Trying to escape a failing relationship is never a situation you’d want to find yourself in. Whether it be long or short term, blame is most likely going to fly in both directions, and it’s going to hurt. It’s not always easy trying to explain this in a way which people can relate to and picture in their head, but with a little creativity and thinking outside of the box, it can be done. That is what we can observe with Lydia Loveless’ new song, “Don’t Bother Mountain.”
Beginning with a subdued beat, the song sets a somber tone with its slow pace and haunting guitar sounds which are playing out in the background. Without wasting any time, Loveless comes into the mix at full force singing, “Carolina lost my identity / Or it’s coming in the mail, either way.” Describing, what I believe to be, a couple which has moved locations, Loveless addresses a change in personality which has occurred. She then confirms that this change is not a result of their physical location, “I’m not the same, and it isn’t just a change of place.” Suddenly, a real drum-kit picks up where the electronic beat left off. On top of this, there is a new pattern being picked on an electric guitar along with a groovy bass line. Loveless continues to sing, “This can’t be where it all ends / The summit of don’t bother mountain.” Despite feeling as though they were on top of the world, things are no longer working, and it seems as if neither person feels as if it is worth being bothered over.
The song slows down as a synthesizer replaces the picked guitar, flowing back and forth between the speakers in stereo. As the drum beat and bass groove continue, Loveless sings, “I’ve been patiently taking my time / Or I’m just lazy, your guess is as good as mine.” At odds with her partner, she explains how her patience may have been interpreted as laziness, only furthering the deterioration of the relationship. As the song picks up once again, she sings, “All I know is leaves have grown over my soul / And stopped the fountain.” Perhaps feeling stopped up by her surroundings, she has sufficient motivation to push on and discover her true purpose. She continues, “I know I am not there yet / The summit of don’t bother trying.” A somewhat polar opposite of “don’t bother mountain,” she is reaffirming that even if she seems to be falling off, she still hasn’t reached the bottom.
Taking things to a more personal level, Loveless admits, “I don’t need all the things you took from me / I’ll get ‘em back eventually.” Whether those things be material objects or something deeper, this section of the song gives us more insight into the previous lyrics. Looking back, we get a better idea of the relationship which has fallen apart. The song finishes on the lines, “Everything has changed / Either way, everything’s changed.” After an extended fadeout, the song comes to a close. With its creative instrumentation combined with the powerful vocal performance of Loveless, this song serves as a great example of a “relationship song” done creatively. From beginning to end, a story is told without ever losing the listener’s interest and that is what makes a song qualify as successful in my books.