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Heather Fay’s “The One”

What starts out as a reflective dirge in the introductory sounds of Heather Fay’s “The One” quickly transforms into a sexy vocal salvo before we have the chance to blink. The percussion edges out a nice little pocket between a boisterous bassline and a crushing synthesizer as we continue forward, and in the eye of the storm, Fay is belting out lyrics with a relaxed confidence that stands in strong contrast with the urgency in the music that is finding its groove in the foreground. To say that “The One” is a blend of different colorful textures inside of a sleekly appointed pop single would be putting it mildly, as this track is executed with a keen attention to detail that you just don’t find very often anymore.

 

Fay is a vision in the main verses here. Her vocal is soft and tender, and relative to the grind of the instrumental gears, it’s the only point of stability that we have to rely on from start to finish. The beats would be completely shapeless were it not for the cadence in her serenade, which forges the rhythm of the track even more than the percussion does in a few different spots. The vocal track isn’t as high in the mix as what we would here in, say, an Ariana Grande single, but that’s precisely what makes this so much more charismatic and stimulating. Fay knows one thing that so many of her commercial brethren don’t; when you’ve got a voice like hers, you simply don’t need the extra help from behind the soundboard.

The chorus in “The One” isn’t as spitfire as the verses that lead up to it are, and it actually bridges the tension from the first part of the song into the cathartic glow of the second quite masterfully. I can see where this track could be extended into a ten minute jam in the right setting; whether it be live on stage or in a nightclub packed shoulder to shoulder with people hungry for the neon lights of the dancefloor, “The One” is a single that was built to brighten up the darkest of moods, and what’s more is that it’s got the grooves that we demand out of our finest R&B stompers as well.

From one side of the country to the next, critics can’t seem to stop talking about this singer, and although I wasn’t all that familiar with her before picking up my own copy of “The One” recently, I must say that she’s got an organic talent that I can’t wait to hear more of as time goes by. She’s still a fresh face in the game, but if she develops her skillset a little further and cultivates the songcraft that she presents to us in this single, then hers will be a strain of R&B that could make a big impact on the scene as we inch closer and closer to 2020. The future is coming faster than any of us are prepared for it to arrive, but in the case of Heather Fay, she appears to be more than ready to embrace whatever is coming her way next.

Mindy McCall

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