Sunday Music: Sarah Shook and the Disarmers

Shook’s song “Dwight Yoakam” put the band on my radar sometime a year or so ago, and then this Sound Opinions interview reminded me to catch up.

Her writing has a special voice. Move past the alto-register and the outlaw country label, and give the stories some room to breathe. If Sturgill Simpson is a kind of Henry Miller, Shook is the Charles Bukowski of the literate, alt-country underbelly. Maybe that metaphor dies under closer scrutiny (or maybe it dies of sheer pretentiousness, which it probably deserves to), but with verses like,

I will survive without your love, don’t you dare pretend I won’t
Been all alone before and lived to tell the tale
Every day here lately: damned if I do, damned if I don’t
Thought we had a good thing, seems I keep finding new ways to fail

…that arrive at choruses like,

Well I need this shit like I need another hole in my head
It was more the way the words came out than the things you said
I’m too damn tired to feed the dog or get out of bed
Too damn tired to walk away
Too tired to make it through another day
Just gonna lie here and complain instead

I’ll keep coming back to hear what’s beat up, broken, and bawling in her world.

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