Willow Woodward is a singer-songwriter from Chatham, Massachusetts, who is 18 years old. She has been singing and playing instruments since she was a child, having grown up in a musical family. Willow has worked relentlessly to hone her craft and grow as a singer and songwriter since she discovered music at the age of ten. Willow’s second EP, DAYBREAK, showcases her wide spectrum of musical styles and influences, which include pop, dance, country, and indie ballad. With 7 songs and an 18-minute run-time, DAYBREAK is just the album you need to segue from fall to spring with a nice, hot, cup of coffee.
The first song on the album is called Fade, which is by definition soft and beautiful. It has hints of electro pop that intersect with her vocals. The true electropop potential of the track comes out with the closer on the album, which is a Remix of Fade, mixed by Kyle Puccia, the genius co-writer and producer behind Kygo’s #1 hit “Kids in Love.”
The next is called Closed Book. With blissful harmonies and choral arrangements, the song is just the right amount of melancholic to go with the seasonal blues of fall and winter.
The album features a lot of well written ballads that focus on a certain type of storytelling. Willow Woodward has really focused on her songwriting with this album. She tries to take you on a journey with storytelling-songwriting. Willow is in a more contemplative, introspective tone on the six-song compilation of original tunes. As she says: “During lockdown, I think we all went through periods of melancholy, and at these times I found myself looking more to my guitar rather than piano for creative outlet. I’d been listening to a lot of great country music, and found the guitar and the storytelling framework of country songs to be a good match in expressing my musical ideas.” While Willow Woodward is known for her piano work, the guitar features on this album are a breath of fresh air.
The next song Daybreak is an emotional and evocative, soft and the muffled drum beats accentuate the atmosphere that Willow is trying to build. Hardest on Ourselves is husky and soft, slow and calm, and takes introspection to a new level. The song really emphasizes the vulnerability Willow Woodward is trying to bring. “Closed Book” and “Hardest on Ourselves” keep the vulnerable feeling going, displaying Willow’s lyrical maturity in the imagery of the lyrics and the complexity of the arrangements.
“Way We Were” surges with Adele-like force and emotional crescendo just when the album’s theme appears to be solely inward-focused. “Dawn,” the album’s most intricate track, ponders in its chorus: “I’m waiting for daybreak, I’m waiting for some day… I’m waiting for the light to rise and the dark clouds to dissipate.”