Melbourne based singer-songwriter Alexander Biggs recently released his newest single “Laundromat” – the third single from an array of self-recorded and produced tracks laid down in friend’s kitchens, and a “makeshift bedroom on the lounge floor of his mother’s house.” These tracks will ultimately comprise a forthcoming full-length album to be released at some point in 2020.
Biggs made his US debut last Fall, including opening for Gretta Ray in Los Angeles and performing at an even for Paste Magazine in New York City. He’s surpassed 7 million streams on Spotify and has had the good fortune to open for well-known acts like Julien Baker, Frightened Rabbit, and Evan Dando of The Lemonheads.
“Laudromat” is a quiet and contemplative tune that quickly elicits feelings of forlornness as soon as Biggs hits the first descending bass notes on the bright but mutedly strummed acoustic guitar. Apart from the coarse but gentle whisper of his voice the only instrumentation noticeable during the first several verses is a reverb soaked synth pulse that gently rises to the surface like bubbles of air bursting at the surface of calm waters.
Of how he wanted to song to come across to listeners, Biggs said, “This song is a sit-down shower (which is dreadfully irresponsible in this current climate). I want it to wash over you like the thoughts kind of washed over me. I wrote Laundromat to wrap my head around a relationship that was seeing a lot more space than there used to be, like I was trying to fill the gaps with noise to cover the creaks of the house. At first, it’s a little despondent, then a little desperate, and then a little petty. I wanted to express some of the ways we try to reason with hard decisions and forks in the road, our attempts to barter with fate — sometimes we thrash, other times we sit still.”
The song oscillates in a way, creating tension between the restrained combo of guitar and voice against the more atmospheric (but patiently deployed and sparse) swell of synth ambience that rises into the mix for the bridge. The production tactics utilized suit a lo-fi recording, but lend an intimacy to the arrangement, reminiscent of the techniques employed by Sufjan Stevens on his heartrending Carrie And Lowell record.
Biggs writes excellent lyrics, and by allowing them to carry the song through his confessional delivery he makes a wise choice, because it allows the story to grab the listener. His intent with the song was to evoke the internal stirrings of someone forced to cope with a relationship that is slowly unraveling.
Alexander Biggs will be returning to the US this year, performing at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, TX.