Brooke Waggoner is something of a musical prodigy. She first started tapping the ivory keys at the youthful age of 4 and composed her first song at the age of 10. Still young in her early 20s, which is felt in the lightness of her musical tones, Waggoner has released her debut album, Heal for the Honey. The record follows on the heels of her first EP, Fresh Pair of Eyes.
The music, beautiful and soft, is crowned by her use of the piano, which Waggoner plays as a delicate extension of herself. It stands far and above any other piano compositions of other bands today: isolated, strong and complex. Because of this, Waggoner’s voice never takes control of her songs; it is secondary to the piano, which resonates as a distinct character of its own. Her voice is a hushed, afterthought that sleeks in comfortably.
The album delivers a melancholy, pensive feel. The kind of record you’d throw on in the evening while the rain splatters on the city streets below and you introspectively peer out the window, observing the storm outside. This seems apt, as according to Waggoner, the album is about healing and renewal.
The use of instruments is diverse and creative in her work. The touch of horns lends a power and control to otherwise soft and forlorn tracks. Violins add grandeur to numbers that otherwise lack depth. Yet, the bouncing piano keys remain the most joyful and calming part of each song.
The only aspect that hurts the album is that many of the songs blend into one another and lack a distinctive feel. Because of this slight repetition, some tracks lose their originality and individual character, making the album a musical piece you’d put on in the background rather than listen to intently.
“The Wrong” is a soft, soulful emotional ballad that is reminiscent of Elton John‘s “Your Song”. Its strength lies in Waggoner’s tender and inviting voice. “Colorbloods” is a potent, introspective song where each piano note drives deep enough to reach into any hidden emotion. “Beaut” is a faster track that is propelled through the delicate pressing of piano keys that feels like a rainy English afternoon, eventually revealing Waggoner’s lighthearted and coquettish side.
Heal For The Honey was released on September 9th by SwoonMoon Music.
01. Lung Speed, Lung Sped
03. Heal for the Honey
04. Young Friend
05. Tender Mending
07. Live for the Sounds
09. The Wrong
10. Come Love, See My Hands
11. Fresh Pair of Eyes (Eyes o’ Eyes Remix)
Written by: Ali Hussain