Haley Heynderickx truly pulls back the curtain, unveiling, insecurities, uncertainties, and personal attributions that can’t help but make you feel vulnerable by the raw beauty of honesty that is portrayed in this ever-so personal look into the heart, mind, and deep-soul of Haley Heynderickx. Although accompanied by several other instruments, Heynderickx’s feats seem to be that of her own design, as a singer-songwriter, we get this privy intimate connection, as the lyrics resonate true, due to the direct correlation with Heynderickx.
Not with-standing the fact that there were other musical contributions to this record, the accompaniment of the trombone in the first track, “The Bug Collector”, truly exhibits the harrowing and uneasy contempt of this rainy-day nail-bitter. The finger-picking guitar feels as though spiders are crawling up your back, not to mention that most symbolic references in this song are that of pertaining to bugs. Nevertheless, the musical stylings are very fitting. A guitarist by trade, Heynderickx’s classical acoustic setup and picking style resemble the sound of a harp, complimenting whispering vocal style, as heard in “No Face”, the opening track to this album. The doubled over vocals in “Drinking Song”, lay over like a warm blanket accompanied by the harmonies, which complement the insightful interpretations of Heynderickx’s idealistic beliefs in-which she questions her own uncertainty, only to contradict her statements later on in the song to hint at signs of self-growth, and to establish her own vulnerabilities which later become her better characteristics.
Furthermore, Heynderickx shows that she is in fact lonely, however also independent, and simply because she expresses her loneliness, does not necessarily mean she can’t handle it. “I need you there, but not all the time”, she states in “Worth It”, the 4th track of the album, we also get to hear Heynderickx’s electric guitar skills, as she builds up from her whirring credence of her own mistrust in herself, to her traction filled claims of confidence in her own self-worth. Heynderickx’s crooning libretto pairs well with the depth of the sorrowful, yet hopeful interpretations of life and experiences through the eyes of Heynderickx. Heynderickx often plucks the low E of her guitar in order to keep rhythm. Not only does this make up for the lack of a bass player, but it also adds to the deep gloom surrounding her allusions of symbolic interpretation of what she pleases to provide insight on.
In spite of the rather gloomy shade cast over most of this album, Heynderickx shares her rather heartrending lyrics full of angst and defeat, while providing nostalgic comfort in her lyrics, referring to child-like metaphors in order to communicate her vulnerable state. It also shows that she grew because of her roots and experiences as a child, like in “Oom Sha La La”, where she sings, “...with olive on my thumbs and I’ve been doubtful of all that I’ve dreamed of”, later stating “I’m throwing out the milk, the olives got old”, providing evidence of self-growth and tenacity. Heynderickx takes us on a journey, paints a picture for us to climb into and take a walk along side with her as she explains how things are interpreted by her. As heard in, “Drinking Song”, she states “There's a light at the end of the dock, sending green little postcards to the city I love so-much”. Overall, I Need to Start a Garden is an intimate personal journal that Haley Heynderickx takes listeners on through her unique picking styles, her crooning vocals, and her rather allusive lyrics about life itself.