I Can Hear Your Heartbeat | Quinlan Porteous

“Quinlan drops all the bells and whistles and goes for the sound of truth”

The simplest things are the hardest.

An all-guns-blazing rock epic is in so many ways easier to assemble than a straight-forward love song.

Sometimes the same people can deliver both, like when Meat Loaf worked with producer Jim Steinman. I’ve heard Quinlan go big before, on the anthemic ‘Ain’t It A Shame’. This time, the singer drops the bells and whistles and goes for the sound of truth.

The words are Billie Reid’s, and there’s already a wonderful version of the song out there by Australian singer Lily (titled ‘Tomorrow’). This arrangement leaves Quinlan nowhere to hide – and he doesn’t. It’s good to hear a guy being open and vulnerable. Quinlan’s got the maturity to let the words do the work, and they convince.

Just as stripped back is the musical setting for this sincere sentiment about missing a distant lover. Pretty much all you’ve got holding it together are some keyboards, a strummed guitar, and delicate percussion. And that voice. Quinlan’s delivery delivers, letting a hint of his full depth of feeling come out in the close of the song, wrapped in backing vocals that hit just the right note.

The song is a miniature, a moment, a memento, that could have been made pretty much like this version – allowing for studio tech – in the fifties. All the more impressive that it’s just been allowed to slip into the world as is without Quinlan and team making a big deal out of that.

Charlie Reynolds