Leading off with the sound of hand claps and a slow, plunking banjo, the new single from The Band Perry immediately steps into mournful, lonesome territory.

But don’t get too comfortable, because as reflective as the song feels at the start, “Better Dig Two” doesn’t stay quiet for long.

Kimberly Perry’s powerful voice soon floats in on top of the banjo–followed by a loud, full-bodied barrage of sound that builds into a frenzy and grabs out attention fast. The melody and arrangement propel the song up from the cold, dirty ground and smack into the 21st century.

The dark, old-timey streak does remain, though, a distinct part of “Better Dig Two,” at times bringing to mind the bluegrass of Ralph Stanley and Bill Monroe, or the more haunting side of such Americana stalwarts as Neko Case and Gillian Welch.

Whether loud or soft, the darkness at the heart of the song cannot be escaped. This is, after all, a song about the intersection of love and death (“I told you on the day we wed, I was gonna love you till I was dead,” Kimberly sings at the start of the song), and one that contains lyrics about heaven and hell, not to mention whiskey and meth. So, yes, the protagonist here is definitely flirting with crazy.

“We call our sound a modern throwback,” Reid Perry told Billboard in an interview this past summer. “I think that was evident on the first album, but I think you’ll hear that also on the second album.”

The Band Perry’s second album is due in 2013 and is being produced by Rick Rubin.

– Kurt Wolff, CBS Local