Brandy Clark and Lori McKenna wrote “Three Kids No Husband” together in 2013, shining a light on the sort of household superhero who juggles motherhood, a full-time job and other responsibilities without help from her kids’ absentee father. McKenna recorded the song first, releasing it on her 2014 record Numbered Doors. Now it’s Clark’s turn, with “Three Kids No Husband” appearing on her upcoming sophomore release, Big Day in a Small Town.
Above, Clark strums her way through a solo version of the tune, stripping it free of the brushed percussion, pedal steel, piano and other lightly-applied embellishments that fill the song’s studio version. Performed alone, “Three Kids No Husband” highlights the loneliness the rests at the heart of the song. “There’s how you plan it out and how it turns out to be,” the protagonist sings during the first chorus, smoking a cigarette during her first real break of the day. By the second verse, though, she’s back at it, pouring coffee and delivering lunch plates at her “hairnet job at a diner down on Main.”
Big Day in a Small Town is Clark’s follow-up to her Grammy-nominated debut, 12 Stories, which helped push the behind-the-scenes songwriter into her own patch of limelight. Due out June 10th, the album doubles as her first release for Warner Bros. Records.