When you’re able to summon the courage it takes to leave a toxic relationship, you’re often left with loneliness. It can be tempting to jump back in, but taking some time for yourself might be the best bet. Finding space to reestablish your identity can lift you back up after someone pushed you down by neglecting to reciprocate your affections. Singer/songwriter Bella Hutton opens up about this kind of unrequited love in her latest single, “Reality.” It’s a poignant ballad that both lyrically and sonically captures what it’s like to lose your drive when you’re with the wrong person.
Hutton’s performance is intimate, and her voice takes center stage. It’s supported by tasteful harmonies and decorated with flutters in the choruses. On a first listen, it stands out most, but I believe that the secret to this song’s allure is written in the chord progression. Right away, the delicate piano establishes itself in a major key, but moves forward in an uncommon way: The tonic climbs up to the IV chord using what sounds like an inversion of a mediant—the iii. It’s a choice made out of the ordinary within a major key. It also isn’t something you hear often in a track with such pop appeal, but it results in creating such a mature and cinematic feeling. Of all this songs’ good decisions, this is one of its best.
When it comes to her music, UK-native Bella Hutton doesn’t shy away from getting personal. Her lyrics are cathartic messages to listeners who can see themselves in the singer’s shoes. “Reality” rounds out a trio of dynamic singles released by the rising artist over the course of this past year. Recognized by Spotify’s New Pop UK Playlist, and featured in Wonderland magazine, Hutton has lain the groundwork for a focused and purposeful 2021.
Hutton’s “Reality” is out now with an accompanying music video that seeks to let her audience in on what it felt like to put its words down. The song plays like a sentimental finale that ties an album together. The production works to support the lyrics and vocals which draws the listener in close to the message and melody. It hits in the same way that Rihanna’s “Farewell” puts a bow on Talk That Talk. You could see it used to close a set right before an encore. It’s sure to be a single that shines when performed live—whether its arrangement is minimal or grand.
Written by Matt Kalicky