Kristi Martel’s former life partner, Amy Caroline “Littlebird” Nuara, died by suicide in August 2003. Kristi and Littlebird had just made plans to move from California back to Rhode Island, because Littlebird liked Providence from her years at RISD, and Kristi missed her homestate. They had also just finalized plans for Kristi’s next CD project, “The Mule.” Littlebird’s death changed just about every aspect of Kristi’s life, but she managed to follow through with those two plans, moving to RI in November 2003 and recording “The Mule” in January 2004. Although she could not write new songs for 11 months, Kristi began a list of song ideas that she knew would later become "Ravengirl."
The first song Kristi wrote after Littlebird’s death came from words Littlebird sent to Kristi through a medium. The next answered the hundreds of fan letters Kristi received, fearful that Kristi too would take her own life. The next was a response to Littlebird’s family and friends who had blamed Kristi for Littlebird’s death. The next became the title track, a song expressing the miracle of healing trauma through feeling the pain. Kristi kept noticing that she still felt joy every day, in spite of the huge and traumatic loss and grief she also experienced. She noted it, she counted the blessing, and she came up with the goofy joke version that she must be some kind of superhero to still be able to experience joy. Her superhero name is Ravengirl. And the album, with its 7 tracks written before Littlebird’s death and its 8 tracks written after, will break open your heart to feel your pain only to remind you that that is where you’ll heal and find your joy.
About Kristi Martel...
When Kristi Martel was three she sang to salt and pepper shakers atop tables in restaurants. Her family encouraged her to do this. Everyone in the restaurant would clap. So she kept singing and making up harmonies and began piano lessons with an intense desire to be a famous musician.
Today, Kristi Martel's sweet presence, stunning vocals, intricate piano rhythms, and fearless songwriting endear audiences nationwide.
"...love emanates from every note." - Vienna Teng
"Incomparable!" - Utah Phillips
"Damn!" - Cesca Waterfield
Featured on MTV/LOGO, NPR, WERS, and in Curve Magazine, and voted Rhode Island's Best Female Alt-Rock Vocalist, award-winning songwriter and avant-soul piano diva Kristi Martel grew up in New England and earned an ASCAP grant and two music degrees (Bard and Mills College) before beginning her touring and recording career. Her piano playing combines her love of blues dissonance and syncopation with her classical training. Her powerful voice is at once sweet and bitter, able to leap and soar, whisper and rattle, expressive of any emotion she chooses and fluid throughout her multi-octave range. She is visionary in her lyrics and composition, writing her prayers for solace and quirky relationship narratives in the same breath.
Through Sealed Lip Records, Kristi has released seven CDs. “Ravengirl” is Kristi’s goofy joke superhero name for herself, her recognition of the crazy blessing it is that she felt joy everyday, amidst the profound grief, after her former life partner’s suicide in 2003. The album is full up with that joy, with the healing and transformation Kristi has undergone to be singing still so powerfully today.
The Sacred Whore Demos (LP 2009)
Ravengirl (LP 2006)
Quaint & Curious Ravendemos (LP 2005)
The Mule (LP 2004)
bound (single 2003)
brave enough (LP 2001)
give me a little... (EP 2000)