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“Stone Door,” Sarah Shook

By Sydney Miller, Staff Writer

Sarah Shook’s new solo acoustic song, “Stone Door,” is a mellow change from her typical sound. It’s also not released anywhere besides as a lyric video on YouTube: the video is a simple shot of a mirrored image of Shook playing the song in front of a blank background with the lyrics appearing at the bottom of the screen – a fitting setting for the tone of the song.

There’s no rockabilly bass line like there are in most of Shook’s songs, and the vulnerability of the lyrics matches the stripped-down instrumental backing. At the same time, the song has the potential to be transformed into a jauntier tune if Shook was to record it with her full band.

The song sticks to three chords and the truth as Shook walks us through her memory of being “Stuck in a storm on the mountaintop / Hangin’ by a branch over a sheer drop.” Words that perfectly sum up how the past few months have felt.

Shook’s quavery vocals elevate an otherwise simple song, as she croons along with the swelling of her acoustic guitar in a delivery that would feel right at home in a cozy coffee shop (if we ever get to hang out in those again).

I may not know where Stone Door is, or who it is that Shook was with that created such a lasting memory there, but her earnestness and melancholy is evident even without listening to the lyrics. 

I don’t know what Shook is planning to do with this song, whether it’s part of a new album or just some catharsis borne out of emotional turbulence. Either way, we’re lucky to keep getting new music from such a vital artist.