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Genres You Will Love
Folk: Modern Folk Folk: Singer/Songwriter Moods: Solo Female Artist Moods: Type: Acoustic Moods: Type: Lo-Fi

By Location
United States - Illinois United States - Maine

Heather's Website

Heather Styka

When listeners describe singer-songwriter Heather Styka as an “old soul,” the term applies to more than the wisdom beyond her years in her writing. Styka’s tunes have a vintage familiarity that draws inspiration from folk and Tin Pan Alley sounds, but the vivid images of her lyrics render her songs as as fresh, smart, and unexpected as they are hummable. In addition to numerous songwriting awards and critical praise (including Kerrville New Folk Finalist in 2015), Styka’s 2011 release Lifeboats for Atlantis hit #3 on the national FOLK-DJ charts, and her newest album While This Planet Spins Beneath Our Feet charted for four months on FOLK-DJ (Oct.-Dec. 2014). With her pure, soulful, "classically modern folky warble" and "nimble fingerpicked guitar" (Dispatch Magazine), Styka’s performances feel as candid as late night conversation and as comfortable as coming home.

Heather Styka originally hails from Chicago, where she started writing and performing at fourteen. She spent the subsequent decade performing throughout the Chicago area, and after obtaining a degree in creative writing, began touring the Midwest and Northeast. Her 2011 release Lifeboats for Atlantis brought her to national attention, ending up on a number of radio DJs’ "best albums of the year" lists (Midnight Special, WFMT). In the spring of 2013, Styka uprooted and moved to Portland, Maine, where she quickly became part of New England’s folk and Americana community. She recorded, While This Planet Spins Beneath Our Feet in Saranac Lake, NY, printed the CD covers on a 1901 letterpress in Maine, released it in Chicago at the end of 2014, and it has been garnering critical acclaim from the UK to the Netherlands ever since.

In addition to being a 2015 New Folk Finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Styka’s songwriting awards include first place in the Big Top Chautauqua Songwriting Competition (2009) and second place in the Great Lakes Songwriting Contest (2012). She's made an impact at the Folk Alliance Region Midwest, Northeast Regional Folk Alliance, and Folk Alliance International conferences, having been selected for official juried showcases at both FARM and FAI. Styka has also been a featured guest on WFMT's “Folkstage” and "Sweet Folk Chicago” with Rich Warren, and on Tom May's nationally syndicated "River City Folk.”

With training both as a poet and an actor, Heather Styka is equal parts wordsmith and performer. Her smooth, natural vocal command “combines the influences of a fragile Irish air, the warm effervescence of upbeat Americana, soulful country, and mournful blues” (FolkWords). Colored by a quirky and confessional sense of humor, Styka’s shows feel as playful as they are intimate. A few tunes may bring you to tears, but her stage banter is equally as likely to make you laugh.

When she’s not in Maine or Chicago, you can find Heather Styka traveling the roads with curiosity, wanderlust, a sunny persistence, stories, and songs in tow. In 2016, she released her latest album, 'The Bitterweet Tapes.'