Posts Tagged ‘Lauren Francis’

“Bile and Bone” is the new album from songwriter al Riggs and guitar annihilator Lauren Francis.

Two years in the making, and in between countless side-projects, singles, side-albums, and a premiere at Hopscotch Music Festival 2019, Al and Lauren recorded this nine-song album in two different New York apartments, an apartment in Durham, a house on the other side of Durham, and additional recording in yet another house on yet another side of Durham.

Produced by Francis and mixed/mastered by Alli Rogers (recently an engineer on Bon Iver’s “i,i”), Bile and Bone is a culmination of familiar themes and tropes in Riggs’ songwriting (horror movie monsters, queer politics, puns) taffy-pulled into a widescreen format by Francis’ production and arrangement. Swaths of strings and electric piano are cut through by chunky acoustic guitar that sometimes teeters on the intrusive. Flirtations with soft rock (“Werewolf”) motorik pop (“Boyfriend Jacket”) and Eno-esque ambient balladry (“Apex Twin”) sit snugly against the ghosts of Fahey (“Dying Bedmaker Variations”) and the dust-clogged remnants of a pawnshop (“Love Is An Old Bullet”).

The title track is a shuffling climax of held-back fury, summarizing the overall air of the album with volatile lyricism (“I should not be in a place/where I am on my knees each night/praying for my leaders/to be shot down on sight”) with classic pop harmonies provided by Rook Grubbs (Vaughn Aed).

The end result is a patchwork of beauty with claw marks. Possibly cat, possibly wolf-person, definitely lovely.

“At the very end of the opening track, a sound is heard, a warped deviation, and you might, for a moment, think that it was Satan. Not the Satan our parents’ parents rejected in recordings, but rather a new, much improved Satan 2.0, leading by example of sensitivity and risky business, no longer mutually exclusive. Do not fear it. Give in and go forth and enjoy.”
-Adam Schatz (Landlady, expert on Satans)

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“It is their best and most compelling record yet, Riggs singing songs about self-realization during a moment that badly wants to beat you into preordered shapes, delivered with both tenderness and intensity over matching acoustic picking. A work of clarity and reckoning, it is the album that Riggs has been building toward for this busy past half-decade.”

Released September 18th, 2020

BIle and Bone is an album by Al Riggs and Lauren Francis

All words by al Riggs
All music by Al Riggs and Lauren Francis

“Bile and Bone” is the new album from songwriter al Riggs and guitar annihilator Lauren Francis.

Two years in the making, and in between countless side-projects, singles, side-albums, and a premiere at Hopscotch Music Festival 2019, Al and Lauren recorded this nine-song album in two different New York apartments, an apartment in Durham, a house on the other side of Durham, and additional recording in yet another house on yet another side of Durham.

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 Francis 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.

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Swaths of strings and electric piano are cut through by chunky acoustic guitar that sometimes teeters on the intrusive. Flirtations with soft rock (“Werewolf”) motorik pop (“Boyfriend Jacket”) and Eno-esque ambient balladry (“Apex Twin”) sit snugly against the ghosts of Fahey (“Dying Bedmaker Variations”) and the dust-clogged remnants of a pawnshop (“Love Is An Old Bullet”).

The title track is a shuffling climax of held-back fury, summarizing the overall air of the album with volatile lyricism (“I should not be in a place/where I am on my knees each night/praying for my leaders/to be shot down on sight”) with classic pop harmonies provided by Rook Grubbs (Vaughn Aed).

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

“Bile and Bone” is the new album from songwriter Al Riggs and guitar annihilator Lauren Francis.

Two years in the making, and in between countless side-projects, singles, side-albums, and a premiere at Hopscotch Music Festival 2019, Al and Lauren recorded this nine-song album in two different New York apartments, an apartment in Durham, a house on the other side of Durham, and additional recording in yet another house on yet another side of Durham.

Durham-based songwriter Al Riggs and guitarist Lauren Francis have teamed up for a new album called “Bile And Bone”, mixed by i,i engineer Alli Rogers and set for release this fall. It’s billed as a culmination of familiar Riggs themes such as horror movie monsters, queer politics, and puns. The lead single, though, is more of a reflection on personal rhythms and the casual familiarity of romance. It’s called “Boyfriend Jacket, Boyfriend Sweater,” and it finds Riggs drawling conversationally over a drum machine and a melancholy roots-rock mirage. “Marginalized young men out on the job,” they sing. “Never late for work, always late for work.”

Riggs explains:

“Boyfriend Jacket” is about that moment in a relationship where things start to run like a well oiled machine, and you’re wearing each other’s clothing, and meeting up after work. And how great all of that feels. This was the first song Alli Rogers mixed for us and she knocked it so far out of the park it went into another park. It was all the proof we needed to have her do the whole album.

The title track is a shuffling climax of held-back fury, summarizing the overall air of the album with volatile lyricism (“I should not be in a place/where I am on my knees each night/praying for my leaders/to be shot down on sight”) with classic pop harmonies

Boyfriend Jacket, Boyfriend Sweater · Al Riggs · Lauren Francis Boyfriend Jacket, Boyfriend Sweater ℗ Horse Complex Records Released on: 2020-07-14

The album “Bile And Bone” is out 18th September on Horse Complex Records.