In “One Last Breath,” the eighth track on Garrett Pierce’s recently released sophomore album Dusk, the Bay Area singer-songwriter transforms depressing subjects into beautiful, folk ditties, punctuated with plaintive keys and delicate chords.
Some of the topics he tackles in the song include wondering what it would be like to be lying on your deathbed with a loved one by your side, what it would be like to wake up as an infant, and death itself.
“Like many of my songs, I try to combine these dark themes with some optimism,” Pierce says, mentioning reincarnation as an example.
The song comes paired with an equally bleak yet poetic music video shot in black-and-white by director Stian Rasmussen. Throughout the 4-and-a-half minute video, viewers see Pierce silhouetted in front of bodies of water, and the entire film is awash in shadows and refracted light.
Pierce says it was a combination of authors and musicians that influenced him while he was writing and recording Dusk.
“When asked about my influences, I’ve always been more apt to cite Richard Brautigan, John Steinbeck, or Ernest Hemingway than a contemporary songwriter,” he says. “But more recently, I’ve looked back on musicians who were able to combine poignant, dark lyrical content with a melodic backbone, like Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, and Joni Mitchell.”
Listen to the entire album below and see if you can hear those influences.