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Singer Halie Loren returns to touring, releasing new albums

Singer-songwriter Halie Loren
Bob Williams
courtesy of the artist
Singer and songwriter Halie Loren.

Vocalist Halie Loren returns to Seattle's Jazz Alley on May 31. She talks with KNKX's Robin Lloyd about pursuing the craft of songwriting in Nashville, going from a desk job to the international music scene and developing her next studio album.

Listen to the full interview above or read excerpts below.

The Alaska-born, Oregon-based singer Halie Loren moved to Nashville when she was 17, specifically to study songwriting.

I graduated early from high school just to go and do that. I was there to cut my teeth with songwriting. I'd been writing for years already by that age, but I really wanted to seize an opportunity before making a decision on college, to really just delve fully into my musical craft in the form of songwriting specifically. And so I ended up doing a lot of collaborating with really seasoned, successful songwriters who taught me a ton. I learned so much. I had lots of wonderful mentors who really helped me understand the craft of songwriting. I already had my own stylistic things that I continued with, but I feel like it definitely helped propel me in that direction even more.

And, in performing, I even considered, at one point, the possibility of a record deal offer. But I ended up changing my mind and going coming back to Oregon in order to go to college, because I realized I actually didn't 100% know what I wanted for my musical path yet, I was pretty young. It was a great experience. It was a hard experience because it was my first time away from home, but it was a lovely community to be embraced by.

On getting through pandemic:

I did a lot of things that I normally would never really think to do, or have time to do. Like many people, I ended up learning things. I already was an avid cook, but I learned to make a lot of things I never made from scratch before. I actually started an enormous garden and I've been really expanding that. That was a huge, huge help, not only with feeding the family, but feeding my soul. It was really good for my mental health to just be outside all the time and nurturing growth.

It was two years of no shows, life completely changed, no travel. So I got to know my part of the world a lot better. Stuck close to home. Spent a lot of time outdoors. Luckily, I live in the Pacific Northwest, and it's a great place to be able to to really explore more.

And I even managed to write a few songs, though not nearly as many as one would think. The stress of living through a pandemic puts a bit of a damper on the creative inspiration muse. But I did write some songs during lockdown and beyond, and some of those might even find their way into my next project, which I'll be starting this summer.

Paper Man - Halie Loren live in London (2018)

Loren's most recent album, "From the Wild Sky," came out in 2018. On May 13, she released a single from "Live at the Cotton Club," recorded in Tokyo during her 2015 tour in Japan. That recording has only been available in Japan, Korea, and parts of Eastern Asia, but will soon be accessible in the U.S.

I'm really enjoying the process of developing my next studio album. It's a bit under wraps at the moment because it's still in development, but I'll be playing music with a couple of musicians that I have done extensive touring with, and absolutely love as people. I really love our creative process together, and it'll be my first time embarking on a recording with them, so I'm very excited.

This will be my first time back at Jazz Alley in over two years. And I'm excited that I get to perform with my longtime collaborator from the Eugene area, Matt Treder on piano, and Rob Koehler, the bass player, who I have worked with, off and on, for 22 years. And Charlie Doggett on drums, who is amazing, I so rarely get to play with Charlie, this is going to be a real treat. He's one of Portland's finest musicians, and it's going to be a really fun show. I'm just so, so excited to be coming back to Seattle!

Find more information and tickets for Halie Loren's shows at Jazz Alley May 31 and June 1 here.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.