There’s this thing that happens when you’re in love. For every ounce of joy, bliss, contentment, comfort, serenity, that finding The One brings, there’s an equal amount of anxiety that one day, that person will just up and leave, that any little thing you do could create a permanent fault line in the relationship. This worry isn’t necessarily unique to romantic relationships—this rift could appear in friendships or even familial relationships—but a life partnership certainly exacerbates it.
Dominique Tey knows this unease all too well. On “Every Part,” the newest single from her debut Heartstream EP, she sings of someone without whom she can’t imagine living. Even when there’s no actual threat of this person fleeing her, she lives in regular fear that one day, they’ll just be gone—even though her life is deeply intertwined with theirs.
“I can see right through the fears you hide/You’re a part of me/I can’t deny it,” Tey sings over beds of softly pulsing synths and wintry digital bubbles. “I’d take a bullet for you/in a heartbeat,” she continues, and it’s clear that she actually means it. “Keep me close to your heart,” she demands shortly before the chorus of “Every Part” arrives, bringing with it faint, programmed strings, a surge of double-time drum pads, and an amped-up sense of exhilaration.
Before the song’s second verse, all the song’s parts but Tey’s voice disappear. This momentary pause aptly paves the way for a passage in which Tey’s anxieties fully move to the forefront. “I keep on moving though I’m feeling numb/I can’t see straight now that I’ve lost the sound,” she sings, as though she’s a sea creature who can’t echolocate her lover.
This contrast between the second verse’s blatant despondency and the first verse’s head-over-heels addiction highlights the strife at the core of “Every Part.” “That kind of love,” says Tey about this contrast, “is usually very powerful yet makes you the most fragile.” Her interplay between passion and vulnerability lies at the heart of her sonic choices on “Every Part,” which uses music to tell a story we all know yet can never quite perfectly describe with words.