Studio: Week 2 Wrap Up

Man, these blog titles are BOOOOOOOORING. I need a good editor. Like someone who writes for The Onion (favorite headline ever: SOUTH POSTPONES RISING YET ANOTHER YEAR), or the NY Post. I’m clearly no good at it.

We’ve now got week 2 of production on the album in the can. This week was really exciting. It flew by, and we got a ton of stuff done. Monday and Tuesday we did electric guitars, with Gary Burnette lending his tremendous talents to the record. Gary’s been doing session work in Nashville for so long he has a pension from the union. Dude is serious. And I loved what he played. Wednesday and Friday we did lead vocals on 7 songs, and Thursday we did keys.

The songs are really taking shape at this point. I’ve been purposefully checking out of the process to give Stephen and the players space to create, so when I put on the headphones to do my first lead vocal take, it was the first time I’d heard the songs. It was really cool to hear what they had done as I was singing to them, and I think it’s going to show in the vocal performances. We have an embarrassment of riches from all the players, and some of it will have to get buried in the mix or left to die on unused playlists, but that’s the beauty and agony of recording. There are vocal takes that I really like that we won’t end up using because they won’t fit right in the context of the moment (in fact, Stephen said yesterday that I had to punch in (aka record over) a certain moment because it was ‘too Michael Jackson’. I was stunned that we’d replace anything described that way.). Music is all about building and then releasing tension, so everything we do has to serve that goal. All the parts have to fit together to showcase the song, and all the songs have to fit together to form a coherent album. This relationship between elements in all aspects of music is called ‘prosody’, and it’s one of my favorite musical terms. We use it all the time in writing. The melody has to fit the words, which have to fit the music, and so on.

So with that as our focus, we move forward. As far as the vocals, I’m purposefully letting a lot more of my soul and R&B instincts into these records than I ever have before. This is intentional, and it’s a function of the type of record we’re doing and the types of songs that are on it. These vocals, while unmistakably me, would have been out of place on my last EP. But I think here they’ll work well. We shall see. Next week we have one more day of lead vocals, and then Stephen and I will arrange the background parts before I leave town. We’ll do a few more guitar parts, and hopefully some random ear candy stuff. We’ll talk about finishing up the mixes and arrangement stuff so that we’re on the same page when I leave town, as he’ll still have a week or so worth of stuff do to on his own. This paragraph is brought to you by the word ‘stuff’.

People have been asking, and this is how long it takes between finishing production and getting a record out: I’m looking at an early July release date. So, mark your calendars for new music!

Also, if there’s anything you want to know about the recording process, either general or specific, just comment here and ask me. If I can answer it, I will. If not, I’ll lie. wink

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