Shayla McDaniel - "Let Me Breathe (How to Break Our Hearts)"

by Zeno P

Let Me Breathe catches you by surprise. Slinky electric guitars envelop Shayla McDaniel’s vocal as it lilts like a leaf in the breeze. Seems like a typical indie rock song. Nothing out of the ordinary here! But be warned: there are drums. Big drums. These drums have weight. There’s bound to be a gravitational pull. Where can the leaf go, but down?

Against all odds, McDaniel manages to defy gravity. Once the chorus hits, Let Me Breathe takes off like a rocket, propelled by a massive horn section, harmonies fit for a choir, and even more guitars. Despite getting denser, the arrangement feels lighter. Deep breath in, and out. Be the leaf!

Knoxville-based singer-songwriter Shayla McDaniel wrote Let Me Breathe in the wake of a breakup, prompting listeners to examine whether a relationship is challenging and healthy, or tough and unnecessary. The aforementioned drums are by Deep Sea Diver’s Peter Mansen, who released stems as a part of their #StayHomeStems series to promote collaboration during the pandemic.