Review: "Unbreakable You" - Natalia Zuk
Natalia Zuk’s latest single “Unbreakable You” is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. Through the song’s mourning tone, there is a feeling of bittersweetness. In the face of an unfulfilling relationship, Zuk has realized the level of love and commitment that she wants and deserves. It is this realization that gives the song a sense of uplift: the shedding of a painful past in favor of a more promising future, and the relief that comes from no longer placing expectations on a person who will never fulfill them. This sense of escape, however, can only soften the pain of lost love, never fully take it away. “Unbreakable You” is a quintessential breakup song, perfectly easing you through the heartache with the knowledge that you will come out stronger on the other side.
“Unbreakable You” starts slowly: a prominent piano and haunting, reverberating background vocals before Zuk enters. The first verse is bare, only featuring Zuk with a supporting piano. In the pre-chorus, there are only two long, sustained chords, creating motion into the chorus, which introduces an arpeggiated guitar that feels like raindrops supporting the vocal melody. The guitar fades to swelling chords in the second verse, punctuating the piano’s melody. The second chorus is the song’s first climax, Zuk fills the remaining open space with more guitars and harmonies. The chorus swells into the bridge, where there is a momentary lull before the explosive entrance into the final chorus, where Zuk has filled the instrumental with background vocals, new guitar parts, and an aggressively sforzando piano. The exuberance of the music recontextualizes Zuk’s lyrics. This third chorus marks the change in Zuk's outlook, from regretting the poor treatment that was forced on her in the past, to the hope and determination to find something better in the future.
Ontario based singer-songwriter Natalia Zuk is still at the outset of her musical career, but her music is filled with promise of a rising star. Her piano-driven ballads evoke comparisons to Regina Spektor, while her modernized pop sound, filled with vocal harmonies and powerful lyrics, give a modern makeover to a classic genre. Her first single, 2021’s “It’s Not Over” features much of the same, driving emotions that allow listeners to empathize with Zuk’s heart-wrenching lyrics. Outside of recording and performing her originals, Natalia also works as a vocal coach, helping students unlock the full potential of their voices.
Written By Liam Dun