Oregon-based musician has released this unassuming, yet astounding new album, Invitation, which comes out today via Western Vinyl. Having previously performed with the likes of Sharon Van Etten, Efterklang and Laura Gibson it’s no surprise to hear that her new record is laden with stunning dream-pop noise, clearly influenced by her home in the Pacific North West.
With clear nods to the likes of Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush, there is an avant-garde, yet lyrical aspect to the music of Heather Woods Broderick. Piano, resoundingly dominant for the crux of the record, combined with the hauntingly beautiful vocals of Woods, there is something magical about Invitation.
The title track of this third album of hers, Invitation, was taken from a quote by Thomas Moore, which she stumbled upon while sifting through the cathartic journal entries of her own mother, there’s something personal about this record.
First track on the record, A Stilling Wind, evokes the atmosphere for the rest of the album, reflectively touching on nostalgia, incorporating percussion and string to culminate a layered melodic arrangement. I Try, which follows, is somewhat anthemic, but loosing nothing of these baroque dreamy arrangements. With lyrics like, “to not be the motionless body of the honey bee, but to have the stinger in me,” this is poetic and astounding track, which really sets the tone for the rest of Invitation.
Where I Lay, a throbbing track whose piercing synth, immense drums and persistent piano changes the tempo and dynamic of the album, offering a strong centerpiece for the album. The stripped-down Slow Dazzle is more of Heather’s pondering, quieter music, and interlude, A Daydream, is precisely that. White Tail, however, is my personal stand-out track on this album of beauties, altering the tempo of the album overall, whilst detailing Heather’s experiences with depression. Focussing on the tension that can lurk, rather than surface, the brushed drumming evokes an altogether more uplifting vibe.
My Sunny One brings the album back to Heather and her tinkering ivories, haunting, delicate, and somewhat confrontational. These Green Valleys is a welcomed warmth, after the cold, outlining her capabilities to arrange the sounds, piano, percussion and strings, in a way that speaks to the listener, in an oft surrealist style.
Atmospheric, hauntingly personal and introspective, Invitation outlines not only Heather Woods Broderick’s ability to write and record a great album, but also affect and pull her listener in.
Invitation is out on 19th April, on Western Vinyl.