Al Carr has released three solo albums, the third of which is The Right Dereliction. It sees him reuniting with his band and longtime collaborator Simon Maiden (guitar, keys) to craft ten new songs.
Clinton Kraus (Something For Kate, The Peep Tempel, Mike Noga) produced and mixed the record to mark the third release of Carr’s that Kraus has worked on. Written at home after a move to regional Victoria, these songs have been gestating for several years.
Carr’s band ventured into Aviary Studios in late 2022 and set about putting down the bedrock of each song quickly across three days. Final flourishes and vocals were added at Kraus’ home studio in Portarlington, with the end result delivering something special that digs into a myriad of stylistic corners in the world of rock and country music.
“Each song on this release is tinged with a sense of hopefulness whilst recounting stories, characters and personalities who are struggling through a moment in time,” explains Carr. “With this batch of songs I wanted to get inside the head of a character living through a small town drama and balance the lyrics almost like a confessional of sorts. The verses offering up the dilemma and the choruses providing the redemption.”
The album title itself (The Right Dereliction) follows the themes on the album, a play on words attempting to frame both sides of the coin. Across the record we get songs that celebrate one’s favourite music (‘Those Diamond Notes‘) and question the sturdiness of a long term relationship (‘The Curtain Removed‘). There’s a plea for positivity (‘Let a Little Light‘), and on the album centrepiece ‘Sinking Moon‘, Carr evocatively details heartfelt words of advice between friends.
Sonically and stylistically, Carr has taken a freewheeling approach to the sound of the album and it all hangs together perfectly. A melding of the old and the new, the sensitive and the swaggering, the Antipodean and the influence of timeless American rock music. Indie rock sensibilities tumble into loose and ragged country rock, choppy power-pop dovetails into weighty soul music and reflective singer-songwriter balladry.
“I’m thrilled with the way the album has ended up sounding!” enthuses Carr. “I think this album wants to lean into dirty…which is good’ were Clint’s first words to me after hearing a rough version of the album tracks. I couldn’t have been happier to follow that approach as it tied in perfectly with the lyrical themes of finding light in the grittiness.”