“Tough” is the most recent single of Nashville based alt-pop duo DBMK. The group, Kyle Knudson on vocals and Colton Ward on drums, have built a tight knit fan base through touring. Despite the limitations of 2020 they have continued to work on new music, releasing a new EP to impressive success. “Tough” continues on this path, exploring in their genre crossing space to reach fans both old and new.
The band has stated that “Tough” is a song about being stuck in place in life. The lyrics capture a relatable image for the current day, working paycheck to paycheck and facing off against burnout. The chorus’s opening “Take two scoops of my brain and leave me bloody, at least it’s off my mind” is the image that paints the single’s cover. It captures vividly the feeling of wanting to get out of your own mind in the face of stress.
The song takes an upsetting topic and makes it into something that’s full of energy. “Tough” might be a song about being stuck, but it feels like the soundtrack for breaking out of that rut. The groovy guitar line and Ward’s excellent work on the drums underline the lyrics in a hopeful way. The sound also plays with room and space in interesting ways. It builds in echoes, bird songs and eventually a gritty guitar sound that evokes the feeling of a messy in person show even over headphones.
“Tough” is relatable and stylistically interesting. It’s a song that’s attention grabbing, bringing together all of DBMK’s skills. If you’re looking for a new song to carry you through a rough day, give “Tough” a try.