The opening keys are sinister synths and soon the unfolding, gorgeously arranged strings in the new song “Walk By” will have you just as transfixed as can be. “Walk By” from songstress Liv Byrne is a blissful sonic experience that shook my soul and imagination. Rather than fall head over heels for the track’s unique ebb and flow, the song is fully capable of cultivating a wide-range of interpretation and emotional transformation. It’s not to say the undercurrent isn’t as captivating as looking through a child’s kaleidoscope. This song doesn’t just cast the listener away into a new mind space, Byrne cozies the listener closer and ever so closer to her airy, dreamy vocal soundscape. “Walk By”…dear God no. Come nearer and stay. 

Byrne’s colorful tenor, much like the way Brandi Carlile’s voice cracks like a guitar’s neck in “The Story” is especially catchy. In another life, Byrne seems to sing, giving just the right emphasis on the day-dreamer she seems to be evoking. So I walk by, she sings with boundaries, repeating those words with tiny breaths between. Byrne’s enunciation can at times get ruffled and scrunched into bows. It works with her voice – much to my delight the silky tones are just as vibrant over the regal-like strings. For a split second the strings that unfold reminded me of “Viva La Vida” (Coldplay). Byrne’s use of the classical-meets-synth framework is triumphant. She espouses such a vulnerable, albeit confident, vocal prowess that the changing rhythms flowing beneath her voice sparks a whole new depth. 

I felt like this song was about letting go, moving on from another’s emotional grasp. I think Byrne is communicating that she’s not letting this other person take up space and charge them rent in her mind. She’s very romantic about it all and the drama of the song moves like the bloodstream. It has elements of light and dark; sad and happy. What makes “Walk By” peak my interest even more so is the way that it meanders into adult contemporary pop with a vengeance. I mean that in an enlightened way – it’s not cold but it’s not cutesy or demeaning. Byrne can really sing and her voice is sharing an exceptional story in tandem to a musical beat and rhythm filling the space just as quickly. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a song like “Walk By” that has me so instantly hooked. 

“Walk By” has an essence to it – an air that lingers. Byrne, who’s other releases include “Mad At You”, “Company” and “Holiday For Us”, continues to draw upon the deeper, darker corners of her heart to unleash a deserving emotional connection to her listener. I felt that bond in “Walk By” that created an instant rapport. She wears her heart on her sleeve and there’s something building, growing as “Walk By” that engulfs the listener. You’re not smothered by her voice; you’re embraced into her world. You’re in awe that Byrne is somewhat fragile or delicate and equally mesmerized by her fierceness and candor. 

Garth Thomas