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erin's artist of the month: haley heynderickx

(disclaimer that may or may not make it to the article: all of my artists of the month are queer? I feel like I forgot to highlight that at the start of the semester – all of these girlies are lgbtq+ babes and I think it’s maybe too late to mention that now? Who knows, but I swear I’m doing my part for the blog!!!)

I think I may have deluded myself into thinking I have seasonal depression. To be honest, I’m probably just cold and sun deprived; you could say ‘You live in Scotland, Erin, of course you’re sun deprived!’ and I would say ‘I know! Let me live!’. I’m trialling some vitamin D tablets at the moment, so I’ll get back to you on whether they work or not. This is not to say that you should take medical advice from a silly blog writer – in fact, please don’t (please)!

However, what these long nights undoubtedly affect is the genre of music I’m into at any given moment. When I’m feeling chilly and huddled under a blanket doing nothing but contemplating maybe going to bed early, sad indie folk is almost always what gets flung on my poor abused speaker. My sad girlie of this month is Hayley Heynderickx! What is maybe the most depressing thing about her is that her newest music is from 2018, which is frankly outrageous because the people need more!

You may recognise the guitar introduction of “The Bug Collector” from her one and only album I Need to Start a Garden, a cover of which has recently gone viral on TikTok and its related clones in the short video industry. This pisses off the saggy beanie wearing, record store attending, 2016 skinny jean hipster boy within me (a common theme within my articles) as I realise yet another artist I listen to gets the attention they deserve, and my originality complex is further invalidated. Did I steal a solid 80% of my music taste from other people? Yeah, but who cares! I am special! (Read: entirely like the other girls). This one album, although sad in its singularity, is still great, and very much something to listen to while clasping a hot beverage in a mug with two hands like a parent in a crowded Starbucks. Thanks to my Canadian flatmate, my current beverage of choice is coffee with maple syrup, if you were looking for inspiration. I would also suggest listening to this album by lamplight or some atmospheric candles rather than the dreaded ceiling light – for mood enhancing purposes only. I personally have the big light on right now, but it’s not something I’m proud of.

This is usually the point in the article in which I highlight my favourite tracks from the album, but to be honest, all of these are bangers (as much as acoustic guitar sad folk songs can slap), and should be enjoyed as a collective, or at least in a playlist with corresponding songs. On the other hand, some good songs to start off with, for the Hayley Heynderickx amateur, are “Untitled God Song” and “Show You a Body.” Instrumentally, they have more going on than some of her other tracks on the Garden album – in the sense that there are trumpets and a sexy piano part respectively. Both recordings of “Drinking Song” are also worth a listen. The first version on the Fish Eyes EP contains a broad range of instrumentation and harmonies with a great guitar part (and an organ – my second favourite aerophone). The second, however, is more stripped back, in keeping with the mood of her album, perhaps more suited to those of you who enjoy Twilight, the Lumineers and leafless trees. Continuing on the Twilight vein – and by Twilight, I mean freezing late autumn flavoured with fashionable angst – the final song I recommend to start your journey with is “Jo”. In my opinion, this is the saddest song Heynderickx has released, so this one’s for you, ladies. It hath served me well.

So! In these depressing deadline filled times, why not slightly worsen your mood in a comforting way? I believe there is nothing better than making yourself sad for self care purposes! And what better way to do that than listening to songs that remind you of cold weather, warm fires, and that winter fling you had about 1.5-2 years ago? Below is a playlist in which I have compiled all of Heynderickx’s discography (of which there is disappointingly little of) in my preferred listening order. Feel free to disregard it and put it on shuffle.

And don’t let your exams beat you down! That’s what the bad weather is for!




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