A few years ago, in an attempt to escape the heaviness of loss, and the pressure of confinement, Brianna left home in Minnesota and moved to Nantucket. But in an effort to outrun suffering, she soon found herself 30 miles out to sea, alone with her ghosts.
Brianna spent a year living in both the fantasy of escape and the recognition of the things she carries with her, and Dreamlife, her second studio album was born out of this melancholic longing.
Evoking the instrumentation and mournful harmonies of Americana pioneers Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss, as well as the classic Country vibes of Nashville in an earlier time, her songs are both autobiographical and fantasy, documents of facing phantoms, and fleeing them.
Kočka is joined by her band, consisting of Adam Wozniak on bass, Mike Gunvalson on drums, Zack Warpinksi on pedal steel and Jimmy Barnett on second guitar and harmonies. When she is not on the road touring, she can be found in the studio tracking new songs.
Brianna Kocka is a prolific songwriter who has been a part of a handful of projects throughout Minnesota. While each project has had it’s own distinct sound, Kocka is best known for her honesty through songwriting—she believes that music is a form of give and take, that lyrics and melodies are an important part of shared life, and that we use these creative spaces to engage in our humanness together.
Brianna grew up in a suburb of the Twin Cities, teaching herself to play guitar at age twelve, and subsequently started to write songs soon thereafter. She released her first album, “Write by Night,” in 2010 under her own name. This album was a collection of songs related to the end of an important relationship in her life, and the joys of living in the Maritimes of Canada, where she lived from 2007 - 2011.
In the spring of 2011 Kocka moved back to Minneapolis and created her alter-ego, CAETANI, and released an EP of five indie-rock songs (“The Black EP”) to acclaim in the local music scene. The five song EP was an introspective look at five specific relationships in her life, each song representing a different person, including herself.
In the winter of 2012 she and a group of friends created the Psychedelic/Trip Hop group Sun Gods to Gamma Rays, and over three years released an EP (“The Water, The Wave”) and one full length album (“A Ghost to Find”), while playing extensively throughout the Twin Cities and Midwest. Each of these albums are filled with lyrics about Brianna’s divorce from organized religion, as well as a newfound look at feminism and sensuality.
Needing a break from city life, Brianna moved to an island off the east coast to work and live for ten months. While there she began playing guitar again, and out poured an album's worth of Folk/Americana songs related to the hardships of life, the realities of marriage, and living in isolation. Kocka again lives in the Twin Cities and released her second studio album, Dreamlife, on May 1, 2018.
Brianna primarily plays as a duo with her musical partner Jimmy Barnett. She also has an ensemble of musicians for full band shows consisting of Adam Wozniak (bass), Mike Gunvalson (drums), and Zack Warpinski (Pedal Steel Guitar).