Wanda Gronhovd’s soothing music is like comfort food for the ears and soul, and it is especially needed during these turbulent times. She continues to masterfully evoke the full spectrum of human emotion: love, loss, doubt, heartbreak, sorrow, hope, and strength. Gifted with a warm, powerful voice, this Regina-based singer/songwriter has gained a growing audience of appreciative listeners since the release of her well-received debut album Awakening in 2014 and her stunning sophomore album Shifting Sands in 2017.
Now Gronhovd is back with her latest release, Pieces of Her Heart. Much like her previous work, this five song EP is deeply personal, but her songs have a much more immediate feel and sound this time around. Like her previous releases, Brad Prosko helmed the production and engineering at B-Rad Productions (Jess Moskaluke, Blake Berglund, Chris Henderson, Jeffery Straker). To help flesh out the sound, Murray Pulver (guitar), Julian Bradford (bass), Cody Iwasiuk (drums), and Breann DeHaven (backup vocals) added their sonic expertise to the equation. The result is a natural progression for her folk, pop, and soul stylings.
Pieces of Her Heart kicks off in fine fashion with the moody, atmospheric, guitar-driven title track. When discussing the song, Gronhovd says: “This was inspired by my breakup with my ex-husband and based on a real experience. We were trying to decide custody arrangements for our two sons when we first separated.” “She Broke the Code” is a confident, uplifting song based on her experience of coming out. According to Gronhovd, “I was leaving a secure relationship and life and trying to protect my children from some of the difficulties of this decision.” This song perfectly relays the initial fear and ultimate freedom that comes with making a life-changing decision.
“She Didn’t Know” is a lush, orchestral song filled with gorgeous background vocals. Gronhovd reveals that this tune “is about finding my passion and some of the vulnerability that went along with that and having to let go of many ideas of myself.” “Walked Away” is a folk-tinged ballad “based on a true story of leaving a relationship I had with a woman – my longest female relationship before my present one – that was difficult to do, but I knew that I was giving my self completely away while I was in it.”
Pieces of Her Heart concludes with the flamenco flavoured “Sorry I’m So Sorry.” Gronhovd says this song “is based on a conversation I had with my ex-husband while we had lunch together. At this point we had been divorced for nearly 30 years and I apologized to him for not knowing myself better at the time we got married. Quite unexpectedly, I hadn’t realized it was something I needed to do.” At five songs, Gronhovd leaves the listener wanting more, but in the best way imaginable. Pieces of Her Heart is a welcome addition to her growing catalogue and showcases an artist who is truly hitting her stride.
Consider watching this video where Wanda describes the songs on her EP “Pieces of Her Heart”.