Rarity Rock Radio Featured Artist/Band of the Month for November 2022: Sharkk Heartt
Sharkk Heartt creates songs for hopeless romantics…with teeth.
Featured song: “How To Love”
About the song:
Lara Ruggles, aka Sharkk Heartt, wanted to write a love song for anxious people. Four years ago, fresh after moving back in with her parents in Tucson, Arizona, she met the person she was going to marry. The combination of being in love, broke, and not knowing what was next, put her in a state of paranoia.
Falling in love, especially for the anxious-hearted, creates this anomaly of bliss and terror. Ruggles explains, “I never thought I’d be someone who shares my phone location with someone. That might have felt intrusive 10 years ago, but how else are you supposed to know that person isn’t dead?”
A progression from her previous releases, How To Love is more collaborative, playfully intermixing jazz with classic pop structures. Ruggles enlisted a friend, Kevin Larkin (Pineross, Chimney Choir), a wizard with Ableton and transforming samples into atmospheric elements unrecognizable as their source material, to produce. He brought in horns and helped push the creative pop boundaries to make the listener wonder, “What’s next?,” an echoing of the song’s lyrical tension. And when stuck writing the lyrics to the second verse, she stole something her now-husband says often, “Time is a thief,” and turned it into “We’ve got nothing but time, time would have us believe/But he’s a thief.” Soaring vocals and honest lyrics give it power ballad status, while instrumental swell provides fullness.
Written well before the onset of COVID, the Jan. 6th insurrection, and voter suppression, it now sentiently speaks to the collective anxiety we face today. Ruggles knows her songs can be listened to solely as breakup anthems. But she’s an activist first and foremost, something you can tell as soon as she talks about her songs onstage.
How To Love is a nuanced and wise reckoning about the limitations of time. Mortality feels close and certainty, of anything, is out of reach. But it’s also within those limitations that love becomes something never to take for granted.
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