It takes a mix of skill and luck to tend a garden well, but it’s impossible without a certain amount of kindness and care tended. While the cyclical nature of gardening seems inherent, in some ways, Haley Heynderickx is just beginning. Her debut album, named I Need to Start a Garden out of a search for calm through these waves of uncertainty and upheaval, is out now via Mama Bird Recording Co.
For the empathetic singer/songwriter, the reasons for seeking such acceptance and understanding stem from a life of paradoxes. Heynderickx grew up in a religious household in Oregon, closely identifying with her Filipino roots, but also straddling multiple cultural identities. Now residing in Portland, her faith is not overt, but her introspection and continued struggle for self-actualization are easily accessible and relatable.
Likewise, the tracks on I Need to Start a Garden reflect these seemingly disparate elements. Through soft acoustic guitar picking and deftly accented trombone sighs, Heynderickx’s music immediately recalls folk music of the ‘60s and ‘70s mixed with a love of jazz radio. But Heynderickx’s singing – her vocals that range from tender to operatic – belie a tenacity in her soul.
It’s a balance then, between exposing and protecting herself on I Need to Start a Garden. Heynderickx vacillates between powerlessness (opener “No Face”) and empowerment (lead single “Oom Sha La La”), but her generosity of spirit remains the constant throughout the whole album.
You can hear that exceptional care in “Jo”, as she whispers, “You tended your garden like heaven and hell / and you built the birds houses to see if it helped at all.” Aware of the birds, the garden, and anyone listening acutely, Heynderickx’s music serves as an invitation for all to join her. Because the beauty of a garden is that, while it’s often started for deeply personal reasons, its bounty is best consumed and shared with others.
Opening the evening is Tim Baker in his tour Along The Mountain Road.Tim Baker has come a long way to be with you. He’s come from the far, rocky, northeastern shores of Newfoundland. He’s come from the deep songwriting tradition of that island. He’s come from over 12 years of touring, writing and recording, with his former band Hey Rosetta! And he’s come through 5 years on his own now, releasing 2 full-lengths & 3 EPs, over a dozen music videos, and playing countless festivals and shows across North America & Europe. He’s come through it all collecting critical praise, devoted followers, and awards along the way: 2 Juno nominations (SOCAN Songwriter of the Year, New Group of the Year), 2 shortlist/3 longlist Polaris Prize nominations, 14 East Coast Music Awards, many Music Newfoundland & Labrador Awards and other prizes. Through it all he brings his powerful and personal voice, his electric and open-hearted energy, his dynamic and sophisticated arrangements, his wild and sweeping body of work. Other than the occasional solo performance (or the odd show with orchestra and/or choir) Tim has spent the vast majority of his touring life expressing his music through the power of a 5-7 piece band – his former, Hey Rosetta!, and his current, Tim Baker & All Hands. Always one to keep reimagining and reconnecting in different ways, this year the Canadian troubadour is reducing the arrangements, focusing the light, and watching the songs expand to fill the space; laying bare his extraordinary songwriting, his extraordinary spirit, his extraordinary journey here.