The song starts out as a minimal and meditative acoustic tune, but soon expands with shuffling drums, rich organ, blooming backing vocals and even a tasteful — and slightly off-kilter — piano solo. “Give me one more second to dry my eyes,” Berninger sings, “Give me one more day to realize/Smoke’s in our eyes or in the distance/Either way, we’re gonna miss it.”
In a statement, Berninger said he wrote “One More Second” with Matt Sheehy (of Lost Lander and El Vy) “with the intention for it to be a kind of answer to Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You,’ or sort of the other side of that conversation. I just wanted to write one of those classic, simple, desperate love songs that sound great in your car.”
“One More Second” is the third offering from Serpentine Prison, following “Distant Axis” and the title-track. The album was produced by Memphis legend Booker T. Jones and features contributions from David Bowie bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, Andrew Bird, the Walkmen’s Walter Martin and some of Berninger’s National bandmates.