about carli naff

“(She) stopped us dead in our tracks. One of the best vocalists we’ve heard this year.”
— No Depression Journal
“Her voice comes direct from the heavens”
— Modern Mystery Blog


Carli Naff is a singer songwriter from Phoenix, Arizona. At the time she began writing her first EP, Horrible Talker, Carli had been struggling with a vocal injury. A doctor told her that the strain was not from singing, but from poor technique while speaking. Originally an actor, Naff found her true artistic voice when she began to write music for the first time and began singing it as a street performer in New York’s subway tunnels. Amid this discovery, she found that she was also healing her physical voice in the process. Even more importantly, she was learning to speak her inner voice in the aftermath of her experiences with heartbreak, addiction, and loss. The album was born through this healing, and her music expresses the pain one feels when muting themselves.

Her songs have a folk-flair for intimate story telling, and her voice can shift from being vulnerable and fragile to incredibly powerful. Her music has a tendency to evoke emotional responses from her listeners while still being grounded in catchy hooks that make each song memorable, and her alternative folk-rock sound has been likened to Angel Olsen, Mitski, Brandi Carlile and Florence + The Machine.  Musically, Naff says she is inspired by many different artists including Jeff Buckley, Big Thief, and Alabama Shakes.


Though she writes the songs herself, Naff performs live all over NYC with her band, Carli Naff & The Dark. The band formed while she was in the process of recording her EP.  As Naff tells it, she was approached by local guitarist Russell Castiglione one night after almost making him cry at an open mic performance.  He and his long-time band-mate Austin Deyo (drums) enthusiastically became the first members of “The Dark”. They were later joined by Naff's close friends, Alex Lemonier (keys) and Kallan Campbell (bass). You can catch the full band at Rockwood Music Hall (stage 1) on November 1st (9pm) for their free EP release show!

Vocals, Guitar | Carli Naff
Guitar, Vocals | Russell Castiglione
Keyboard, Vocals | Alex Lemonier
Bass | Kallan Campbell
Drums | Austin Deyo


Carli’s music has been featured in the short film “Night’s Melody” (Random Light Prod.) and the web series “Half Honey” (Sparkle Fairy Prod.) for which she wrote the theme song. She and her band can be found playing venues in NYC and Brooklyn. See Upcoming Shows for their next performance. Naff's Debut EP is out Nov 1st, 2018.

Photos by David Hagen Media.