Heather Woods Broderick – “Where I Lay”
Over the years, Heather Woods Broderick has built up her name by playing with artists like Efterklang, Horse Feathers, and, most notably, Sharon Van Etten. But she is also a solo artist who makes often-melancholic and often-beautiful singer-songwriter indie. Her last release was the great 2015 album Glider. And now, almost four years later, we’re finally getting another one from her. It’s called Invitation and it’s out in April.
After all those years of touring, Broderick left Brooklyn and relocated to the tiny town of Pacific City, Oregon. It was the coast there, and memories of childhood visits mingled with new experiences on those same beaches as an adult, that birthed Invitation. The name itself refers to a quote from Thomas Moore — the American author who writes about spirituality, not the Irish poet — which Broderick came across in her mother’s journals:
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.
Along with the announcement, Broderick shared the album’s lead single “Where I Lay.” “‘Where I Lay’ is really a poem about the impermanence of all things,” Broderick says of the track. “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.”
Impermanence is a good starting point for “Where I Lay” — it opens with gently oscillating textures that recall waves washing away footsteps on a beach, conjuring the coastal surroundings in which Broderick wrote her latest music. The song’s verses are restrained and meditative, which makes each break into the chorus that much more impactful. You can take the tone of it a couple different ways, interpret desperation and acceptance alike in how the melody carries the words forward. However, like much of Broderick’s other compositions, there is a distinctly cathartic aspect to “Where I Lay.” It suggests that even if the song still takes place in chaos it is beginning to locate something new — if not wonder, at least home. Check it out below.
01 “A Stilling Wind”
02 “I Try”
04 “Where I Lay”
05 “Slow Dazzle”
06 “A Daydream”
07 “White Tail”
09 “My Sunny One”
10 “These Green Valleys”
Invitation is out 4/19 via Western Vinyl. Pre-order it here.