With the intimacy of Joan Baez and the intensity of Joni Mitchell, Karen Harding is one of the more enchanting emerging artists in 2021. Melding old-school folk and contemporary pop, with some twinges of soul, the Australian singer-songwriter holds listeners in the palm of her hands. Drawing on personal experiences, Karen layers engaging lyricism atop mesmerising melodies. We present you with her debut single ‘I Didn’t Realise’.
A piano-driven track, ‘I Didn’t Realise’ breaks your heart from the first chord. Yet, while the piano has tenderness in it, it is the incorporation of drums and strings that sends shivers down your spine. Beginning as simplistic, acoustic-inspired melody ‘I Didn’t Realise’ has a languid flow to the melody; however, it is the crescendo into a medley of instruments that enhance the poignancy of the track. A deceiving simplicity if ever I heard one.
Originally penned as a tale of a painful breakup ‘I Didn’t Realise’ is a sonic representation of the grittier side to “being dumped”. The thing is, while the track is meant to be about coming to terms with an earth-shattering doomed relationship, it contains another powerful message. As the song was written during the Covid-19 pandemic, it might be a response to the earth-shattering effects of this deadly virus. Touching on issues of desperation, isolation, pain and loneliness, ‘I Didn’t Realise’ describes perfectly how many people are dealing with this uncertainty. This is not where it ends as Karen leaves us with a lingering sense of optimism and hopefulness – the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
Despite this being her first single, Karen Harding is already turning heads across the globe. Featured on The Other Side Reviews, Dope Cause We Said and Rockol, it’s clear Karen is making her mark. So what do we have to say about the songstress and ‘I Didn’t Realise’. In short, I love it and everyone needs to remember the name, Karen Harding!