Philadelphia singer-songwriter Julia Rainer’s new track, “Afraid to Say” encapsulates the sentimentally stirring qualities of her sound. The exploration of personal and emotional themes is common in her music, like on the 2017 debut album Spirits, which she describes as “an expression of love, life, and loss…and everything and everyone in between.” Cast over simple indie-folk guitar melodies, Rainer’s beautifully raw voice makes for a heartbreaking narration of personal stories.

The lyrics of “Afraid to Say” discuss the complexities of grief, an experience that echoes in its universal qualities, yet is still unique to everyone. A soft guitar melody over ambient nature sounds introduce her grief as being a result of the loss of her father. Her lyrics are somberly moving in the way she describes navigating the feelings of loss, and how she leans in and out of the sadness. She channels the fear element of grief in losing touch or forgetting things about the loved one lost. “What’s that funny thing? / I can’t remember. / So I bring you into conversation.”

“Afraid to Say” is a chilling and heartfelt song that feels like an expression of remembering, healing, and pain coexisting at once. Rainer’s vocals emulate these emotions in her authentic delivery so much that as a listener, you are bound to feel with her or for her.

Listen to “Afraid to Say” below.