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HEATHER FINDLAY

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Heather Findlay picture
Heather Findlay biography
HEATHER FINDLAY is well-known for her longtime collaboration with MOSTLY AUTUMN. In 2010 she decided to leave the band, to focus on her family and to continue on solo paths. 'The Phoenix Suite' (Black Sand Records, 2011) marks the start for an openly-experimental series of EP's, each in a different musical style.

With her debut she impressively proves her songwriting abilities as well as her emotive vocal qualities.
Supported by excellent musicians Heather offers five melodic songs, surely provided with hints from the past, but definitely more rocking as she also includes influences from bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fleetwood Mac and Elbow.

Heather Findlay official website

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Phoenix SuitePhoenix Suite
EP · Import
Ais 2011
Audio CD$17.39 (used)
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HEATHER FINDLAY discography


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HEATHER FINDLAY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 9 ratings
I Am Snow
2016

HEATHER FINDLAY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at the Cafe 68 (with Chris Johnson)
2012
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Heather Findlay Band: Songs from the Old Kitchen
2012

HEATHER FINDLAY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HEATHER FINDLAY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HEATHER FINDLAY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.27 | 16 ratings
The Phoenix Suite
2011

HEATHER FINDLAY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 I Am Snow by FINDLAY, HEATHER album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.86 | 9 ratings

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I Am Snow
Heather Findlay Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Time waits for no one, so the rolling stone once noted and certainly Heather Findlay took her sweet time to forge her career forward after a very long period away from the prog spotlight. For those whose memory banks are clogged with too much recent Internet activity, let it be reminded that the former lead lung of Mostly Autumn left that successful gig back in 2010 in order to figure out her next step in a rather young artistic calling, a six-year introspection into a low-profile solo that yielded little in terms of recordings, mostly live renditions as well as mini album. This quiet time was spent dealing with more personal concerns as we all have a life to deal with and find renewed energy and commitment to boldly begin fresh. Last year, she teamed up with prog wizard Dave Kerzner (Sound of Contact, solo) to release the spectacular Mantra Vega debut that stunned fans with its incredible diversity and musical magnificence. She had never sung so splendidly and the carefree song writing surely improved her overall performances to an even higher level. The December 2016 release date of her first solo album threw me in a tizzy, as I only got "I Am Snow" today, though listened to it fully during Xmas and adding it to my top 20 albums for 2016. Partnered with long-time collaborator Angela Gordon as well as guitarists Martin Ledger and Isaac McInnis, bassist Stuart Fletcher and Sarah Dean on the harp, it is the presence of drummer extraordinaire Henry Rogers (Deeexpus, Touchstone, Final Conflict, Edison's Children, Shineback) that really got me salivating , as he is a fine thumper in the Paul Thompson school of drumming magic. Here, Henry shows his delicate side, a thing of beauty and restraint.

The theme considered is one that we in Canada know quite well, winter is nature's form of sleep before the upcoming renewal, a highly spiritual journey of warm comfort and crisp air, as well as pensive reflection on the new resolutions to come. First, the two standout tracks are also new compositions that will push the level of enjoyment through the roof. The title track weaves an immediate radiance of sound that reflects the purity and the fragile strength of the great white expanse. It is both spectrally beautiful as well as totally addictive and should be on many playlists worldwide. A thrilling new composition "Dark Eyes/The Dreamer's Wake" is perhaps the album's highlight, an exquisite folky voyage that captivates from the onset, with Heather delivering a startling vocal performance like only she can, the fragile poetry weaving its magic, armed with a swirling chorus that should stun anyone, male or female, into stunned silence.

There are reprises of classic Mostly Autumn numbers that have already stood the test of time, two of them well- known 'hits' such as the crushingly pretty "Bitterness Burnt" and the equally stunning "Shrinking Violet", both Findlay penned and sung. These well-worn tunes have a warmer, more stripped down resilience that provide a different light on the emotions of one's past. "Eyes of the Forest" and "Winter is King" are lesser known tracks that were featured on the compilation/boxset album "Pass the Clock" and they easily pass muster, in fact, rekindling a fire that continues now to burn brightly. The piano-driven "Above the Blue" is mesmerizing in its simplicity and elegance, gorgeously sung by a voice that has stature, commitment and emotion. Unexpected is a short but striking remake of Sandy Denny's pastoral "Winter Winds", penciled with bucolic harp, flute and a very medieval sensibility.

A beautiful woman, attractive to no end, owner of a stellar voice and a new found commitment to excel at her chosen profession. Both the Mantra Vega debut and this puppy in one year, well all I can say is "Thank You"! Welcome back.

4.5 'Je suis neige'

 The Phoenix Suite by FINDLAY, HEATHER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.27 | 16 ratings

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The Phoenix Suite
Heather Findlay Crossover Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

3 stars I love this woman....other than having been the lead vocalist of Mostly Autumn, other than being one of the most beautiful voices around and having been one of the main characters in Ayreon's The Human Equation, she demonstrates her ability in songwriting. Before leaving MA she attempted to reform her old duo with Angela Goldthorpe and the two released an album as "Odin Dragonfly".

On this debut EP, Heather is author of all the songs and while you can still hear a bit of Mostly Autumn in her voice but also in the songs, they are more rock than usual. I think the reason is in the absence of Bryan Josh, so that she hadn't to stick on a specific guitar standard and had more freedom in the arrangements. I like how Josh plays guitar, but I'm quite happy that he's not involved in THIS project.

"Red Dust" is a piece of hard rock mitigated by the sweetness of Heather's voice. I disagree with who says that it's very different from MA. Even them have songs, or portions of songs of this so hard kind.

"Phoenix" is even closer to what a MA fan would expect. I think this song may stay in Heart Full of Sky. Of course the guitar is clean and a bit untuned and there are few or no keyboards, so that this song has a real "rock" mood, but the melodic line is still of the familiar kind.

"Cellophane" is the first song different enough from MA. This song makes me think to Melissa auf der Maur. Was only the guitar a bit more distorted.

"Seven" is another song far enough from Mostly Autumn's standards but I don't think that MA fans would be disappointed. The overdubbed choir (at least I think it's overdubbed) is very good. I think Heather overdubbed is surely better than Josh singing. The song hasn't a fast tempo and without keyboards it may sound a bit flat, but at the same time guitar and drums makes it sound hard rock. The guitar is so distorted that 25 years ago we would have probably defined it as Metal.

The reverb on the guitar of "Mona Lisa" gives the song a touch of late 70s/early80s psychedelia. I remember some 80s new wave bands using this kind of sounds. An unusually dark song.

It's just a debut EP, still non-essential but very promising. Let's look forward for her first full length album to see if the rock side of Heather persists or this is just a one shot deviation from the folky standards.

 The Phoenix Suite by FINDLAY, HEATHER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.27 | 16 ratings

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The Phoenix Suite
Heather Findlay Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars To be honest, I was shocked when I first heard this. Completely unexpected, from what I know of her previous work. But as the time went, I got used to this "new" sounds. Her voice is the main attraction here, this + quite heavy sounding (bass), rocky tunes. But it ain't a normal rock, it's our special one. This isn't much of a progressive, in a traditional way of this word, but this shortie of a record has its own special soul. Fans of Mostly Autumn should be cautioned, because this is something different, but those with open ears and love for getting new through used ways.

3(+)

 The Phoenix Suite by FINDLAY, HEATHER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.27 | 16 ratings

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The Phoenix Suite
Heather Findlay Crossover Prog

Review by Theo Verstrael

1 stars Well, talking about a disappointment,..., here's one! I've been a great fan of Mostly Autumn over the years. It was a shock to realize that heather Findlay called it a day but her replacement in MA is very well looked after now that Olivia Sparnenn takes the lead vocals. So I was anxiously waiting for Heather's first attempt as a solo artist (she has already recorded a nice album with former MA flautist Angela Gordon under the name Odin Dragonfly). What she offers her is a mix of rather straight forward rock songs (complete with 'Ooohhs' and 'Aaahhs') with hardly any reminiscence to MA. No flutes, no fluid melodies, no folkish atmospheres, just sawing guitars, non-surprising choruses and no keyboards at all.

If you liked 'Evergreen' or 'Shrinking violet', keep away from this!! Very sorry to say this!

 The Phoenix Suite by FINDLAY, HEATHER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.27 | 16 ratings

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The Phoenix Suite
Heather Findlay Crossover Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Now, this one is the kick-off for her solo career. Since more than 10 years Heather has made a major contribution to Mostly Autumn's success with her charisma and exceptional voice ... but last year she decided to continue as a solo artist furthermore. An ambitious project she's opening up while announcing a series of EPs, each differing in style. So what's up? 'The Phoenix Suite' comprises five elaborated songs at the interface between progressive and alternative rock. For the recordings she has gathered some excellent musicians, featuring guitarists Dave Kilminster and Chris Johnson, Steve Vantsis (bass) and drummer Alex Cromarty.

As one could expect ... all the songs are written by her ... on top of that she has designed the nice colourful cover art too. Her voice is immediately recognizable of course, however less ethereal - keyboards are totally missing here - all in all.the album appears far more heavier. Graceful and genuinely rocking elements are continuously alternating, a catchy chorus is taken for granted - that's what all the songs have in common basically. So to point out something more exceptional ... Cellophane surprises me with some agressive shoutings at the end in the vein of the Red Hot Chili Peppers respectively Race Against The Machine.

The opener Red Dust shines with a sawing guitar all the way through, really attractive according to my taste. In a similar manner on Mona Lisa an echoed guitar serves a psychedelic touch. Title track Phoenix needs some attempts, superficially coming as a plain rock song, it took some time to detect subtle details in the end. Seven should be highlighted due to Heather's most charming vocal presence I would say - haunting melodies concur with heavy riffs here. I would really like to know how this works live ... anyway, she's definitely preparing for some gigs in the meanwhile.

Well, I should avoid to highlight anybody from her band especially. But please forgive me, as I'm often focussed on the guitars ... Kudos for both the rhythm and solo work - really gorgeous! And not to forget ... while also responsible for backing vocals, co-arrangement, mixing and production, ex-Mostly Autumn mate Chris Johnson has another successful share here. Probably not everybody will like Heather's new approach, but I definitely do ... this are rock songs above average in any case, still attractive after (or maybe even due to) a bunch of listening sessions.

Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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