The concept I have in mind for my next album, is to focus on acoustic, unusual, and/or handmade instrumentation. “Pale Green Horse,” out today, covers all of those bases.
The main instrument is a 3-string fretless cigar box guitar, that I built myself. Making cigar box guitars is a hobby that I got into a few years ago (I fell down a rabbit hole on the internet, and never came out). Every one I build seems to have its own little quirk that makes it unique. This one has a nice high action for playing bottleneck slide, but a very slight break angle at the bridge. Depending on how you hit the strings, it sometimes buzzes in a way that reminds me of a droning sitar. Other guitarists might not like that kind of thing, but I think it gives it character.
The percussion consists of me playing an empty cardboard box with wire brushes, a can of steel cut oats, spoons, and an 808 kick, among other things. In my opinion, everything comes together in a really interesting way, but I struggle with how to describe it to strangers. I guess I’ll go with bluesy apocalyptic lo-fi Americana junk-band pop.
Lyrically, I was very loosely inspired by The Bible. When I read the following verse, the image of a pale green horse got stuck in my brain, until eventually this song came out.
"I looked, and there was a pale green horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades accompanied him. They were given authority over a quarter of the earth, to kill with sword, famine, and plague, and by means of the beasts of the earth." (Revalation 6:8)
Someday I may write a cheery, uplifting Velcro Mary song with a heartwarming, positive message. This is not that song.