If her stage fright had its way, Heather Green never would have become a musician.
Growing up in Santa Monica, California, Green spent her weekends at church, performing in the congregation and learning how to play guitar from her mother. But by the time she started high school, Green stopped singing for the lord and began penning her own songs. At the urging of a friend she signed up for an open mic performance at a small LA club---a record producer was in attendance and struck a deal with her on the spot.
But Green soon discovered something that all-star outfielder Albert Pujols knows all too well: not everything in the city of angels that glitters is gold. "My old album was almost kind of elevator poppy. I think someone once described it as a pastel hacienda," she says. "Which is true; it wasn't very dynamic and edgy. The songs were great, but they didn't stand out as much as they could have."
She decided to move in a totally new direction for her next album---to get there she would need to cross North America. Produced and engineered by Daniel Ledwell, Your Last War is a testament and time-piece to the past four years Green's lived in Halifax.
Moving to Halifax in 2009 with her then-partner, she didn't know too much about the city. "Actually, the first time I came out to visit my mom thought I was going to Europe," she says, laughing. But Green soon became baptized in the Halifax singer-songwriter community, performing shows at The Company House and striking a partnership with Ledwell to produce her next album.
Recorded in Ledwell's In-Flight Safety rehearsal space and home studio, Your Last War is an atmospheric and dynamic record inspired by her childhood performing at church, The Black Keys' Brothers and British soul-revivalist production duo The Bird and The Bee.
Although Green legally lives and works in Halifax (she's currently trying to get dual citizenship), she still needed some help to cover the financial costs of the album's production. She partnered with online fundraiser PledgeMusic, completing her campaign in 90 days, with 10 percent of the proceeds going towards the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia.
"It seemed to be successful for my other musical friends who had done the campaign," she says." I really liked the idea of having something unique from an artist. Instead of going to the show and just buying a CD, you can also opt for something that you wouldn't get at a show."
Gifts included an in-house performance, handwritten lyric sheets, calligraphy and even a one-hour massage for those living in LA. When asked if she would be the one administering the massage---partly because a) that would be weird and b) because Green's not a registered massage therapist---she responds, "No, I have a good friend in LA who is a massage therapist who offered to donate that. I guess that would come across as kind of kinky."
Although she won't be the one massaging LA's altruistic elite anytime soon, Green plans to leave Canada for a mini-tour of California in the near future, but doesn't see herself moving away from the city.
"Everybody goes to California to 'make it,'" Green says. "But in Halifax there's just this kind of community that envelops you."
Heather Green w/ Daniel Ledwell, Kev Corbett, Erin Costelo, Phil Sedore, Stacy Ricker, Jenn Grant, Stewart Legere, Margot Durling, Naomi-Joy Blackhall-Butler, Brad MacDonald, Saturday, May 12 at The Company House, 2202 Gottingen, 8pm