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  • Writer's pictureAlex Court

Brooke Surgener New Single 'I Hate You The Least'

Some people sure have a strange way of expressing love. What else do you make of a song title like “I Hate You The Least” by Brooke Surgener? So, you hate everyone, yet you hate one person least of all? That is strange. However, Surgener’s single is the least angry song with the word “hate” in its title to come along in a long time. She’s no Alanis Morissette. At least not with this particular song.

The song’s music is gentle, folk-ish rock. Surgener sings it with an equally gentle voice. The drums are muted, and there is what sounds like steel guitar here and there. This is added in for pop-y coloring, though, and not because it’s any kind of country tune. The beat is languid and sweet, as if it has nowhere it needs to be any time soon. It’s dreamy and light, and the song kind of sneaks up on you a bit.

The track’s video finds Surgener in a dark bar playing a bartender in some parts, and a lone dancing club patron, in others. It’s easy to understand why a bartender might develop some hates. People can be mighty mean to bartenders. Surgener appears like a daydreaming bar employee much of the time. Maybe she’s reflecting back on one specific individual after the club’s closing time.

So, how would you take it if someone said they hated you the least? It would be a backhanded compliment, at the very least. Don’t we all want to be loved the most, rather than hated the least? It’s an

attention-getting title, that’s for sure. Then again, might Surgener actually be singing to the booze she’s pouring in the bar? Perhaps it’s not a love song at all, but a veiled ode to the way alcohol makes Surgener feel? This might be what’s making her look and feel so dreamy. After all, we never see another person – male or female – in the video. We do, however, see a whole lot of booze.

Surgener describes herself as an indie folk songwriter from Erie PA. Nevertheless, this is not strictly a folk song. Yes, it rolls with a much lighter touch than most pop and rock music, but its arrangement sounds more like dream-pop than your parent’s folk music. It’s amplified, without the hint of acoustic guitar.

Although the song’s video is set in a bar, Surgener has an extremely young face. She looks a little bit like the main character from the musical Annie, complete with red hair and freckles. She also has an innocence about her overall look, which makes the bar locale seem a little unlikely. Then again, saying “I hate you the least,” sounds like something a little girl would say, instead of words from a full-grown adult. It feels a bit childlike at times.

Once again, “I Hate You The Least” is a love(?) song like few others. Then again, maybe we don’t really need to overthink it quite so much. Instead, perhaps we should just let its dreamy sonic roll over us, like

gentle waves flowing onto a sandy beach. Even if you can’t figure it out, it still feels really sweet.

-Dan MacIntosh


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