Imagine waking up in an isolated wooden house in the middle of a large field, looking out the window to see nothing but fog. You step out onto the porch, take a seat, and just stare out into the misty oblivion, thinking. That's the atmosphere of Haley Heynderickx's new album. Indie newcomer Haley Heynderickx's I Need To Start A Garden is pure and enchanting, beautifully capturing an isolated and intimate soundscape with relative minimalism.
The concept of doing the most with the least is often lost on some artists. Heynderickx makes the most of the space in her music, and it pays off well. Opening track 'No Face' brings the record to a beautiful start, her voice brilliant above the flowing guitar. The atmosphere shines through powerfully in many songs, including 'Untitled God Song,' a gorgeous song with a haunting sound. It's very raw, its lo-fi production lending perfectly to its vibe. Closing song 'The Drinking Song' offers some a similarly raw vibe, serving as a dejected anthem. It's like a send off, a goodbye to someone or something, like an idea as the fog clears.
Heynderickx really brings her all on I Need To Start A Garden, showing both methodical intelligence as well as passion. 'The Bug Collector' is perhaps the best example, it's instrumentation perfect with the sweet guitar and occasional warmth of a trumpet and the very unique lyrics; she sings "and there's a praying mantis prancing on your bathtub / And you swear it's a priest from the past life out to get you / And I digress" in the second verse, describing the oddity of the connection she has with this person but making it certain that she's enjoying it it all the same. Her methodical production meets emotion in the cinematic 'Show You A Body' with it's Radiohead-esque mystery. Frantic pianos accent brushing guitars and deep bass, as if the very stars in the sky were all dancing together. Even the old-school 'Oom Sha La La' with it's 50s influence adds wonderful textures to the record, adding to Heynderickx's character as well. There's not a moment on I Need To Start A Garden that doesn't feel like it's not intrinsically her.
Music has the ability to transport you places. As the fog clears as this album ends, the emptiness and the endlessness of it doesn't. You're left with those thoughts, but can only get up and move forward instead of continuing to ponder. Haley Heynderickx's I Need To Start A Garden is pure and enchanting, beautifully capturing endless emotion with minimalism and passion.
Favorite Tracks: The Bug Collector, No Face, Untitled God Song, Show You A Body
Least Favorite Track: Jo
Rating: 88 / 100
Stream or buy I Need To Start A Garden on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist: