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Half a Heart by Kaveri: A Classic.

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Much of the music in Kaveri Kapur’s répertoire is plain timeless.

At 15, Kaveri wrote, composed and sung this masterpiece, Half a Heart. The song is mature for someone who wrote it so young; especially if you consider the subject of her song, and the step that she independently puts on the table ("or let me be/so I can leave you behind.")

Her song-trajectory follows a range of unspoken emotions driving the song.

In the first two verses, there is love and beauty, but the emptiness and vulnerability then jumps to the fore with "Do we have time?"

In the chorus, the singer explains: "It's a lonely world, but if I stay, I'll probably break."

This line is powerful and one of the most evocative pieces in her song; for its heavy self-realization. It is an instance of remarkable insight of the singer into a real-life situation. Kaveri also shows masterful technique: she punctuates the idea of a "break" with a voice which also seems to break.

In the next two verses, the singer's voice conveys the idea of running and hiding; as if she is literally jogging through memories in a series of flashbacks: "here we lie/fingers intertwined/your eyes/they shine so bright."

The three verses thereafter are sung like an uninterrupted chant, akin to self-talk: "keep in mind it doesn't matter/distant memories."

Kaveri then expertly suggests the solution: "say that you're sorry/say that you're mine" -effectively underlining the critical role of communication.

Her voice is unique, but if I had to put her in the same category as another artist, it would be with Lana del Rey; for their shared dreaminess, and alluring breathiness; and for their seeming ease with music while they sing.

Kaveri once said in a video interview with her father, and award-winning filmmaker, Shekhar Kapur, that she hopes that people will not listen to her music just because she is the daughter of famous parents (including the talented singer Suchitra Krishnamoorthi.)

But if the goal of all performing art, at its core, is for the performer to seem authentic, haunting, memorable and irresistible through their oeuvre, then Kaveri succeeds with this song.

by Lakshmi Art Press.

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