Little Big Town have nurtured a songbook dealing in heartbreak, marital bliss and motorboating – and everything in between. With their new song “Sugar Coat,” the country superstar group peel back the layers of infidelity and how many reconcile such estrangement in their own heads. “I just smile with a lump in my throat,” sings Karen Fairchild.
The lyrics play both with the literal and metaphorical, drawing parallels between hiding behind emotional barricades and the physical act of removing makeup, a synthetic shell that further masks the truth. “I turn the bathroom light on / To take my makeup off / Look at myself in the eye / I wonder why I wear it anyway,” reads the opening line.
It’s not an especially groundbreaking song – stacked against their own catalog or in the broad history of country music. But Fairchild’s conviction on lead vocal, her bandmates always on deck with haunting harmony work, is unmistakable. It’s super-charged with the kind of raw emotional prowess that few groups have ever possessed.
Listen to “Sugar Coat” below.