Heather Woods Broderick - Invitation Vinyl LP
Heather Woods Broderick Invitation Vinyl LP
Invitation, Heather Woods Broderick's long awaited third album, was conceived on the Oregon coast, an outlier among American landscapes, where vast stretches of empty beach are decorated with silver driftwood and towering pines. It is here among the dunes, tide pools and colossal rock formations that Heather spent her childhood summer day-trips. And it is here that she returned as an adult to construct her newest LP, an album of dreamy baroque-pop that swells and whispers with grand string arrangements, intimately descriptive lyrics, and impassioned songcraft built around earnest piano melodies, painting a lifelike picture of the locale in which it was written.
A sense of humble reunification unfurls in the album's gently blooming prologue, "A Stilling Wind." Tape-battered piano washes from left ear to right ear beneath a fluttering guitar washes from left ear to right ear beneath a fluttering guitar, from which Heather's photographic lyrics emerge: "Further north, than where I spent the year, at the edge of the cape, feet swingin' in the atmosphere, a stilling wind, thick with fear, picked up all the tiny pieces to redeposit them here." As the bewilderment with her surroundings subsides, the countless little tragedies Heather has collected begin to emerge in the stillness. "I try, to not bridle at the darkness shivering through me," she sings on the album's second track, "to wake and keep the morning quiet before the world starts seeping in." This sentiment, that peace and dread constantly vie for space in the mind, echoes throughout Invitation.
Case-in-point is "Where I Lay," a powerful anthem whose immense drums and persistent piano are sincerely pained, delivering a strong centerpiece for the album. The drum-less sonata that follows, appropriately named "Slow Dazzle", provides a moment of respite harkening back to the quieter tendencies of Heather's earlier work. In moments like this, and its sibling interlude "A Daydream," one can almost see the lights dim as stagehands rearrange set pieces in the darkness.
But as the tempo lifts once again, Heather continues addressing the tension lurking just beneath the surface. "White Tail" poetically details Heather's experiences with depression over a patter of brushed drumming. "Quicksand" handles the subject of just how volatile alcoholism can be, and how easily it can destroy relationships, while "My Sunny One" showcases one of the most subtly catchy vocal melodies on the album, with lyrics that recount a relationship that failed despite multiple attempts at resurrection.
All throughout Invitation, floral tendrils of sound design and dynamic strings decorate the edges of each track, propelling the album beyond mere singer-songwriter fare into something altogether more grand and immersive in scope. And somehow still, the album maintains a humble quality throughout. It's not about the epic and beautiful physical features of the Pacific northwest seaside that first stirred Heather Woods Broderick as a child. It's about how the stillness of such settings can unearth the disquiet often buried by the infinite distractions of a life without pause.
Heather Woods Broderick Invitation Track Listing:
1. A Stilling Wind
2. I Try
4. Where I Lay
5. Slow Dazzle
6. A Daydream
7. White Tail
9. My Sunny One
10. These Green Valleys
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