Karen Zanes is a singer, songwriter and guitarist living and working in the Boston/Cambridge area. She is both a solo artist and the vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the neo psychedelic band, The Freeways. She is also a contributing guitarist for the experimental, darkcore shoegaze band, Second Day Venom.
Radio Flyer (7 tracks) is Karen's first solo release (Moon and Stars Records, 2011)..."Utterly entrancing mind-manifesting music right from the get-go from Zanes, a founding member of the Freeways. Unlike many third-wave psychedelia projects, this is composed more of modest snippets than of grandiose, sprawling manifestos, and is all the better for it. You might close your eyes and almost imagine the second coming of Galaxie 500. “Lover Boy” is ethereal and haunting and the title track doesn’t even need the echo to make its ambiently melancholy point." -Francis DiMenno, The Noise (Boston, MA)
"Like a female fronted Galaxie 500, heading on a open top bus to the land of shoegaze, the music of Karen Zanes (The Freeways, Second day Venom) is gentle, fragile and highly listenable, softly strummed guitar and a gorgeous voice augmented by the sympathetic guitar playing of Frank.E.Butkus, whose restrained style suits the tunes to a tee. Over seven songs the mood remains calm and unhurried, with the pop sensibilities of “Lover Boy” really catching the ear, whilst the sweet ache of “Falling Leaf” slows thing down even more, like drops of water in an ancient stone pond. On the title track “Radio Flyer” it all comes together to perfection, the epitome of the sound, whilst a fine mellow cover of “Mystery Train” is the perfect icing on a delicious and very more-ish cake." - Simon Lewis, Terrascope (UK)
"...Ms. Zanes’ sound is most notably influenced by the sedate, psychedelic jangle of the early 80s Los Angeles scene known as the Paisley Underground.
Built on songs that feature a bright, reverb-drenched guitar tone and a ghostly, almost detached vocal style, Zanes’ debut ep, Radio Flyer, is equally indebted to Mazzy Star’s haunted, ethereal pop and the narcotic country of the Cowboy Junkies. And though the lo-fi production sometimes leaves the songs feeling more like demos than fully-realized recordings, it also allows Zanes’ earnest emotions and subtle sorrow to float like a soft halo above the haze, making for an intimate listening experience." - The Obscenester, Los Grillos Collective (San Francisco, CA)