Don’t judge a book by its cover. This applies to Heather Woods Broderick’s album cover which is actually a photograph that represents the 80th anniversary of her grandmother. While the two women have different lifestyle, this cover still evokes a part of herself. Talking about the photograph, Woods-Broderick says it’s “sort of creepy and dark, but with all this lightness around it.”
I did not know what to expect from Glider, Broderick’s second solo effort. I had never heard her songs, I could not imagine its sound. But trust me on this. I was gently transported into her world. What a pleasant discovery. If you are familiar with American singer Sharon van Etten, you probably know Heather Woods Broderick as she was her backup singer. It’s a good thing she decided to take center stage.
Broderick is a multi-instrumentalist. She plays the piano, cello, guitar among other instruments. She did not hesitate to play on most of the songs that make up Glider. Echoes said, “Broderick bathes her heartfelt songs in dreamscapes of delayed guitar lines reminiscent of Michael Brook, embellished with even more guitars on top.” I couldn’t agree more. The guitar is omnipresent. It is consistently deployed throughout the album. The guitar is nice on the song Up in the Pine. It starts slowly and accelerates but always smoothly. Just like Broderick’s lovely voice.
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The song A Call for Distance is dreamy. It sounds refreshing. A song to start a new day. It especially touched me. As she sings “Another way to live, to learn, to live, the ones, we grow. To choose a path and hurt the ones we know. To live, to learn, to live, the ones, we grow. You choose to learn to loathe the ones you’ve loved,” her words take on a special meaning to me. A new day, or rather a new beginning. Leave behind what keeps me. It is easy to relate to the words of Broderick. My favourite song on Glider is All for a Love. Mesmerizing harmonies while she talks about love and lovers. There is this jazzy feel paired up with an echo. It could be fall, I am looking through a window or on the road and I don’t know where I’m heading. It is perfect.
What I remember from Glider? An echo. Series of landscapes at full speed. My feelings colliding with the words sung by Broderick. Her voice. It is calm, beautiful and soothing. That voice pierces you while you discover each thickness of her universe. As she stated in an interview with Vogue, she sings about herself, people she loves and transition. You can feel it. The harmonies are beautifully sung. The arrangements are true-hearted and well done. Broderick’s voice sometimes vanishes in a whisper so it is not always possible to understand the lyrics, but the music is so beautiful, just close your eyes and be lulled. Glider is an echo that resonates and will stay with you for some time.