The striking talents of rising Portland talent Kendall Lujan will be impossible to miss in the coming year. Her indie-operatic voice stratifies songs through octave runs, making moody, melodic folk rock. Early 2023 we’ll have her first EP. To rise out of Portland’s flush music scene is no easy feat, Lujan has been making herself heard by singing harmonies in AC Sapphire’s backing band The Shoulderpads and now with a new duo with AC called “Caliko”.
In her latest project Lujan steps out in front of the band. Many folks introduction to Lujan will be “Another”, a song of lingering desire that floats Lujan’s vocal range over a small symphony of archtop guitar and strings. Her strengthy voice –which ranges from mountain holler to bird-like warble, seems to hang in the air. She sings a song about retracing steps to the point where love was lost, and resolves to regain that trail in another life.
Lujan opens the moody “Dot My I’s” solo, fingerpicking guitar, giving us a chance to hear her commanding voice. Layered vocals and gentle driven drums join Lujan in a pocket groove. Enjoy her lyricism as she asks “how can these memories be so sweet, and other times only sting?”Lujan comes to Portland from the upper-left-most corner of rural Washington. She’s had bands before but the time of the pandemic created an opportunity for Lujan to do things differently. She moved to Portland, and saw the isolation of relocation and lockdown as a chance to really dig into her own songs. The trained piano player picked up a guitar.
Lujan’s song’s concentrate on growing up, and figuring it out, and she turns experience into a story to make the point. The natural singer and songwriter put together a band with Micah Hummel (drums) Sam Arnold (bass) and recorded at the Map Room in Portland with Dominik Schmidt producing.
Lujan is peaking on “Forget Me Knots” , a crossover capable song incorporating elements of country, indie, folk, and pop. Crooning clearly over vibrato, reverb, pedal steel asking, romantically, “how long will it take for you to be sitting next to me?” with a release date of February 10th.
Lujan’s first self titled, EP Kendall Lujan is out march 2023.
~ Sean Jewell
American Standard Time Records