You know the scene well: A girl goes out the bar to have some fun, and it’s not long before her ex walks in. You know the scene well enough to fill in what usually comes next, too — all the moving on gets undone. In her new single, “My Bar,” Priscilla Block handles it a little differently.
First, Block (and her co-writers, Stone Aielli and Lexie Hayden) sets the scene for us. She’s settled up in her usual spot, sipping her usual drink. She’s the kind of regular that the bartenders know by name, and she’s here to enjoy the band she likes, enough to see them play every Wednesday. There’s no question about it — this is her territory.
When she sees her ex walk in, she’s got something to say about who belongs where. In her signature twang, she sings it: “Don’t come walkin’ in like you own it, you own it / I hate to break it to you, you don’t, yeah, you don’t / You think you’re such a star, but here’s the funny part / No one even knows who you are.“
Musically, “My Bar” has a degree of softness to it. Block’s vocals are warm, even when she’s dissing the one who hurt her, and the track is underproduced, letting Block’s voice and her penchant for relatable storytelling be the focal point. But even though the single isn’t in-your-face, it’s still got some fierceness to it, especially when she gets to the bridge.
Block takes the opportunity to put that ex back in their place: “Don’t even buy that round / just stop before you start / Go to your side of town / It really ain’t that far.“
For Block, “My Bar” is a return to a familiar scene with familiar characters: Her breakthrough single, “Just About Over You,” takes on the same situation, except that in that song, the heartache is still a little too fresh for the sight of her ex to do anything other than cut right down to the bone.
Taken together, the two singles introduce Block as a deft storyteller of the every-girl’s ups-and-downs. It’s no wonder that fans crowdfunded the recording of “Just About Over You” — Block is the kind of songwriter who gives us songs to see ourselves in.
Block’s debut album Welcome to the Block Party comes out Feb. 11.