Music Reviews
Kendall Lujan

Kendall Lujan

Forget Me Knots

American Standard Time

There has always been a romanticism about Portland, the city where coffee and craft brew fuels creativity. It’s the moody city parodied lovingly by Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen in Portlandia. We laughed, but secretly wanted to move there and make fun of ourselves for doing so.

Portland still has that something, and emerging indie-folk artist Kendall Lujan chose it wisely, to relocate from her home in Bellingham, Washington, and record. Forget Me Knots, her first self-titled EP, was recorded at The Map Room with producer Dominik Schmidt and a sparse but talented band.

This is a really listenable EP. I spent an hour or so trying to find a voice to compare, with no such luck. She’s got a theatrical, operatic quality with a range that pushes limits but doesn’t overwhelm the songs. It’s a progressive folk sound with enough punch to stand out in a very crowded field, whether it’s Portland or Nashville.

The title track was released as a single in February, but my favorites are the opening track, “Getting Old” as well as “Dot My I’s.” There’s a maturity in her voice and lyrics that has to come from being an old soul. Themes of growing up, figuring things out, and longing for what might have been are not new, but her take on them is.

In “Dot My I’s,” we hear, “how can these memories be so sweet and other times only sting?” This is a question rephrased so often in songs and poetry, but it doesn’t feel stale when Lujan brings it to the table.

With only four tracks to enjoy on this record, I dug a little into her past efforts to get a better take on her talent. Her work with A.C. Sapphire is impressive, and they were featured on the WDVX Blue Plate Special in December 2022. I’d like to see Kendall return to this iconic show as a solo guest in the near future.

I recommend giving this EP a listen. It won’t take much time, and like me, you’ll look forward to her next release.

Kendall Lujan


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