For the most part, Bruce Sudano’s new single with Valerie Simpson “Two Bleeding Hearts” has a softer sensibility than most pop music does. There’s not a lot of push in the rhythm, the guitar accentuates what feels like a naturally smooth, low-key tempo, and even Sudano himself sounds more comfortable in a relaxed position than he ever would one where all of the tension is pressing against his performance – until the chorus comes along.
When we’re in the heat of the moment in “Two Bleeding Hearts,” this singer/songwriter comes alive with a vitality that is extraordinarily rare to find in a rookie release, or any other for that matter, and although it contrasts with how we start the track, it’s the sudden and abrupt shift into a higher gear that magnifies the melodic fireworks more than anything else ever could. This is a player who is more methodical than he has to be, but because of his detail-oriented personality, anyone who listens to his latest song should walk away feeling like they’ve heard something both intimate and soulful. He’s using every inch of sonic space this mix will give him, and not wow us with his auto-tuned skillset.
The buildup to the hook here is essential to making the emotional release in the chorus memorable, and I would even say that it’s only because of how Sudano stretches out the tension in “Two Bleeding Hearts” that we’re able to grasp the severity of his statements – and the honest passion he’s presenting them with.
This isn’t to suggest that he’s somehow being overindulgent with his lyrical output here; if anything, his is one of the more disciplined approaches to verses that I’ve had the pleasure of sampling in the past couple of months. It’s been a rough spring for a lot of pop fans, but this is something made truly accessible because of the equally humble and ambitious actions Sudano is taking as the leader of every movement in the song. He’s not going as hard after the hook as he probably could have, or would in a live situation specifically, but that’s fine considering that he’s got a lot of time and space in his discography to show us his expanding versatility in his next release.
No more are local scenes competing with one another for viral attention; thanks to the expansive influence of the internet and music sharing, the internationalization of the pop beat is undeniable in 2023 and opening up doors for a veteran artist like Bruce Sudano to make a serious play for the primetime. His voice stands out in a crowd, but what’s more is that he has a knack for composing that is evident just when listening to a portion of “Two Bleeding Hearts.” From hooks to harmonies, this is a player I plan on keeping on my radar in 2023, and if you’re as interested in smart pop music as I am, I think you should go out of your way to hear what he’s doing right now.