When singer/songwriters adapt with their material over time, they tend to become an embodiment of their original narrative – and vice versa. This is certainly true of the one and only Linda Imperial, whose new single “My Heart Rocks” channels shades of her earliest work with a contemporary spin indicative of where she’s at artistically in 2021. She is the music here, and to some degree, the music an extension of her personality as only an independent medium could convey. There’s a lot of heart on her sleeve-type moments in the lyrics, but don’t let the poetry steer you away from the true focus in “My Heart Rocks;” wholly profound compositional continuity.
The lyrical content in this song is designed to be reflective more than it ever is commentarial, which is ironic given the gusto with which Imperial hurls every verse at us from behind the microphone. Where the words fall short of colorizing the emotion in her voice, the fabric of the harmony (primarily between the strings and the keys) picks up right where our songstress leaves off, contributing a bit of bluesy melancholy to the pot where we wouldn’t have had any otherwise. This contextualizes the lyrics and lends credibility to our storyteller – something I see a lot of her younger rivals failing to do these days.
As we discover it in “My Heart Rocks,” the vocal harmony is naturally warm and never boosted specifically by the EQ (which is certainly a far cry from the go-to standard in mainstream pop at the moment). I think it’s important for Imperial to stick with as barebones a formula as she can coming into this next chapter of her career, mostly because there’s still so much in her artistry yet to be exploited on a raw, unfiltered level.
“When I started writing this song, I was recovering from an illness, so to cope and heal, I just surrendered to myself and embraced me for who I am with appr…
There’s definitely not as much pressure in this mix as I would have liked given the intriguing moxie Linda Imperial injects into every word she sings here, but I can understand why the instruments were given a little extra space behind her as well. It certainly preserves a live, smoky nightclub kind of feel in a manner that never comes off as particularly artificial or illegitimate, and though it would probably sound better on an actual stage, that’s the whole point. This singer/songwriter only gives us a taste of what she can do in the studio; the rest of her magic is left for those who seek her out in the flesh.
I know I speak for a lot of fans and critics when I say I’m looking forward to hearing a lot more from Linda Imperial as she marches forth into this next stage of her career, and “My Heart Rocks” is definitely a good track to get things started. As a singer/songwriter, she’s proven time and time again that she has nothing to hide poetically or musically, but instead a sense of adventure I wish I could hear more often in the indie pop scene. It’s made her an exceptionally unique follow at any rate, and a discography I plan on listening to indefinitely.