Singled Out: Poison Oaks' Pine

12/09/2011
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Today Laura Cortese tells us about the title track from the recently released Poison Oaks EP and vinyl 7" "Pine". Here is the story:

Sh*t. I was hoping never to have to share this story beyond the obscured lyrical telling. It was one of those lovers, the ones who torment you. The dark ones whose minds you can't read. I'd been waiting for him to call for a month or so. And of course I had plans to meet up with someone new who had caught my interest. Just when you think it'll never happen, he calls drunk at 3am while I'm asleep... When I saw his name I was too pissed to pick up the phone. So I waited to see if he left a message, and he did, and I checked it immediately. All he said after a month of nothing was..."I saw something today that reminded me of you. A coal truck crashed into a freight train and everything was on fire." Disambiguation of that sentence could mean drastically different things. But I knew what he meant. Our story got pretty complicated...infidelity and mistrust.

Four years later when I started writing the song I tried to tell the story of that relationship, but that was uninteresting to me by that time. Instead I tried to imagine a scenario in which those words could be a compliment not a torment. I felt very vulnerable asking the questions I would have asked if I could have at the time. My good friend Kristin helped me craft things in the end to make them feel singable... like I wasn't exposing some frail embarrassing part of myself. The feel of the track is intentionally happier than the story...maybe I was hopeful that some day I'd feel free from the angst of those kind of connections.

We started by me just strumming the fiddle and singing. It was just Sam Amidon, Matt Malikowski and me in the studio at the beginning. He played the weird off beat B3 part and played three banjo solos that we layered together. I loved the almost African pop vibe we were getting. When we went into the studio to finish the record Neil Cleary had this image of the world's biggest shaker being the center of the groove.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself right here!

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