Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from Herald K. Echo’s song was released today, February 3, 2023.
We’ve reviewed Herald K a couple of times in 2022, and have always been impressed with his deep, Leonard Cohen-style vocals and his ability to paint a picture with his lyrics.
Echo’s Song tells the ancient story of Echo and Narcissus, but with particular emphasis on Echo’s experience. It is sung as a duet by Herald K with guest vocals from Lina Louise.
Herald K uses the same close-mic and intimate technique we’ve come to love from his previous singles. His deep voice follows Cohen’s style in the first verse of speaking the lyrics like he’s telling a story. His voice is accompanied by some beautiful piano playing and some droning strings to fill out the sound.
The song develops and adds in an acoustic guitar. By this point, you feel priveleged to be listening in to a story that feels highly intimate.
A nyckelharpa joins the mix and creates a beautifully ethereal presence to the song. For our readers who don’t know what a nyckelharpa is, it is the National instrument of Sweden: a keyed fiddle. It is a stunning instrument to look at and its sound is strangely evocative. Nyckelharpa provided by Stephan Steiner, adds a forest-like feel to the song that defies description.
The second verse adds in Lina’s vocal. Her voice is gentle and almost pixie-like. There’s a Bjork-like cuteness about it that we found extremely endearing. The second verse sees Herald’s voice take more melody and the vocalists take one line each.
The song continues to develop and by the third verse, the voices are in unison for a while and then return to turn-taking. The whole track has a great live feel to it.
Ideas from our ears
A hi-pass filter at ~50Hz with a boost around 80Hz would remove all unnecessary sub-bass sounds and increase the warmth in the low end. The acoustic guitar is resonating on the G so a careful surgical EQ cut at 196Hz will smooth that out. A cut around 500-600Hz will help balance out some ‘honky’ tones in the vocal too. A fairly large boost across the high mids and highs centred around 12kHz will increase the overall brightness and clarity in the track. Finally, a light compressor/limiter with around 3dB of make up gain will reduce some peaks and add some extra warmth. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
Fans of Leonard Cohen who haven’t yet discovered Herald K are in for a treat. Echo’s song is a six-minute story song with beautiful instrumentation to wash away the cares of the day. Highly recommended.