Toronto Folk-Rocker Kari Lyn Explores the Duality of Comfort and Grief on “Anyways”

The grief from losing a loved one can often feel unbearable, but those small moments where we still sense that person’s presence in our lives can offer great comfort. Toronto-based folk-rock songstress Kari Lyn captures this duality of melancholy and comfort in her reflective new single “Anyways.”

With countrified guitar, soothing harmonies, and her straightforward vocal delivery, “Anyways” deals with the unexpected death of Kari Lyn’s father in 2017 when she was living in Australia, halfway around the world from her native PEI.

“Taking that 30-hour flight home was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through,” she says, “but when I returned home, the biggest thing anyone said was how proud my father was about my traveling and the fact that I was following my dreams.”

One of her favorite memories is of dancing with her father to “It’s Your Love” by Tim McGraw. “He would pick me up and spin me around in the living room, which sparked the beginning of my love of music,” she recalls. “You can hear the inspirations from that song in ‘Anyways.’”

The radio turns to our favourite song
And I’ll find a dime just to lead me along
I know you’re right there with me
I hear your voice within me
I feel the love reach from the tune
In my heart we spin around the room
Like the way we used to do

“Dimes, to some, represent that someone is watching out for you above and that you are on the right path,” Kari Lyn explains. “That is where the line in the bridge, ‘I’ll find a dime just to lead me along,’ comes from. I’ve found dimes in the most random places, when I’m going through the toughest times and it always gives me comfort.”

Kari Lyn has spent her whole life surrounded by music and storytelling. Growing up in North Rustico, PEI, listening to the “Saturday Night Hoedown” radio station, and stories told by her “PEI-famous” grandfather, Tommy Gallant, she was constantly inspired to share her truth through her lyrics. At 19 years old, she left home for a trip to Thailand, resulting in almost five years of travel, getting out of her comfort zone, and experiencing everything from scuba diving and climbing active volcanoes, to learning new languages and cultural traditions.

Inspired by these travels, she returned to PEI and wrote and released her debut album Hit The Ground, which was nominated for Rock Album of the Year at the 2020 Music PEI awards. Currently, this Cottage-Core Rockstar has upcoming releases from her newest EP, Nightmarin’, which explores themes of duality.