Heather Edgley is a Seattle-based Baroque Pop inspired songstress recognized for her progressive style and ethereal productions that find impact through the vulnerability she divulges through her distinctive timbre and lyrics.
Supported by a band that shines bright with dreamy, melancholic, Heather Edgley finds a sound reminiscent of alternative music's most magnetic songstresses (think of Sharon Von Etten on 2019's Remind Me Tomorrow or Fionna Apple on When The Pawn...). It's uncanny in the resemblance with her has a swaying cantor and discerning texture that serves to impart an after-glow.
A first, 'Heart Of The Beast,' presents like the beginnings of an ominous and ethereal journey with snarling strings that cascade over the mix's opening expanses. But before we know it, a low rumbling bass projects forward with the measure of the tracks measure, with grit in its saturation, as it punches through into our hearts. Heather's voice is embraced amongst beautiful angelic like hymns in the background as she sings about struggling to make the wrong love work, "I've been fighting with all of my strength, gave you every trust, and let it fade, and now all that's left is doubt," she continues, accepting the pain that comes along with it, "your heart can't be undone, this fight won't be won," Here, with this frame in mind, 'Heart of The Beast' appears as a downpouring and lock-sick cut from her Extended Play 'Losing My Mind,' with descriptive lyrics that paint a profound picture through the support of her impassioned crescendos.
It actually turns on its borders and supports the more uplifting and empowering message in the turnaround bridge where she sings, "my conviction increases with each passing day, cause the harder I try the more noble the fight!" Amongst a fiery enclave of instrumental performances between a revolting guitar solo, and the endless progression of the piano melody, Heather grasp the reigns over this galloping alternative rock single as it rides into our playlist with a healthy weight of expression behind her tremendous and dynamic production.
Listen to "Heart of The Beast" here.
Hello Heather and a warm welcome to BuzzMusic. What was the experience like recording this extended play, and was 'Heart Of A Beast,' a song with a message you want to highlight for your audience to understand?
My band and I got to record the bulk of this EP at Robert Lang Studios which is a recording studio with a ton of history and one that is very near and dear to my heart. I interned and worked as an assistant studio manager at RLS back when I was in college and I recorded some of my first demos there and dreamed of one day coming back to record a real album, so it was very exciting to come back with my band five years later to track this EP. Recording this EP ended up being a two-year process. I wanted to take the time to make sure that the final product I released into the world fully reflected myself as an artist and represented these songs. I think people will be able to relate to the many emotions in this EP including commiserating about a loss of control, pressures from external influences, heartache, depression, and detachment from one’s identity, as well as connecting to the lighter messages about love, ambition, and drive, taking chances, following your passions and dreams, and searching deep inside ourselves to reach those things for each of us that keep us going and moving forward.
“Heart of a Beast” is a very special song of mine. I would consider it to be our heaviest song sonically and I’m very excited about the energy and more edgy rock sound happening in this track. It’s also a very expressive song with a strong message about toxic relationships and how difficult they are to escape. In this song, I beg the “beast” to “love me, lose me or set me free”. When I wrote this song I was struggling to regain my power in this relationship but I was more clearly seeing how toxic it was even though I wasn’t able to cut the cord just yet. I really hope people feel a sense of empowerment from this song if they have themselves escaped a toxic or abusive relationship. It can be incredibly difficult to get out of unhealthy and abusive relationships. In my experience, one of the first steps was finally realizing how unhealthy and imbalanced it was. It doesn’t initially make your feelings for the person go away but it can make you start to realize that it’s a dead-end and you’ll never have the type of relationship you want and deserve with this person and that the only way up from the lows of this relationship is to get out of it. In a way, I was reclaiming my power by writing this song. Acknowledging how hopeless I felt and how angry I have helped me see how toxic the relationship was and that was a huge step forward in getting myself out of it. How are you endeavoring to fuel your artistic continuous musical development, and what usually inspires the creative spark in your songwriting?
There’s a lot going on in the world right now and much of what’s going on weighs on me mentally, emotionally, and physically. I do what I can to stay educated and use my voice to support causes I think are important but I also think during this unique time, especially with the global pandemic going on, which causes a lot of stress, fear, restrictions, and isolation, it’s extra important to focus on self-care and give myself breaks. I strive to be productive each day but it’s a balancing act between productivity and my mental and physical health as well. There is a lot to be done with regard to my music though, and I want to take advantage of my being home to do as much as I can to further my music and to continue creating. I like to be organized and plan things out and just take things to step by step. I have lists and map out future plans for recording and releases. I have multiple lyric and music videos in the works as well as recording schedules planned. I want to take more time for writing and creating right now. I look to the world around me for inspiration in my music as well as inside myself. Often my internal struggles and disorganized feelings inspire songs. Writing a song becomes a productive and somewhat cathartic process for me to make sense out of things I’ve experienced or things I’m feeling or stewing about.
When it comes to songwriting, I never try to force a song into existence. I just have to allow it to happen when I feel something stirring inside me. I’m a deep feeler, so there are moments when I have a lot of emotions sitting in me and kind of swirling around my brain. These moments of heightened emotion are generally when I know there’s a song in me because I just really need to let the emotions out. I allow myself to prioritize time when I do feel inspired. Creating focused time to work on songwriting or music projects is very important and the structure helps breed productivity but the creative aspect cannot be forced, it must feel free. When I write I let it all out, and most often now I’ll either record a video or audio of long improvisations. I just let out all my thoughts and feelings in a stream of consciousness knowing full well most of it might be crap and unusable but that there will be little gems in there that I can pick out later when I’m listening or watching back. Sometimes lyrics occur to me and I’ll write them down at the moment but most often I write at the piano in those heightened emotional states. I want my music to be as authentic as possible so I try not to overthink any of my writing. I just write what I feel and I know when it feels right.
Do you feel that the Pacific Northwest has influenced some of your direction in musical aesthetics and the discerning characteristics in sound?
The Seattle music scene is a very grassroots and DIY type of music scene, and it’s a community of incredible people who support and uplift each other. Every show I have attended (and it has been a lot over the years) has so many other musicians out in the audience supporting each other. I always run into other musicians I know and meet new artists when I’m out at local shows. This has definitely influenced me as a musician and how I approach my music production, promotion, and how I’ve advanced with my music career. I do not come from money and I’ve mostly worked part-time to give my all to my music so I, like many others in the local PNW scene, don’t have the resources to hire professional bookers, managers, agents, etc and we have to take on those roles ourselves. This can be challenging upfront to learn as we go and it’s very time consuming but it also gives artists back all of the control over their branding, music, content, and career. We are in an age of independent musicians and home recording studios and that I think creates a very rich lofi community. We build each other up, rather than compete with each other and we have full artistic control to express ourselves as we please and be truly authentic in our music and branding/artist personas.
Being part of a very DIY music scene in Seattle helped me feel uplifted and encouraged to just be myself. I write how I feel. I write my truth because I am not catering to any particular audience. I just want to be honest and I think the Seattle music scene is a very honest one. I haven’t been a part of other music scenes so I can’t speak on how others are specifically different but I have heard from transplants that Seattle is a very unique music community in that people seems very genuine and very supportive of one other and I feel so incredibly lucky to be a musician in Seattle a part of the local music scene. I started as a solo artist singing my original songs and playing piano at open mics. I met a lot of friends and we sort of grew up in the scene together working our way up from solo artists to lead singers of our own bands, and working our way up playing bigger and bigger venues and shows. I became very involved in the indie rock/folk/pop scene in Seattle. I think we all influence each other to some extent but we’re all very true and authentic to our own unique styles. When I started out as a solo artist I didn’t necessarily know my sound would evolve into a more rock style but forming my band definitely built my sound more into the rock genre. My current sound is very influenced by my incredibly talented band members (Andrew Gemkow, Chris Lovings, Shaun Crawford, and Dylan Mines) and their artistic style and rock, punk rock, blues, funk, classical, and other musical influences. I think the PNW and Seattle especially have very laid back, supportive and collaborative music communities and I’m so grateful to be a part of it! What has been an exciting milestone you've accomplished this year amongst the chaotic climate of 2020?
Releasing this EP has definitely been a huge accomplishment this year! It had been in the works for over two years and it was delayed from its original release date because of Covid-19 and venue closures but I’m so happy that I was able to still release this music and share it with the world. It definitely has been a very weird time and it’s been sad and difficult to not have the normal live scene where I regularly frequented shows and performed shows but I’ve been given the gift of time in a sense and an ability to focus on more at home and behind the scenes content work including songwriting, video creation, and recording. I’m excited to continue to work on my music and content and hopefully release more music and music and lyric videos very soon!