Ryan Adams once wrote that a pawn shop ain’t no place for a wedding ring – but maybe it is, if you’re trading one in for a gun.
That’s the setup for the video to “Hold Me Like a Gun,” the leadoff track to Nashville singer-songwriter Elise Davis’ upcoming second album Cactus, which is due out in September. “Hold Me Like a Gun” has the airy, wide-open sonic ambience of a spaghetti-western soundtrack theme, with a video most notable for what it doesn’t reveal.
Davis is shown cooling her heels by a motel pool, dressed to kill in a sequined green mini-dress and white boots as she ponders her options (“I don’t wanna wake up feeling so numb/But I know myself, you gotta hold me like a gun,” she sings). She drives to a nearby pawn shop, swaps her ring for a rifle, takes it out into the desert, loads up and takes aim at an unknown target.
The clip concludes with Davis destroying the rifle by smashing it on a boulder, swinging it by the barrel, before making her getaway.
To hear Davis tell it, “Hold Me Like a Gun” is another song that came out of hard-won experience – noticing harmful patterns in her romantic relationships.
“Those patterns led me to see that I was a pretty shitty person to be in a relationship with,” she says. “Flighty, doubtful and ultimately hurtful. ‘Hold Me Like a Gun’ is a song wrestling with the idea that I might be incapable of being in a serious relationship. Guns represent safety but also destruction. They can be a symbol of protection as well as pain. At the time I wrote the song, I felt like I as a human was a good parallel to that.”
Here is the track listing for Cactus, which arrives September 7th:
1. “Hold Me Like a Gun”
2. “The Burn”
4. “Married Young”
5. “Lone Wolf”
7. “Last Laugh”
9. “Moody Marilyn”
10. “Don’t Bring Me Flowers”