Karen Harding - 'I Heard Somebody Talking'
Review by Abby Kenna & Staff
“I Heard Somebody Talking” by Karen Harding is a poignant and expressive ballad, addressing the heartbreak that can come from a close-mindedness, specifically in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. With her intentional vulnerability and candid tone, Harding’s words are uniquely impactful within this touching song.
Harding is careful to create space for each individual instrument in “I Heard Somebody Talking”, allowing each to support one another and not overpower the track. Piano acts as the main accompanying instrument, flowing through a simple, yet haunting progression. Mirroring the piano accompaniment, a synth horn colors the intimate production. The horns themselves are delicate - not bold or brassy, but rather floating, adding a similar sound as a string quartet might, but with a unique tone. By leaving space within the piano and horns part, Harding is able to emphasize certain sections, adding a soaring melody here or there to support the lyrics:
“I heard somebody talking
That the mutiny arose
You felt a sense of freedom…”
With especially artful intention, Harding has crafted the vocal delivery within “I Heard Somebody Talking” to perfectly express the significance of the song. Her voice rings out with vulnerability, the vocals close to the front of the mix and unadorned with overwhelming effects. She lets her emotion guide her tone, allowing her pain and confusion to color the emphasis within her lyrics. The sincere and conversational tone lets the lyrics cut deep and clear, their message eloquent but not hidden with vagueness. Harding’s delivery will invite listeners to review their own choices, and ask themselves these questions she poses:
“What would you say
When your mumma takes her last breath?
What would you do
When your fight for freedom is done?”
“I Heard Somebody Talking” is gorgeous and striking, tugging at the heart strings in all the most important ways. Harding has opened her heart in this song, her musical sincerity bound to inspire listeners in their own lives for years to come.
For more information on Karen Harding, please visit her website.
About Karen Harding
For Melbourne, Australia based artist, Karen Harding, music is not only an outlet for expression of her feelings and emotions, drawn from a lifetime of experiences.. music is a soul conversation, that allows the masks that we hide behind to fall away for a moment of sharing.. a moment of mutual understanding.. in a language that does not discriminate in any form.
To picture the sound of Karen Harding’s music, imagine for a moment.. you are sitting outdoors at a private, casual tea party.. it’s early in the morning and there is still a thin layer of fog lining the ground and the sun is just beginning to break for the first morning light. While sipping our tea, we are joined by guests, Sarah McLaughlin, Sara Barielles and Eva Cassidy and comparing stories about the depths of life.
Music has always been a part of Karen’s life, learning piano from the age of 6, beginning singing lessons from the age of 14 and more recently learning to play the guitar. Throughout the years, Karen has played at many cafes and bars around the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a combination of solo, duo and band performances, that have contributed to the sound that you hear today. Her true love of the art comes from the creativity of writing her own music.