JPR Live Session: Heather Maloney
Massachusetts writer and song-singer Heather Maloney celebrates the release her 2018 EP, Just Enough Sun. The six songs (five new originals and a cover of Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall") were recorded as mostly single-take, live performances in a room where instruments bled into vocal mics and vocals into instruments.The result is a raw and deeply vulnerable collection songs that follow Maloney's literate and often heartbreaking exploration of family history, childhood dreams and the adulthood realities that butt-up against them; loss, misogyny, unrequited love, poverty, and even the moral dilemma of sending monkeys into space for the sake of science.
The daughter of a psychotherapist and a carpenter, Heather's songwriting is equal parts introspective and relatable. Just Enough Sun is released by the celebrated indie record label, Signature Sounds and co-produced by accompanist Ryan Hommel. The recording effortlessly captures Hommel and Maloney's dynamic live performances as a duo, with subtle instrumentation that lifts the songs up to new places without ever shifting the focus too far from Maloney's stunningly visceral voice and thought-provoking lyrics.
Raised on a record player instead of a TV, Maloney dug deep into per parents’ record collections for entertainment, obsessing over the Beatles Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, C.S.N.Y., Bob Dylan, and more. So it’s no surprise that the folk, pop, and rock greats of the 60’s and 70’s found their way into her own music. With those influences as a foundation, and a strong dose of 90’s radio hits (from women like Fiona Apple, Alanis Morisette, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, and of course, Mariah Carey), Maloney was forming her sound long before she even wrote a single lyric.