Heavy, the debut album of Oklahoma folk-rockers Honeylark, will premier to much fanfare with its Saturday release show, featuring a rare performance from Oklahoma music legend and the Queen of Rockabilly herself, Wanda Jackson. Other collaborations include local favorites Fiawna Forte, The Wurly Birds, Em and the MotherSuperiors, Feathered Rabbit and a three-piece horn section.
The year and a half it took Honeylark (helmed by husband-andwife pair Natalie and Ryan Houck) to finish the record and the burden being lifted with its completion felt like a worthy cause for a hell of a Christmas party. Its very gratifying to finally release Heavy, Ryan said. Weve been playing most of these songs live for quite a while, but its nice to have them on a record. It makes them feel more finished.
Heavy is the first recorded material to see the light of day since the Houcks (and several other Honeylarks) split from fellow alt-country outfit Green Corn Revival, and the new dynamic demanded Natalie approach songwriting in a new way.
We wrote what we wanted to write, Natalie said. I limited myself less and trusted myself more than I have in the past. Its a growing process, and Im glad I went ahead and threw myself out there. Its scary, but at the same time, it would have been worse in the long run if we were to over-censor our ideas.
That methodology led to a sultry and moody but largely genre-less collection of songs that recall everyone from St. Vincent to Neko Case.
I dont think we could write a genre-specific album if we tried.
It isnt limited to a single genre or even an idiomatic sound or production style, yet its a very cohesive record, Ryan said.
dont think Honeylark could write a genre-specific album if we tried,
Natalie said. I listened to the oldies growing up my parents records
from 60s and 70s folk, Motown, rock, and then I soaked in what
happened in the 90s, too. Then theres the fact that two-thirds of
Honeylarks members went to music school. I think that formal music
background reveals itself at times.
band expects to tour in the early half of 2014 no small feat with
lots of little Honeylarklings back at home amidst some summer
festivals and more writing that will likely be born from a less solemn
place than Heavy was.
on the dark stuff in life can make you angry or even depressed, so I
was lucky to have my closest friend to chart those waters with, Natalie
said. These songs reflect that general darkness, and thats something
everyone can relate to. I might feel alone, but the isolation is chosen
its all in my head. In reality, were all going through the same crap
in this weird, post-digital revolution time we live in. I want to
connect with people in real, non-virtual ways. Thats why we write.
Thats why we perform and put our songs out there to share the human
experience in a physical, tangible way.