Where would Carly Simon, Alanis Morissette, and 99 percent of country musicians be without bad breakups?
Mia Riddle can join the club. On her newest record, the EP “Ticonderoga,” the singer songwriter and her band offer up six melancholy, heartbreaking songs about, well, heartbreak.
“It’s about a really hideous breakup,” said Riddle of her third album under Mia Riddle and Her Band, “Ticonderoga.” “I’d rather not name any names, or be too specific about it, but it was a time of upheaval for sure.”
“Ticonderoga” takes its name from the epic Robert Louis Stevenson poem, wherein a man is given a clue that haunts him his own life — a clue that winds up being the story of his own undoing.
“I saw a parallel to that story in some events in my own life, which were really heavy stuff,” said the singer.
Riddle obviously made it out OK in the end, and with some lush, rambling, foot-tapping songs, to boot. The band has spent over a year working on the album, recording in upstate New York in Rhinebeck and doing vocals and mixing at Headgear in Williamsburg, just down the street from her apartment.
What started as a three-month process soon expanded into over a year, as Riddle kept revisiting her material.
“When we originally recorded, the songs were really fresh for me, really painful, or maybe too soon to be committing to how that was going to sound and come across,” said Riddle. “It was a real gift to have some time and distance from the material and be able to come back, and not be so wild about it in a way.”
Whatever distance she may have had, traces of heartache are still evident on the album, from the angry, Spanish-guitar laced “Las Palmas” to the haunting apparitions of love in “Virginia” to the honesty of the imagery heavy “Fool’s Gold,” where Riddle cries, “Down with this state of falling fast/In the breathless bits of broken glass/Comes a cool clear taste of what’s to come/When you’re ripped to shreds, and said and done.”
Riddle’s naked voice is perfectly suited for these retrospective, soul-baring songs, joined in layers by the rest of her band, a collaborative process that’s a work in progress with each record.
“This album is definitely a lot more expansive, and sort of epic than anything we’ve tried to do before,” said Riddle.
They continue to take things to epic proportions when they celebrate the release of the album on Nov. 9 at Union Pool, where Riddle will be joined by six band members to help get as close to the record as possible.
“Most of us live within a block of there, so that’s handy. It’s the perfect-sized room for a home base,” said Riddle. “Mostly all the band is in Brooklyn these days, except for two in Long Island City, but I feel like that’s just Greenpoint North.”
Mia Riddle and Her Band at Union Pool [484 Union Ave. at Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 609-0484], Nov. 9 at 9 pm. For info, visit www.miariddle.com.