Something of a regular on this site in recent months, al Riggs is a prolific songwriter from Durham, North Carolina. al is currently gearing up to the release of their latest offering, Bile and Bone, a collaboration with, “guitar annihilator”, Lauren Francis. Released next month on Horse Complex Records, Bile and Bone was produced between a variety of apartments in both New York and Durham, and explored themes familiar to fans of al’s music, “horror movie monsters, queer politics and puns”. Ahead of the release, today we’re premiering the latest single from the record, Love Is An Old Bullet.
The track represents a somewhat different approach to writing for al, as they explain, “the song was a collection of lines and ideas I had for other songs…I started putting them together and it felt like creating a thrift store or pawn shop out of these ideas, so the song became about a pawnshop”. After an initial scepticism at its originality, Lauren came to love the track, “at first I was like, damn this sounds like This Year by The Mountain Goats, but that’s a good thing. I wanted to make it our own…this has since become my favourite track because it’s so simple“.
Musically, like the best collaborations, this feels like the coming together of two musical worlds. al’s background as an acoustic songwriter merges with Lauren’s contributions of guitar, piano, and, as she explains, after the pair debated the introduction of full- drums, “I added the bass drum loop just to give it some momentum”. The resultant track seems to exist in almost two different paces, al’s easy vocals and the meandering piano line seem to watch the world go round, while the prominent pulse of bass-drum throughout adds a certain urgency to proceedings.
Love is An Old Bullet will to some be a beautiful introduction, and to those who know already, a further reminder that the combination of al and Lauren might just have made one of the year’s most compelling records.
Bile and Bone is out September 18th via Horse Complex Records. Click HERE for more information on al Riggs & Lauren Francis.