The first song Shawn Colvin completed for "These Four Walls", her Nonesuch debut, was the wistful "Summer Dress", which opens with Colvin singing over the austere strum of a lone acoustic guitar, then builds into a lilting folk-rock arrangement.
Colvin maintains a delicate balance between confidence and vulnerability as she describes a dream-like venture out to 'face a wilderness'.
Like much of this deeply felt album, "Summer Dress" is about looking ahead, moving on, performed from the vantage point of someone who's had a chance to glance back somewhat ruefully at where she's been.
"Summer Dress" could be a veiled recounting of the picaresque route Colvin herself took to hard-earned solo stardom, from her South Dakota birthplace to the Southern Illinois college town where she was raised, to the bars and clubs of Boston and New York City, where she first attracted a following.
Then again, it might be an artfully composed fiction about escaping a small town or running after love, a postcard from a youthful time when freedom seemed like a mere bus ticket or car ride away.
Whatever its origins, the emotional and musical pull of "Summer Dress" along with the rest of "These Four Walls" is powerful.
Somehow we've all been there, too.