Kara Hartzell could see the sun setting in the distance as she quietly moved pieces of steak around her plate.
Wrestling with the tidal wave of emotions that accompany a divorce, Hartzell had gone to the restaurant as a way of putting herself back out there. What she walked away with was the inspiration for her new single, "On the Horizon."
"It was an odd experience. I didn't think anyone noticed me sitting by myself," she said. "A couple of days later I wrote a song about it. It's (sung) from the perspective of somebody else looking at me, letting me know it'll get better and I can get through it."
Hartzell recorded vocals, guitar, and bass for the song. She turned to her friend, drummer and producer Kevin Soffera, owner of Hybrid Studios in Lower Nazareth Township, to lay down the percussion.
Hartzell, a music teacher by trade, said "On the Horizon" represents growth in her songwriting. Looking to stretch her songwriting muscles, Hartzell's goal was to return to her roots -- a contrast from the more folk, singer-songwriter vibe of her debut EP, When I'm Home.
The Bangor-based musician embarked on a solo career last year following her exit from folk outfit Alex Mary & the Townsmen. Prior to that, Hartzell was a member of alt-rock band A Golden Era. "I just wanted to make a rock 'n' roll song because I hadn't before," she said. "I just wanted to do it and say I did it."
For the "On the Horizon" music video, Hartzell recruited Soffera, bassist Nick Capozzolo (The Moondogs, Kill the Broadcast), lead guitarist Dave Francis, and rhythm guitarist George Young to mimic the parts on camera.
"I don't have a band, so I couldn't be all the people," Hartzell joked. "It was really cool. We met in Patterson, New Jersey, in this old factory and put it together."
Fans can see Hartzell in concert 6 p.m. March 31 at Scratch in Easton. On May 1, Hartzell will perform prior to the start of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs home game at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.