Heidi Feek‘s world on her new single, “Someday, Somebody” sounds like a David Lynched version of Nashville heartbreak; it oozes an off-kilter moodiness and a lingering sense of uneasiness all shrouded in a beautiful technicolor gauze, a southern swoon, a voice both deep and full of depth. It’s a track off of her upcoming LP, The Only, which we can expect to further explore this unique home between pedal steel twang and fuzzy city reverb; songs with country roots from modern boots, that wear their influences both down and like a crown (or stomp on them when necessary). And it’s hard to resist the video she just released (starring Caitlin Rose) which is, in a sense, a Nashville Noir if there ever was such a thing: black and white and cracking, with Heidi floating in and out in clutching an old-timey mic like the neck of man who she both loved and scorned, all perfect curls and red lips and vintage glow that would make Lana Del Rey throw her blue jeans and video games at the wall. Heidi’s no musical Lolita though – her writing is mature yet not aged, steeped in history but rooted in now, sealed with a knowing wink that’s anything but trying to be innocent.
For her Nashville Five, we had Heidi list her top five most treasured LP’s – a collection of five records that hit on all sides of her personality, and peak through her music in their own unique ways. Catch them below and catch Heidi at the Belcourt on 10.2. Let’s just hope we don’t lose her to California and that Joni Mitchell (and Nashville) will be enough…
By Heidi Feek
1) Stardust by Willie Nelson ::: This record draws me in the moment I look at the cover, which is a simple but beautiful painting by the late and great Susanna Clark. Once the needle hits and the music starts with the unmistakable guitar intro to “Stardust,” I’m immediately not thinking about anything else on the planet. It’s full of jazzy chords and chill tunes. Whenever I’m having a particularly stressful day, I put this baby on in the kitchen while I wash the dishes and I am at ease. I am a massive Willie Nelson fan. His simple yet profound writing style always amazes me. I have quite a few of his records, and I hope to collect them all someday.
2) Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs by Marty Robbins ::: I am obsessed with cowboy music! I cannot get enough of these types of records. This was the first one I owned that really started my Western song love affair. The songs on this record have so many good stories…and the harmonies…OH THE HARMONIES! Perfect! I also think Marty Robbins has the perfect male voice. His singing style has influenced me in so many ways, and this record has everything to do with that. I also love the production on this record. The guitars sound so awesome and the reverb on his vocals is my dream. I always pull this record out at parties at my house… this is my version of party music. Ha! But I don’t think my friends could fault me for that.
3) Watertown by Frank Sinatra ::: This is a concept record that was composed by Bob Gaudio & Jake Holmes. I’ve never heard a Sinatra record like this. I remember the first time my good friend, Austin Manuel, handed the vinyl sleeve to me and told me to read the lyrics of all the songs as we sat in silence and listened together. I was crying when it ended. It’s such a beautiful, lonely, hopeful, and sad story. The songs are written so simply and the story is so easy to understand that you feel like you’re watching a movie. It’s so well done, and a completely underrated treasure. I’ve probably listened to it 87,9736,276 times.
4) Blue by Joni Mitchell ::: Ya’ll knew that one was coming, right? I don’t care if you don’t like Joni Mitchell’s voice.- This is an incredible record. Personally, I think she’s unique and unmistakable, which these days seems to be a unique thing itself, unfortunately. She’s so honest when she writes that it almost makes me a little uncomfortable sometimes…but I think that’s a good thing. “A Case Of You” is brilliant, and every time I hear “California,” I secretly hope I get to move there someday. I went to Malibu once and it made me realize why she wrote that song. California seems so welcoming when she sings:
“Oh will you take me as I am
Strung out on another man
California I’m coming home”
I feel like it probably did take her back…I kind of feel the same way about Nashville. No matter where I go or end up, Nashville will always take me back and give me a warm soft place to fall back into. Maybe Nashville is my California.
5) Red Headed Stranger by Willie Nelson ::: Did I mention that I’m a Willie fan? This is another concept record. It’s a series of songs detailing a “red headed stranger’s” emotions and adventures…which include killing his unfaithful wife and her lover, then killing another woman because she tried to steal his horse (which was his late wife’s horse, so you can’t really blame him because he’s so sensitive about that subject), and then falling in love again with another woman he met in a tavern…you know, general cowboy things. I love Willie’s style of guitar playing. It’s pretty distinctive, and if you listen to his records in sequential order, you’ll notice he get’s better and better. His sister, Bobbie Nelson, plays piano in his band. She’s got a saloon style of playing on this record that is so classic. Also, the vinyl itself that I purchased has the previous owners name on the front of it, and it says in black sharpie “James Taylor.” So, I just want everyone to know that I own James Taylor’s copy of Red Headed Stranger. (Drops the microphone)