Bachelor, the new project from indie favorites Jay Som (Melina Duterte) and Palehound (Ellen Kempner), have released a new song, “Sick of Spiraling,” from their upcoming debut album Doomin’ Sun, out May 28th via Polyvinyl.
“Sick of Spiraling” finds Bachelor embracing a bit of a country twang while Big Thief drummer James Krivchenia anchors the track with a dusty shuffle. In between twisting guitar lines that drift seamlessly between high-and-lonesome and blown-out-basement-show, Kempner spins a clever but poignant yarn about longing and life on the road: “Walking alone at night, clutching a cheap gas station knife,” she sings, “But the danger is in the car/Who couldn’t see me it was too dark/As the brakes slammed to the floor, missing me just inches short/I thought if I can’t have my own back/How the fuck can I have yours?”
Kempner told Rolling Stone that the lead riff from “Sick of Spiraling” had been sitting in her voice memos for a while, although in a much slower and woozier form. “Then when we were recording, I started writing these lyrics about touring across the country, inspired by something [Big Thief guitarist] Buck Meek would say to Palehound after a show when we were touring with Big Thief: ‘Keep the rubber side down,’ meaning, ‘Safe travels.’ I thought of that riff again for some reason and we re-contextualized it in a more folky road trip song way.”
Like the rest of the Doomin’ Sun recording process, Kempner said the making of “Sick of Spiraling” was defined by constant laughter. She notes Duterte was originally adamant that there be handclaps on the chorus, but the idea was ultimately nixed when Duterte realized it would’ve made the song sound exactly like Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”
Duterte adds: “Recording Ellen’s guitar and vocal parts were especially funny and difficult because she kept messing up as a joke but also literally did 50 guitar solo takes. She would also sing like Britney Spears at the end of every vocal take.”
“Sick of Spiraling” marks Bachelor’s third offering from Doomin’ Sun, following their debut track “Anything at All” and “Stay in the Car.” Duterte and Kempner recorded the album over the course of two weeks last January, playing most of the instruments themselves save for contributions from Krivchenia and Duterte’s partner and Routine bandmate, Annie Truscott.