Music

Song Premiere: Karen and the Sorrows' Wistful 'Far Away'

Leah James

"Some people you can love up close, some people from afar/ I guess the trick is knowing which kind they are," Karen and the Sorrows' Karen Pittelman sings on the heartbreakingly beautiful "Far Away," the latest release from the band's forthcoming album Guaranteed Broken Heart (out on October 18).

Anchored by a lonesome fiddle and steel guitar, "Far Away" finds Pittelman reflecting on the complications of attempting to love someone from a distance.

"I don't think we have much say over who we love, or whether or not we can stop it," Pittelman tells Wide Open Country. We only get to decide if someone should be part of our lives. And just because you love someone doesn't mean it's a good idea to keep them close. Or that they will even want you around. "But how do you know the difference between the people you can love up close and the people you can only love from far away? And what do you do with all that love when you have to keep your distance?"

Pittelman, a New York native, says the song was partially inspired by Manhattan's Roosevelt Island, a place she once viewed as both perplexing and familiar -- not unlike falling in love.

"When I was growing up on the very un-country 29th floor of an apartment building in New York City, my bedroom window looked out at the East River," Pittelman says. "I would spend hours watching the tug boats and garbage barges floating by and staring at the island on the river's other side. In reality, Roosevelt Island is a perfectly ordinary part of Manhattan, known for the quarantine hospitals and asylums it housed in the past. It's not hard to get there--you can take the F train or a tram. But when I was little, it seemed to me like some mystical, fairyland that I could not fathom how to reach. It was both my everyday and impossibly far away... Sometimes, when I think about all the people I've ever loved who I didn't get to keep in my life, I like to imagine them there. I almost called this song Roosevelt Island, but Far Away had a better ring to it."

Listen to "Far Away" below.

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Song Premiere: Karen and the Sorrows' Wistful 'Far Away'