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Amanda Kravat Defies the Odds with Impressive Return and Rave Reviews Following Hiatus; Reviewers Say New EP Points to Kravat’s “Limitless Potential,” as it Evokes Carole King, Rolling Stones and Others
(Published: January 13, 2015)

January 13, 2015

"Kravat can attack an emotional truth and rock it out";  "Besides, where else would you get a song with a lyric like "Calibrate the Universe'""


"A deeply personal and powerful work"


Reviewers Say New EP Points to Kravat's "Limitless Potential," as it Evokes Carole King, Rolling Stones and Others -- "If her work on the EP is any indication of what she has to offer, welcome back" 


"AK resonates, smolders and simmers"



Remarkable reviews continue to build for singer-songwriter Amanda Kravat's return to the music business. With critics comparing her sound to Carole King, Sheryl Crow, The Rolling Stones, Aimee Mann, Chrissie Hynde and other superstar artists, Kravat has made the most of her inspiring ‘second chance' opportunity. Kravat secured a surprising #3 debut on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter EP Chart, and a #29 debut on iTunes Singer-Songwriter Album Chart, upon Viper Records' recent release of her ‘AK' EP.  A bizarre new music video is currently being shot in New York, a Film & TV Licensing agreement is underway, and worldwide distribution is in the works.


Already featured via Performer Magazine, Huffington Post and elsewhere, Kravat's release has earned over-the-top reviews, citing her "limitless potential," and stating, she "can attack an emotional truth and rock it out," and "if her work on the EP is any indication of what she has to offer, welcome back."  New and recent clips follow:


BlogCritics - Four-Star Editor's Pick:
‘Amanda Kravat makes a welcomed return.'
By Jack Goodstein / December 31, 2014
http://blogcritics.org/mu...
ALSO RAN VIA SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER AND ELSEWHERE:
http://www.seattlepi.com/...


After what appeared to be the beginning of a promising career-singing with her band Marry Me Jane, a year filming a show for VH1 that never saw the air, a major label deal and a record that never quite filled its promise-singer/songwriter Amanda Kravat , with all the emotional anxiety involved in giving up on a dream, left the music behind. But, as is often the case, the music isn't always willing to stay behind. So after a hiatus to recover emotionally, mature and raise a family, she's back with a new EP, AK.
As she puts it in an interview with The Huffington Post : "Being a wife and a mother was and is fulfilling and delicious. But it has nothing to do with standing in front of a kick drum and belting it out. Dancers need to dance, and I guess Amanda needs to sing." Motivated by what she calls a series of "debilitating, infuriating panic attacks," she began singing and writing again. And if her work on the EP is any indication of what she has to offer, welcome back.
Of course, a four-track EP may not a flower make, but it may well plant a seed. What the release does show is that with a song like "Not Myself Today," written about the singer's panic attacks-what she calls "the train wreck in my head"-is that Kravat can attack an emotional truth and rock it out. "I Could Tell You I Don't Love You" shows her equally at home with an edgy ballad. Besides, where else would you get a song with a lyric like "calibrate the universe'"
The catchy "Wouldn't Be This" and "Someone Else is Driving" complete the EP.


VENTS MAGAZINE - INTERVIEW FEATURE
http://ventsmagazine.com/...  
By RJ Frometa 12/30/14


Hi Amanda, welcome to VENTS! How have you been'
Ola!! Thanks for talking to me. All is pretty smokin' these days.


Let´s talk about your new EP A.K. - why did it take so long'
This CD took "forever" because, in all honesty, I couldn't pull the trigger. Once I had my kids, I finally understood that I didn't have much to complain about. What I mean is that songwriting and playing in bands and making records used to be my therapy. I would get it all out, let it all hang out, and feel better afterwards. I have a relatively happy and satisfying life these days and didn't need to ‘purge' in public anymore. And, also, I seem to be too obtuse, or missed the day they handed out "work ethic" in Maturity-101, so I didn't know any better. So, this just seems to be how long it took for me and my panic attacks and nervous breakdowns to start making music again. It appears that painters need to paint, chefs need to chop, and Amanda needs to make music.

What's the story behind the title'
It's called AK because, well, they're my initials. Also, because for the first time it is OK with me that this is just me, no "band name" or music from other people's projects, just me.


Can you talk to us more about the recording and writing process'
I write all the time, but don't like to finish things because as soon as I do, I hate them. But I met Jonathan Stuart (Viper Records) and realized I found someone who didn't laugh when I said that I wanted to record on 2" tape. Then he said he knew a guy who knew a guy and suddenly this engineering/production prodigy named Max Coane appears and says "where are the songs'", I had to hand ‘em over. And get out of the way. And we recorded it in a few days! Helps to have outstanding musicians who know how to do it, with a little magic mixed in.


Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics in this album'
Inspiration' Oh, panic attacks, depression, missing someone you love, you know, the usual!

What was like to work with Mark Saunders and how did that relationship developed'
Mark is someone I've worked with over the years. He's a technical genius, a helluva musician and happens to be a friend. He's smart enough to say when he can or can't do something. And he can do anything. Once you look at his resume and hear all those records, you get it. People often SAY they can work in any genre, but it's rare that they can. He's also musical enough to hear if something's missing, and knows how to find ‘a new way in'...

In what way did your previous journey in the music scene with big labels and working with Steven Tyler have helped you grow and shape you as an artist and person you are today'
Working with superstars such as Steven Tyler and Mark Hudson, and also with some of the greatest musicians that I believe exist - has taught me everything. A great song is a great song, don't bother with the art part if it's not there. That's big for me. I'm never going to be Elvis Costello, and I think I sometimes try too hard. My band (Rich Mercurio, et al,) helps me with that. I've got to trust the taste of the people that I have decided to trust. If they say they love a chorus, and don't think it needs anything, I need to learn to stop trying to fix it. On the other side of the same coin, I recently started working with Billy Seidman, on some basic songwriting. Turns out I never learned to re-write. A skill I'm working on. Sometimes the baby can be rescued from the bathwater. What an atrocious saying!

Will you guys hit the road next year' Hoping to get out there and play asap!!

What else is happening next in Amanda Kravat´s world'
Amanda is working on more more and more music. And videos! This has been a dream, from writing, recording, working on the album artwork, on up. Even the mastering process was smooth. I'm praying I get to continue to do this. Xxxa


AbsolutePunk  by Gregory Robson 11/26/14 (excerpts):

Everyone loves an overcomer, an artist who fights tooth and nail for what they believe. New York City-based singer-songwriter Amanda Kravat is such an artist. Her four song EP AK is a DIY effort that vacillates between late 90s alt-rock (think Alanis Morrisette) and plaintive piano balladry (think Carole King). Written as a result to a series of panic attacks she was suffering, AK is a deeply personal and powerful work that charms and delights. ...the placid piano ballad "I Could Tell You I Don't Love You" is heartfelt and tender and proves Kravat's limitless potential. Penultimate effort "Wouldn't Be This" has a definitive Sheryl Crow vibe and meanders along through a mid-tempo melancholy that has a pronounced sense of gravity.

The EP closes with "Somebody Else is Driving," a big-hearted slice of alt folk-rock with a towering chorus and the most promise of any of AK's songs. It is here and on "Not Myself Today" that AK resonates, smolders and simmers. Whether AK launches Kravat out of the ever-crowded Manhattan singer-songwriter scene remains to be seen. For now, it's a welcome tonic to the onset of winter.



Michael Doherty's Music Blog - 11/26/14
http://michaelsmusiclog.b...
You might know Amanda Kravat as the lead singer of Marry Me Jane from the mid-1990s, or from her solo work. Her new EP, AK, her first release in a dozen years, is a collection of four strong, original tracks that have a very personal feel.
The first track, "Not Myself Today," is a rock song in which she opens herself up and in doing so opens us up as well. I mean, how often do we all feel like saying, "I'm all right, but not okay," as she does in this song' What I like is that the word "today" is included in the line "I'm just not myself today," implying that the trouble is temporary, that she'll get through it. That we can all get through it. Music has a healing property, and this tune is like reaching a hand out to yourself. Plus, it's a good rock tune.
My favorite track on this EP, however, is "I Could Tell You I Don't Love You." It's a sweeter, sadder, more intimate-sounding song. The first line is sung a cappella, like it's just her and us. This track is mainly driven by her vocals and piano. "I could say that you don't inspire me/But that's not exactly true/Everything about me/Is a version of you." There is a very naked quality to this song, particularly in her vocal approach, that is quite moving.
"Wouldn't Be This" has a somewhat brighter pop flavor, and in this one she sings "I got nothing left to bitch about" and "It looks like this is my town... at last." "Wouldn't Be This" was written by Amanda Kravat and Glenn Rosenstein.
The EP's final track, "Somebody Else Is Driving," seems to express an optimism, while also being grounded in a reality, and the sound of this song reflects that, with some positive energy to the vocals in the chorus, but also a steady base. "I'm doing the best I can with what I've got," she sings. It sounds like she's coming to terms with not being completely in control; after all, "Somebody else is driving." My favorite lines from this song are "I got a couple of boyfriends/But I'm not in any danger of knowing what I need." Amanda Kravat co-wrote this song with Richie Supa.


Other Reviewers have praised, "If there's any justice, that would be wider stardom for Kravat, whose sense of rigorous wit amidst impossibly gorgeous hooks (not to mention that shock of hair) recalls Aimee Mann. But there's some of Chrissie Hynde's could-give-a-shit toughness, too. Credit for this layered approach probably goes to life choices, which saw her putting aside the music business to raise a family." See additional clips below.

The EP release marks Kravat's return to the music business after a multi-year hiatus. This is a rare ‘second chance' music industry story - an established artist who took a trip down the ‘major label/pursuit of the big hit' rabbit hole, and has thankfully come out the other side.  In interviews, below, Amanda chronicles the often rocky road from being signed to Sony in her twenties to having VH-1 film her for an entire year (for a TV show that ended up not airing, really it was what would become ‘Reality TV' as we know it today,) to touring with Aerosmith, to having Steven Tyler sing on one of her albums, to maintaining her sobriety on the road to finally opting out of the industry, having kids and gaining a much-needed sense of grounding and family...she's started fresh...one of the lucky ones...


PERFORMER MAGAZINE
MEDLEYVILLE.US Interview and Song Premiere. By Chris Junior 10/14/14
FEELING MORE LIKE HERSELF
Amanda Kravat resumes music career with new EP

(From Performer Magazine, originally printed via Medleyville.US)
Interview: http://performermag.com/a...
Interview: http://www.medleyville.us...


SomethingElseReviews -
Sneak Peek Song Premiere 
By Nick DeRiso 10/13/14
http://somethingelserevie...

Amanda Kravat starts in a moment of every-dayness, then as "Wouldn't Be This" catches a contemplative groove, she begins crafting a billowing dream of what could be - for herself, and for this song.
"Wouldn't Be This," which advances a new four-song EP called AK from Viper Records , builds with an enveloping power, adding layers of scrumptious pop beauty even as Kravat continues to sharpen the lyric. As pretty as the track can no doubt be, it's not soft. Instead, she's facing things as they are, even as she determinedly begins to clear a path for what will most assuredly come next.
If there's any justice, that would be wider stardom for Kravat, whose sense of rigorous wit amidst impossibly gorgeous hooks (not to mention that shock of hair) recalls Aimee Mann. But there's some of Chrissie Hynde's could-give-a-shit toughness, too. Credit for this layered approach probably goes to life choices, which saw her putting aside the music business to raise a family. This is a song written by someone who's seen life outside of the corner coffee-house bandstand, and it's all the better for those experiences - both good and bad.
AK, mixed by Mark Saunders of David Bowie and the Cure fame, heralds Amanda Kravat's next chapter. Due for digital release on October 14, 2014 with national distribution to follow via INgrooves/Fontana in early 2015, the EP is rounded out by "Not Myself Today," "I Could Tell You I Don't Love You" and "Somebody Else is Driving."



HUFFINGTON POST
Interview and Song Premiere
10/6/14, by Michael Ragogna -- huff.to/1s3noMn

http://www.huffingtonpost...



HEAR SEE DAILY - Song Review - http://hearseedaily.tumbl...


"I'm lucky I get a second chance," Kravat comments. ‘AK' marks her return to making music after a multi-year hiatus during which she raised two kids, built a more grounded life, and re-discovered her creative ‘voice' -- "I've always thought of myself as an alright enough songwriter...but so much noise always got in the way, either inside my own head or just nearby. Finally I feel like I can get through that haze. I still haven't bought my mother the house I promised her years ago - that would be nice. But if I can make good music for people who want to hear it, and have that music support me and my family, I'd be a happy camper. Success for the sake of fame is not a goal (observing my celebrity friends has taught me that). I've always struggled to find real balance in my tightrope life...feels like I'm closer than I've ever been."

Artist-songwriter Amanda Kravat is a rare blend of insightful, emotional, deep and exuberant, all dolled up to match her bright orange hair. Evoking the lyrical vigor of Aimee Mann, the Pop ear of Sara Bareilles, the confidence of Chrissie Hynde, and the over-the-top style of Steven Tyler, Kravat recorded her Viper Records debut EP ‘AK' live-to-2" tape at the famed Magic Shop in NYC. 

Kravat's witty and melodic four-song collection suggests glimmers of her heroes Cheap Trick, Neil Finn and more, and was mixed by Mark Saunders (David Bowie, Shiny Toy Guns, The Cure, Neneh Cherry). Kravat's frenetic opening track ‘Not Myself Today' and its wailing crescendo suggest a panic attack/collapse down the rabbit hole; the gorgeous ballad ‘I Could Tell You I Don't Love You' is the EP's centerpiece and easily one of the most elegant and memorable love songs to emerge in some time; ‘Wouldn't Be This' evokes Semisonic on a Sunday morning, and ‘Somebody Else is Driving' sets "faith in a Higher Power" to an uptempo beat. Viper set its digital release for October 28th, with broader national distribution via INgrooves/Fontana (UMG) set for early 2015.


More about Amanda Kravat:
NY-based songwriter/performer/rocker-chick Kravat is a jack-of-many-trades who has toured with Aerosmith (opening for the rock legends with her former band Marry Me Jane,) and as she's said, "had a dash of the spotlight in her twenties". Things happened fast: VH-1 spent a year filming Amanda and her (then) band Marry Me Jane, for a show that never aired, ‘Making the Band'. Little did Kravat know at the time that it was an early version of the ‘Reality TV' phenomenon that would saturate American culture in years to follow; Tommy Hilfiger custom-made a line of stage clothing for her; she was cast in movies; Billboard featured her on its cover. It was heady stuff, buzzworthy for sure, even as the band chased the elusive ‘hit single'. Yet there was a heartbreaking element to it as well...the TV show you work on for a year doesn't air; the album everyone says is radio-friendly doesn't find its breakthrough song.  Amanda needed to be resilient.


With a cinematic songwriting style, it's not surprising that numerous tracks by Kravat have been featured in motion pictures (including in films starring Ben Stiller, Jill Clayburgh, Sarah Jessica Parker and more).  In fact, one of her ballads, the lush, dramatic "Green (You Can't Touch Me)," caused a bit of an internet stir after it appeared in the closing titles of an independent film, years ago. Fans were so impacted by the song (listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/wa... ,) that they rented the film (on VHS at the time,) and recorded the track, with overlapping movie dialogue, and posted/shared it online, using the then-cutting-edge service, Limewire. Once on the web, the song took on a life of its own, and ultimately lead Amanda to release it officially, as part of an indie compilation project.


Kravat released two albums on Sony/550 with her band MMJ, before going solo with her indie debut Wrong All Day (which ranked #1 on five different Amazon charts upon its release.) Critics have said she "recalls the likes of Sheryl Crow, Aimee Mann and Tori Amos," and over the years she has been featured on the cover of Billboard Magazine, on CNN, in The Village Voice, NY Daily News and scores of other outlets. Recently signed to Indie Rock, Pop and Hip Hop label Viper Records (their first female act,) Kravat looks forward to making a renewed impact with her songwriting in the months and years ahead.  

Tour dates will be announced soon.

Visit: http://www.Amandakravat.c...
Visit: http://www.viperrecords.c...
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/...
Twitter: @amanda_kravat https://twitter.com/Amand...

Viper Records is distributed via INgrooves/Fontana (UMG).   

More Information: http://https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amanda-Kravat/54572840317


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