Maren Coleman: 'One Bird Flying Low' Born and raised in Detroit, Mich., Maren Coleman grew up in a city that can be tough on even the most hardened of spirits. Now, she feels good thinking of the musical talent Detroit churns out, from Motown to The White Stripes. Accompanied by her acoustic guitar, Coleman's soulful vocals shine on her album Pretty Mess.
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Maren Coleman: 'One Bird Flying Low'

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Maren Coleman: 'One Bird Flying Low'

Maren Coleman: 'One Bird Flying Low'

Maren Coleman: 'One Bird Flying Low'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6514984/6515160" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Singer-songwriter Maren Coleman Lisa Pierantoni and Scott Meier hide caption

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Lisa Pierantoni and Scott Meier

Singer-songwriter Maren Coleman

Lisa Pierantoni and Scott Meier

Maren Coleman hide caption

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Maren Coleman

The cover to Coleman's album 'Pretty Mess' Lisa Pierantoni and Scott Meier hide caption

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Lisa Pierantoni and Scott Meier

The cover to Coleman's album 'Pretty Mess'

Lisa Pierantoni and Scott Meier

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Born and raised in Detroit, Mich., Maren Coleman grew up in a city that can be tough on even the most hardened of spirits. Now, when Coleman looks on the crumbling automotive industry and shakey political climate, she feels better thinking of the musical talent Detroit still churns out, from Motown to The White Stripes. Accompanied by her acoustic guitar, Coleman's soulful vocals shine on her album Pretty Mess.

As a child, Coleman wrote and recorded her own songs on a portable cassette player. After high school, she realized her connection with songwriters such as Patty Griffin, Dar Williams, Ryan Adams and Gillian Welch. Postponing college, she delved into the Detroit music scene, going to shows and hanging downtown. Too shy to start out as a solo artist, Coleman got her start singing back-up vocals for several bands, including the hip-hop trio Dubphonics. She worked as a bartender to pay the bills and managed to save enough money for an acoustic guitar. After spending the next few years in a cramped apartment, plucking at her guitar and trying to make the "melodies in her heart a reality," Coleman wrote the songs for her debut album.

Written and produced in her home, Pretty Mess reads like a "lyrical diary," Coleman says. "One Bird Flying Low" is one of the first songs she wrote and shows her emotional and intimate sound.