This is the the title track from the third album by Karen & The Sorrows, based around the songwriting of Karen Pittelman. She’s been instrumental in the queer country scene, running the Gay Ole Opry Festival and the Queer Country Quarterly. With a new lineup she’s ventured away from dark country rock and into more of a 90s country sound and based on this track the new album sounds very promising. The song is rootsy yet polished, a tale of the poisoned chalice of love.
“My inspiration was imagining: what if Neil Young had made a ‘90s country album? So on the one hand, I was obsessing about producers like Garth Fundis and Keith Stegall, listening to the genius way they layer and build a song. Sometimes people dismiss that era of country music for being too smooth and slick, but when it’s at its best, that polish and shimmer is there for a powerful purpose—to make you feel exactly what the song feels. At the same time, I was thinking about not just Young’s Harvest, which I guess I’m always thinking about, but also On the Beach, and the way that rawness and honesty draws you in and makes you trust the music. The two songs I probably listened to most over the last year were George Jones’ ‘Choices’ (produced by Stegall) and Young’s ‘Ambulance Blues.’ Though they are on opposite ends of the production spectrum, I wanted to make something that drew from what I loved about both, and how each can make me cry. I was also looking to some of the powerful women artists that I grew up with, like PJ Harvey and Tori Amos, who produce their own work and have never been afraid to make the sound that is in their head, no matter how strange it is.”
Guaranteed Broken Heart is out October 18th.