Sonya Lorelle's title track on her first album was coined by a stranger at a gas station who noticed her filling up her truck with a U-Haul attached. After she confirmed that she was indeed moving "by herself," he said in an impressed tone, "oh?! An 'Independent Woman'!" She soulfully delivers this debut collection of bluesy songs in an acoustic project that is raw and organic with just her golden voice and piano to back it up. Lorelle soon decided to take her style, described to be an upbeat version of Norah Jones and Carol King, on the road. She gave up her career, lease on her apartment, priced her belongings, and began touring.
During these travels she began writing a second set of songs to appear on her sophomore CD, "The Life You Wanted." Highlights include "Lost So Long" a light basso nova song inspired by her experience of being lost on the streets of Paris and Dublin. "Kiss Me Tonight" is a flirty jazz number about an impending first kiss. She takes her strong woman themes present in "Independent Woman" further into this album with a distinctive mixture of Jazz, Blues, and Pop.
- 2nd Place Enormous Records Songwriting Contest 1999
- Honor Award 2002 Great American Songwriting Competition
- Finalist 2005 Plowshares Songwriting Contest
- Honorable Mention 2005 songprize.com International Songwriting Contest
- The Bitter End, New York NY
- South Florida Folk Festival, 2005 Main Stage, Ft. Lauderdle, FL
- The Goose, London, England
- Uncommon Ground, Chicago, IL
- Cousin Andy's Coffee House Concert Series, Carbondale, IL
- The Evening Muse, Charlotte, NC
- Six String Cafe, Cary, NC
- Wisconsin Public Radio Show, Higher Ground, Madison, WI
- Showcasing Artist at the Midwest Entertainment Industry Conference 2003, Lexington, KY (Independent Woman' chosen for the compilation CD)
- Jammin Java, Vienna, VA Featured Artist open mic
Review by Michael Brothers, Springfield Newsleader
"Independent Woman" is a collection of solid songs from start to finish. On the album, Lorelle showcases her bluesy voice, elegant piano stylings and thoughtful lyrics.....Sonically, Lorelle evokes an upbeat version of contemporary jazz vocalist Norah Jones. Lyrically, she is more in the vein of wordy songsmiths like Joni Mitchell or Fiona Apple.
Review by Les Reynolds, Indie-Music.com
Sonya could sing mathematical equations and it would sound fantastic..(she) has a vocal style that is pure gold. It feels good to listen to her sing. Strong. Clear. Seductive at times. A bit of Norah Jones with more volume. A mix of jazz and blues in a cabaret style delivery. Her tunes are basically piano driven with her golden throat carrying the song wherever she wants to take it. She can soar, glide and growl. Her songs are at times torchy and at others melancholy and sad. The opening cut "Baby Without You" really gives this CD its signature sound.
Review by Renee Wood, www.afterhoursbigband.net
Sonya writes bluesy sophisticated tunes and sings them with tremendous verse and style, accompanying herself on piano. Sonya is a vocalist with great chops! She's got a big vocal range and excellent control over her voice, giving her the ability to do about anything she wants with a song. The songs themselves have a surprising emotional range and depth for one so young. From "Independent Woman," the title song about a young woman hitting her stride and striking out on her own, to a great bluesy bossa nova called "Beauty of It All," to torch songs like "There's Something", and "Better Days", a song about old age written with truth and delivered with love. The songs, both in concept and delivery are of consistently high quality as is her piano playing. This CD is a treat!
Review by www.womanrising.com
Sonya Lorelle gives a soft sound to Independence . Incredible vocalist from Missouri , Sonya Lorelle, on her CD. The title cut, "Independent Woman," is bluesy, jazzy, and puts 'em in their place. Lorelle is easy listening at its best, and her style is her trademark.
Review by Amy Lotsberg, www.collectedsounds.com
Sonya Lorelle has a cool jazzy, bluesy voice and plays a spunky piano. Think Norah Jones with a jolt of caffeine..Sonya's voice is crystal clear and almost achingly emotional. Her piano playing is very nice. When listening to Lorelle, I imagine I'm in a small intimate club and there are only a handful of listeners who are all a little wine buzzed, paired off and are listening, but are also whispering quietly to each other and nuzzling together.