With its insistently driving acoustic guitar and opening preoccupation with "brakelights showing," the obliquely dark lead track from singer-songwriter Richard Buckner's upcoming Dents and Shells could easily serve as a musical extension of Crash, J.G. Ballard's nefarious novel of automobile-impact obsession. But "A Chance Counsel" was actually inspired by a late-night Arizona encounter.
"That night, I had a conversation with this artist until like three in the morning. It started in a bar and ended in the Hotel Congress, talking about this idea she had for a painting and her process," Buckner says. "At the same time I was kind of thinking about my life. I'm glad I had this like five-hour conversation that night, because the song might not have happened, you know."
The song is also Buckner's favorite from the new record, albeit for different reasons. "Right now I lean towards it because I love the bass line," he says. "The bass player really made the song different, but also it's the first song where I've really done a full-fledged guitar solo."
Left alone with an unfinished tune and a single day of studio time remaining, Buckner retreated to his hotel room.
"I stayed up until like eight the next morning, writing a solo on like four different tracks. I'm not really a lead guitar player, but I could layer it that way and see how things went. It's the first time I've ever done that."