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RAVENS

 
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She’s often compared to Joni Mitchell and ‘90s-era Jewel, but her piano-driven songs are very much her own style.
— Music Times

At a young age, Mackenzie told her mom that she had music inside her “that needed to come out.” Her mother would check in on her at night to find her fingers playing the piano in her sleep.  She wrote her first song as a four-year-old, and at age eight she would go to the movies and come right home to figure out the score on the piano.  Always at the mercy of the muse inside, Shivers has continued honing her craft ever since.  This included a degree in music composition from Vanderbilt University, which also gained her access to Nashville’s vibrant country scene.  

She underpins her classical training with an emotional essence that is uniquely her own.  Though she’s lived in NYC for a decade, Shivers’ music reflects many different landscapes.  You can hear it all, from the influence of the South, where she spent her childhood years visiting family in Florida, Georgia, and Texas, to the Irish and Scottish heritage which lends her music a distinctly Celtic flavor.

Her new EP Ravens marries whimsy with raw emotion.  Inspired by playing sessions in Ireland, the recording centers around collaboration and heart.  The arrangements are stripped down and haunting, yet contain warmth and character aided by string arrangements courtesy of Sarah Elizabeth Haines (violin, viola) and Yuka Tadano (bass).  Cody Rahn, Mackenzie’s long-time drummer, produces the songs with aplomb, and Kevin Salem (Rachael Yamagata) mixes and masters with a sensitive and skilled touch.  Ravens contains three original songs by Shivers and closes with an austere yet emotive rendition of the Scottish traditional “The Parting Glass.”  Citing the time during which she wrote these tracks as both harrowing and hopeful, Shivers succeeds in creating a collection that is uplifting and mournful, sometimes in equal measures.

Like her influencers Joni Mitchell, Aoife O’Donovan, and Olivia Chaney, Shivers’ voice is clear and unmistakeable.  It seems especially suited to this group of songs and their well-captured intimacy.  Listening to her work leaves you in no doubt that you’ve entered the vibrant and imaginative world of its creator.  As with all true artists, Shivers’ sound is both constantly evolving yet instantly recognizable. With Ravens, she unquestionably makes her mark on the world of folk and traditional music, leaving a lasting impression on every listener.

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Her follow-up release ‘Living in My Head’ is powerful, showcasing her Celtic-inspired piano-driven folk.
— Rob Dickens, No Depression

I wouldn’t be surprised if you hear this track on the next thriller movie soundtrack.
— Elmore Magazine

A voice as clear as crystal and the ability to pen epic compositions.
— Mandy Southgate, Addicted to Media

Gorgeous and spilling over with intricate details.
— Joshua Pickard, Nooga

‘Lily-Rose’ feels like a traditional folk song, with a contemporary love story that in itself can be considered timeless.
— Stuart Morrison, Insomnia Radio

Sultry voiced, sonically powerful and interesting with its wide spectrum, this isn’t some quickly thrown together release as a tide over – this effort took thought and planning to execute.
— Rob Ross, Pop Dose

Citing her influences as, amongst others, The Chieftains, Elton John and Joni Mitchell, the songs on the EP have a richness and maturity to them.
— Andrew Higgins, Americana UK

The rolling drums drive the Gaelic rhythm of the the song, as an earthy acoustic guitar meets a dancing staccato piano piece.
— Paste Magazine

The piano is nostalgic, Shivers’ voice is timeless. It soars like a bird and hums like a dragonfly. Sometimes it sounds like strings and sometimes like woodwind.
— Ear to the Ground Music

“The exceptional elegance of her voice mixed with the emotional ambience established by the instrumentation makes for an exquisite listen.”
— Dave Simpson, Pure M Zine

Shivers’ voice, harmonizing with another singer, swamped the venue in a sound that was emotional and authentically beautiful.
— The Deli Magazine

Mackenzie Shivers lives up to her last name as she engenders that feeling whenever listening to her music.
— Speak into My Good Eye

[‘Tell Me to Run’] is unexpectedly large—layers of shining instrumentation are piled atop each other; a cinematic quality comes forth with an added string section.
— Magnet Magazine

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