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About Us

A little bit gothic, a little bit neo-30's, and just a little bit weird, they dazzle and delight with every song. Founded by Donkey Island alums Adam Donovan and Carrie Stephens, the band itself continues to grow as more musicians find themselves hooked on the sound.


The music of Cara Van Thorn can best be described as dynamic. With vocals that range from smooth to soaring, a piano that keeps the beat, and a host of instrumental cameos, it’s guaranteed to keep you on your toes. Their sound would be right at home in a raucous speakeasy; a burlesque parlor; a late night jazz club; or a Tim Burton movie, and is reminiscent of such bands as Blondie, Tori Amos, and even Evanescence.

The lyrics are at times surprising and often evoke dark imagery, and each song tells it’s own story; finding power after a break-up, recognizing one’s demons (real or imagined), the end of the world itself. Emotions run deep, with only rare glimpses of hope and happiness. The hauntingly beautiful melodies are supported by the band’s signature harmonies, catchy drum beats, atmospheric trumpet, staccato piano threads, and expressive bass lines.

Like a perfume of nostalgia, Cara Van Thorn creates ear worms that will linger with you long after the songs have ended...

while at the Evergreen State College, before taking a break to jaunt around the country. After landing in Texas, she focused on her acting career, but never gave up on her rock star dreams. Eventually she met Adam when they were both invited to join local alt-rock band, Donkey Island. When that band ended, Cara Van Thorn was born, and now she spends her time writing new songs, as well as culling through her decades-old material for ideas.

Carrie Stephens


Carrie Stephens has been writing songs since she was old enough to form sentences. Her debut as a singer was in first grade, when she played the littlest pig in a musical production of the Three Little Pigs, and it was then that her love for performance was born. Throughout middle school and high school in Portland, Oregon, she joined multiple choirs as a Soprano, Mezzo-, and Alto, and even had a brief stint as the lead singer for a punk band. Carrie forayed into experimental music

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           Adam Donovan 


Adam Donovan is a musician, engineer and producer and studio owner working out of Austin, Texas. Adam is the owner and operator of Insomnia Recording Studios. In addition to his many duties in Cara Van Thorn, Adam plays bass guitar in the award winning electro-metal group Seek Irony and in the Hard Rock band Inch of Dark.  After graduating from The Recording  Conservatory  of  Austin,  Adam  began  working in the music industry as a recording engineer, 

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live sound engineer, guitar tech, drum tech, backline support and lighting designer with industrial bands KMFDM, Die Krupps and CHANT.  

Tyler Olfers/Cesár Reyes


Tyler bangs on keys for the sheer fun of it.  After a stint with Prometheus Tree, he was focusing on solo projects before being inspired to join Cara Van Thorn, where he's able to bring some of his solo projects to life.

Cesar has been playing with Cara Van Thorn since 2019, having only learned to play piano a few years before. Prior to CVT, he played guitar with Magic Top.


Ryan Henderson

Drums/SPDSX/Shaker/Odd Sounds

Ryan is a wild drummer from Vermont that we captured in Austin. He's a lover of wine and capes, and his favorite past-time is hitting things with sticks to make sounds.

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Austin Johanning & Jerome Chwalek

Trumpet & Trombone/Guitar

Austin and Jerome join Cara Van Thorn as an unofficial horn section. Austin plays trumpet around town with various acts, and Jerome fronts the hard rock band Inch of Dark. When not playing trombone, Jerome also plays guitar as needed.

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