Heather Woods Broderick


Serenely floating, Glider smoothly rides on the currents of still, ambient air. The utterly dreamy music of Heather Woods Broderick arrives and opens a mystical, smoky door scented with the perfume of lilac and the calming influence of lavender. As soon as the light, sunny notes of the guitar and the honey-coated, echoing bass notes of ‘Up in the Pines’ start to appear, the listener is dragged under a tidal current, never to surface. A dull beat throbs, far away from everything. Her music is a perfect illusion, and her voice perfectly complements the perfumed atmosphere.

Tall, shapely trees stand in the sunshine. Pink roses that lie on either side form a sweet kind of symmetry, and the guitar’s a stone statue that never falls into decay. Her songwriting is a special kind of poetry that leaves an afterglow similar to the long-lasting romance of a summer’s day. You never want the song to end. While the actual sound of her voice is warm, her lyrics deal with thorny subjects, and they stick like glue to difficult moments. There’s a nice, shimmering contrast throughout Glider; her sleepy vocals welcome you in, but they then trap you in a world full of unrequited love and teenage sweethearts who, over the course of the summer, just vanished. Hard decisions lie around every corner. The harmonies swirl strangely in the air, never fully able to resolve their issues.

All of a sudden, ‘Fall Hard’ slows the pace. A piano, soaked in fog, sidles up to her voice, but the piano is eventually softened by a creamy covering that seeps and bleeds with a gentle sadness, like sitting on a harbour and looking out at a grounded boat. But the music is also a healer. The notes seem to glow as they travel, like blurred lights travelling down a midnight highway. The traffic isn’t so much a line of headlights as it is a conglomeration of white orbs, hovering silently in the black of the night like a row of UFO’s.

This music has an ethereal, spectral quality to it; something that you can’t quite put your finger on.

Far-away rumbles that might in another life have been deep-set drums occasionally rattle the music, but her voice is always a reassuring presence. Her harmonies lie in the background, wooing and calling in the midst of a white fog. Her main vocal line is reinforced, shadowed by a comforting other.

Clouds envelop her music, but they never cause any turbulence. The music travels over cupped, white clouds, a smooth melting of vanilla in the sky. Electric guitars float in a dazed state of reverb. Interesting intervals skip around lightly, creating a soft dissonance and then – this time – resolving. They morph into strange melodies, not just repeating patterns.

The piano of title track ‘Glider’ seems to take off in slow motion. The long run turns into a long flight as pedalling feet leave the ground behind. It’s always there beside you, at your side. Trickling tones are left to drip onto the vocal, and the clean curves of the guitar’s melodies slowly form, making soft shapes that look like smooth scoops of ice cream. The brighter harmony picks the tired vocal up – now is the time to move on. Let’s do it. In that sense, Glider is not only a release, but a remedy.


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