Track Review

Track Review: I’ve Got A Secret // Karen Harding

Drawing from a lifetime of experiences, singer-songwriter Karen Harding expresses her feelings, emotions and opinions through music. Embracing her passion for music at a young age, she has swirled about in a sonic haze since the age of 6 when she began learning the piano. Honing her emotive musicality, the Australia-based artist has several well-received singles under her belt and continues to build her acclaimed portfolio. One of the more recent additions to Karen Harding’s discography is the single ‘I’ve Got A Secret’.

The first single and title track from her upcoming EP I’ve Got A Secret, this new addition touches on issues of fear, anxiety and despair. Penned during the Australia Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, ‘I’ve Got A Secret’ dives head-first into these difficult emotions. Karen explains that “we live in a world that is filled with images of perfection where we believe that to be good enough, we must line up with the messages that essentially only show the highlight reels of life. This leads us to locking away our own vulnerabilities…until you reach a point where you realise that your struggles are a secret no one knows about; the idea of sharing these fills us with fear, questioning and mistrust…”

Finding solace and joy in writing her own music, Karen Harding inserts sincerity and sentimentality into her songs – even if they are oozing brutal, painful honesty. In ‘I’ve Got A Secret’, this singer-songwriter showcases the darker, moodier and more brooding side of her creative personality. Acoustic-inspired, Karen combines an acoustic guitar with interspersed strings to create a cinematic, minimalistic soundscape. What I find intriguing is how the simplistic nature of the track is far more kaleidoscopic than any full-band orchestral arrangement.

As mentioned, ‘I’ve Got A Secret’ is a song about fear and mistrust, and Karen’s heartfelt vocals ooze vulnerability. Her strong vocal execution is both rich and wistful sending shivers down your spine. What I find particularly interesting about her voice is how its powerful classical clarity melds with an intense intimacy giving you goosebumps from the first note. I cannot wait to see what else Karen Harding has in store.

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