Daily Distraction: Celebrate or surrender with Micah Schnabel's 'White Roses'

The powerful song is yet another in a string of strong releases from the local songwriter and Two Cow Garage co-frontman

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Cover art for Micah Schnabel single "White Roses"

"White Roses," the new track from local treasure Micah Schnabel (and mixed/mastered by Frank Turner), incorporates all the trademark aspects of the singer, guitarist and songwriter that we've come to know and love.

A three-part drama unfolding in under three minutes, "White Roses" opens with Schnabel's sing-speak storytelling as he describes a chaotic shopping center scene: a fist fight on aisle six, history professors passed out in the liquor aisle with vomit on their sweaters, "a man at the service desk waving a gun around yelling something about the Constitution not being a legally binding document."

Schnabel then goes from external to internal, shifting from rapid-fire social commentary to a supremely relatable chorus: "Been grinding my teeth into sharp knives."

More:Twenty years with Two Cow Garage

There's some hope in the second verse — "I need you/This world needs you/I know it might not feel like it right now, but it’s the truth" — before Schnabel illuminates the song's title over a slowly growing pile of guitars: 

"Unclench my fist and a dozen white roses

fall to the ground

Celebration or surrender

I guess we’re all about to find out"

Schnabel wraps the whole thing up with a riff on "Down Down Baby," morphing the lyrics into a fist-pumping, extended outro that, instead of answering the "celebration or surrender" question, embraces the cathartic tension of the moment. Who knows what comes next? Might as well put our hands up on the rollercoaster and let Schnabel soundtrack the hope, despair and everything in between. 

Listen below.