Single Review: 'Rubicon' by HATi
There are a few songs out there that really spur you on to achieve something, the soundtrack to some future triumph or to mark some great turning point in life where you strive forward against all the odds. For me personally, these songs come as diverse as ‘The Hand That Feeds’ by Nine Inch Nails or Take That’s ‘The Flood’, and of course that one from Mulan about defeating the Huns.
From now on, I can include ‘Rubicon’ in that list – the new single by Newcastle based artist HATi.
She isn’t talking about the fizzy drink that often accompanies donner and chips, but rather Julius Caesar’s fateful crossing of the namesake river that started a Roman civil war and established an empire that lasted over a thousand years.
HATi takes this metaphor to describe a time recently in her own life, where things seemed hopeless, but through facing her fears, crossed her own Rubicon and came out fighting.
The adopted Geordie has been previously compared to Ellie Goulding and Florence Welch, but in laying aside her pop roots here, HATi has crafted more of a dark, brooding folk sound for herself.
The track builds slowly, like an approaching army ready for war. From a beginning of frenzied finger picking, the song adds in ever more looped layers as it plays out, tribal-like drums, chanting and sharp strings coming together to the crescendo.
Her initially soft then powerful voice oversees it all, a battle commander and narrator of an unknown character, ambiguous yet determined.
The track is structured very simply, yet the rhythm pulls you in.
The artist said this herself of her creation:
“There’s something about a repetitive part that draws me in and I love the way you can naturally build and release tension so simply. I have a fascination of human physical reactions and instincts like fight or flight and gut feelings so using something musically simple really helped me explore that.”
‘Rubicon’ is HATi’s fourth single release, yet she has been in the business for a few years now, crafting songs for others too in that time.
She recently said that now is the time to focus on her own sound, and as her empire builds I’m buzzing to see in which direction she will march next.
After gracing Lindisfarne Festival last month you can catch her at Prohibition Bar on October 3 rd in Newcastle town centre.
Cover Photo: Kristoff Photography