“I grew up in a family for whom music was always THE event. it was the occasion, shared language and ultimate reason to come together. It remains today the single most important way we're connected and thing we share. I vividly recall being not much more than 4 or 5 years-old, standing beside my grandfather's upright piano listening to my Aka (beloved aunt Karen) sing, begging her to “play the sad songs". I was obsessed with the sad songs…
In my dad’s family every gathering revolved around the family band. My uncles, my aunt, sometimes their friends, with instruments (guitars mostly), and always at the center, my dad, unassumingly directing the music. That is his natural superpower. Without really meaning to, my dad set the tone, the pace, the mood, and the music always followed. "Martha My Dear", "Classical Gas", "Blackbird", "Norwegian Wood" and "Judy Blue Eyes are the soundtrack- played by him- of my childhood. Throw in the sounds of The Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Frank Zappa, The Beatles, Talking Heads, and Bessie Smith and Albert King and you’d get the idea.
I found my spark when I was 13 and decided I wanted to play guitar. I remember my finger tips screaming, permanently colored green from the copper strings. but mostly I remember the thrill of a chord progression. That when it changed, your heart changed with it. that each step moved emotion and desire and could make you feel like the world was magical, and that you knew it's secret. I played for hours, one or two or three chords over and over again, envisioning myself on a stage sharing my new- found secret with others.
Years ago during a run I told a friend that my secret- if I were to be really honest- was that music was the only thing I could actually imagine doing. That it was the only part of my life that was actually true. I was too young then to employ the kind of action that committing oneself to one's art requires. I've spent years dabbling. Starting then stopping. Trying, then losing my steam in self-doubt. And in all of that time I've learned that the secret of truly being an artist has to do with understanding and appreciating the opportunity itself. That creating, writing, singing, whatever, is only as good as it is generous and genuine. Once I got that, the music has never stopped coming.”
News & Updates
Find Karmen featured in the December issue of Curve Magazine's TOP 9 musicians of 2015! The line-up includes Melissa Ferrick and Michelle Chamuel.
Listen to Karmen's September interview with The Girl Crowd in episode 2!
LISTEN to Karmen's live interview with the OutSpoken boys from KYRS!
Very moved by #NotInMyName. Folks perpetrating violence hate & fear have only themselves to blame. Stop hiding behind a peaceful religion.
All These Lights (Single Edition)
2 songs (Radio Edit, Extended Cut)
Daze of Love (Full-length Album)
Winter (Single Edition) 2014
3 Songs (Album Version, Demo, Remix)
The 10,000 Oceans EP
Good Alien (Full-length album)
"SOMETHING GREAT" WINS THE OMA FOR BEST FOLK SONG!
Visit the OutMusic Awards site here!
Karmen named 1 of the top 9 musicians of 2015 in Curve!
August 13, 2015
Karmen Buttler premieres new single "All These Lights"
"Coming off of the release of her full-length, Buttler has a new single titled “All These Lights”, which is a near-enlightenment type of song, featuring 6 minutes of blissful and building instrumentation, an elegant vocal accompaniment and an overall charming feel. The lyrics are romantic, Buttler’s voice is soothing and the song forms into a story-like tale that unfolds throughout the track in a surreal manner."
Victor Valle in The Bay Bridged
June 2, 2015
"Karmen is one of those artists that connects with her listeners on a very genuine and emotional level"
Loud and Proud Volume 2
Feb 5, 2015
loud & proud featured interview
“ 'Do you as much as you can,' advises singer/songwriter Karmen Buttler. That’s what she’s been doing, which makes it practically impossible to put this queer artist in a specific musical category. You just need to listen to it yourself and decide..."
Oct 20, 2014
"This album was a breath of fresh air and it's uniqueness left me wanting more."
Its difficult to compare the feel and sound of Daze of Love to anything else I've heard...
Loud and Proud, Out and Proud Magazine
Sept 16, 2014
Spirit Music Group
NY-based music rep inks deal with singer/songwriter Karmen Buttler
Read More ->
Aug 28, 2014
"Get this event on your radar"
The Northern California Women’s Music Festival. This year’s festival includes a concert featuring women performers from Northern California...
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May 5, 2014
"Beyond great, healing, magical"
It's an intimate experience, listening to Karmen. She is patient, nurturing, insightful, and most of all, compassionate...
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July 22, 2014
"Shines above the masses of singer-songwriters"
It’s difficult to find an artist who truly masters the modest nature of having a guitar, a mic, and their voice. However, Buttler navigates the crux perfectly...
The Bay Bridged
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