There are any number of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. But Jenny Lewis seems perfectly happy to leave all the chocolates, elaborate flower displays and corny cards to the rest of you and focus on what makes her heart sing: super sad songs about tragic love affairs. The singer released the latest track from her upcoming On the Line (March 22) album on Thursday (Feb. 14), the lush lament “Heads Gonna Roll.”
The country-ish waltz opens with a vivid description of a scenario with the kind of guy you defintely want to keep in the friend zone. “Since I haven’t talked to you/ I dream about your baby blues and/ Wonder why you stopped getting high/ Even though we were just friends/ I think of us as bookends/ And I’m gonna love you till I die,” she sings in a dreamy voice over acoustic guitar and piano.
Lewis gets clear-eyed and really real about where we’ll all end up on the song’s chorus, on which she croons, “Oh, heads gonna roll baby/ Everybody’s gotta pay that toll and maybe/ After all is said and done/ We’ll all be skulls/ Heads are gonna roll,” after several verses about her travels with a some super interesting characters, including a “narcoleptic poet from Duluth” who she disagreed with about everything, “from Elliott Smith to Grenadine.”
The song boasts an impressive list of guest performers, including former Beatle Ringo Starr on drums, producer Don Was on bass and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench on the Hammond B3 organ.
The track also lists production by singer/songwriter Ryan Adams, who also produced Lewis’ 2014 album The Voyager. Adams was the subject of an exposé in the New York Times on Wednesday (Feb. 13) in which seven women accused him of harassment, and sexual and emotional abuse. A spokesperson for Lewis declined to comment about Adams’ participation in the song at press time.
Lewis, who released the intoxicating “Red Bull & Hennessy” last month, is slated to hit the road on March 26 in Bloomington, Indiana, for a North American tour, with 17 new dates announced on Thursday; click here to see her full list of shows.
Listen to “Heads Gonna Roll” below.