Haley Heynderickx, I Need to Start a Garden (Mama Bird Recording Co.)
[FUTURE FOLK STAR] On her excellent debut LP, Haley Heynderickx effortlessly commingles humor and philosophy with the grace of an artist well beyond her years. With a voice and breadth of vision that recall Angel Olsen, the Portland singer-songwriter's music extends beyond typical folk and indie realms. Whether she's considering a female god carrying a knock-off Coach bag and "big hips and thick lips" in the charming "Untitled God Song" or unspooling the eight-minute guitar-driven epic "Worth It," Heynderickx's deft amalgamation of fragility and strength is on display throughout I Need to Start a Garden. The latter song begins with languidly strummed guitars accompanying the singer's concerns that, "Maybe I've been selfish for these sounds," before coming to the cathartic realization during the song's exultant peak that "Maybe I, maybe I've been worth it." Heynderickx's distinctive lyrics are buoyed by intriguingly paired arrangements, such as the sudden piano and string flourishes on "Show You a Body" that provide an extra kick to the lines "Fate is a sundress ripped at the thigh/Thigh high and safety net/Swarmed by the hornet's nest/To cover my eyes." Garden stands as a potent debut that seems destined to propel Heynderickx into the national spotlight.
SEE IT: Haley Heynderickx plays Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., with Vikesh Kapoor, on Thursday, March 1. 9 pm. Sold out. 21+.