Singer/songwriter Heather Evans has been through her share of triumphs and trials, and this is adequately reflected in her new record, aptly titled Out of the Woods. Specifically, the record addresses themes of human trafficking, although it would be outright ignorant to claim that any of Evans’ trials did not have an effect on the final product. Just look at the track “Trust,” for example. Those that know her well know this is the name of her son. Double meaning? I think yes.
So what is the style of Heather Evans? One can think of it as an easy listening mix of singer/songwriter folk and alternative. One need not worry about Evans sounding like another cookie-cutter wannabe with a guitar – she’s got the production, professionalism, and musicianship to give her music strength and longevity. “The Kite Song” drives these points home from the get-go and “Awaken Me” only expands on them, with soaring instrumentals accentuating Evans’ steady vocals. Title track “Out of the Woods” is a true highlight, allowing the listener to be pensive, letting the song take them wherever they feel inclined to travel.
“Ordinary” brings us the closest to an all out rock session thus far, without ever getting there. It’s enough to add variety to the record without destroying the mood of the record. “Safe Tonight” and “Calmer of the Storms” end the record in much the same way it started – easy going alternative singer/songwriter music. But wait! There’s more (insert cheesy infomercial music here). We have two bonus tracks – “Trust” and “20 Years From Now.” They wrap of things for real in an even more laid back, stripped down manner. “Trust will carry us through…” and “20 years from now I don’t need the American dream” remind us that we need not worry about tomorrow nor about our standing in relation to what culture might define as success. Each day has enough problems of its own. That just may be the message of the record, that in the right mindset and placement of our trust, we needn’t worry about being led out of the woods.