Singer-Songwriter Lori McKenna recently unveiled a music video for her new single, the charismatic and bittersweet “Young and Angry Again.” It’s the follow-up to “People Get Old” and marks as the second glimpse of what’s to come on The Tree, the highly anticipated 11th studio album by the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter.
Co-written with veteran songwriters Barry Dean and Luke Laird, “Young and Angry Again” taps into the bittersweet and nostalgic reflections that often come at the heels of entering new phases of adulthood. While there are certainly subtle hints of frustration and a melancholy nature throughout “Young and Angry Again,” it finds McKenna more so delivering lines aged with time and experience.
Lines such as “sitting on the roof to get closer to tomorrow, didn’t know enough to be scared” and “before the world set in and we punched that clock, before we knocked those hell-bent edges off” find McKenna understanding more of who she was as a younger woman than she did at the time. She’s not morphing into her younger self at all. But rather, looking back through her current lens.
Still, she can’t help but wish she had some of that youthful exuberance, reckless abandon and perhaps even a smidgen of naivete. “I could use a little who-I-was and that way-back-when,” the linchpin of the chorus, may be simplistic, but it’s also one of McKenna’s most genuine and honest commentaries on growing up and growing old.
No one deciphers and breaks down the passing of time quite like McKenna. Throughout The Tree—with few examples better than “People Get Old” and “Young and Angry Again—there’s an understanding of how the days drag on and the years fly and how they affect relationships, family and the individual. McKenna’s storytelling is generous with sage advice and careful sketches that gently nudge you in the right directions.
“I love people’s stories about their families—the way they tic and the ways we’re all crazy and love each other,” McKenna stated in a press release. “I hope my songs shine a little light on that for a second. Maybe our stories remind us of our families and what they give us. It’s beautiful, and sometimes we take it for granted.”
The Tree is the second collaborative effort between McKenna and producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile) who produced 2016’s The Bird and The Rifle. The Tree is due out July 20 via Thirty Tigers and CN Records. McKenna embarks on a summer headlining tour in support of The Tree called The Way Back Home Tour starting in late July.