Texas (US) artist, Mark Winters, has just released his latest single, Heartbeat, and we’ve been taking a few listens here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.
Winters describes himself as a soulful songwriter, a witty poet, passionate musician, an entrepreneur, an optimist, a family man and a bonafide rocket scientist. This in itself intrigued us enough to take a listen.
Heartbeat was apparently borne out of Winters love of adrenaline, extreme sports, running, and the joy of getting his body moving – even when it feels like it may explode!
With that in mind, the song comes straight in with a powerful drum fill and some extremely skilful and intricate drumming in the intro and into the first verse.
Winters’ voice is a low baritone voice which has just a touch of gravel in it. It sits on one note for the most part during the verses and comes to life a little more in the choruses. When you do start to hear the range of Winters’ voice just a touch more in the chorus, you get a kind of Tom Petty feel. There’s a twang and nasality in the vocal that lends itself to a kind of alt-country style.
We like that guitars panned left and right; each doing something different and filling out the sound and the repeated riffs between verses on guitars lets the listener know where they are in the song.
The chorus line is nice and simple, enough to pick up quickly and join in if you so desired. We like the middle 8 break down that leads back in to the chorus. The rhymes in the lyrics are accessible and you feel as though you can almost predict where Winters is heading with them.
From a production perspective, a high pass filter set around 35Hz would remove some unnecessary rumble in the sub bass area. We felt there is a muddiness in the track around 200Hz which is where the tuning of the snare lies. A surgical cut here would balance out the dominating frequency. There is also a resonance in the high mids in the lead vocal track around 3.5-4kHz so a cut around here would reduce some occasional ‘harsh’ tones. Finally the sibilance in the lead vocal track is cutting through a little too much in places so a cut around 9kHz would help to avoid this.
Heartbeat is a unique and interesting track that sits between several genres of alt-country, indie rock and AOR. We’d be interested to hear where this Rocket Scientist takes his music next!