LISTEN: Riley Whittaker Processes Heartbreak on ‘Changes’

When it comes to relationships, timing is everything. Sometimes, the timing doesn’t work out.

This is the world-aware, wise-beyond-her-years realization of 16-year-old Riley Whittaker on her new single, “Changes.” The Arizona native — now residing in Nashville — was forced to get creative, as she recorded the single without studio access at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I recorded this song in a coat closet, because we weren’t near the studio,” Whittaker said. “I think that makes the song more special to me, because of how unique the recording process was.”

The single itself is a dreamy folk-pop ballad with finger-picked guitar and a spacious sonic backdrop — one whose gentle sense of melancholy gives Whittaker room to express heartbreak and wonder about what could have been with a romantic interest.

“‘Changes’ is about when a relationship ends, and all you want to do is hold onto the hope that you’ll meet again in the future,” Whittaker said. “Maybe it was the right person, but wrong timing.”

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