The Rifle debut slow, sun-drenched new track “Visitation”

“Visitation” is taken from The Rifle‘s upcoming album, Honeyden, out January 31, 2020 on Burger Records.

Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, The Rifle is the project of vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Nelene DeGuzman, backed on the track by Kevin Conklin on bass (fun fact: they’re married). “Visitation” is the second single from their forthcoming album, Honeyden, and we’re delighted to give HighClouds readers a first listen to the track before it officially drops on Friday.

“Visitation” begins with a gentle tambourine, a dirge-like guitar rhythm, and a warm swirl of crooning backing vocals before giving way to Nelene’s lyrics: “Don’t wake me / In the morning when you leave me / I prefer to keep on dreaming / in the morning when you’re gone.” The song remains slow as it makes room for the guitar melody to do its share of the storytelling, pulling mournful yet sparkling notes along until the vocals repeat the verse and add even more detail. The two alternate in a sort of call-and-response until the track’s final minute.

As the song comes to an end, it reaches an intense peak. The guitar and vocal movements layer over each other and the backing vocals swell as Nelene begs, “All I ask of you / when you leave / is not to ask of me / that I grieve.” It calls to mind the sad yet sunny surf rock of early Best Coast in the best way.

“I wrote Visitation when I was in deep need of quiet,” Nelene said. “I imagined being a ghost in my own life and just let myself hypothesize what real peacefulness might look like.”

Erin Bensinger

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