“The Token” isn’t just the title track on Elise Davis’ new album, it’s also a mission statement. “It details a metaphorical fork in the road,” she says. “On one side, you have a more traditional path that is still very prominent in the south. On the other side, you have the modern perception of sexuality and womanhood.”
“We spend our lives holding out for something,” she sings in the slow-moving, country-leaning, powerfully-sung tearjerker. “But I say we’re broken. And maybe knowing that’s the token.”
In the video, either side of that, well, token, are juxtaposed: the quiet, strained life of domesticity, and the freedom of the road and a life of creativity. Then again, maybe the things aren’t so different, as we learn towards the end.
The Token, out September 9 on Thirty Tigers, was produced by Sam Kassirer of the Josh Ritter band, behind records by Langhorne Slim, Lake Street Dive and others, and includes a stellar lineup of members from the bands of Bon Iver, Sharon Van Etten and more.
Photo by Gregg Roth