Heartbreak Residue, the new LP from Bay-Area songwriter and vocalist Briget Boyle is a record that is ripe with raw, honest emotion. Buoyed by propulsive percussion and shimmering electric guitar, Boyle paints melodic pictures of the pivotal moments in life. Told with an eloquent economy of language, she speaks to the universal human experience. The tales written in this melodic jewelbox journal are imbued with a bittersweet nostalgia, yet they are far from maudlin. Rather, Boyle’s gift of a voice, leaping effortlessly from aching and intimate, to a soaring, razor-edged flash of power, rings with such a purity of sentiment that the listener is immediately drawn into her world, soon to find themselves shouting along with every chorus. Boyle has now shared a single off the upcoming album “Crimes & Misdemeanors”
Boyle said of the single, “The making of the song ‘Crimes & Misdemeanors’ has been quite a journey. I started writing the song after a really difficult argument with someone I have known and loved for my whole life. Since that moment four years ago, this song has grown and changed a lot, as I have grown and changed. It has seen multiple rewrites, rearrangements, key changes, tempo changes, while being on the setlist of every show I have played. When I sent the demos for the album to the producer, Jacob Light, he singled this song out as his favorite. As we crafted the song, tears were shed, and healing was done. I am so excited to share this recording with the world at large.”
The songs on Heartbreak Residue were written in a lonely one-bedroom apartment in Oakland, a bedroom in the basement in Chicago, and surrounded by majestic rocks and deeply rooted Berkeley trees. It was recorded at ModernTone Studios in Lafayette, CA, where Boyle is a vocal, guitar, and songwriting coach.
Produced by Modern Tone owner Jacob Light, the record features Boyle on guitar and vocals, Light on electric guitar and synth, Waxsimile Collective member Genesis Fermin on drums, and bassist David Wellerstein. Backing vocals were provided by Tim Silva, singer-songwriter Karen Tobin (who also happens to be Boyle’s mother), and legendary Bay Area vocalist Vicki Randle. Lewis Patzner played cello, Michael Bang played piano, and Juliana Graffagna from True Life Trio played accordion on “Even-Keeled Heart”. “Heartbreak Residue” was co-written with Adri Walker, a 15-year-old student of Boyle’s at ModernTone.
Thematically, Heartbreak Residue is exploration of how grief and heartbreak sit in our lives, often long after the loss of love. A yearning for roots, family, and home, the terrible burden of mental illness, and apologies never made resonate deeply, and feel all too familiar. Charting the end of a marriage, seeking liberation from heartbreak, and the first tentative forays into the search for new love, this record is deeply relatable and eminently human. Wrapped in a rocking good sonic journey (the record is a bop, btw), listeners will find creative inspiration, hope for healing, big feelings, and just plain old-fashioned rock and roll. Quite a combination, indeed.