collaboration with Joe's Pub/ Public Theater) composing a theatrical song cycle with Mexican composer Tareke Ortiz
and was the winner of the 2015 Broadway World New York Cabaret Awards for Best Alternative Cabaret Show.
Carol is a three time artist-in-residence at the Yaddo Art Colony in Saratoga Springs, NY.