One of the few bright spots of 2020 was the emergence of Halle Kearns, her debut EP "Finally" showcased her many talents as did a number of supporting videos. All of this was achieved during the most difficult of times and all done whether by choice or necessity without having resort to the tired click tracks that plague so many releases these days. Her songs always kept traces of their acoustic origins while managing to layer on a more radio friendly sound over the top.
The result was an EP that was fresh, vibrant and attention grabbing. But that was 2020 and now the road to a new EP "Every Girl" ( slated for release in Dec 2021) begins with her new single "Nothing Left" and it already shows just how much she is developing as an artist, from its subject scope, the overall sound and just how beautifully it is delivered,
"Nothing Left" is deceptively simple sound wise, initially it is a piano ballad with a little faint acoustic guitar in the background and Halle's angelic backing vocals. Although later there is some additional percussion and guitar, it remains remarkably uncluttered leaving the listener free to concentrate on Halle's vulnerable performance that really echoes the lyrics. Halle has once again hit gold in that she has struck a vein of emotion that could apply to many people in a myriad of situations and yet each would hear Halle singing and think that she was directly speaking to them.
Halle confesses to the song being written in "vulnerable moment" and that she fears feeling "less than enough if I’m not constantly giving and living up to others expectations’. It's quite a tricky concept to wrap up in a 3 minute pop song and is as much about learning to value yourself as it is the desire to feel the need to constantly appease others.
"Someone somewhere probably needs me - who would i be to let them down?" - the question goes unanswered but surely the answer is "a normal human being".
This feeling though once it takes grip is difficult to shift
I'll give and i'll give and i'll give - till i'm running on empty
I'll give you everything I've got till there's nothing left of me"
Things reach the crux in the following 2 lines with Halle unable to reconcile exactly how she came to feel this way.and it shows the negativity and self doubt that it can lead to.
"Don't know when I added on all this pressure to put there needs before mine
But I'm told this is why people love me - so if I stop - am i still worth loving?"
This is heavy stuff to explore within the confines of a song and Halle does it exquisitely well - although by the end, it does not seem entirely resolved
I'll give and i'll give and i'll give even though it's been killing me
yeah I'll give you everything I got, till there's nothing left of me"
Throughout the song Halle's vocals perfectly capture that feeling of both being drained, while at the same time also giving the belief that she is still able to be offering every last bit of energy that she possesses. It all points to great artistic development in such a short period of time and is setting the expectations high for that second EP.