Alex Riggen Releases Stripped-Down Fifth Solo Album

Alex Riggen

By Emma Cohen of Indie Band Guru

Alex Riggen released his latest solo album, Albino Root, to the world late last month.

No stranger to the music industry, this is Alex Riggen’s fifth solo album. Considering his work in other bands, notably Far From Words and Murnau, Riggen’s album output is well into the double digits.

Alex Riggen Experiments with an Experiment

For his 2014 album Albino, Riggen set up a number of microphones in his recording space, put different effects and filters on each one, and recorded live. The experiment yielded an album with a truly unique atmosphere.

For Albino Root, Riggen took those same recordings and stripped them bare.

The album, a work of art really, is comprised of nine songs titled with numerical values, “Five,” “One,” “Nine,” and so on. Ironically, the number of the song and the order in which they appear do not match. Once listening to Albino Root, I began to understand why Riggen is so popular. The soft strumming of the guitar was almost dreamlike and then sound of his voice intoxicating.

The first song on the album, “Five,” was so soft and untouched that it seemed almost innocent. Vocally, Alex Riggen portrayed a sense of being broken, an effect which was furthered by his twangy high notes that added a sense of vulnerability. It’s like listening to a broken lullaby that shouldn’t have but still made me relax.

This song was followed by the track “One,” which is actually the second on the album. This song shared a lot of qualities with its predecessor but had an extra ounce of happiness that made all the difference.

The underdone quality of joy made “One” uplifting where “Five” was both sorrowful and soothing. It was reminiscent of something you’d hear in a meditation session. This song’s greatest strength was the vocals, with Alex Riggen cycling through light vibrato and rich baritone moments complimented each other tremendously well.

A perfect blend of music for a stressful time, Albino Root has dream like qualities that I found deeply soothing. I strongly recommend this for anyone who just needs to breathe — Riggen is a breath of air.

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