Premiere: Singer/Songwriter Jake Manzi Soars into View on Beautiful Single “Whatever My Heart Allows”

Jake Manzi © Olivia Barkett
Jake Manzi © Olivia Barkett
A soulful and sweet soft rock confessional, “Whatever My Heart Allows” ripples with passionate feeling as Jake Manzi introduces himself to the world in style.
for fans of Wilco, Billy Joel, James Taylor
Stream: “Whatever My Heart Allows” – Jake Manzi




I guess this song is a realization that you’re at the mercy of where your heart leads you – not the other way around.

The thing about a great singer/songwriter is that you actually don’t need them to tell you what their song is about; you can feel it, just by listening to their music. Such is the case with up-and-coming Massachusetts singer/songwriter Jake Manzi, whose first release of 2021 is a big, beautiful breath of fresh heart-on-sleeve vulnerability and stirring emotion. A soulful and sweet soft rock confessional, “Whatever My Heart Allows” ripples with passionate feeling as Jake Manzi introduces himself to the world in style.

Whatever My Heart Allows - Jake Manzi
Whatever My Heart Allows – Jake Manzi
Push me right up against the wall
Don’t let me say anything at all
‘Cause when I take time to think
I can’t tell how I feel
People I meet, they make me so tired
And I know I’m here but it’s like I’m hardly alive
So when I turn to you please don’t turn away
Though I’m still not sure if I can even stay
But go on and turn the light right out
I’ll give all the love I’m allowed
Whatever my heart allows

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the single and music video for “Whatever My Heart Allows,” the lead single and title track off Jake Manzi’s forthcoming debut album Whatever My Heart Allows (out May 7, 2021). A “classic-sounding” singer/songwriter in the Jeff Tweedy and James Taylor sense, Manzi sounds as if he was plucked from the early 1970s, dropped in 2021, and instructed to sing from the heart: driven by gentle acoustic guitars, “Whatever My Heart Allows” comes to life with accompanying keyboards, violins and assorted orchestral strings, light drums, and more – the result of which is a full-bodied, incredibly touching outpouring of delicate, caressing sound.

Jake Manzi © Olivia Barkett
Jake Manzi © Olivia Barkett

“Whatever My Heart Allows” is an excellent introduction to Manzi’s art, finding him dwelling in the depths of relationship uncertainty and struggling to open up to love. His voice is raw and deeply expressive – slightly nasal (again, a la Tweedy), yet confident and strong enough to fill (and silence) a full room. Pouring himself into his song, Manzi commands listeners’ attention with an easy lilt and timeless sound:

Every time I didn’t let you in
It was just my heart saying “here we go again”
But I know now, I know I wasn’t right
‘Cause I look at you and I’ve never seen so much light
So go on and turn the light right out
I’ll give you all the love I’m allowed
Whatever my heart allows
Whatever my heart allows
Whatever my heart allows

We’ve said it about Vermont singer/songwriter Noah Kahan‘s music; we’ve said it about New York singer/songwriter Brian Dunne‘s music; and we’ll say it again: Jake Manzi’s songwriting on “Whatever My Heart Allows” is truly great. The artist intersperses metaphors with little details from lived experience, capturing in lyrics as in sound the wellspring of heartfelt emotions bubbling just below his surface.

Jake Manzi © Taylor Thompson
Jake Manzi © Taylor Thompson

“We tried to make every second of the album to be as good as it could be and attacked it with a possibly unhealthy amount of obsessive-compulsiveness,” Manzi tells Atwood Magazine of his forthcoming debut. “It was all-consuming. We had a lot of arrangement and production ideas and made a point to see each one through. I wanted to make a record that I was proud of and believed in. We were able to do our thing in the studio and insisted upon not rushing anything. The majority of the recording time was spent with just [producer and bandmate] Caleb Rosazza and me trying to make something that we liked. That was the only criteria, really. I guess this song is a realization that you’re at the mercy of where your heart leads you – not the other way around.”

Directed by Gabriel Bernini, the “Whatever My Heart Allows” music video brings us up close and personal with Manzi – quite literally capturing him alone with his guitar, singing right into the camera and off into space. The simplicity of this direction evokes a personal sense of connection between artist and audience, where this song feels as if it’s just for us: Manzi may eventually sing it hundreds, if not thousands of times, and each time he does, it will carry that same special weight as it does now.

Jake Manzi may be struggling to come to square away his head with his heart, but he’s found the right balance of folk and soul within the tender folds of “Whatever My Heart Allows” – an achingly tender instant hit that makes us unequivocally excited for May 7’s debut album.

With months to go between March and May, we will surely be hearing more from Jake Manzi very soon. In the meantime, we can bask in the vulnerable, loving folds of “Whatever My Heart Allows” – a one-in-a-million song with a world of its own for us to sink into, explore and indulge in, and come out the other side feeling refresh, invigorated, and inspired.

So turn the light right out, go on
And we’ll find all the love we’ll allow

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Whatever My Heart Allows - Jake Manzi

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📸 © Olivia Barkett

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