REVIEW: Sara-Danielle Finds Strength & Vulnerability on “Healing”

Last month, Sara-Danielle released her sophomore album, Healing. The 6-track project finds the Canadian artist excelling in her personally-carved out genre – a niche that she’s coined “Ginger-ale-pop” – atop smooth instrumentals.

The project seeks to personify duality, as Sara-Danielle’s lyrics live between several points of contrast. She sings introspectively about her shortcomings and her triumphs, and expresses a romance that is both her anchoring muse and an intangible pleasure. The contrasting attitudes of confidence and unsureness, in both her own self-examination and her relationship, are refreshingly honest and extremely relatable.

Healing starts off on a mixed note of vulnerability and strength. “With You” finds Sara-Danielle expressing the strength that she’s garnered from a relationship. Seemingly romantic in nature, the bond keeps her grounded during times of self-doubt. However, the track also explores the paradox of allowing vulnerability – in this case, opening oneself to love – to be a catalyst of strength.

Sara-Danielle remains introspective throughout the next song, “Flawless,” in which she explores her own shortcomings. Her lyrics bask in self-awareness and honesty as she is able to identify what she wishes she could be and what she isn’t, finally questioning if her own introspection is selfish.

“Why am I so angry with myself, the others / Why am I so selfish, caught up in my own world,” she sings. “I wanna be good / I wanna be flawless / But it’s always all about me.”

She becomes more confident in her self-analyzing lyrics on “Sometimes,” where she expresses losing herself in a relationship – or in her own head – but always being able to find her way back. On “Waterfall,” the album’s closer, Sara-Danielle again plays with the duality of relationships, singing “Our love is like a waterfall / Falling, dripping, but never-ending,” she sings in the chorus. “I want to hold you so strong, but you don’t want me for that long / I want to make you happy, but everything else seems better than me.”

On this final Healing track, Sara-Danielle not only examines a “never-ending” love that remains out of reach, but also returns to her own insecurities, exacerbated by the unstable romance. This remains a theme throughout the album, where she bounces back-and-forth between analyzing herself and her romance, finally settling on the intersecting subject of self-love.

Healing reflects on these past two years, as I’ve been having rough times and trying to heal, to get better,” she told AudioFemme. “It’s about finding light in the darkness and trying to stay with it. It’s about learning to be gentle with yourself.”

This goal extends through her sonic choices, which equally compliment her singing style and gently appease the listeners’ ear. Feeling both extremely personal and widely relatable, Sara-Danielle’s sophomore effort proves to be a courageously vulnerable album.

Stream Healing below.