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Kelly McFarling's New Single Asks You To Remember This Life Is Not a Practice Run

Hear "Both," the first track on her upcoming record 'Water Dog.'

by Annalise Domenighini
May 3 2017, 5:45pm

There is nothing easier than getting caught up in your own world, putting pride and self-importance before everything else and letting those things dictate the way you act toward others. We all do it—losing sight of the forest because we're too busy focusing on the trees—and sometimes if we're lucky a good person will come along with a swift kick to the head and try to set us straight.

"Both," the first single from the San Francisco based folk singer's upcoming release Water Dog, is less of a kick to the head and more of a tap on the shoulder, asking us to please sit down so the rest of us can see. On the stripped-down single, MacFarling's voice pairs with a soft banjo backing and gentle rhythm guitar to provide that gentle nudge. It sounds like the aural version of floating down a river on an inner-tube, nothing but yourself and the water and the sunshine. It also reminds me a lot of Laura Marling.

'Both' came from the realization that the problems looming so large in my heart and brain were, in a different context, much smaller." McFarling says of the song. "In my own mind, my existence is huge, but I'm just another human animal walking around the planet trying to move through it, along with millions of other people doing the same thing. We are all limited and defined by our perception of things. 'Both' is about allowing the opposites within me to coexist, and recognizing that struggle in others."

Listen to "Both" below. Water Dog is out June 16.

6/15 @ Eddie's Attic, Decatur, GA
6/16 @ The Green Bar, Tuscaloosa, AL
6/17 @ Folk All Y'all, Memphis, TN
6/19 @ The East Room, Nashville, TN
6/21 @ Isis, Asheville, NC
6/22 @ the Corner Store, Washington DC
6/23 @ The Purple Fiddle, Thomas, WV
6/24 @ Rockwood Music Hall, New York, NY
6/28 @ Light Club Lamp Shop, Burlington, VT
6/29 @ Burren (Back Room), Somerville, MA

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Music
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kelly mcfarling
the thing about this song is i've listened to it about 7 times already
how do you get the banjo to sound so soft and delicate
banjos are like the harpsichords of stringed instruments
they're just not very subtle, you know?