For the most part, aggressive emotions in folk music are largely relegated to powerful lyrics and messages taped to the bodies of acoustic guitars. Yet the latest single from dark-folk songwriter Paul Bergmann, “Piss in My Hand,” throws those rules out the window as it takes the form of a seething, up-against-the-world anthem snarled through gritted teeth—it’s about as close to punk as folk can get without being folk-punk.
The track is the first taste of a forthcoming collection titled No Masters in Paradise which will arrive in May. While it serves as the lead single, “Piss in My Hand” wasn’t originally intended to be released. “I don’t remember why I wrote this song,” confesses Bergmann, whose music has been featured in the Netflix series Ozark. “I think I was just railing against the world. I had just lost my dad and was laid up recovering from an injury writing this album. This song was a throwaway before I finally found the voice to sing it, and the first time I did is what you’re hearing. It was a cathartic experience.”
Opening with Bergmann’s rasping vocals and clanging guitar before opening up into a verdant, full sound skirting psych-rock and post-punk while a triumphant piano dances on top of it all, the track is available to stream below. You can also pre-order No Masters in Paradise here.