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HEATHER FINDLAY

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Heather Findlay picture
Heather Findlay biography
Born 7 March 1977 (Bessacarr, UK)

HEATHER FINDLAY is well-known for her longtime collaboration with MOSTLY AUTUMN.

When working in MOSTLY AUTUMN, before starting solo career, Heather Findlay and her bandmate Angela Gordon (Goldthorpe) formed acoustic project Odin Dragonfly in August 2005. The duo played several gigs and in 2007 released the album "Offerings".

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 EPs, 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.

See also: MANTRA VEGA

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Wild White HorsesWild White Horses
Black Sands Records 2019
$12.08
$17.38 (used)
Phoenix SuitePhoenix Suite
EP
Ais 2011
$38.42
$38.39 (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)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Odin Dragonfly: Offerings (with Angela Gordon)
2007
3.74 | 15 ratings
I Am Snow
2016
3.09 | 6 ratings
Wild White Horses
2019

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

4.50 | 2 ratings
Live at the Cafe 68 (with Chris Johnson)
2012
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Heather Findlay Band: Songs from the Old Kitchen
2012
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Heather Findlay Trio: Aces and Eights - A Night In The Saloon Bar
2018

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
The Heather Findlay Trio: Aces and Eights - A Night In The Saloon Bar
2018

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)

3.26 | 18 ratings
The Phoenix Suite
2011

HEATHER FINDLAY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Odin Dragonfly: Offerings (with Angela Gordon) by FINDLAY, HEATHER album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Odin Dragonfly: Offerings (with Angela Gordon)
Heather Findlay Crossover Prog

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

— First review of this album —
4 stars I'm not sure whether this album should be put in Heather Findlay's discography as ODIN DRAGONFLY is a project by her together with her former bandmate before and in MOSTLY AUTUMN, Angela GORDON. In fact, ODIN DRAGONFLY is made from the letters of their surnames.

It's folky like the more acoustic songs of Mostly Autumn and it also includes some MA covers. I have to say that I've always thought that the effort of Angela Gordon as arranger and performer in Mostly Autumn has often been underestimated. Mostly Autumn have lost a lot with her leaving. Of course Heather has been a bog loss, too.

The songs, even those which aren't covers, have the typical mostly autumn mood. They don't have the guitar of Bryan Josh crying in a David Gilmur style and for this reason are tendentially more folk than prog but fans of Mostly Autumn shouldn't miss this album. Heather and Angela were already playing in a duo before joining Mostly Autumn and it's reflected in the songs quality.

An acoustic album of this kind with those qualities would have probably achieved a big success in the flower power age. I don't mean that it sounds aged, as the material, covers apart, is relatively new. It's that it's completely "unplugged" and the female vocals have a sort of hippy resemblance. But on tracks like "Magpie" the instrumental part made by acoustic guitar and flute justifies completely the "prog label". Strangely, while relistening to that song, I have noticed vocal harmonies that made the ABBA pop up in my mind.

Even if Angela is now back to Mostly Autumn and Heather is struggling trying a solo career which apparently is not giving her many satisfactions, this album is fresh and in my opinion shows how important Angela Gordon was in the first albums of Mostly Autumn. Hether's voice can't be discussed in any way.

The album is about to be remastered and the two girls from York are still performing live sometimes, even if this is remained the only Odin Dragonfly album and is now 12 years old.

 Wild White Horses by FINDLAY, HEATHER album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.09 | 6 ratings

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Wild White Horses
Heather Findlay Crossover Prog

Review by steelyhead

3 stars First of all this is a fantastic album just not a prog one. Heather has a beautiful voice We all have heard on Mostly Autum and does a great job here covering a good range of styles in a matter of a few songs. We have country tinged songs like "Here's to You" and "Just a Woman", soft rock in "Southern Shores" and the Heart song alike "Wild White Horses" and some good old Mostly Autum Material in "I Remember". By the way She rewrote "The Joke" by Brandi Carlile and name it "The Island", beautiful song. All in all a good album to have but not prog at all.
 Wild White Horses by FINDLAY, HEATHER album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.09 | 6 ratings

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Wild White Horses
Heather Findlay Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars Heather Findlay is a crossover prog aritist who is well known for her years spent with "Mostly Autumn" as their lead singer. Heather left that band in 2010 to focus on her family and her solo career. After leaving that band, she has expanded her musical output, many times not sounding much at all like the music that was produced by Mostly Autumn. She has released 3 full length studio albums and several other releases. In July of 2019, she released "Wild White Horses" and utilized the help of several musicians. This album consists of 12 tracks, all of them under the minute mark, and with a total run time of over 51 minutes.

The music here is very accessible and consists of different varieties of pop/rock music. "Here's to You" has an alternative- country style while "Just a Woman" has more of a rock edge to it and has Heather dueting with rock singer Danny Bowes. "The Island" is a mostly acoustical ballad supported by piano and strummed guitar and the rhythm section coming in on the 2nd verse. "Face in the Sun" has a slight middle-Eastern flair to it utilizing manjira, which are hand cymbals, acoustic guitar and piano, and is also one of the better tracks up to this point. "Southern Shores" is a bit heavier based on a rock/blues riff. "I Remember" has a folk rock flair with a celtic flavor utilizing strummed guitar and mandolin and Uilleann pipes.

The title track comes in the middle of the album. "Wild White Horses" is has a nice, driving rhythm (emulating galloping horses) that has a southern-rock feel to it. "Winner" starts simply with Heather's vocals and an acoustic guitar. The rest of the band gets added in slowly and settles into an alt-country feel. Ian Anderson provides some signature flute on this track. "Already Free" is another acoustic-led ballad with drums coming in half way through and the addition of the mandolin and electric guitar, but it stays moderately slow and ballad-like. "Cactus" continues in the mostly alt-country sound that is most prevalent on the 2nd half of the album. "Firefly" loses that sound, however with a nice, piano led ballad with the keys played by Tim Oliver, simply solo piano and vocals, which becomes quite passionate in the middle bridge. "Forget the Rain" begins as another soft ballad, this time with vocals and acoustic guitar. After the first verse, the band comes in, but things remain moderately slow. However, intensity does build and there is a nice guitar solo in the instrumental break.

Even though this album has no progressive traits and remains quite accessible all the way through, Heather's vocals shine as always, and she proves she can hold her own in many different styles presented through the album. The main, overall sound has a county flavor, but does not resort to the typical pop country, but leans more in the alternative side of things, which is a great thing. The music is enjoyable, but because of it's accessibility, it doesn't stay interesting after many listenings. This is one that should probably only be played occasionally in order to not become too tired of it. It is pretty basic, but you can't really go too far wrong with Heather's vocals, which is the main thing going for this album. The song structure is pretty standard verse/chorus style with occasional bridges and instrumental breaks in the middle. Fairly typical in that respect, but with nice, well written and produced songs.

 I Am Snow by FINDLAY, HEATHER album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.74 | 15 ratings

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I Am Snow
Heather Findlay Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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
3.26 | 18 ratings

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The Phoenix Suite
Heather Findlay Crossover Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math 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
3.26 | 18 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
3.26 | 18 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
3.26 | 18 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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