Al Riggs – “America’s Pencil”


I’d caught a hint of the earth Al Riggs was turning on their last album, Bile and Bone, but right from the first hints of the follow-up, I Got A Big Electric Fan To Keep Me Cool While I Sleep, the split soil creeps up to meet the listener and refuses to be washed away. “America’s Pencil” growls into earshot, fuzz corroding the guitars and a piano aching down the hallway. As we draw closer the sounds fill every pore, while Al lacerates the ego with a biting song that’s toppling the self-interests of youth and the self-flagellation of age. With the barren honesty of Will Oldham or Bill Callahan, Riggs recalls the grandiose self-import of the artist’s self-ruse. “This is a song about being delusional and in your twenties and thinking you’re discovering poetic bitterness for the very first time,” Al notes. “You sort of make every single thing in your life interesting for the sake of hopefully putting it in a song one day. Eventually some people learn that no one really cares about the sandwich you ate or the girl at the bookstore with the cool hair, and then some people just write “Universal Themes”. 

Whether or not this reverberates your own personal marrow, the song refuses to let go quietly and it stands well with the rest of Al’s upcoming odes on the forthcoming I Got A Big Electric Fan To Keep Me Cool While I Sleep. The album arrives April 2nd on Horse Complex Records.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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