Kansas City based singer-songwriter Daniel Gum tells a warm, bittersweet story on “In the Worst Ways,” released as the second single off of his debut album Thirteen. The track intertwines the helpless feeling of heartbreaking regret with the powerful nature of conscious, self-owned emotions to create a beautifully vulnerable indie-folk single. 

The soft, acoustic track lulls the listener in with a gentle melody while telling a beautiful yet haunting memory. According to the track premiere from Bridge 909, Gum said the lyrics detail him recalling a missed opportunity with his high school girlfriend. 

“It starts with the very true story of my high school girlfriend driving me down to a lake by her house, and suggesting we jump in, despite the building thunderstorm overhead,” he said. “In both my fear of the lightning and of taking a risk, I awkwardly declined.” 

The song carefully balances itself between its genuine adolescent sentiments and the present moment, accepting feelings of past regret while acknowledging hopes for change in the future. The remorse feels so immense, it’s nearly mournful. 

“At the end, I used the imagery of sitting down by the lake to allude to where I am now, hoping for the opportunity that I had taken for granted,” he said. “It’s part of the reason this song made the album, being able to connect a story of myself as a boy to the patterns I seem to still be stuck in and haunted by.”

It’s a charming song that takes you back and grounds you in moments you can’t help but wonder about on a rainy day — the loneliness of words left unsaid, a meeting that didn’t happen, or encountering someone phenomenal at the worst point in time.

Singer-songwriter Gum put out the album via Manor Records on October 30. He’s been writing songs since he was in middle school despite his teachers laughing at him at the school talent show, and holds a unique blend of alternative, indie folk that sets him apart from the rest. We’re enjoying Thirteen and looking forward to hearing more from Daniel Gum — we wouldn’t laugh at Gum at the talent show!