I have mixed feelings about The Civil Wars, but I like this song a lot. I think there’s something really nice about the way the song is put together geographically. You’ve got all the electric guitars loud, but sounding way far back. Then the acoustic guitar and the vocals are closer to you, and it sounds like there might be a tambourine in there at singer distance. But check out the weird moment right at 2:30, which may be why I love this song so much. Dude’s singing “I had me a girl/ like cigarette smoke/ she came and she went” which is very lovely imagery.
But right up close in the mix, like someone is knocking slowly and deliberately on a door right near you. It’s great. It’s like you hear this knocking, the temptation is there to open it, and yet, we both know, there’s only going to be emptiness behind that door.