“Woodland Echoes” Nick Heyward
Nick Heyward is a UK-based singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist who made his debut with the New Wave band, Haircut 100, in 1982. This is Heyward’s 7th solo release and his first in more than ten years. The 12-song set features melodic pop-rock (and one Americana track) in the style of Paul McCartney and the Beatles, with catchy melodies and lyrics about love and life. Really nice throwback sound!
Recommended: 7, 1, 9, 11, 2, 5. FCC Clean.
1. (4:22) Love Is the Key by the Sea – Lilting and melodic. Strumming guitar. Simple piano. Rich harmonies in the choruses. Like a Beatles song from the “Rubber Soul” era. ****
2. (3:28) Mountaintop – Great Americana. Like some of the Americana Ringo sung lead vocals on for the Beatles. Jaw harp and fiddle. ***
3. (3:45) The Stars – Light 70s pop-funk, dance-y sound. Bright and sprightly, with a bit of synthesizer throughout.
4. (4:28) Beautiful Morning – Slower tempo. Acoustic fingerpicked guitar with bird sounds. Lush, smooth vocals.
5. (3:10) Who? – Skipping, bouncy tune. Jazzy with piano and stand-up bass, plus brass added in places. Very McCartney like. ***
6. (3:15) Forest of Love – Tick-tock clock rhythm. Quirky and swaying pop.
7. (3:11) Baby Blue Sky – Big guitar-driven pop-rock with a Beatles shine to it. First single. ****
8. (3:09) I Can See Her – Smooth, slick romantic ballad.
9. (3:17) Perfect Sunday Sun – Raspy guitar again in this Brit-pop arrangement. Rich harmonies and full strings. Second single. ****
10. (3:30) New Beginning – Warm, strummed guitar (after thunder and rain sounds). Largely instrumental — just some “ooh-oohs in the chorus. Glockenspiel.
11. (3:31) I Got a Lot – Harmonious, uplifting pop carried by Heyward’s strong lead vocals — with some call-and-response between the lead and backing harmonies. Mellow feeling. ***
12. (2:56) For Always – Melancholy, wistful piano ballad, with a hint of crying pedal steel guitar. Nice closer.