Speaking about the new track, Heather said “‘Where I Lay’ is really a poem about the impermanence of all things. So many of our questions will remain unanswered but if we slow down and appreciate things as they are it can provide a simplicity and an ease that inspires wonder amidst the chaos.”
The title of the third album by Heather Woods Broderick, ‘Invitation’, takes its name from a quote by Thomas Moore which she stumbled upon while sifting through the cathartic journal entries of her own mother:
“To keep the unfolding self alive,
you have to open yourself to change every step of the way. Of course there are times
when it is appropriate to step back, settle down, and maybe not move for a while.
But to be a person means to be faced every minute
with the decision to live OR die; To accept the invitations for yet more vitality or to
decline them out of fear or lethargy.”
‘Invitation’ 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.
In the years between her early youth and the creation of ‘Invitation’, Heather has played in Efterklang, Horse Feathers, the live bands of Laura Gibson, Lisa Hannigan, and Damien Jurado, and has also been a longtime collaborator and bandmate to Sharon Van Etten. But while this list may seem enviable for an aspiring young musician, any experienced player will know that the life of a touring musician comes with its own sacrifices. Lasting relationships and financial certainty can be tenuous, as can mental stability itself. Feeling this firsthand, Heather traded her usual launchpad of Brooklyn for the sleepy town of Pacific City where she would quietly take a job cleaning houses for a cast of local eccentrics, sitting down at the piano in the off-hours to unpack the personal tragedies and triumphs of the intervening decades since her first trips there.
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.
‘Invitation’ track list:
1. A Stilling Wind
2. I Try
4. Where I Lay (Youtube) (Soundcloud)
5. Slow Dazzle
6. A Daydream
7. White Tail
9. My Sunny One
10. These Green Valleys