Somewhere between the red dirt of Oklahoma and the sandy cliffs of southern California, Nadia Piotrowsky found her sound.
Cross-country moves and life-changes put music on the back burner in recent years, but Nadia Piotrowsky has now come into her own, giving these songs new life. While her influences range from Mary Chapin Carpenter to The Frames, Sia Furler to Johnny Cash, her sound often draws comparisons to Ingrid Michaelson and Peggy Lee–a little modern, a little old-fashioned, always earnest.
And critics are taking notice. In 2017, Nadia Piotrowsky’s new work, “Lost and Found” was given Honorable Mention by the jury of the Woody Guthrie Festival Songwriting Contest, an honor she does not take lightly. Nadia Piotrowsky credits the songs themselves for her return to the stage.
“When I see the audience’s reaction to a lyric I’ve been given, I realize this isn’t about me. It’s about the songs and the power of words to connect us. I decided I had an obligation to bring these songs into the world.”
As founder of Monday@Modella songwriter nights in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Nadia Piotrowsky has recently had the opportunity to hone her craft while establishing new mainstay in the Oklahoma songwriting community…a place she hopes to hold for years to come.
“One of 2017’s best albums so far comes from New York-based Bill Scorzari … The crisp, organic interplay of both acoustic and electric instruments perfectly frame Scorzari’s weathered, raspy voice that many have described as “singular” or ’idiosyncratic.” Just to give you some clues, head in the direction of Tom Waits or Malcolm Holcombe. Scorzari’s voice is in that neighborhood but still stands apart. And, then there are his thoughtful, cinematically shaped songs that continue to resonate after repeated listens. Yes, this is a “must hear” for singer-songwriter aficionados.” — Elmore Magazine
Heather Styka dances where others fear to tread, gleefully cutting to the truth with gutsy vulnerability. She combines the lyrical intricacy of folk with a catchy melodic pop sensibility and the grit of classic country in songs that are smart and disarming. Call it folk, call it Americana, call it alt-country, but Styka’s heartfelt croon draws as much inspiration from classic warblers such as Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald as it does from Shawn Colvin and Eva Cassidy.
After growing up in the Chicago suburbs, Styka moved to the city to studying creative writing, meanwhile honing her song craft among Chicago’s long-standing folk community. Her 2011 release Lifeboats for Atlantis brought her to national attention, hitting #3 on the FOLK-DJ charts. Styka’s honest, image-heavy songs have garnered her a number of awards, including being a New Folk Finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival (2015, 2017) and official showcases at Folk Alliance International, NERFA, SWRFA, and FARM.
While living in Portland, Maine, Heather Styka released While This Planet Spins Beneath Our Feet. Recorded in the Adirondacks with Beehive Productions and printed by Styka on a 1901 letterpress in Maine, this 2014 release charted for four months on FOLK-DJ. Styka’s next album, The Bittersweet Tapes (2016), “tugs the ear on first listen and greets you like an old friend on subsequent visits” (Simon Rigby, Indie Music Portal). These gut-punch pretty songs nod to traditional folk, classic country, and even garage rock, carried by Styka’s emotive vocals. Recorded in Tulsa, Oklahoma on an old four track recorder with sparse, ethereal production by John Calvin Abney (John Moreland, Samantha Crain), The Bittersweet Tapes retains an unfiltered immediacy. “In this raw and intimate portrait of life, disguised as a collection of songs, Heather Styka has truly created a masterpiece… A writer with this kind of vision and ability doesn’t come along very often” (Chris Darby, Independent Melody).
Live, Heather Styka comes off as something like Leonard Cohen crossed with Patsy Cline. Armed with a guileless, unvarnished delivery, she’s equal parts wordsmith and entertainer. Styka’s energetic shows feel as intimate and candid as late night conversation, peppered with a quirky sense of humor and confessional storytelling. Once again working with Beehive Productions, Styka is currently releasing her her fifth full-length studio album, North, which was recorded with Danish backing band The Sentimentals in a cabin in northern Wisconsin.