Today’s Song: Brother Moses Wonders What It Takes to Be Wanted

Brother Moses © Lowndes Commander
Showcasing the overarching struggle of growing older when it feels like the odds are against you, Brother Moses’ “What Does It Take?” is 2 minutes and 26 seconds of pure desperation packaged in an undeniably catchy pop song.
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Stream: “What Does It Take?” – Brother Moses




Living in New York City in your twenties and trying to make your dream work is a feeling Fayetteville, AR’s band Brother Moses knows all too well. The second single off of their upcoming record, “What Does It Take?” is 2 minutes and 26 seconds of pure desperation packaged in a pop song with a melody nearly impossible to get out of your head.

What Does It Take? - Brother Moses

What Does It Take? – Brother Moses

Barely left the house
before the day started breaking
You make it to the train
but then you hear it’s running late
Thousand bucks a month to keep
your pillow off the pavement
When’s it gonna work?
When’s it gonna break?

The scene is set on a New York morning where nothing seems to be going right, backed by a drum loop that builds slowly into an old fashioned alarm. With the title being a question in itself, “What Does It Take?” is laden with the existential questions anyone who has taken a risk or moved away from home on their own has likely asked themselves:

What does it take to be wanted?
What does it take to live a little bit?

A slight departure from Brother Moses’ last LP, 2018’s Magnolia, “What Does It Take?” begins to showcase the overarching struggle of growing older when it feels like the odds are against you.

The song continues to build, backed by guitar riffs that roll on with determination, culminating with a realization in parts: this is what we wanted and worked for, but why doesn’t it feel good yet? Why do I wish it would end? This is what I asked for, right?

Twenty-something years
and still nobody really wants you
Save for all your family
and a couple lonely friends
Looking back, it feels like
you’ve been working for this moment
Now that it’s arrived,
you’re wondering when it’s gonna end
Brother Moses © Lowndes Commander

Brother Moses © Lowndes Commander



After a pause and an attention-grabbing saxophone solo, “What Does It Take?” winds its way to a final build and a loud, abrupt ending. After a final chorus, a gang vocal slowly explodes, asking over and over again:

What does it take?
What does it take?
What does it take?
What does it take?

As for me, I’m not sure what it takes. And for the record, I don’t think Brother Moses does either, but they’ve given themselves and us an opportunity to cathartically scream out our frustrations in the meantime.

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Stream: “What Does It Take?” – Brother Moses



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What Does It Take? - Brother Moses

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📸 © Lowndes Commander


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Lowndes is a writer and film photographer, currently living in South Carolina after a few years in Nashville, TN. She’s a big fan of morning news podcasts, cool-weathered city walks, and those moments when a song unexpectedly makes you feel something. These days, you can probably find her drinking cold brew and working on a book of poems, or writing articles here at Atwood.