KAREN HARDING – TIL THE OCEAN MEETS THE SHORE

Australian artist, Karen Harding, has just released her second single, ’Til The Ocean Meets The Shore, from her forthcoming debut EP and we’ve been taking a listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.

‘Til The Ocean Meets The Shore is a simple folk style acoustic guitar led song. Starting on arpeggiated acoustic guitar before Harding’s gentle and fragile vocal joins the mix.

Some simple piano is added here and there and the guitar changes from picked to strummed for the choruses, ‘Til The Ocean Meets The Shore is a song that you can let wash over you. There’s no sudden change of pace, no unexpected drums, the song moves along in a gentle fashion and highlights Harding’s gentle and smooth, slightly country tinged vocals.

Written during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, ‘Til The Ocean Meets The Shore’ is a story that dives into challenges felt and a realisation of how far we have come, and the determination that we can truly achieve anything we put our mind to if we do not give in. It is a song with a positive message and we have noticed that this theme is very strong in many artists new work at the moment. It is uplifting to see this kind of positivity in songwriting and we are excited to see this turn in the collective music world.

To us, ’Til The Ocean Meets The Shore is an absolutely perfect song to pitch for a sync deal. Many stations are really focussing on simple acoustic, vocal led songs (consider AMC and BBC as some of the bigger ones who are using this style a great deal at the moment). Karen Harding would do well to pursue a sync deal for this track as this could be a great way to gain some new fans and more recognition.

Clearly a very ambitious artist, Harding has already gained some recognition, having won the November 2021 Bendigo Bank sponsored Independent Songwriter Talent Show on Radio Eastern FM in Melbourne, Australia, for her single, ‘Anxiety’. She was also a Top 10 winner for the World Songwriting Awards for her single, ‘Something Special’ and a nominee for Best International Artist on Crags Radio Independent Artist Awards in February 2022.

From a production perspective, we noted that there are a few competing frequencies between the acoustic guitar and the piano. The guitar is resonating at around 184Hz (F#) so a notch out here would bring that under control a little. A cut in the vocal track around 450Hz would reduce some nasal / honky frequencies probably picked up during the recording process. Overall, there are places across the low mids where the guitar and piano are creating a ‘muddy’ sound i.e. they are both competing for the same frequency range. Some surgical EQing in both tracks would remedy this and make each instrument sound a lot clearer. The sound of the pick on the guitar is dominating in places. Using a lighter pick on the strummed parts would reduce this sound. Experimenting with other mic placements would also help in this respect.

Karen Harding is making a good name for herself with her warm and positive approach. Til The Ocean Meets The Shore is a promising track and we are excited to hear how things progress. We will keep our ears out for future recordings.

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