Karen Harding / Stranger On A Pedestal / Single Review


“Stranger on a Pedestal” narrates the disillusioning yet ultimately liberating journey of seeing someone we’ve admired from afar for who they truly are.

Melbourne singer songwriter Karen Harding releases her latest single, “Stranger on a Pedestal,” on June 28th, 2024. This acoustic ballad is a poignant exploration of shattered illusions, the complexities of admiration, and the bittersweet realization that even those we idolize are human, flaws and all.

Harding’s engrossing vocals take center stage from the get-go, seamlessly intertwined with Gabb Matos’ evocative acoustic guitar work. The stripped-down arrangement creates an intimate atmosphere, allowing the raw emotion in Harding’s voice and lyrics to shine through.

Harding isn’t afraid to be vulnerable, sharing the initial awe and the subsequent heartbreaking realization that come with seeing our idols for who they truly are. The chorus captures this perfectly: “You were just a stranger on a pedestal / I held you up so high, but the fall was inevitable.” Harding sings with a quiet strength, further declaring, “You were never what I thought, just a fantasy / Now it’s time to let you go, and set my heart free.”

This isn’t a bitter takedown, though. It’s a story of growth and self-discovery. The bridge emphasizes this, with lyrics like “I don’t regret the love I gave, but it’s time to be brave / To see the world in a different way.” Harding sheds the illusion and embraces the lesson learned, ultimately finding freedom.

Since her debut single “I Didn’t Realise” in 2021, Harding has carved a space for herself in the Melbourne music scene. Her talent has been recognized with accolades like the 2021 Bendigo Bank-sponsored Radio Eastern Songwriter Talent Show win and a Top Ten spot at the World Songwriting Awards. A nomination for Best International Artist at the Crags Radio Independent Artist Awards in 2022 further underlines her growing influence.

Fans of lyrically driven acoustic music will find a lot to love in “Stranger on a Pedestal.” Fans of artists like Laura Marling or Lucy Rose will find themselves drawn to Harding’s introspective style. “Stranger on a Pedestal” is a song for dreamers, a reminder that true connection comes from seeing people for who they are, not who we project them to be.

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