Laura Nyro was a songwriter’s songwriter, a prodigiously talented teenager from Connecticut, but inextricably linked to New York City. Between 1967 and 1971, she released five records of soul-meets-gospel-meets-show tunes-meets-rock ’n’ roll, influencing everyone from Elton John to Carole King to Joni Mitchell. I’m not sure I got Nyro as a kid, when her music would float through the walls of my bedroom from a record player elsewhere in our house in Wales. There’d be the odd flash of something. The climax of “Tom Cat Goodby”—where the shuffling pop of the first half segues into the terse, tense repetitive line: I’m going to the country, gonna kill my lover man, for instance. Her compositions and musical decisions felt like challenges, obstacles to This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-six Buy Now Related Stories Music Issue 43 Brendan Yates The Turnstile frontman on hardcore's sweet side. Music Issue 43 Cat Power Musician Chan Marshall opens the door to a different dimension. Music Issue 42 Dev Hynes The boundless potential of being a master of none. Music Issue 41 Jon Batiste The band leader on his genre-busting year. Music Issue 36 Roderick Cox In Berlin, Stephanie d’Arc Taylor meets the man who makes music move—orchestra conductor Roderick Cox. Music Issue 36 Kali Malone Meet the musician reimagining organ music.