The always-prolific al Riggs is back with a new album: a collaboration with guitarist and producer Lauren Francis, who was part of Riggs’s backing band during their 2018 run of shows supporting The Mountain Goats.

Bile and Bone arrives September 18, but today we’re excited to premiere the video for “Love Is an Old Bullet,” the third track to be released from the project so far. Filmed by Areon Mobasher, who co-directed with Riggs, the video finds Riggs taking a lonesome walk through Durham, interspersed with black-and-white shots of an empty Carolina Theatre.

“Love Is an Old Bullet” is a highlight from Bile and Bone, which pairs Riggs’s songwriting with understated yet expansive arrangements from Francis. The song also features contributions from Rook Grubbs of Durham’s Vaughn Aed, who sings the titular refrain.

With its ambient piano textures and modest vocals, the song brings to mind the wistful melancholy of Yo La Tengo—but listen closely and you’ll notice it’s dense with the idiosyncratic references that are a hallmark of Riggs’s lyrics, name-checking both anti-gay-rights activist Anita Bryant and filmmaker John Waters’s Odorama in the first two lines alone.

Riggs, who calls Bile and Bone the purest collaboration they’ve ever participated in, worked with Francis to craft these songs over a span of two years, and that level of care is evident in “Love Is an Old Bullet.” Check out the video below, and look for our feature story next week.

YouTube video

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