It begins with an ominous edge, a single full-bodied acoustic guitar strumming chords with intention, each one struck a little more aggressive than the last. Or at least that’s how it seems as each chord descends into the next, carefully guiding us down into the depths with it like a precise town clock. The chords are replaced by single picked notes that bring with them a sense of relief that wherever we’re being led is not quite so scary after all.
In a clear juxtaposition to that very thought, however, we’re introduced to the distinct voice of singer-songwriter Isa Raja who in almost an orchestrated vitriol is wholly intent on describing the dire state he feels he’s found himself in.
“Losing my mind, losing my soul, losing my sanity,” he starts.
“It’s hard to become, it’s hard to be good and you’re not around,”
The feelings of desperate loneliness are sapid alongside the otherwise optimism evoked by the guitar accompanying him on this retelling and we’re able to embrace every shattered part of it with Isa, seeing ourselves in the very same broken mirror that reflects his image and has brought with it this turn of bad luck.
While chalk full of unique colors and tones, it’s not until the chorus that we’re able to see the sheer power of Isa’s vocal prowess. The guitar opens up again in bright syncopated strums and with it does Isa, belting his disappointment now in a way that suggests he’s come to the realization that this place he’s found himself in is where he will remain without this great love that he’s lost.
“It’s hard to lighten up
when you’re not here with me
if you just understand
the heart in me is you,”
While this version of the track is the acoustic alternate, from the first moment of the chorus you can just imagine how full and powerful this track would be as a full production, led by Isa’s dazzling rasp and the grief-laden lyrics that cut through with such formidable passion. When a song is this emotionally drawing with such a simple arrangement, however, you almost don’t even need to hear it.
Keep up with Isa Raja on his website and social media channels: