Premiere: Doriana Spurrell shares her new single “Sunday”
Premiere: Doriana Spurrell shares her new single “Sunday”
New EP, Forward Released August 19
Jul 21, 2022
Photograph by Donavon Garret
Next month, Durham, NC-based singer-songwriter Doriana Spurrell is set to share her upcoming EP, Forward. With Forward, Spurrell’s writing draws its power from the smallest and most intimate moments, tracing small stories that intertwine in poetic meditations on life and meaning. Spurrell teased the record last month with her debut single, ”Never Needed Words’, a tribute to her late grandfather who died of Covid, and today she’s back with another new single, ‘Sunday’ , premiering with Under the Radar.
“Sunday” takes a meandering ride through intimate character portraits, depicting a family clinging on through tough times. Crisp country guitar tones and pastoral string waves ripple through the track as Spurrell’s vocals lend it a warm, melancholy glow. Spurrell sets the scene with the track’s opening lyricsー“Life changes / The rain is falling / The children are laughing / Mom is on the ground / A paper clutched in her hand.” The comforting core of the song comes later, as Spurrell confesses, “I don’t know what to say / I don’t know what to do / But I love you. The track feels almost nostalgic as it examines a life full of hardship and warmth, holding the stolen moments of joy close like treasured memories.
Spurrell says of the track, “For ‘Sunday,’ I took a folksy approach, wanting to tell a story. The inspiration came from growing up in the lower middle class; like many others, my family was touched by the 2008 recession, but during that time, I had no idea what we were really going through thanks to my parents, I knew we weren’t rich, just because of the difference between my house and my business by compared to my friends at the time. But I never felt poor; my parents never put that kind of pressure on me or my brother. Within reason, my parents did so much for us, even “They probably shouldn’t have done it. But that’s the thing, they never let it limit the love they showed us. It was enough that we had that connection and that love between us. That song pushes this idea.
It’s a story I tell through a family struggling with bills, finding time for their children, and more, but, even in the worst of times, there is love. Overcoming adversity and keeping the love for each other is such a powerful thing. There were many times when I was a kid I wanted to help, but there was no way to do it, other than just loving my parents for what they did. It’s like a defeated cry, but in a way, I think just showing appreciation and love is one of the most important jobs you can do.
Check out the song below and pre-record the track here. Forward releases everywhere on August 19. You can also read Spurrell’s exclusive Q&A on the track below.
What is the story behind this song? Did something special prompt you to write it?
This song started with a single line, like all my songs, which was the chorus: “I don’t know what to do, but I love you.” I had just finished watching the Italian movie “Bicycle Thieves” for a class I was in, and if you’re not familiar with the movie, it’s basically about a dad trying everything he can to find a job and provide for his family. In the end, it is his son who must comfort him. It made me think a lot about my family, the difficulties we went through and are going through and how I might be able to solve these problems. It seems like as a kid and just someone in a family, you have all this love and hope for your family, an instinct to save them and make things right. Sometimes I feel like all I have to give is love, and I hope that’s enough.
We love to hear about the songwriting process. How did this song go?
Growing up in North Carolina, I gained a great appreciation for the art of storytelling. It’s such a big tradition in the culture here and especially the music, folk in particular. After initially coming up with a basic idea for this song, I decided to take a storytelling approach and paint a portrait of a family, oscillating between the struggles of parents and the somewhat oblivious nature of children. As children get older, they become more aware of where they are in terms of money, time, growth, evolution – all those “things in life” that can be so stressful. But love – love is the motive of life. The chorus is my favorite part: “I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to do, but I love you.” Having it repeated through song was my way of showing how the idea of love repeats itself through life. No matter how much time passes or how things change, love is like glue.
What do you think is the message of this song?
I think one thing that worries me a lot in life is that I’m not doing things right. Like I’m not preparing to be a functional member of society, to get my house in order, to save money, to figure out who I want to be. But I think most of the time, striving to be perfect can drive away the simple pleasures in life, and it can drive people apart. I think it’s incredibly strong when a person is able to hold on to love and hope even during times of immense pressure. We have seen that a lot in this pandemic. Families who don’t know where their next meal will come from, those who have lost their jobs, even their loved ones.
This song is called “Sunday” because I always consider this day a reset, maybe a calm before the storm. Sometimes I feel especially anxious on Sundays, waiting for the next horrible thing to happen during the week. But it’s also a day to hope, to be together and know that bad things and good things will happen, things that you can’t control, but you can control your kindness and your ability to love. Life is complicated and that’s normal. I think that’s what I wanted to establish in this song.