Mike Herz delivers songs of stark personal imagery. The listener must confront the words. This isn’t music to drone in the background while playing Words With Friends. If you want to listen to a Mike Herz album, you have to sit down and listen to it.
“Naked Heart” was selected from The Acrobat, Mike’s second full-length album, released in 2017. We reviewed Mike’s first album, Overgrown, way back in 2013. Overgrown told the story of a man who is tormented by his dreams, attached to his home, and running out of time to make it all work. In The Acrobat, our man learns that some dreams must be left behind, while those dreams that are retained must be cherished.
The eleven tracks of The Acrobat offered several Song of the Day possibilities. But “Naked Heart” displays an irresistibly gentle beauty, with a Neil Youngish harmonica and a softly finger-picked guitar that shifts to emphatic strumming for the last verse. The musicianship on The Acrobat has taken a large step beyond Overgrown, with a subtlety and maturity that we haven’t heard in Mike’s previous releases. The bare instrumentation and minimal melodies provide a background for the lyrics, but no shady hiding places in which to avoid them.
Mike Herz will appear March 16, his birthday, at the Rockwood Music Hall, in New York. Tickets are available on Ticketfly. Mike’s music is available for download on his Bandcamp page. Be sure to visit his website, and follow him on Facebook, and Twitter.