Halle Kearns - Are You Okay?
Halle Kearns continues to establish herself as a major artist in our eyes with her latest release "Are You Okay?" and in many ways it is as much what she doesn't do as what she does. She has so far managed to stay clear of drifting into the trap of incessant click tracks and chasing radio play by attempting to sound exactly like everyone else, instead keeping her own sound which even when built up is never far away from its acoustic roots. The other thing the marks her out as being a little bit special is her subject matter, sure there's going to be relationship songs about loves lost and found but her growing catalogue already shows that her outlook is much wider than that. Also she not only talks the talk - for this single Halle is teaming with multiple brands and organisations to further spread her message with a portion of proceeds going to charity.
All of which brings us to "Are You Okay?", a question we sometimes shy away from for fear of the answer, but here Halle is using her platform to highlight the importance of asking it, especially as she says as "it's becoming indreasingly more common in today's world to make it look like you have it all together even when things aren't great", The single opens to a gently played acoustic guitar and Halle sets the scene perfectly - it's as much a lyric as it could be Halle having a conversation.
"Darling I'm just checking in on you - It's been a while
and you know how I worry - You're always in a hurry
Wonder if you even know how - to take a little time and slow down?"
Even by the time of the chorus there is little other instrumentation other than that guitar, however Halle's vocals convey such a genuine feeling of sincere concern that the song remains a compelling listen.
"Have you called your Mum?
Are you sleeping in too late or even sleeping at all?
Is your smile real in the pictures you take
Are you feeling peace at the end of the day?"
By the third verse, a banjo and some very light percussion add to the overall sound as Halle addresses another type of person, the ones forever looking after others sometimes at the expense of themselves.
"You'all ask everyone else before you ever ask yourself"
The addition of a pedal steel and lightly tinkling piano complete the overall sound just as Halle adds her final heartfelt pleas of "Are You Ok?", before it all fades away leaving Halle with the closing line
"I'm just checking in on you"
Are You Okay is released 8th February