Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: Heather Maloney

(Photo: Kevin Hill)

It was in silence that singer-songwriter Heather Maloney found her music.

After graduating college, she lived and worked at a silent-retreat meditation center for three years. In college she studied operatic and jazz vocals, with some music theory. She had a great interest in music, and knew she wanted to build a career in music, but she couldn’t stick to any one style or find the right musical fit. It was at the meditation center that she discovered how she should express herself musically. It was that quiet, she says, that let her find herself, her values, and ultimately her message to share.

“I think that those three years – that inner journey that I was on at the meditation center – were the tipping point, what really sort of inspired me to even write down my thoughts and feelings and ultimately inspired me to bring them onto the stage,” Maloney said.

After leaving the meditation center, Maloney launched a professional music career, and soon after recorded and released her debut album, 2009’s Cozy Razor’s Edge, followed by 2011’s Time & Pocket Change. She’s currently touring with the indie-folk band Darlingside, which will bring the acts to Iota Club and Café Sunday for a collaborative evening of music. She’s performing in support of her latest album, which came out in March to praise from Huffington Post for “riveting” music and “thought-provoking” lyrics. It’s a self-titled release, and there’s good reason for that. This is the album she feels has her sound. This is the album where she feels she has arrived.

And it really is a feeling, she said. She couldn’t put into words what it was that made these lyrics and this brand of poppy indie folk music ring true to her. She likened it to visiting an ice cream shop for the first time. How would you know which kind you liked until you tried a few? Try she has, and she feels like she’s found her flavor.

“This album feels like a little bit more of an arrival than an exploration,” Maloney said.

But – as artists do – she is growing and changing. She described her current tour as “kind of a perfect tour to be on,” one in which she will be backed by Darlingside and collaborate with them on their music, creating harmonies with the musicians gathered around a central microphone for a show with an “acoustic and lush feeling” that she feels will influence the music that will appear on her next album. Still, she says, Heather Maloney is an important album in defining the music this artist will make.

“It’s definitely something that feels foundational and very important, like a chapter in a book you couldn’t possibly skip over before moving on.”