Shannen Moser – “Haircut Song”

A few weeks ago, Shannen Moser announced her sophomore album, I’ll Sing, the follow-up to the Pennsylvania musician’s 2017 debut Oh, My Heart. We’ve already heard “Arizona (I Wanna Be Your Man)” from it, and today she’s sharing another track, “Haircut Song.”

A slicing acoustic guitar backdrops a song about the tender and sometimes rocky negotiations you make when you love someone. “I will silence my own beating heart/ That’s the shit you don’t wanna hear,” she sings in its climax. “I would sell myself out for a lifetime of I love you, I love you, my dear.” But it’s not a happy love song, exactly, and there’s a pall that hangs over the whole thing. It’s not a song about steadfast devotion, but rather when what you want or need out of a relationship is immovable or unattainable.

Moser isn’t one for grand gestures in her songwriting, but there’s a scene here that sticks in mind: “Some things, they just go so bad that you could not make it up/ I am batshit out on Taney Street tonight here in the park,” she sings. “None of this is so poetic, but sometimes pain is not poetic/ I will rearrange the whole damn thing and tell you to forget it.” That ugly necessity, of losing control because of the lack of it, is too real, and Moser leaves it up for you to decide whether or not all those sacrifices are worth it in the long run.

Listen below.

I’ll Sing is out 9/7 via Lame-O Records.