Wafia – Heartburn

A strikingly intelligent pop track with ambiguous passion and a killer hook


There’s a dozen ways you could describe love, lust, or loss: heartache; heart yearn; heartbreak; heart knotted. But Heartburn is a new one on me – the phrase doesn’t typically exude wafts of romanticism.

Which is what makes the latest single from Wafia so interesting. A cunning vocal delivery that is a steady blend of loved up, broken and absolutely neutral. This isn’t at Wafia’s detriment either: it’s a powerful vocal delivery that has all aspects but the earthy tones of Lorde. It’s just intelligent enough to linger in ambiguity.

So is this a song of love or one of hurt? It’s all open to interpretation, as all the best songs are. While you may read strongly into one particular meaning, you can never be fully convinced. A lead chorus line such as “Why does my heart burn when I see your face?” is deceptively misleading: it’s not as straightforward as it may appear.

I’m such a sucker for clever songwriting. It just so happens that the intelligence here is delivered on a smooth vocal, with a killer hook and a loosely erratic beat that keeps all attention in place. What’s not to love?

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