John Dhali’s heart-healing single Horses offers a soul-stirring connection

A master of shining a light after the dark, John Dhali is a man who’s soaring vocals could right the wrongs of the world. He radiates warmth, light, and boundless positivity, his songs serving as medicine for the soul. 

Ahead of his move back from London to the North, his latest single Horses is a beautiful, poignant and life-affirming record that is a must-listen for fans old and new.

Following on from his 2022 crowd-funded debut In Time LP – an album filled with infectious, hook-laden melodies and unstoppable choruses – Horses takes a much slower pace yet retains the heart-healing quality that defines his artistry.

Gentle but intricate acoustic guitar lines ebb and flow through the speakers, the subtle sound of waves just behind them in the distance before Dhali’s haunting vocals deliver a contemplative verse made all the more emotive for the story behind the lyrics.

“This song is actually about someone else,” John told The Leopheard. “A friend of mine lost her husband when they were both young. A couple of months after it had happened, when she was dealing with her grief, she was out walking on a beach when a stranger approached her and started talking about horses and their healing powers.” 

He continued: “He was being kind without making it obvious. In 10 minutes he left and my friend felt totally different – uplifted and lighter. It left a profound impression on her and changed her whole trajectory in life. She ended up writing a book, starting a charity and doing loads of other amazing things all based around creating a culture of kindness. 

“Horses is about that story. It resonated with me so much. There’s so much sadness in it but also peace and acceptance.” 

His knack for powerful storytelling is only amplified by his resonant instrumentation and award-winning songwriting abilities, so there’s no wonder he received a first place award in the International Songwriting competition last year. His voice echoes the likes of talented and moving musicians like Paolo Nutini and Ben Howard, infusing each line with a delicate blend of melancholy, hope, and acceptance. 

Horses is a track that immediately connects with listeners on a profound level, and provides the most therapeutic five and a half minute listening experience. While stripped back with little more than his voice, guitar and stompbox, there’s nothing simple about it. Complex and compelling, the emotive nature of Dhali’s vocals, coupled with his heartfelt storytelling, propels this soul-stirring record into a league of its own.

Tackling themes of hope, resilience, and the power of kindness, may Horses find its way into the hearts of those who need it the most.

Released Thursday, January 25, listen to Horses by John Dhali here:

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