Heather Lynne Horton – Get Me To The Nunnery
Well, this showcase is Heather’s first in 5 years & has some different topics than most mainstream releases. Lots of inviting melodies & creative songwriting – “I don’t like your children…” because the children are disrespectful to the elderly. Intense.
The vocals of Heather Lynne Horton are scolding with a mild no-fooling-around tone. More impressive than an adult who yells. I love this simply because it’s rare to hear songs that aren’t written along the same cusp as everyone else.
Taking the side of women’s struggles “Ten Times” is laid out with a gentle vocal that’s sympathetic in “ten times as hard for a woman, ten times as hard for a girl…” sung with a serious tone & not a winey one — but again coming from a direction that is more empathetic than angry. That’s surprising. That’s what gives these songs value-added since maybe…just maybe someone who would dismiss this will actually listen to it.
Horton’s voice is ethereal & gentle, soothing much of the time but not like Sarah MacLachlan who’s too whispery. Heather sounds like someone who may have experienced what she sings. I’m familiar with Ms. Horton’s work & her 9-themes here continue to be as compelling as ever. Get Me To The Nunnery (Drops Sept 22-Pauper Sky Records) has character & delicacy & it’s fortified by the use of words that aren’t found that often in basic songs. There’s a maturity that runs through this.
“Call a Spade a Spade,” is a gut-wrenching narrative that’s fairly beautiful. You listen to songs like this & many bells go off in your head & your memory ticks. You don’t have to be a woman to appreciate the distinguished honest emotion planted in each line.
This is Heather’s 3rd CD & in a word it’s enlightening. There’s a similarity in tone with Jane Siberry & the cover of Jane’s classic “Love Is Everything” as done by k.d. lang. It’s a sweeping sound of assertive emotionalism that doesn’t lift you as much as penetrates your conscience. Horton brings uncomfortable topics to the surface with lovely notes in her music. It disguises the bruises but shows the results.
The instrumental 10th cut “Lin’s Never-Ending Song,” is skillful but doesn’t fit. The CD was recorded in Chicago & produced by Heather with Michael McDermott. It may even be one of the year’s best. There’s a fold-out insert with lyrics included.
Highlights – “I Don’t Like Your Children,” “Ten Times,” “Call a Spade a Spade” & “Sunset Marigold.”
Musicians – Heather (acoustic guitar/strings/vocals), Michael McDermott (acoustic/electric guitars/bass/piano/keys/Omnichord/percussion), Matt Thompson (acoustic/electric bass), Steven Gillis (drums), Will Kimbrough (electric/baritone guitar) & John Deaderick (piano/keyboards).