Album Review: Heather Gruber – Dance into the Desert
A collection of songs designed to convey a narrative of the artist’s sojourn from East Tennessee to Los Angeles, Dance into the Desert is shimmering pop. Gruber has a lovely voice, and her knack with a winning melody shines through on all of these songs. At one moment she might me trilling along while plucking on a ukulele (“Running on Empty,” not the Jackson Browne tune); elsewhere she’s at the piano, Carole King style, delivering the introspective “Lost My Halo.” Gruber effortlessly flits up and down t scales vocally, but it’s always in service of her songs, not done in any kind of showy, look-what-I-can-do manner. The instrumentation is tasteful and never bland, and each song seems to have been crafted from the bottom up, each with its own warm and inviting character. Even when exploring potentially melancholy subject matter (“What’s So Good About Being Young?”), Gruber’s sunny optimism shines through. Fans of Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor are recommended to seek this out.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.