You don’t have to be fluent in the language of modern alternative rock to appreciate the depth of emotionality in Mark Winters’ surreal single “Heartbeat,” as its plethora of expressive melodies communicate everything that listeners need to know in this two-point-five-minute rock wonder. Like the other songs we’re hearing out of an increasingly retro indie rock underground, “Heartbeat” sees Winters experimenting with different styles and sounds, blending influences from across the history of pop in his pursuit of imparting all of the passion that exists within his heart. It’s not the most straightforward single that I’ve heard in my life, but if you’ve got an ear for toned eclecticism, you’d be hard-pressed to find another track like this one right now.
The instrumentation is telling us a story all its own in “Heartbeat,” and I think that were it not presented in such high-definition clarity, this single probably wouldn’t be as engaging as it is in this form. Winters is a very talented singer, but the soundscape that he uses as a sonic canvas to apply his acrylic vocal textures is quintessential to getting his point across here. There’s something to be said about the players that he’s gathered together for his backing band, and I hope that they continue to work together as he creates a full-length album in the future. They’ve got ace chemistry that you just don’t find every day in modern music, and I want to hear what it can produce with more time and practice.
One can’t help but wonder what Mark Winters would sound like in a live setting after hearing “Heartbeat.” Winters channels They Might Be Giants when he sings, but even though he’s committed to paying homage to the players who paved the way for his music, his stylish musical persona isn’t rooted in the throwback culture that has polluted a lot of really promising pop musicians in the last ten years. It’s one thing to look back, but unlike some of the artists being covered in top music publications across the country this summer, this is one singer who isn’t looking to relive the past, but rather use it as a foundation to build his future upon
. I haven’t been able to put this song down since I first picked it up, and once you give “Heartbeat” the chance to sink its affectionate hooks into your chest, I think that you’ll not only see what I’m talking about, but you’ll share my sentiments. It’s an intoxicating meld of old and new, classical and inventive, and even taking into consideration its nonconformist design, it’s still more accessible than the snobbier rock that some of you might have come across this season. Mark Winters’ career is picking up a healthy amount of steam at the moment, and if this song gets into steady rotation on American and European airwaves this January, it’s going to be a lot harder for his competitors in and out of the States to keep up with his momentum.