Anne Heaton

Anne Heaton

 Evanston, Illinois, USA
BandPopSinger/Songwriter

Mapping personal themes with organic vocals, soaring melodies and piano-led arrangements. Liken her songwriting style to Patty Griffin and Tori Amos.

Biography

Singer-songwriter and classically trained pianist Anne Heaton has amassed awards and praise from critics, fellow artists and fans with her songs that are by turns “tender, barbed and spiritual” (Washington Post). Her graceful, vulnerable, and sometimes humorous pop-folk songs have captured audience imaginations for over a decade.

Heaton studied at the University of Notre Dame, writing her senior thesis on Debussy’s piano works, and then enriched her musical training by studying composition and jazz vocals at The City College of New York. Always a fan of Peter Gabriel, the Indigo Girls, and Tori Amos, she also became fascinated by early American spirituals while living in New York, sang in a Harlem gospel choir and for the first time began writing her own songs.

In recent years, Heaton has toured nationally, played the Sundance Film Festival, Lilith Fair (2010), and was a featured artist on the New York Times Music Podcast. Heaton has played numerous times on NPR and has shared the stage with some of her favorite artists including Sarah McLachlan and jazz drummer Max Roach. In 2012, she was invited to perform on The Cayamo Cruise as part of Winterbloom (featuring Antje Duvekot, Meg Hutchinson and Natalia Zukerman) with artists such as Keb ‘Mo and The Civil Wars.

Known for the infectious energy of her live performances — “a natural performer [with] a rich, soaring voice” (Seattle Times) — Heaton has toured throughout the US since 2001 playing acoustic venues, outdoor theaters, rock clubs, and festivals. In 2005, she won Soul City Cafe, a national competition of live performances and online voting to choose Jewel’s opener for her West Coast Tour. In addition to Jewel’s tour, Heaton has toured as an opening act for Melissa Ferrick and HEM, as well as opened for/performed with Chris Trapper, Jill Sobule and Jonatha Brooke.

Heaton released her newest studio album Honeycomb on October 16, 2012. The epiphanic album is dynamically organized into two uplifting moods—euphoric and meditative—with the theme of impermanence uniting both. Overall, it’s wonderfully reminiscent of the days of vinyl, when Side A and Side B each had a distinct feel that, when played in succession, took the listener on an inner journey. Anne Heaton’s fourth album is the critically acclaimed artist’s most unique and affecting album to date.

Critics say:
Praise for Honeycomb
“One of the Top 31 albums of 2012? – Mike Mettler, Sound + Vision
“The recording is so good. I’ve always been a huge fan of Anne Heaton.” – Richard Milne, WXRT
“The latest addition to her catalog of sophisticated folk-pop” – Boston Globe
“Her most eccentric work yet” – Boston Phoenix
“Fans of lyrically deep keyboard-based songs will enjoy this album.” – Biloxi Sun-Herald
“Piano-centric folk tunes with soulful lyrics and earthy vocals” – Entertainment Realm

“…a blend of soft pop, smooth blues, and porch folk, singer-songwriter Anne Heaton… lets her individuality show. Honeycomb crisscrosses genres into a pleasing hybrid.” – Hybrid Magazine

“Folk-leaning singer-songwriters Anne Heaton makes music that has a timeless feel. …Heaton [has] a place on my iPod.” – McKeesport Daily News

“With her joyous spirit, warm voice and spacious piano playing Anne is known for the infectious energy of her live performances. …her songs do not disappoint.” – The-E-List.com

Praise for Blazing Red
“Here’s a singer-songwriter that allows herself to be ordinary at the same time she’s unafraid to find extraordinary moments. This is real life as plain chamber drama, the most familiar and yet still deep movements of our pathos rendered into gorgeous song.” – Chet Betz, Cokemachineglow.com

“Her latest in a series of superb, self-released albums, Blazing Red finds Boston-bred Anne Heaton offering a set of low-lit ballads that ring with a plaintive pull. With keyboards her primary focus, comparisons to Tori Amos and Fiona Apple become inevitable, but unlike her peers, Heaton’s expressions of dreams and desire never fall prey to self-pity or helpless circumstance, maintaining a focus on optimism.” – Performing Songwriter Magazine

“What a gorgeous, supple voice [Heaton's] is” – Brett Milano, SoundandVisionsMag.com

Critics say about Heaton's music:
“Stunning” – PASTE
“Absolutely gorgeous” – New York Times Music Podcast
“Lush, introspective, elegant” – Boston Globe
“Strong, emotive and slightly haunted” –Boston Herald
“Superb” – Performing Songwriter Magazine
“Tender, barbed and spiritual”- Washington Post
“Thoughtful, emotionally intense” – Sound & Vision
“[Heaton's] compelling piano melodies and clearly articulated phrasing remind me of Carole King” – Naomi Arenberg, “Folk on WGBH” NPR

-Anne is the Featured Artist of the Week on The New York Times Pop Music Podcast:
http://podcasts.nytimes.com/podcasts/2008/12/10/10musicreview.mp3

-Anne was featured as a musical guest on NPR's "Here and Now." Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/c3am3x

-Anne play

Lyrics

Where Your Scar Is (Blazing Red, 2009)

Written By: Anne Heaton

Sister off she went
And it hurt your heart
So you buried it
Deep inside your chest
Under the papers on your desk

And I know this
That your love lives where your scar is
And I know why
Even when I’m right next to you I feel lonely sometimes

I try to wake you up
Spitting out insults
But they just bounce off your forehead
I learned not to use kind words
Never use kind words
They just scare you away

And I know this
That your love lives where your scar is
And I know why
Even when I’m right next to you I feel lonely sometimes

Sometimes the most important thing
Between two people goes unsaid
And for us it was that happiness lie ahead
We believed this so completely
In the end it would defeat me
For all I ever wanted was your love

And I know this
That your love lives where your scar is
And I know why
Even when I’m right next to you I feel lonely sometimes

Pieces of Me (Blazing Red, 2009)

Written By: Anne Heaton

Pieces of Me

I was the bat girl in your ball park
And to the five and dime I’d bring
All the younger ones I took care of
While you dreamed big people things

All I wanted was your love
All those people that I was
Were just pieces of me, feathers
I plumed to bring us together

I acted out
With every man I met who shared your story
I tried to make each one see
What I always wished you could see

All I wanted was your love
All those people that I was
Were just pieces of me, feathers
I plumed to bring us together

Are these your dreams I see
in my own family?
And in what I’ve become
for your love?

I don’t want to rock this boat
I’m not sure how much longer you’ll live
You look so forward to heaven
Your reward is there, but I’m still here

And it’s time I made my way in the world
Without messing up
But I hate the contrast when everyone but you
Knows who I am

Chorus

Maybe It's Peace (Give In, 2005)

Written By: Anne Heaton

Maybe It's Peace

That man he had no resistance in him
Even as they brought him to his death
I resist every moment that I have
I fear the future
I rewrite my past

Maybe it's peace that lies beyond fear and desire
Maybe it's peace that's calling me home
If I pass through the doorway of fear and desire
Maybe it's peace that will welcome me home

I knew there must be a way for the finding
Though I feared it could not be of this world
If I worry or speak ill of you
I'll just say a prayer or two
And my soul will remind me I'm still loving you

Chorus

©2004

Megan & Kevin

Written By: Anne Heaton

I'm not sure exactly how it happened
But as I recall the first time I saw Kevin
He was exiting Homer's Ice Cream
As Meg and I were driving by
And she said "That's him! That’s Kevin!"
And I said "Wow, he's cute!
Should we go get him?"
And she said "No way- seriously,
He has no idea who I am"
And I said "Really Meg
Is that why he's looking your way?"
As I honked the horn and whistled away
She was kind of mad at me
But she was smiling when she said:

I'm not sure if he likes me…

Now I'm not sure what Kevin
Thought or said
'Cause I was with Megan instead
But I could just imagine
I could imagine what he was thinking
"Gosh, those girls as they drove by
The one I like she looked me in eye
But then they both busted up
Laughing in my face
Sped up and drove away
Oh, I wonder…"

I'm not sure if she likes me…

As Meg and I went roaring
Down the road
We decided definitely needed a plan
‘Cause when you live in Wilmette, Illinois
And the only thing to do
Is hang out at the 7-11 parking lot
You always need a plan
"Should we call him?" "No"
"Should we introduce ourselves?" "No"
"Should we go to where he might be hanging out?"
"Mmm… No"
"Should we stalk him?" "Definitely!"
I said that's what I would do
But what Megan had said
It was not true
That Kevin didn't know who she was
'Cause when we pulled up to her house he was there
And I said:

Meg I think he might like you…

Now it's true that Kevin
Never actually got out of his car that night
And that as Megan and I pulled up to his car
He immediately drove away
But it wasn't long after that night
That I stopped seeing my best friend
On a regular basis
Because she was with her new boyfriend
I soon got used to it
And later I came to be amazed by them
That by listening and by watching the road
They could know who they loved at age sixteen
So I don't have so much to say
On this most beautiful wedding day
Much of what I learned
I learned from them

But one last thing
For you Megan…

I'm quite sure that he likes you
I'm real sure that he likes you
I'm very sure that he likes you

Honeycomb (Honeycomb, 2012)

Written By: Anne Heaton

Fleece

The color of your eyes

I couldn’t wait to see

You wrapped in teal

Piazza Navona

A gift for me

Pastel watercolors

Piano keys

I was so in love with you

While you were working on the honeycomb

Oh, oh the honeycomb

We couldn’t wait to see what the future would hold

I’d run down the driveway every day

Don’t leave the moment

Stay

At first

It was a sunny day

At Notre Dame

With Mother Mary

Watching over us

Strong knees and agile hands

Idealists making plans

Dreams of a courtyard

Family picnics

Drawings on your desk

In red brick

I was so in love with you

While you were working on the honeycomb

Oh, oh the honeycomb

We couldn’t wait to see what the future would hold

I’d run down the driveway every day

Don’t leave the moment

Stay

Don’t leave the moment

Stay

We couldn’t make it be

No matter how we tried

Not with water or sunshine

Westchester wasn’t Rome

And the honey from the honeycomb

We never remembered to bring it home

To eat

Oh I was so in love with you

While you were working on the honeycomb

I never fell out of love with you

No matter how late you came home

Oh, oh the honeycomb

I came to see that’s what the future would hold

I tired of running down the driveway

Hoping for a new day

Hoping we’d

Stay

Don’t leave the moment

Stay

Don’t leave the moment

Stay

Why can’t we stay?

The Alchemist (Honeycomb, 2012)

Written By: Anne Heaton

You have been fighting it with medicine

You have been fighting it by talking to a friend

You have been fighting it by not fighting it

And surrendering

Make me a ruby

Hold me up to the sun

Melt me into one

Redness

And I won’t be depressed

Now that I’m the alchemist

I’m the alchemist

I’m the alchemist

I’m the alchemist

I’m the alchemist

I have been fighting it too

With caffeine

I have been fighting it too

With my lover’s hands all over me

I look to my eccentricities

To deliver me

Make me a ruby

Hold me up to the sun

Melt me into one

Redness

And I won’t be depressed

Now that I’m the alchemist

I’m the alchemist

I’m the alchemist

I’m the alchemist

I’m the alchemist

I’m riding in a wagon laughing into the sunset

I’m laughing in a wagon riding through the darkness

I Still Love You (Honeycomb, 2012)

Written By: Anne Heaton

I still love you after all this time

I still love you though you are not mine

People tell me I’ll get over it

And I know they’re wrong

But I can live with that

I still love you like a fairy tale

A sweet old story, but it isn’t real

I don't need you to be part of it

But it's a part of me

And I make peace with it

I can live without you

Just not without loving you

So I let you go

Even though

I'm still loving you

I’ve got no more tricks up my sleeve

How can I reach for you now that I’ve made you bleed?

I know your heart is on the mend

So the letters I write

I'll never send

I’ve learned to live without you

Just not without loving you

So I let you go

Even though….

I carry you in my heart

Just like at the start

I love you more today than I ever did

I see you in my dreams

Almost every night

The man you were reluctant to become

Are you sharing him with someone new?

I still love you after all this time

I still love you though you are not mine

People tell me I’ll get over it

I know they’re wrong

But I can live with that

I can live without you

But I'll never live without loving you

I let you go

Even though

I’m still loving you

I’ll be alright, still loving you

Watching You Win (Honeycomb, 2012)

Written By: Anne Heaton

You came to earth on a comet

From the blazing blue

And landed like a superhero

In our school

It was like hearing Elvis sing

You’d spin a miracle from any ol’ thing

You’d knock ‘em down

As we’d gather ‘round

To see you make it look easy

I like watching you win

I like watching you win

You were a cowboy from the Wild West

Next to the ladies of the 80’s in their Limited Express

You would’ve been herding cows

Smoking a peace pipe

With the Indians

Had you been born at the same time

But you were kissing girls at the five & dime

Leading the high school team one more time

To the championship

And I admit

I could not wait to see it

I like watching you win

I like watching you win

Watching you made us believe

That anything was possible

Now you think there’s nothing to see

But you showed us who we could be

We were so afraid ‘til we saw you give it a try

You know you made us brave

You made us smile

It was like hearing Elvis sing

Like watching that bowling ball bring

The final pin down

We gathered ‘round

To see you make it look easy

I like watching you win

I like watching you win

I like watching you win

I like watching you win

Sin Verguenza (Honeycomb, 2012)

Written By: Anne Heaton

Querida Renata

Te amo mucho porque tu vives “out loud”

Como decimos en ingles

With your married boss, you’re such a temptress

By the end of the season, he’ll love you best

You’re irresistible sin verguenza

Dearest Paloma

How I admire you

Changing careers

Late in the game

From lingerie to art dealer

And with so much going on

You haven’t even chosen

Between your live-in beau and ex-husband

But you always look good for both of them

And the smiting God

You know He never comes down to say:

“Who do you think you are Renata

Stealing the lover of another?”

No the smiting God

You know He never comes down to say:

“Who do you think you are Paloma

Dressing like that? Undressing like that?”

No the smiting God

You know he never comes down

And for that hour I don’t hear him in my head

And I can briefly live sin verguenza

I’m as sexy as mashed potatoes

Here in my sweats

I’m as threatening

As conference room carpet

I’m busy as a blanket

But I’m getting some ideas

Oh Maria Contreras

How I cried for days

After the accident at the lake

And the donation of your daughter’s heart

You took an airplane

To follow the man who got it

To be near her beating heart

A little while longer

And the smiting God

You know He never came down to say:

“Who do you think you are Maria?

You can’t change the way things are”

No the smiting God He didn’t dare to come down

Because Maria knows exactly who she is

And if He did, she’d tell him right off in Spanish

No the smiting God

You know He never comes down

And for that hour I don’t hear him in my head

And I can briefly live sin verguenza

Discography

Honeycomb - October 2012
Blazing Red - 2009
I Know This (EP) - 2006
Give In - April 2005
Black Notebook - 2002

Set List

Set is adaptable to venue.

Length of a typical set is 45 minutes to 75 minutes. Sometimes, the set is broken down into two, 40 minute sets with an intermission.

Opening act sets are usually 20-30 minutes. Set length and number of sets is flexible.

A sampling of what songs might be included in a typical set:

Jump
Momma to You
Underdog
Pieces of Me
Crystallize
Halfway Times Two
Your Heart is For Breaking
Black Notebook
Old Man by 21
Take Your Desire
Give Into You
Hey New York
Blazing Red
Your Heart
Spinning
Megan & Kevin
Bellyside
Maybe It's Peace