Heather Styka

Heather Styka (Coldwater River) from ROOFTOP SESSIONS CHICAGO on Vimeo.

The performance for Rooftop Sessions Chicago of Heather Styka is accompanied by Sophie Weber on cello.

About Heather Styka

Chicago singer-songwriter Heather Styka’s songs are as fresh as they are rooted in the folk and Americana tradition, delivered by a warm and soulful voice.  Also a poet and writer, Styka has an instinct for lyrics that are smart and unexpected but never cryptic, analyzing the importance of moments, places, and relationships.  In addition to numerous songwriting awards, her 2011 release Lifeboats for Atlantis received critical praise, hitting #3 on the national FOLK-DJ charts.  As “one of the more original of the many contemporary singer-songwriters touring the US” (Tom May, River City Folk), Heather Styka stands at the forefront of her generation of songwriters.

With a distinctive guitar style and a natural, earthy vocal command, Styka gives each song space to breathe, favoring minimal instrumentation.  From foot-stomping grooves to whispered hymns, “Heather’s unique delivery combines the influences of a fragile Irish air, the warm effervescence of upbeat Americana, soulful country and mournful blues. Her voice ensures these songs hit that place in your chest where emotions reside” (FolkWords).  Though unafraid to tackle the darker aspects of human experience, her songs are characterized by a persistent hopeful streak.  “A lot of my songs are bittersweet, but there’s always this uplifting desire that things will get better,” says Styka. “That really seems to resonate with people right now.”

Styka’s performances are marked by her sincere authenticity — there’s no difference between the cheery young Midwesterner before and after she gets on stage.  Conversational and approachable, she brings lighthearted banter to her performances with a quirky sense of humor.  From large halls to coffeehouses, festivals to house concerts, she retains that intimacy.  “What I love about performing these songs,” Styka says, “is that each one is a conversation with an audience.  I don’t write for myself, I write to connect with listeners.”  And it seems Heather Styka is doing just that.  Currently touring nationwide, Styka resides in Chicago’s North Side with a large collection of tea and a family of moss terrariums.