Dan Auerbach and blues musician Robert Finely have teamed for a gritty and brassy new outlaw tune, “Bang Bang.” The track will appear on Auerbach and Finley’s forthcoming soundtrack for the graphic novel Murder Ballads.
“Bang Bang” is one of four original tunes Auerbach and Finley composed for the Murder Ballads Soundtrack. Over a sinister blues-rock shuffle of prickly guitars, slick piano and boozy horns, Finley paints a delightfully brash picture of the exploits of a criminal contingent: “We want the queen and gold and the silver too,” he sings. “Everything we want before the night is through/When the day is done we never make no amend/We do it all over again.”
Murder Ballads tells the story of Nate Theodore, the owner of a struggling record label who’s desperate to save his marriage and business. During a fraught road trip, he discovers the musical duo of Donny and Marvell Fontweathers, who specialize in a “doom-laden country blues.” Gabe Soria wrote Murder Ballads with art from Paul Reinwand and Christopher Hunt.
“Gabe Soria is a good friend of mine so it was great to hear his concept for the project and to try and write songs that way,” Auerbach tells Rolling Stone of crafting the Murder Ballads Soundtrack. “And working with Robert Finley was incredible. He’s the greatest living soul singer as far as I’m concerned.”
Along with “Bang Bang” and their three other new tracks, Auerbach and Finely also recorded a cover of Lead Belly’s famous cut “In the Pines.” A limited-edition 10-inch EP pressing of the Murder Ballads Soundtrack is available to pre-order via Mondo. The box set also comes with the full graphic novel and three exclusive prints. A digital download of the soundtrack will come with every purchase of the graphic novel via publisher Z2 Comics.
“Murder Ballads is a noir tale, a story about desperate people doing desperate things in the hopes that they might see a little light in their desperate lives,” says Soria. “Its inspirations lay in the crime novels of David Goodis and Jim Thompson, the films noir of Robert Aldrich and the Coen Brothers, and Peter Guralnick’s profiles of soul, country and blues musicians, and it just so happens that it takes place in a dark little corner of the music industry. Not the part of the industry where it’s all hit singles and fantastic lifestyles and wealth and parties and such, but in the really interesting parts, the out-of-the-way places where people struggle and are looking, if not for a way to get rich, at least for a way to get by.”
Auerbach released his most recent solo album, Waiting on a Song, in June.