Olenka (Alexandra Krakus) started her life in an environment rich in tenderness and turmoil, conditions which left their indelible mark on her character and eventually her music. Her earliest memories of Poland, the Communist Poland of the early 80s, consist of experiences typical to most children – swings and sandboxes and teddy bear confidantes – but inflected by the melancholy instability of the time, a spirit revealed in the gypsy folksongs she inherited from her grandparents and parents. It is the images within these early songs to which she often returns in her own music: apparitions isolated in poverty, loneliness, heartache, disconnected from a society that is nevertheless converging on them.
Olenka is now based in London, Ontario where she is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in English literature; it is this lifelong commitment to literature, music and the arts and humanities in general that has contributed to her lyrical depth.
Along with the Autumn Lovers, her eclectic ever-changing backup band, she creates cascading harmonies and string arrangements. With CBC Radio One and Two behind them and university stations across the country falling in love, track after track, with Olenka and the Autumn Lovers there’s, no doubt you’ll be humming along with their contagious melodies before long.
Olenka and the Autumn lovers have played all across Canada, some of the United States and can most often be found playing around their current stomping ground of South-Western Ontario.
The Autumns Lovers currently include:
Kevin Brazier -Upright Bass
Shawn Clark -Saxophone
Sara Froese -Violin
Paterson Hodgson -Cello
Andrew James -Accordion
Pete Lebel -Glockenspiel
Aaron Simmons -Accordion