If Neko Case and Ryan Adams had a child, her name would be Heidi Winzinger. The New Jersey native has just released her newest album Honeysuckle Dream, full of enchanting lyrics and haunting tones as soon as it begins. The title track, “Honeysuckle Dream,” draws you in immediately, and the listener will right away be able to sense that they are in for a treat. “I’m Falling Too” echoes with slow guitar picking, slide guitar, and the tremendous vocals of Winzinger. Though it is uncertain if she is vocally trained, her voice is smooth and perfect on every note that she hits. She knows her limits though, and not try to force anything she will not be able to accomplish. Midway through the song grows, and what once sounded simple now contains layers of blissful guitars.
“Paper Trails” strips Winzinger of her soft side as her vocals show more power and intensity than in the first two tracks. The same can be said about the music overall. She pushes the limits of her musical abilities but is able to achieve a piece that captivates the listener. “Midway Avenue” brings the folk side to the forefront of Winzinger’s work and tells an in depth story that starts out as “1935 a starry night,” and continues in a timeline fashion. Heidi is an incredible lyricist that gets her story across. It is more like reading a good book at times as one can see the lyrics fly off of the pages. “Come Home” contains a hint of Alt-Country that blends wonderfully with her folk sound. Her vocals vary in tone and volume as she plays between the parallels of quiet and loud, where the latter is more powerful. In a confusing turn, “Yogi Momma,” pours a whole lot of jazz into the record, which doesn’t exactly flow. This is the only song on Honeysuckle Dream that disappoints. It is almost too different for the album.
Everything is back on track with “Another Perfect Day,” as Winzinger quickly returns to what she knows best. Accompanied by a slide guitar and astounding piano piece, this is a standout song. Her vocals mesmerize as they show off what they can accomplish. “Super Dog” mixes in hint of funk in the guitar parts, but Winzinger stays true to her own charming tone. This is a song that anyone who every owned a dog can relate too and though it comes off as cute, it certainly does not come off as cheesy which is a hard feat. “Killer” lingers in both music and vocals. “Oh I’m a killer…. I remember the day you came tied to the front door sitting there shaking in the pouring rain,” sings Winzinger. This distressing song is beautiful despite the deep story telling of the tragedy in her lyrics. Cello add a dramatic effect that brings the song to life and helps tell the tale. “I Can’t Sleep” closes out the album as softly as it came in, serving as the second bookend on Honeysuckle Dream.
This record is more like a novel, and the listener must be sure not to skip over any tracks or it will be like missing a chapter. Every song has a story to tell and the passion of the music that accompanies the lyrics brings every word to life. Expect to hear more from Heidi Winzinger. She can tell a narrative like no other and that is truly a gift. It is highly recommended that you pick up or download a copy of Honeysuckle Dream. It’s the album you’ve been waiting for.
Review by Melissa Nastasi
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)