Akin to her Appalachian contemporaries, folkie Heather Sarona sews her roots from the mountainside. The singer-songwriter grew up surrounded by folk and bluegrass music in the Uwharrie Mountains of North Carolina. Americana runs intrinsically through her veins, informing her warm, rootsy songwriting and multi-instrumentalist abilities—Sarona plays guitar in a way that recalls Saratoga greats, plus banjo and uke. Her debut LP, Head Above Water, invokes all of these elements into a cozy, inhabitable folk soundscape that recalls the likes of Gillian Welch and Watchhouse.
Sarona’s heartwarming ‘For Me’ recalls the moment she’d first met her now-husband. Hearty production allows its swath of acoustic instruments to all be heard fairly, in unison, with pronounced mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and bass performances all having their time in the sun. It sets Sarona’s gorgeous tone front and center as she croons the love song out. All in all, it’s one memorable, sweet slice of folk music.
On the tune, Sarona says, “Falling in love can feel like being saved – we carry around all the scars and damage from our pasts, and new love can make us feel seen for the first time. ‘For Me’ describes the emotions I was feeling when I first met my husband, right after the end of a very long relationship. He looked at me in this way that no one ever had before – it was intoxicating. I wrote this song when I was in a place where I felt like I just wasn’t special enough to be truly loved. I felt apprehensive about whether those long, loving looks would fade one day. There is so much magic in new love, and I wanted to hold onto every bit of it. And just in case you’re wondering, he does still look at me the same way.”
For Head Above Water, Sarona teamed up with the likes of Andrew Marlin (Mandolin Orange, Watchhouse), Libby Rodenbough (Mipso), Sarah McCombie (Chatham Rabbits) and Lizzy Ross (Violet Bell) on harmonies, as well as Hank Smith on banjo, Marcel Ardans on guitar, Alex Bingham on bass, and Jason Cecil on percussion.
Words by: Jonathan Frahm