“Seventeen” is the latest track from Artist To Watch Sarah Beth Tomberlin, who is releasing her debut album, At Weddings, through Saddle Creek Records in August. It’s a newer song, added after the album’s limited release last fall, but it fits right in with the rest of Tomberlin’s sleepily intimate recordings. It’s a love song about how ridiculous love can be: “Only love the people who don’t love you back/ What is up with that?/ Are you done with that?” she asks herself on it.
In an interview with The Fader, Tomberlin says that one of its lines was inspired by a songwriting legend: “The “love is mostly war” lyric is me ripping off Bruce Springsteen. I almost laugh every time I sing that, like, Oh, Bruce. People have this view of love that it’s this fluffy, all-encompassing joyful peaceful thing — it rarely is that. It’s a lot of war within yourself.”
The song comes alongside a music video, directed by Zach Xanders, that follows Tomberlin as she visits the area in southern Illinois where she wrote most of the album and where her family still lives. It’s a mix of bleary rural existence and wide-open fields. There’s a very cute and smiley dog named Annie.
Listen and watch below.
At Weddings is out 8/10 via Saddle Creek Records. Pre-order it here.