An emotive, bittersweet lament about the cyclical nature of love and life, American songwriter Ethel Cain has shared her latest single ‘Strangers’. The closing track to her highly anticipated debut album, Preacher’s Daughter, which is set for release on 12th May via her own imprint Daughters of Cain, the track is tinged with Cain’s irresistible trademark melancholy, made all the more affecting by her yearning, passionate vocals.
“This is the second song I wrote for this record, without the intention that it would become the ending,” Cain explains about ‘Strangers’. “Looking back, I can’t imagine a more perfect resolution to this lineage. I think subconsciously, this song was always the end of the road. It’s the realization that some things cannot be avoided, only accepted, and that just because it isn’t a happy ending, doesn’t mean it’s a bad one. There is an ending in every beginning, and all things come back around in one strange way or another. You can’t change your past, nor anyone else’s and the only real strength you have in this lifetime is your forgiveness.”
Unravelling over the course of almost six minutes like her previous offering ‘Gibson Girl’, on ‘Strangers’ Cain candidly asks listeners “am I making you feel sick?” over lavish, swirling guitar riffs and atmospheric cymbal crashes. Laced with a palpable desire, it’s a poignant rumination on how time affects our perspective on relationships with others and with ourselves, weaved together by Cain’s exquisite vocal delivery and intimate lyrics.
On Preacher’s Daughter, which she wrote and produced herself, Cain paints a portrait of a brilliant and deeply empathetic artist, committed to telling the story of “a flawed family plagued by human nature and the Southern soil on which it all plays out.”
Listen to ‘Strangers’ below.
Photo Credit: Ethel Cain