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Harper Starling Drops New Single/Video

Synth-powered melodies don’t have to be cold nor removed from the soul of the vocal in a master mix, and from the looks of her new single “Affair With Myself,” Harper Starling is on a mission to prove as much this spring. Starling teams with ongoing collaborator Cindy Valentine for another venomous dose of pop pageantry in this performance, and while the synthetic elements in the song are evident to those of both discriminating and casual tastes in this genre of music, they’re necessary to highlight just how smooth and organic a vocal our leading lady is putting up at the center of the track.

Vitality isn’t just sourced from this incredible beat, but from the delivery Starling is offering us with her voice, which is by far one of the most enticing components of “Affair With Myself.” The assertive self-confidence of these lyrics gets a major boost from the manner in which she’s singing to us, and while she could have cultivated a little hesitance just as a means of including some contrast in this piece, I like that she went with something more streamlined here. It benefits the efficiency of the hook and undeniably gets us to the climax of the song a lot quicker.

The chemistry between Valentine and Starling has always been a good reason to put them together in the studio, and it’s not letting us down in “Affair With Myself” at all. I think a big part of this comes from the former’s understanding of the latter’s depth, which is crucial in a songwriting partnership that has a penchant for grooves like this one does. There’s little that Cindy Valentine can’t throw this singer’s way, and Starling is showing us that her versatility is all the greater when she’s got the right influences behind her in a performance.

These vocal harmonies struck me as being just a touch more emotional than they would be in a typical pop single, but then again, there’s nothing particularly conventional about the way this track comes together in perfect synchronicity. If Harper Starling wanted to make hook-centric pop music she definitely could – she’s got a voice that can take her pretty much anywhere she wants to go – but I feel like works like “Affair With Myself” suggest a stronger ambition than what a lot of her peers in this genre would normally possess, especially so early on in the game.

I was expecting something potent from the likes of Ms. Starling this season, but I can’t say I was thinking her new single would have the dynamic edge that “Affair With Myself” does. Whether you check out the music video or just stream the song this month, it’s a track that demands a couple of listens just on the strength of its memorable swing, which has easily got stuck in my head after most passive listening sessions. This is an artist and a sound I want to keep tabs on, and I doubt I’m alone in saying that right now.

Mindy McCall



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