Pop singer-songwriter Haley Joelle's biggest strength is her vulnerability. The 21-year-old's debut EP Sideways Heart is a testament to her candid, narrative-driven storytelling. With each track, Joelle creates a short film in your head with just the grace of her words.
Sideways Heart allows us into Joelle's honest honey and sage-colored world. We haven't listened to an EP recently that allowed us to actually discover so much about an artist's real life. With her standout single track "Molly," Joelle shares the story of her upbringing. Something as personal as the nuanced relationships she has with her parents is highlighted and feels quite relatable. Then there's "All Your Friends," which describes the perils of a breakup. Joelle told us writing it helped her process it all, saying, "This song was me realizing that this new person [he was with] was a much better fit than I ever could be, even though that thought hurt."
Joelle takes listeners by the hands as she guides us through major events in her life. It feels so real because it is. A crucial component to the gracefulness with which she tells these stories is the way she chooses to craft them auditorily.
Each track on Sideways Heart starts inconspicuously, with a kind of tenderness, focusing on gently constructed melodies on acoustic guitar, piano, or just Joelle's sweet timbre. Then, second by second, they grow into swirling new-age pop ballads with echoing harmonies and climbing percussion. Sideways Heart is a tender, beautiful listen.
Listen to Sideways Heart below: