What do you make of the Land of Enchantment? Until recently, New Mexico has been something of a cultural enigma. Before Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul drew attention (and unsolicited roof pizzas) to the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico seemed to exist only in the abstract as a stretch of desert between Texas and California. (At least Arizona had the Grand Canyon and towns full of old people.) There was the occasional mention of the alleged UFO sighting at Roswell, as well as Albuquerque references from Bugs Bunny and Weird Al Yankovic, but even then the cities felt somehow disconnected from their state – as though they were isolated points in a vast desert and not just off the interstate.

“New Mexico,” a stunningly gorgeous new song by the Oakland-based singer-songwriter Lizzy Dutton, is at least partially about the actual state. It’s sung from the point of view of someone who has spent two weeks in New Mexico “just to quarantine,” and she sings that she might go back to neighboring Texas sometime soon. But New Mexico is also something of a metaphor: its relative obscurity compared to a state like Texas, as well as the purposeful lack of local flavor Dutton provides, suggests a transient, almost purgatorial location where our narrator finds herself stranded for a while.

That might not sound like a complimentary depiction of the state, but the music of “New Mexico” expresses the breathtaking beauty of the Land of Enchantment. An acoustic guitar plays melodies that are always gentle but never simple, while strings crackle and sing in the background; their long, sustained notes suggest a grand blue sky, almost intimidating in its sheer size. Dutton’s voice is warm and sweet, with a slight conversational quality that never loses sight of melody. Her lyrics are poetic, with talk of winter beaches and mother and son going west to pursue a father’s dream, but in her voice it all sounds like something a person would actually say.

“New Mexico” is just a bit under six minutes long, and it has a sprawling, unconventional structure. But any doubts that Dutton knows what she’s doing are put to rest the moment the refrain sweeps in. It arrives quickly enough to catch a listener off-guard, striking, cinematic strings swooping in like an eagle as Dutton sings the song’s thesis: “everywhere feels strange to me.” For some, though, “New Mexico” will feel like just where they’re supposed to be.