I have originally written this article for a different website, but they decided not to go with it in the end. Still, I felt that this album was really special and even though I usually don’t post music-related things here, I thought I’d make an exception just this once.
American artist Heather Woods Broderick is not new to the music business and with her second album ’Glider’ she is showing her fans a new side to her music. Having been musical from a very early age her ear for quietly emotional songs has captivated many people around the world. The studio hiatus after her debut album ’From the Ground’ in 2009 has not harmed her, however, but rather allowed her to find and develop a new sound with more instruments.
Since her last album Heather Woods Broderick has been on the road with her music. Now she is based in Oregon, where she also grew up from the age of 8, but she has been moving from place to place for a few years now. And while it’s not explicitly the theme of ‘Glider’, Heather Woods Broderick says that she used her new songs to “pay some attention to things I’d been putting off“. This includes growing distance, locally and emotionally, in relationships.
In ‘Fall Hard’ the chorus harps on the fact that “I don’t know you and I’m not with you, I don’t know you, I’m not near you”, which relates back to that all-encompassing distance. Listening to the buildup of ‘Fall Hard’ feels like the embodiment of a rainy day inside contemplating your whole life and making an important decision by the end of it. In ‘The Sentiments’ she asks mournfully “Tell me when, tell me when will I see you?” and you can just hear that that strong sense of longing is not bringing them closer together, but further away.
With these relatable moments ‘Glider’ touches the heart and soul. On this record Heather Woods Broderick uses a range of softly played instruments, including her well-known guitar and melancholy piano tunes. While the arrangements themselves are beautiful and soothing, the main appeal of Heather Woods Broderick’s music is her angelic voice that produces a somehow otherworldly quality. It is blending together with harmonious ethereal sounds that allow your mind to take a break from the rush outside.
If one track stands out from the rest it would be the last one ‘All for a Love’. In this song Heather Woods Broderick employs more powerful, deeper sounds, percussions are a basic element and even fanfare-like trumpets make an appearance. Still the theme of losing love on the road is again very palpable with lyrics like “I can see our love is dragging you down” or “All for a love that’s not felt…”.
The whole record can be described as soft and even louder songs with percussion won’t disturb the quiet atmosphere. And that sometimes risks it simply being played in the background. ‘Glider’ doesn’t make you sit up and listen, but it’s rather like that underrated friend who is always there for you, but you just don’t realise until they aren’t. But that speaks for the record again: when it’s over you feel a certain sense of loss and will probably start it again from the beginning once the final note has left your speakers.
‘Glider’ invites you to unwind and enjoy a truly well-crafted musical journey. This is definitely a more personal LP that seems to be perfect for those lonely days and evenings spent inside. While its quiet and subdued nature doesn’t make it an ultimate feel-good record and the unison style of the tracks might make you underestimate it at first, over time you will discover the subtle nuances and pick up on what makes each song unique. In the end the whole album ‘Glider’ grants the listener a beautiful and ethereal experience that will not let them go for a long time.