Using her creativity as a means of self-expression, Australia-based singer-songwriter Karen Harding has musical conversations with listeners instead of just singing songs. She shares that music is a “soul conversation allowing the masks we hide behind to fall away for a moment of sharing and mutual understanding”. From her debut single, ‘I Didn’t Realise’, to ‘Anxiety’, we have followed Harding’s progression as an intimate storyteller. Come with us as we continue this journey with her latest single ‘Something Special’.
Following the track ‘Anxiety’, Karen Harding adopts a soul meets jazz sound with splashes of contemporary pop in ‘Something Special’. Beautifully layered, the melodic arrangement shows how various instruments can receive prominence but still come together in an enchanting whole. While Harding has a distinctive piano-driven style, I find ‘Something Special’ intriguing with the flow of saxophone reaching out into the intimate ballad. Yet, despite the multi-layered approach, ‘Something Special’ uses a minimalistic soundscape to share her poignant message.
Touching on elements of self-doubt, inner turmoil, anxiety, isolation and fear, ‘Something Special’ is, as described by Harding, “a conversation with an individual who cannot see how special and valuable they are”. Conveying a significant theme and message, one could consider this to be a hard-hitting tune with heavier tones; however, this is not the case. The smooth, flowing song has a reminiscence to material by Sarah McLaughlin, Karen Harding has a unique personal narrative making the songs meaningful.
‘Something Special’ may have a melancholic underlying theme, but Harding points out the wistful haze is an empowering one. Using personal experiences to connect with listeners, Harding also speaks from an outsider’s perspective adding empowering sentimentality to the track. Harding explains that she wanted ‘Something Special’ to “…portray a sense of freedom and gratitude within the song and felt that nothing felt more like freedom than the sound of ocean waves rolling in…you can hear this subtly throughout the song”.