Self-Portrait: Heather Woods Broderick | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, February 29th, 2024  

Self-Portrait: Heather Woods Broderick

Just Beyond Hope

Jan 25, 2024 Photography by Heather Woods Broderick Web Exclusive
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For our recurring Self-Portrait feature, we ask musicians to take a self-portrait photo (or paint/draw a self-portrait) and write a list of personal things about themselves, things that their fans might not already know about them. This Self-Portrait is by Heather Woods Broderick.

Broderick released a new album, Labyrinth, last year via Western Vinyl. D. James Goodwin co-produced the album, which is Broderick’s fifth. She’s based in Los Angeles, but was born in Maine.

Broderick had this to say about the album’s themes in a press release announcing the album: “Many of us yearn for stillness and peace, as an escape from the movement all around us. Yet movement is perpetual, happening all the time on some level. It’s as wild as the wind, yet eternally predictable in its inevitability. It is linear in part, but infinite in its circuitry. Our lives just punctuate it.”

Read on as Broderick writes about her grandma, a childhood hero, her exercise routine, and her fears. Above is a self-portrait photo she submitted to us.


1. One of my childhood heroes was Shaquille O’Neal. I was obsessed with the NBA for a period of time, and collected cards from the local shop with my allowance money. At one point I had the whole USA team, and a Shaquille O’Neal gold card. I guarded it with my life.

2. “Who would have known, a little girl from beyond hope.” This was what my grandmother would always say to me when she was proud. She was a fancy lady, and I always just assumed she meant that she was surprised at what I’d accomplished given my backwoods upbringing. I always smirked and wondered if she realized that the comment was a bit off hand. About two years ago, shortly before she passed away, we were chatting and it came out that the town that I grew up in, Searsmont, ME, was close to another small town called Hope. Locals would refer to Searsmont as the town “just beyond Hope.” We had a good laugh together about it.

3. When I was a kid my favorite movie was Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. I thought I wanted to be a barrel racer, and then saw that movie and becoming a horse diver became my dream. It seemed so brave and inspiring.

4. I have a regular Pranayama practice. Sometimes only once, but ideally two to three times per week I sit on a live call from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m., and do an hour of guided breathing. I came across this practice during the early stages of lockdown, and have found the effects of it to be life changing. I also like to run a few times a week, and [in 2022] I trained for my first half marathon. I do Yoga and HIIT classes to balance it all out. Being able to take care of myself like this since being off the road more has been really good for me. My body stronger feels better.

5. I love Kendrick Lamar. I’m a huge fan of all his work, but Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers blew my mind. It was my most listened to record of 2022, and I listened to it on repeat on so many runs that year. I also got the opportunity to see him live on that record cycle. It was definitely the most excited I’ve ever felt to see an arena show. I’m generally not a fan of huge crowds, but would have gone back for a second night. I aspire to reach the flow state he finds to write his incredible tracks.

6. I’m in love with large hedges, in fact when I toured with Lisa Hannigan in her band, my nickname was Hedge. I fell in love with one in Ireland that was larger than life. It looked like a freight train on steroids. I love the density, and the organized chaos of a good hedge. I could easily book an entire holiday around visiting impressive hedges and gardens.

7. I’ve always been terrified of drugs. I started touring when I was 19, with all different bands, in all different countries, in all types of venues. Through all those years, I’ve only even seen cocaine one time, and I’ve never done any hard drugs. I guess I got lucky, or things aren’t as rock and roll as people think, which is really cool. I’m thankful that this has been my experience.

8. I never thought I’d write songs with words until I was 20. Prior that I was only interested in writing instrumental music, though I did love to sing, and did some backup singing for local bands when I was young. Always too shy to be front and center. These days I still go back and forth between wanting to write more instrumental music and songs with words.

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