Nashville songstress Brooke Waggoner's greatest asset might be her deftness with surprise. Her swooping, melancholy pop songs can clatter into cabaret territory or, just as quickly, draw back to reveal a devastatingly beautiful melody. After garnering nationwide critical buzz for her EP Fresh Pair of Eyes (available for free download at brookewagginermusic.com), Waggoner doesn't disappoint on her full-length debut, offering a rangy set of eleven finely-crafted tunes. Certain moments are taut enough to recall Fiona Apple's jaunty, off-beat masterpiece Extraordinary Machine, while otherslike the sweetly sad title track "Heal For The Honey"tap into more traditional sounds-of-heartbreak territory. There are plenty of studio quirks here to keep even the most seasoned ear entertained and Waggoner's delicate, breathy voice is ever-dexterous as it traverses everything from the Feist-like pop snap of opener "Lungs Speed, Lungs Sped" to the power-ballad croon of "Come Love, See My Hands." A skilled pianist who appreciates the instrument's potential for whimsy, this young singer-songwriter has the potential to be one of Nashville's next great exports to today's fickle musical landscape.
Wed., Aug. 13, 9:30 p.m., 2008