Haley Heynderickx's songs have a way of sneaking up on you: They start out spare, animated by a lone voice or a subtly snaky guitar line, only to billow out into something strange, beautiful, bracingly intense or some combination thereof. One of NPR Music's Slingshot artists, the Portland, Ore., singer hasn't even released her first album — I Need To Start A Garden comes out in March — yet she's already an utterly distinct and wonderfully nervy, idiosyncratic presence.
In the run-up to I Need To Start A Garden, Heynderickx today releases the album's third single, a slow-building eight-minute wonder called "Worth It." Opening with a few long oooooooohs that conjure images of Sharon Van Etten, "Worth It" at first seems to echo from down a hallway, only to pull in closer and closer as it rolls along, its initial tentativeness giving way to something commanding and sublime.
"I was living in a house with six women at the time and attempting to pursue music as more than a bedroom act, Heynderickx writes via email. "In this, I was struggling to find confidence and purpose in it. Writing 'Worth it' was a cathartic release at the time, just allowing myself to take up space and make as much noise as I could in our basement without driving my roommates too crazy. After several weeks, this song got carved out. It has been through a lot and it means something new to me each time I hear it. (Unfortunately, not a Missy Elliott cover.)"
I Need To Start A Garden comes out March 2 via Mama Bird Recording Co.