Seeing double with The LYNNeS

By Bradley Turcotte – 

Kitchissippi singer-songwriter Lynne Hanson has teamed up with long time collaborator Lynn Miles to form The LYNNeS, a folk country duo whose debut album Heartbreak Song for the Radio dropped February 2.

Accomplished solo artists on their own, Lynne won the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award in 2010 while Lynn is a Juno recipient. When the pair comes together, they create catchy, melodic songs described as “roots” or “Americana.”

Their first partnership came in 2006, when Lynn sang on Lynne’s debut Things I Miss. A friendship sparked in and out of the studio and Lynne invited Lynn to produce 2014’s River of Sand and 2015’s 7 Deadly Spins. After co-writing three songs on Lynne’s latest album, Uneven Ground, Lynne took notice of their musical philosophies lining up, even though their individual sound differs. Co-writing with an accomplished and talented partner is easy, Lynne says.

“Her structure is very different from mine. She likes bridges and I like more of a swampy groove. It is kind of a neat thing when you mix the two of us together. You don’t get a Lynn Miles tune or you don’t get a Lynne Hanson song, you really do get something that meets in the middle between the two of us.”

Lynne Hanson (left) has teamed up with long time collaborator Lynn Miles (right) to form a folk country duo called The LYNNeS. Photo by Brittany Gawley
Lynne Hanson (left) has teamed up with long time collaborator Lynn Miles (right) to form a folk country duo called The LYNNeS. Photo by Brittany Gawley

When seeking insight for song writing material, Lynne says her musical partner is an avid reader while she herself has flashes of inspiration she calls “light bulb” moments.

“I’ll get an idea for a song and I’ll write it down then I build a song from there,” Lynne divulges. “Certainly sometimes it is things that are in my own life. Sometimes it’s things I am observing in other people, sometimes it’s from a documentary I’m watching and somebody might say something that I just get drawn to. I keep pulling on that thread until the song emerges.”

The lead single off Heartbreak Song for the Radio, “Recipe For Disaster” is well crafted and sorrowful as the song somberly looks back at a doomed relationship.

The duo is gearing up for a tour that will take them to Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK before playing several Ottawa shows this spring, including two shows at the National Arts Centre May 26 and 27. While “Americana” may not be the first genre you would imagine playing big in Europe, Lynne says there is a huge market for their style across the pond.

Lynne’s sound is unique to our region. She lists musicians from the American South as influences, including Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams and Steve Earl.

“I think that they had a lot of influence on me just because they tend to write in a certain style, a certain way, what they do with lyrics,” Lynne says. “It really has impacted how I approach constructing a song.”

A member of the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition, Lynne hopes the coalition will grow Ottawa’s “vibrant” music scene by implementing a more organised foundation.

“We have a really healthy music scene here in Ottawa… All the efforts they are doing are just fantastic. It’s an attempt by people from our industry here in Ottawa to bring in the industry from outside Ottawa and say ‘hey look what’s going on here.’”


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