After living and playing in NYC at venues like Rockwood Music Hall and The Bowery Electric, Nellen decided to turn life upside down and follow her ears to one of the homes of roots music, Nashville, Tennessee.
Her songwriting and vocal style stem from the canon of early listening experiences: church gospel choir, Carter Family tunes at household gatherings, and proudly worn turn-tables spinning classic albums like After the Goldrush or Innervisions. With a love for performance and a background in theatre, her show is a mix of personal, doting and comic tellings.
Drawn to the different and observant in her storytelling and performance, Nellen sings stories of loss, hope, dreaming, wanderlust, outcasts and her own family history. She has been compared to many of her influences such as Judee Sill, Lucinda Williams, Neko Case and Mazzy Star.
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Nellen plays both duo and full band with her Telecaster-toting, partner-in-crime, Jules Belmont. Her band and players add a dreamy and brightly colored hue to her vocal range. Most recently the entirety of the album, Little Stray Heart was licensed for Television programming on Discovery Channel, A&E and MTV, as well as for the soundtrack of the movie My Cricket and Me that features Willie Nelson.
"Little Stray Heart," the title track off her debut album is a lush composition chronicling a 'drifter' on a wandering path. Coping with the loss of dear family and friends over the past years while carving out a life in NYC, Dryden came to write many of the songs in her current show and LP. The album was recorded, engineered and mixed by Josh Hahn at his studio, The Relic Room in Chelsea, Manhattan and self-produced by Dryden & Belmont.