Al Menne has spent a lot of time driving in cars. Whether taking trips up and down the West Coast, touring in a van, or working as a delivery driver, they’ve become intimate with the possibility, at any moment, of disaster. “At the end of a very long driving shift,” Menne says, “there’s a moment when you realize, I shouldn’t be driving right now. Anything can happen. You really can’t be in control of everything that’s happening around you.” Freak Accident, their debut solo album, probes this feeling as it unfurls with the patient ease of a passing landscape while harboring the kinetic weight of life’s chaos at its core.
Menne came up in the music scene as the lead singer of Seattle-based rock band Great Grandpa. In this outfit, Menne’s remarkable voice was on full display, despite not being the primary songwriter. When Great Grandpa took a break in 2019 due to various life circumstances, Menne was free to explore new musical pockets and step into their own as a songwriter, which precipitated a move from their lifelong home in Seattle to Los Angeles in 2021.
At just under thirty minutes, Freak Accident is an inviting meditation on seeking protection from life’s chaotic thunderbolts in our relationships and connections. These nine songs, like smooth rocks pocketed for self-soothing, serve to shore us up against situations that are ultimately out of our control. On tracks that veer through canyons, careen across highways, and wend through the avenues of memory, Menne offers us a way through.