HUSH HUSH BIZ SINGLE REVIEW
Things That I Don’t Have
Things That I Don’t Have is the first release from Michelle Gardiner since June 2020, when her break-out single Show Me shot to #2 on the iTunes country chart. The new single delivers her usual uplifting and inspiring message of love, strength, and hope—a message that’s never been so timely. Ever the songwriter with her ear for universal narratives, Michelle found inspiration close to home—from her daughter. Serving as a reminder to the listener (and perhaps also to the writer herself), this seed of inspiration blossomed into a meditation on appreciation and deference to the elements in life one might easily take for granted. As Michelle says about the new song, ‘The lyrics are a collection of things that I find most important in my life. I hope that the audience can perhaps use these ideas as a guide to look for the things they find comforting and are grateful for in their own world.’ Things That I Don’t Have is a cohesive blend of pop and contemporary country with Michelle’s self-assured vocal performance front and centre. While adhering to all the tropes and the melodic expectations of the genre, Michelle’s new release also sets out to explore a rich theme—uniformly positive and infused with a measure of empathy that’s as endearing as the song’s hooks.
Enhancing Michelle’s self-reflection is the instrumentation, a corroborative use of guitars, vocal layers and rhythmic elements that never deviate from this support yet also contains a few apt surprises, including the drop and accent right at the chorus’s doorstop, which seems to mirror the critical line of lyric, going further and tuning our ears to the word ‘doubt’, a feeling which is as potentially destructive to our sense of the world as it is, on certain occasions, necessary. As Michelle says about the recording process, ‘I do enjoy it, but I think I owe a lot of that to how my producer Michael Zammit (Airwaves Studio) works. He really gets to know who you are and how you want to sound. So after a cup of coffee and a big chat, that’s when the music is made, and since you’re both on the same page by then, it seems to come together really quickly.’ That unaffected and natural workflow is apparent on Things I Don’t Have, with its emotional undertow sure to attract a broad audience and plenty of radio and streaming action.