Written by Emily Smith
Break-up songs, when done right, are some of the clearest representations of the most vulnerable and emotional side of an artist. The lyrics are more personal and the sound is slower and sadder; it’s something that anyone who’s had a broken heart can immediately connect with. Some musicians use every bit of their performance and sound to convey their distress. On her latest single “Warning,” pop singer-songwriter Gina Brooklyn does just that, giving a memorable, heart-wrenching performance.
The instrumentation in the song lends a lot to the overall emotion of the song. First, the track opens with an aching, slow electric guitar before the vocals are introduced. As the song progresses, more instruments are brought in. There’s a little bit of everything – piano, drums, an organ, and even a string section. All these instruments appear at different points to create a lush sound. While there are many instrumental elements, the track still has a sense of closeness and intimacy.
“When I was 15, I first came up with the first few lines of lyrics on a flight home from vacation, modeling the melody after something I could picture Rihanna might sing. Then a few weeks later I finished the rest of the lyrics based on a possible scenario I imagined of what it would feel like if a relationship would end suddenly and how the person being told ‘its over’ would react to it,” says Brooklyn.
Brooklyn’s vocals have hints of jazz and indie-pop stylings. Much of the emotion in the song is communicated through her unique vocals that echo throughout the piece. With her voice, she uses several vocal styles that utilize an array of techniques in order to evoke that sense of sadness.
Her voice, combined with the instrumentation, give the song that slow, stinging feel that a good break-up song has. It’s a slow-burner that plays with the listener’s heartstrings all the more effectively.
This song is therefore not a volatile break-up song, and there’s not a sense of anger that can be drawn from it. Instead, the lyrics show disappointment and grief. There are some jabs at her ex, such as when she sings, “I thought what we had was real/ But I guess you forgot how to feel,” but even then, it’s not very harsh.
In many points throughout the song, Brooklyn’s trying to sort out what has happened and how to deal with her sorrow. There’s even a tiredness to her voice as she sings lyrics like, “But I know that people always disappoint/ This is why, this is why I always end up alone,” expressing how this has happened before.
Despite what she’s been put through, after losing trust in this person and her happiness, she delicately sings, “I could have used a warning,” which is a small request. She’s not asking for much – just time to prepare – and her ex couldn’t even do that for her.
Great musicians know how to use every element of their song to evoke as much emotion as possible. On “Warning,” Gina Brooklyn does that excellently, and she’s definitely someone to keep an eye out for.
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