Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter Shannen Moser will release her sophomore album, I’ll Sing, this September on Lame-O Records, and today released the first single off the record, “Arizona (I Wanna Be Your Man).”
Diverging from her typically acoustic-based format, this song takes on a sharper edge with the addition of an electric guitar and bass, while Moser expresses an interest in the Southwest, breaking out from the typical confines of navigating relationships. She opens the track with a relatable expression of escapism over an acoustic guitar, singing “If I had a car, I would drive to Arizona in the Fall,” running away after the end of a relationship. The acoustic is joined by a full band, along with backing vocals and a charming and unobtrusive whistle. It’s brilliantly fuzzy and appropriately warm, just as lush as it is airy.
The subtitle, coupled with references to cowboy and thieves, hints at a nostalgic desire for the Southwest of spaghetti westerns. Just as idealistic as cinematic representations of the desert is the intent of the song, crying out for some future of independent success, but also finding the key to expressing oneself to a love interest. The chorus chimes “I wanna be better now!” fading out as the guitar belts out a punk riff. As a native Arizonan myself, let me say that the single perfectly captures the feel of the Southwest in its dry, echoey instrumentation, and the sensation of both exhaustion and isolation while seeking out a better future.
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