“Heartbeat” – Rowan Drake

“Heartbeat” by Rowan Drake is a tearful combination of melody and harmony unlike anything you’ve heard before. As the warm piano and poetic lyrics form the foundation of the song, waves of breathtaking background vocals envelop the sound, giving it this powerful, atmospheric feeling. It’s one of those songs that’s been meticulously thought out at every level, each element complimenting the last to the highest power. What you get at the end is the purest example of music and a cathartic outpouring of emotion.

“Lately I’ve been starting to miss you,” Rowan almost whispers. An organic set of piano chords pulses behind him. There are layers upon layers of reverb and echo emanating from the lead vocal, foreshadowing the wash of ethereal textures of the chorus. The melody itself takes on a gentle, minor arc, somehow feeling repetitive and arhythmic all at once. In fact, the lack of a solid rhythmic structure adds to the emotional effect, allowing the vocal phrases to breathe without the rigidity of a steady beat.

The chorus finally arrives and voices erupt from the previously sparse ambiance. Octaves, doubles, and harmonies work together to bolster some of the most heartbreaking intimations. “But your heart’s telling me you don’t love me no more,” the hook repeats over two different chords, setting the message in stone. Rowan Drake strikes to the core of what makes music a beautiful reflection of humanity with this simple track. If you’re in the mood for something incredibly touching, you couldn’t do better than “Heartbeat.”


Written by Alyce Lindberg

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