“Dark,” the new single by SHEAL is an introspective, piano-led ballad about admitting how sometimes holding a grudge is only hurting you in the end.
It’s a gentle yet powerful song, lamenting past mistakes and self-destructive behavior over an instrumental arrangement that grows as the song progresses. Usually I’d say that the song “builds” over time, but there’s a natural, organic quality to it that instead feels more like blossoming-- it’s growing into itself as it comes to its final destination in the last chorus, and as such it feels more appropriate to describe it as growth.
There are some pretty hard truths to handle within these lyrics. It’s a philosophical study that begs the question, does it really matter if I’m holding this grudge? Does the person even care? In all likeliness, they don’t care. So it’s best, for your own mental wellbeing, to let go. What’s more, this is accompanied by the fact that the instrumental arrangement of “Dark” feels absolutely weightless. Even as it grows, it’s light and airy, almost like a breeze of fresh autumn air, which reflects the feeling of letting go and starting anew. While these themes are difficult to face head on, they’re freeing once you’ve come to terms with them, and that’s the true incentive to listen to this song; it wraps you up in a comforting blanket of self-forgiveness and the permission to move on.
SHEAL is the Toronto-based artist with a long history of music expertise. She began playing instruments from guitar to violin as a child, and she eventually found her heart in songwriting at seventeen years old. She has dedicated her twenties to writing and producing alongside friends, leading her to release her debut EP in 2016, and her sophomore album titled titled “Courage Again” is set to release in January of 2022.
Written by Jess Ward