‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Julie Lamb, who recently released a new record called ‘Ordinary Days’.
When/where was the new album recorded?
April through October 2016.
Who produced/engineered the album?
Phill Adams and Blair McDonald, Matrix Digital Studios, exec producer Julie Lamb.
How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
Because the band has been hanging around together a while, we tend to listen to each other, carefully. There’s a bunch of respect in the room, as well as the crack ups! I’ll bring a lyric and melody to the band core (drums, bass, guitar) and the guys will play with the lilt in my vocal, or a feel they hear in tone. I think they nail it each time. Andrew Richardson, the drummer maintains he plays with different feels until he sees us all smile, then he keeps that rhythm as the basis. Sometimes the guys will bring a riff, and we just noodle for a while until it becomes a thing. The most successful example of this is Sync Not Automatic.
Once we have the basis of the song nailed down, we add the layers. Horns, keys, vocals, percussion. each player brings their own idea, and we amalgamate the result and choose the best arrangement for the song. (Well we think so anyway!).
How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
Sometimes a rhythm sets up in my head, and words add themselves. Sometimes a sentence pops up, vividly, and ends up in my purple notebook. Then the guys will play something, and I *gasp* and grab my notebook, and frustratedly look for that written piece. (It’s not very well organised, my notebook!) Inspiration is everywhere. Windscreen wiper rhythms, a dripping tap, cutlery clashes, flowers, cloud shapes… breathing.
No overall themes really, I think because the inspiration is so diverse. I guess that’s why we talk about ‘Ordinary Days’ – they also are diverse. There are a couple of social message songs, a couple of love songs, a couple of psychological observations and a few life observation songs. No lectures though!
Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
In the past we have jammed the songs in the studio. This album was more rehearsed, more complete before we hit the studio. We’d also played the songs live a lot more, and seen what worked and what didn’t as far as getting people moving and grooving. We revisited a few of the songs many times until they hit the pocket.
Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
No. Nearly every song has a champion! My personal favourite is Mind Flit. Many of the band love Sync Not Automatic, and lots of listeners like Ordinary Days. Jean Pierre has a following as well… blimmin’ grand!
Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
We have 3 so far!