Kyp Harness

Kyp Harness –

singer/songwriter, novelist/literary writer, cartoonist, writer of non-fiction

Kyp portrait (photograph by Ava Harness)

Wherever the name of Kyp Harness appears, the term “Songwriter’s-songwriter” soon follows. While often used ambiguously, in Kyp’s case it’s very accurate: his most fervent fans are other songwriters from both the folk and alternative music circles. Daniel Lanois, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Ron Sexsmith, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Wiseman and Bob Snider have all tipped their hats to Kyp at every opportunity.

Focusing on the songwriting aspect of the creative process has produced from Kyp more than a decade of recordings, each with critical acclaim and recognition from the sort of folks who pay attention to such stuff. From local reviewers to national campus radio to international publications, Kyp has been receiving raves from those who seek out good music, while still flying under the radar of the mainstream star-making mechanisms of this industry.

Versatility in his writing allows Kyp to pull off the impressive feat of being a swaggering punk at one moment, and a poignant folk balladeer the next. A natural storyteller, the lyrics are rich in detail, emotional and filled with poetic metaphors. Sometimes stripped down into a songwriter and sometimes backed with a band the delivery is always slightly off-centre but always deeply personal. Kyp is a performer that can project his personality from the stage, winning over audiences with sheer energy and by refusing to compromise the spirit of the song in any circumstance.

Kyp Harness has released 19 independent albums of his songs, has had his songs covered by Ron Sexsmith and Mary Margaret O’Hara, produced by Steve Earle, been praised by Daniel Lanois, has opened for Elvis Costello and has performed at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Calgary Folk Festival, Mariposa Folk Festival, and Winterfolk.


Quotes/reviews about Kyp Harness’ songs:

“A great writer.”
Daniel Lanois

“One of the finest songwriters on the planet.”
Ron Sexsmith

“Kyp Harness has amassed a songbook that should rightfully be regarded as a national treasure. ..Discover the brilliance that is Harness’ way with a song. Songwriting Genius.”
Exclaim Magazine

“Kyp Harness is one of the finest songwriters this city – if not this country – has seen. (Kyp Harness has assembled) one of this country’s best songbooks.”
Eye Magazine

“I won’t mince words: Right now, Kyp Harness is the most vital, essential Canadian singer-songwriter out there.”
Calgary Straight

“No-one who professes to care about songwriting in this country or any other can afford to ignore him any longer.”
ID Magazine

“One of the finest songwriters this country has produced.”
Moncton Times Transcript


Kyp Harness’ music:


Amazon Author Page


Kyp Harness’ fiction novel “The Abandoned” published by Nightwood Editions, October 2018


Kyp Harness’ fiction novel “Wigford Rememberies” published by Nightwood Editions, May 2016

Winner of “The ReLit Awards” for a Novel


Link to an interview about the book:



Kyp Harness’ comic strip “Mortimer the Slug”:





Kyp Harness’ McFarland-published books “The Art of Laurel and Hardy” and “The Art of Charlie Chaplin”:



Poem by Kyp Harness


We realize finally

that it is all beyond us 

like starlight

But how beautiful

is starlight
Copyright © 2023 by Kyp Harness