Review: "Don’t Know Why" - Haley Nance
Many dream of finding “true love” someday, from teenage heartbreakers to life-long bonds that become unshakeable. However, with anything that’s worth chasing, the pursuit can often turn costly. “Don’t Know Why” by Haley Nance delivers a story of another type of romance, one that’s unrequited and broken, leaving someone trying to mend what is left in the relationship. Most of us will likely experience this at some point in our lives—an unequal friendship, a budding love that only seeds confusion and doubt, or even a newfound crush, leaving us vulnerable to rejection. Haley’s lyrics convey a great awareness that sometimes, we can’t convince people to care about us, and if someone doesn’t prioritize us, we cannot prioritize them.
The song begins with muted guitar strumming and solely Haley’s voice. Subtle yet explosive synths add a unique touch, intensifying the message during bigger moments and enhancing it during quieter ones. There’s a really nice grit to her vocals, reminding me of Lexi Jayde and Gracie Abrams, having a softness but also a needed presence and power. Structurally, the song is simple yet effective, going from each verse into the song’s main hook, adding and taking away energy to generate momentum. Starting in verse two, the production introduces these underwater-sounding “bubbling” accents, conveying a sense of inner turmoil that provide even more ear candy for the listener. Towards the end, the production strips back, leaving nothing but guitar and Haley’s reverbed voice, concluding with the resonant lyric “I can feel you letting go of me.”
Haley began posting original songs to SoundCloud in 2022, from the single “Belly” to “Sleep Talking”, featuring intimate guitar ballads and airy soundscapes. Through TikTok, she currently showcases new song ideas and covers, ranging from Gracie Abrams to Lizzy McAlpine, both of which have influenced her melancholic indie-pop sound. Haley released her first song “Death of Me” to Spotify in 2022, leaning into the post-apocalyptic yet cozy instrumental, paying homage to artists like Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift (we love a fellow Swiftie). Although she’s just beginning as an artist, her first two singles have reached over 10K listeners on Spotify—a testament to the intangible cohesion within her sound. It’s rare to find an artist who makes you feel instantaneously, yet there’s a simplicity, crispness, and subtle power throughout her music that is super refreshing. I am excited to see what she releases next!
Written By: Conner Pettit