New Zealand native Ben Hazlewood, a contestant on the first season of The Voice Australia, is preparing for a new artistic era by releasing his new single “Wanted“, a powerful, alternative pop effort with underlying soul influences.

Wanted” follows Hazlewood‘s impressive run on The Voice Australia under the guidance of Joel Madden and his delicate, rock-inspired “Paint Me Black” collaboration with former team member Mali Koa Hood. The new release highlights the strength of the artist’s intriguing and captivating vocals, as he shares details of a love he puts all of his energy into, just to never get the same response in return. There’s a sense of optimism and pain, as the realization of its end becomes clear.

On top of a solid vocal performance, the dramatic, dark encompassing production becomes a standout element of the track, creating a moody and passionate backdrop for the narrative songwriting. “I see from my eye line, your skies are not kind, we’re going under and I’ve lost my mind, there’s something in my bones and I can’t let you go, there’s burning inside like I’ve never known,” Hazlewood sings with utmost conviction as he tries to convey the mix of emotions flowing through him.

“[It] is a song about unrequited love and the angst and frustration, the desperation that comes with it,” the independent artist says of “Wanted“. “It’s a powerful plea to the person you feel more for than you have ever felt before. The last cry for a change that you anticipate may never come.”

Hazlewood‘s distinctive voice allows “Wanted” to form a connection with the listener, whether it be hopeful or depressing. His love story is relatable, carried by a memorable, powerful chorus and an intriguing blend of rock, soul and gospel inspirations. Without the need for explicit language or crude suggestions, the artist effortlessly seduces with a heartfelt plea for romance.

Hazlewood has enough experience in the music industry to know what works. With equal focus on a show-stopping vocal performance and engaging supporting production, “Wanted” is the perfect re-introduction to the artist. Plans for his official debut album are underway, with a tentative early 2016 release date. The new single may not follow the upbeat, radio-ready trends of the moment, but it doesn’t really need to. The singer-songwriter vibe and personal touch makes Hazlewood an artist to watch in the coming months.