Today’s Song: Dana Williams’ Tender “You Win” Is an Intimate & Bittersweet Breakup Song

Dana Williams "You Win" © Sebastien Nuta
Dana Williams "You Win" © Sebastien Nuta
As enchanting as it is breathtakingly bittersweet, Dana Williams’ new song “You Win” resurrects feelings of heartache and emotional rupture in all who listen.
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Stream: “You Win” – Dana Williams




Always say it’s over, then you pull me closer; we keep getting older, so I’mma hold my own ground…

As enchanting as it is breathtakingly bittersweet, Dana Williams’ new song resurrects feelings of heartache and emotional rupture in all who listen. A tender, raw, and vulnerable expression of intimacy and inner upheaval, “You Win” is a painful, poignant, and lasting goodbye.

You Win - Dana Williams
You Win – Dana Williams
More than just a daze I’m in
Been staring at the ceiling fan
And I don’t know where we stand
Spinning
I’ve forgiven every flag
Broken every rule I had
It’s too late to take it back
Or fix it

Released January 13, 2021, “You Win” marks a stirring start to the new year for Dana Williams. Previously featured on Atwood Magazine’s Mistletones: 2020’s Best New Holiday Songs feature for her November release “Happy Holidaze,” Los Angeles-based Dana Williams is an intoxicating and multi-faceted singer/songwriter with a unique room-hushing presence. Actively releasing music since 2014, the artist has explored small and vast soundscapes throughout a relentless series of EPs that blend folk, pop, R&B, and more stylistic elements into a musical identity that is altogether special and singular to Dana Williams. Recent songs like “Knife,” “Stuff,” “Answers,” and “Happy Holidaze” showcase the passion, sincerity, and unapologetic attitude with which Williams approaches her art and artistry.

Dana Williams "You Win" © Sebastien Nuta
Dana Williams “You Win” © Sebastien Nuta



Produced by Ryan Curtis and written by Williams, Curtis, and Emily Haber, “You Win” falls on the quieter, stripped-down side of the sonic spectrum. A light electric guitar accompanies Williams as she sings, hot on the mic, unveiling a string of mistakes or misgivings that lead her to the “breaking point,” so to speak. Her voice grows in strength and tension as she progresses toward the chorus, which finds a magnificent balance between poetry, grace, and visceral pain.

wanna tell you how I feel right now
But you don’t wanna hear me out
And every time you just get loud
Oh I can’t let my walls down
Apologies don’t change a thing
Cause every word you said still stings
You like it when you think you win
But you keep bringing me down
Always say it’s over
Then you pull me closer
We keep getting older
So Imma hold my own ground
Always say it’s over
Then you pull me closer
We keep getting older
So Imma hold my own ground

It’s about the moment of clarity that is required to break out of a toxic relationship, and having the foresight and regret for not doing it sooner.

For Dana Williams, this song is as much a breakup as it is a deep confessional; it’s a personal pivot point. “‘You Win’ is an introspective acoustic song about contemplating the end of a relationship in the aftermath of an argument,” she tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s about the moment of clarity that is required to break out of a toxic relationship, and having the foresight and regret for not doing it sooner.”

Her second verse goes on to convey further emotional distress; in short, breaking up is never easy.

Hurting you is hurting me
More than i want to believe
it’s only worse if I don’t leave
I know
Cause I remember all the good we have
And it’s easy to forget the bad
Till we’re fighting at your place
And i hate the way we fall back
Dana Williams "You Win" © Sebastien Nuta
Dana Williams “You Win” © Sebastien Nuta



While there is something of a twisted irony or dark humor in titling her track “You Win” when one could, in fact, argue that both parties are losing, Dana Williams saves the tongue-in-cheek candidness for another time. She wears her heart on her sleeve throughout “You Win,” expressing in eloquent detail the personal toll and ramifications this breakup costs her. She recognizes that life and love are not black-and-white; that you can have feelings for someone who isn’t right for you, and that letting go and leaving them can be (and often is) the right thing to do, despite the pain it causes for everyone involved.

wanna tell ya how I feel right now
But you don’t wanna hear me out
And every time you just get loud
Oh I can’t let my walls down
Apologies don’t change a thing
Cause every word you said still stings
You like it when you think you win
But you keep bringing me down
Always say it’s over
Then you pull me closer
We keep getting older
So Imma hold my own ground
Always say it’s over
Then you pull me closer
We keep getting older
So Imma hold my own ground

Sometimes, you need to not just shut the door, but slam it closed. “You Win” may be soft-sung and sweetly textured, but make no mistake of its nature: This is a door slam – albeit, one of the most beautiful, tender ones we’ve ever heard. Williams looks back one final time before turning her sights toward the future and looking forward, leaving in the dust a partner who could not respect her, support her, or love her the way she deserves to be loved.

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:: stream/purchase “You Win” here ::
Stream: “You Win” – Dana Williams



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You Win - Dana Williams

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📸 © Sebastien Nuta


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