Clara Engel

Based in Toronto, Canada, Clara Engel is an independent, multi-faceted artist and musician. She has independently recorded and released eleven albums, and has collaborated with musicians and artists from the UK, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Turkey, Iran, and the US. Engel’s music has been played on Italian National Radio, as well as BBC Radio, making it onto Tom Robinson’s show “BBC Introducing” on several occasions. Her music has been described as “folk noir,” “minimalist holy blues from another galaxy,” and “sung poetry.” Her voice and guitar stylings place her singularly on the genre-map, somewhere between avant-garde torch singer and gothic-blues artist. Her influences span genres and media, amongst them are Vasko Popa, Virginia Woolf, Theodore Roethke, Jim Jarmusch, Arvo Pärt, Meredith Monk, Robert Johnson, Gillian Welch, and Jacques Brel.

(Photos: Ilyse Krivel)

Clara Engel’s voice comes to me from that deepest of all places, imaginative space, from which she visually retrieves an inner landscape converted by breath into the rock equivalent of poetry. Rarely has a voice sounded so authoritative, so unapologetic in its disclosures, so sure of its direction in going home into song…I’d say ‘Madagascar’ beats them all, and it’s only a beginning at harnessing poetic inspiration to the resonating dynamic of voice and the lyrical ache of a great individual singer.”

-Jeremy Reed: author, poet, lyricist, and biographer of Scott Walker and Marc Almond

What’s even more striking than this Canadian artist’s voice are her lyrics. On ‘Light Years’ Clara sings, “You’re the rifle and the rose in my bones. Limbs fly like flowers in a storm. In a few light years we’ll turn the coals. In a few light years we’ll come home.” With all the innovation in music today it’s rare to find someone like Engel writing timeless songs that sound at home in the ribcage of rock n roll’s skeleton.”

-Janaka Stucky (Poet, Founder of Black Ocean Press)

Her cavernous voice is unmatched, and her lyrics, transcendent. This is not girl with an acoustic guitar Lillith Fair fare. Clara might actually be an incarnation of the original biblical goddess/demon, Lillith. If Patti Smith and Sinead O’Connor conjured up an angel in a chapel in the basement of the Chelsea Hotel, we might be getting close to what Clara is bringing to town.”

– Brian King, press release for the Cuckoo Cabaret


Jump of Flame (2004)
Clara Engel (2006)
Cousin Mary EP (2006)
Tender (Corps-Morts Records 2008, A Silent Place 2010)
Secret Beasts (2009)
The Bethlehem Tapes (2010)
Madagascar EP (Vox Humana 2011)
The Lovebird’s Throat (2012)
I Keep On Trying (2013)
Ashes & Tangerines (2014)
Looking Glass Fire (2014)
A Little Slander, A Little Lace (2015)
rosepetal jam // home recordings (2015)
We Are Not Here (original soundtrack) (2015)
Fox Got My Tongue – Live at the Tranzac (2015)
Visitors Are Allowed One Kiss (2016)