Sarah Shook and the Disarmers: The Way She Looked At You – Single Review
Sarah Shook and the Disarmers
The Way She Looked At You
Released: 4 December, 2018
New single from Outlaw Country’s rising star.
Sarah Shook and the Disarmers have been kicking up a storm in the outlaw country scene over the last couple of years with two critically acclaimed, and ass kicking, albums – Sidelong and Years– and starting to make an impact further afield with two successful European tours this year – they recently sold out The Old Blue Last on their one and only London date. If you haven’t yet checked out Shook’s melding of classic country with a punk sneer and a downtrodden survivor’s fuck you attitude, then you are missing out on a truly great songwriter in any genre. To end the year the band are releasing a single, available as a limited edition 7” vinyl and, until December 4 when it will be released on all platforms, exclusively streaming on Apple Music.
The Way She Looked At You b/w Devil May Care – Both songs were recorded at Manifold Recording in Pittsboro, NC during the same session that produced Years. Both songs would easily find there way onto any other band’s album, but the decision not to include them on Years was due to the album aesthetic as a whole, rather than a lack of quality. Any artist can see a great song, it takes a great artist to remove a great track to enhance the whole.
The Way She Looked At You is a ballad. It’s the sound of a bruised woman nursing a drink and reminiscing over her glory days. You can smell the whisky and the stale cigarette full ashtrays. It’s the voice of a world-weary soul searching for the voice of an angel that will help her soar again. Shook’s voice is so beautiful and full of troubled and hopeful emotions, the melancholic words of someone who hasn’t been desired for a long time. You can’t fake this shit. It builds up to a great chorus, like the long yearning before an explosion of emotion. It’s got chord changes and vocals that will knock you down like a hammer and can break your heart into splinters.
The Devil May Care is a great kick ass tune. Lyrically it’s a joyous description of breaking free of miserable people, of people who hold you back. It’s a fucking great tune with just the right element of sly sneering and humour and wonderful duelling guitars.
One senses that Shook’s attitude is summed up in this song when confronted by her detractors: The devil may care, but I don’t give a fuck.