Trading one beat for another, this former Baltimore journalist now sings her stories with Janis-meets-Joni vocals.
Heather Aubrey Lloyd has co-fronted Baltimore’s ilyAIMY for two decades. Traveling the country playing everything from bait shops to clothing-optional resorts, Lloyd’s collection of stories turned lyrics and became her first solo studio effort, “A Message in the Mess.” Each narrative is offered up in her passionate, “sing-me-the-phone-book” alto. Her finger-picked guitar says folk. Her lyrics show the influence of Baltimore's slam poetry scene. Her hand percussion says world music. "Janis Joplin ... and Joni Mitchell blended together," says The Montgomery Caller. “Mess” received the Director's Award for Album of the Year from the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, and the awards haven't stopped since: 2018 No Depression Magazine Songwriting Award Finalist, 2018 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival MOST WANTED Artist, 2018 National Women's Music Festival Emerging Artist, 2017 Telluride Troubadour Top 4. She is a Grand Prize winner of the prestigious Bernard Ebb Songwriting Award (2019). Live shows are back, with Lloyd recently opening shows for Gretchen Peters and Gordon Lightfoot.
Lloyd plans to release new music in 2023, featuring songs about mental health, the plight of refugees, and aging gracefully.
Previously, Lloyd has been a Lilith Fair Talent Search Finalist. ilyAIMY is a repeat Best Contemporary Folk Group/Duo in the Washington Area Music Awards, among other honors.
In-Depth on the CD: Lloyd met Reno-based pop-rock band, The Novelists, teaming for arrangements and instrumentation that mark a polished departure from her alt-folk grit with ilyAIMY. The result: Traditionally folk/acoustic instruments used in unorthodox ways that court jazz, indie, classical and rock. The disc begins with the anthemic pop love song, “Ask For Me,” and passes through the funny glockenspiel/kazoo folk of “The Animal Crackers Song” to end up in the string arrangement of “Pollock” and grinding roots rock of “Phantom.” Through it all, Lloyd‘s dusky, sensual, intensely emotional voice tells her unusual stories. As her CD wrapped, The Novelists won a performance spot on Train’s Sail Across the Sun Cruise. LA-based David Peters of Oak House Recording (Amber Rubarth, Vienna Teng) also mixed/mastered the project.
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