New Album

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  • General

    New Album: Vera Ellen

    23.11.18 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Maple Syrup singer Vera Ellen, who is now based in LA.

     

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    The album was recorded over the last few months by myself in my bedroom, and by in my bedroom I mean a curtain that sections off a part of the lounge. I was sick of putting off recording music because I couldn’t afford it. I had been listening to alot of punk at the time & was inspired by the, “just do it regardless of means” attitude.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I did everything myself barring a few vocal features from my roommates. I just got into a heavy creative period where I would come home from work and just record and record. There’s lots of songs that didn’t make the album. It felt important for me to do everything myself and I certainly learnt a lot doing so.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    This album is very organic in the sense that nothing was planned. I would write as I was recording and in a sense the urgency of the record came from the limited time I had in the apartment alone. The album reflects on my time in LA and mostly grapples with a longing for anonymity in a time where everything feels so public hence the notion of ‘Beat Yr Name’. There’s also a lot of commentary on our current political climate particularly in the States, and themes of female sexuality, love and of coarse heartbreak.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    This album feels more urgent than anything I’ve done before. I just wanted to make something because I felt I needed to. There weren’t really any rules. It’s also much heavier & faster which I just think is more in line of what I have being doing in bands & what I listen to. The last release I had was when I was 18 so as a 23 year old I think many differences are to be expected… otherwise that would be a little frightening.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Just drum machines & electric guitars recorded through a Midi on garageband. I’m sure the shitty gear adds to the sound in some way haha.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    Probably the final track, ‘Beat Yr Name’. It’s sort of a running verse, almost spoken, with a repetitive distorted guitar line…

    Everyone my age is having a mental crisis
    From the unemployment and the petrol prices
    And now we’re all depressed and I guess in debt
    And now I’m taking pills just to ease the stress

    Being in this country makes me uglier
    Like I am losing touch with who I was before
    And every word it weighs heavy on my shoulders
    The weight is getting heavier as I get older

    Everyone my age has got a stone to throw
    Guess I am the one they come to when their feeling low
    And we all just fight each other cause it’s easier to hurt a person that you’ve never met before
    And who cares if I never have to see your face
    Or the way your body sinks when I beat your name

    Everyone my age thinks they’ll be famous soon
    Guess that’s how you get by when you always lose
    I guess were activists just for showing our faces
    And telling everyone how were completely shameless

    Everyone my age thinks they’ll be famous soon

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    As of Friday I have tapes, zines and it will be available on Bandcamp, Soundcloud and soon spotify!

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs? Are you doing any gigs or promotion for its release?
    I have a few videos in the works and I have a ‘Beat Yr Name’ and I had a listening party last Friday. I’ll also be releasing the video for ‘Betty Mary Alice’ this week which I’m very excited about!


  • General

    New Album: Al Fraser

    14.11.18 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Al Fraser, whose new album ‘Toitū Te Pūoro’ is released today on Rattle Records.

     

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    I recorded most of Toitū Te Pūoro myself at home over the past year. I have my studio in a renovated chicken coop in my garden where I did most of my recording. Some of the recordings are taken from sessions at The Surgery (Wellington), Albany St (Dunedin) and CoCA, Wellington.

    Who produced/engineered the album?
    I engineered the recordings myself. I’ve been recording music for a little over 10 years now so felt comfortable that I’d get clean and polished recordings from the gear I have now. Myself and Steve Garden from Rattle Records mixed and produced the final recordings.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    The albums’ point of departure is Te Korekore, the place of gestation that is where all things in the universe originate. This was a concept I was introduced to by my friend Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal. His uncle the Rev. Māori Marsden was a tohunga and wrote a book called The Woven Universe which explains Te Korekore more than I can. The music then moves into Te Pō and into Te Ao Mārama. From there on the music encounters entities within the natural world, the world in which we all live. I explore places that I have a connection to. I already knew the sonic I was after with some of the pieces. I chose the voices and whakapapa of the taonga to reflect the story I was trying to tell. And from there honed the compositions until I was happy.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    I was going for a wide, lush and detailed sound that reflected the sound I get from my live performance looping rig, with lots of reverb and delays. But I wanted to put this sound into a computer environment to make it easier to edit later. So I played around quite a bit with reverbs, delays and other space enhancing effects.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    I used Ableton Live, mostly as a sequencer but did make use of some of it’s looping functionality. I did a lot of mid-side recording using an AKG C414 B-ULS for the mid and an AKG C414 B-ULS TL2 for the side channels, but also used my sE 4400 to capture darker sounds. These mics went into an Apogee Mini-Me converter. I went through a few different reverb plug ins until I settled on Valhalla Vintage Verb. It’s fantastic, versatile and only costs $50!

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    Chrysalis.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Yes, the album is released on CD. At the moment it’s only on Bandcamp but it will be on all the other streaming platforms soon.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs? Are you doing any gigs or promotion for its release?
    Yep, there is a video for ‘Chysalis’, and I’m having an album launch on Wednesday November 14th 6pm at {Suite} Gallery on Cuba St. It’s open to all. I’ll be performing, Ariana Tikao and Phil Boniface will sit in and we’ll have a listen to the album with some drinks and snacks. Come along!


  • General

    New Album: The All Seeing Hand

    01.08.18 | Permalink | 1 Comment | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Jonny Marks from The All Seeing Hand, who have just dropped their latest release ‘Syntax Error’.


    When/where was the new album recorded?

    The album was recorded in a variety of places over a long period of time. The vocals were tracked at Arawhata -Flat Point, and a little bit in Jonny’s home. The electronics have been tweaked and honed in every quiet internet free space David can find. The drums were captured at Scumbag College, an amazing studio that is unfortunately no longer with us, due to the control of property by a wealthy class who have no interest in community.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    Alphabethead is the person who brings it all together. He ensures the bass is deep, and puts on just the right amount of sparkling sprinkles. The drums were recorded by Vanya Vitali who has worked with Ben extensively and has a gift for keeping life in the sound. Alphabethead works from home, but occasionally gets to housesit somewhere and live a blissful life of solitude and mixing.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    The songs on this album come from a long time frame. Some we were performing around the time of Mechatronics and others we’ve never played live (until this tour!); so the ways they came to be, and the ways they have grown, are incredibly varied.
    We always try to have a sense of the tracks belonging together when putting out an album; this is why it has taken a while for some for some of these songs to finally be recorded, they were waiting for some other sonic friends to hang out with.
    With the title ‘Syntax Error’, all the tracks exist in a retro-future of jittering screens. The times we live in are confusing, and provoke both optimism and pessimism. The tracks are playful, and hopeful, but exist within a cracked piece of code. The sounds glitch between discord and harmony; resonate with tones of dystopia, and excite a more honest, flawed, utopia. Let’s reboot.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    Musically we approach each tune as an individual entity. Through playing live we see how they sit together; so any evolution of sound/approach happens as a natural process, we allow ourselves to explore our interests in the now. This means what we do is always changing, but sometimes it takes putting together an album to take that step back and attempt to amplify unconscious patterns. When putting this all together it definitely instigated a new visual world and colour palette.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    David’s favourite cup, Jonny’s acoustomatic slippers, and Ben’s Squeak-a-Stool drum tech.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    A difficult question, in that the album is an entity, to focus in one line of code tells you nothing of the program.
    That said, the final touches on Royal Oil were done after the album had come together, so perhaps there is something in its arc that tells the overall tale of dystopian observation with a strand of resistance and hope in the final melody.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    We will have cassettes available at shows. and some record shops will have t-shirts that come with a download code; otherwise it will be available online. We primarily use Bandcamp. Unfortunately the evils of Spotify have become so ubiquitous that we are currently researching how to assist in letting them leech and maintain market share. Once we have worked out the best distribution option we will be on most of the steaming streams. If you want to have pretty much direct interaction with us though Bandcamp is the place to get our music and merch.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs? Are you doing any gigs or promotion for its release?
    We have a video coming out for a song from Silicon and Synapse, called Lizard Brain. We worked with a team of some of our favourite people: Aurs Illojgali, Cooki Martin, Erica Sklenars, and Nathan Taare; and we are stoked with how it has turned out. We enjoy the collaborative process of video making, and the way it can place a song in an imagined environment; so hopefully there will be some, from this new album, in the future.
    From Syntax Error we have released the first single Royal Oil, and we are touring New Zealand, taking in Dunedin, Lyttelton, Auckland, Wellington, and Whanganui.


  • General

    The Eighth Note/New Album: Wellington Sea Shanty Society

    13.07.18 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release.

    Today’s guest is Lake from the Wellington Sea Shanty Society, who have just released a new album in collaboration with Croche Dedans.

     

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
    The Wellington Sea Shanty Society. Strictly shanties.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    We have just released our French/English collab with Croche Dedans called Ahoy!

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    In April 2017 we recorded the album at a great community recording studio in Vannes, just outside Nantes, France.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    Gaëtan Griveau engineered the album then I (Lake) mixed it back in my bedroom in Toronto. This is a joint album with our French friends Croche Dedans so we didn’t have much time get ready for the studio. We chose the tracks to record over e-mail then had a couple of jams before we started recording.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    These are mainly traditional sea shanties. Vorn wrote the one original shanty.
    The history of Wellington Sea Shanty Society and Croche Dedans are as intertwined as a heaving line knot. After learning the way of the chant marin from Croche in Nantes, circa 2012, I returned to Aotearoa NZ to found a shanty group of my own. Vorn Dont Pere Etait Marin was the only squeeze box player in town, and he was keen, so the Wellington Sea Shanty Society was born!
    In 2014 Croche Dedans made their way down to the South Pacific for our first joint shanty tour. In 2015 we joined forces again for a tour of Bretagne.
    Over the years Croche & WSSS have created what has come to be known as the ‘troisieme set’. After playing a set each, we crowd onto the stage and engage in a shanty battle: French verse vs. English verse, Kiwi squeezebox vs. Breton banjo. This album is us attempting to bottle this salty energy.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    Not really. It’s a little more ‘straight up shanty’ compared to our other albums. We just use the instruments we play live.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    La Complainte Des Terres Neuva/The Men of the Grand Banks’ Cry: The W.S.S.S usually do this one in French when we’re in New Zealand but we translated it to English on the train from Paris to Nantes. I think the switching between languages works really well. I also love the defiance of this shanty.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Yes. Physical copies can be ordered from our Bandcamp page.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs? Are you doing any gigs or promotion for its release?
    We have one video, and a couple of live videos of tracks that appear on the album. The W.S.S.S will be back performing in and around Wellington from September! For the full W.S.S.S + Croche Dedans experience you’ll have to wait for the next time we can French to travel south.

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
    Twitter, Facebook & our Website.

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    In my lifetime as a shanty singer:
    Croche Dedans: Ostrava
    The Corries: Live from Scotland
    New Zealand Folk Songs by Neil Colquhoun (This is a book)

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    Anyone with a shanty disposition.

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    Sprig & Fern Tinakori Rd & the Southern Cross.

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    We normally write alone. Then workshop things together.

    Where/when is your next gig?
    TBC!!


  • General

    New Album: Raw Collective

    15.05.18 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Rory from Raw Collective, who have just released their full-length debut album ‘For The Ancients’.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    In Wellington, in our home studio. With a trusted vocal booth, and our combined equipment, we recorded the album, one track at a time, over months.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    The album was mixed by Jason Erskine, and Mastered by Mike Gibson. We got the best we could find in town to the engineering, it paid off.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    Myself (Raw Deezy) produce the tracks, co written with Pauly Lowe, then the band record/write their parts. The theme of the album is ancient megaliths, the cosmos and psychology, our three favourite topics!

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    This album is just the cream of the crop, from all the demos and different songs we’ve performed over the years. We wanted to bring all the different genres from all the members into the mix, so that was the approach, but keeping the hip-hop skeleton.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Nothing specific, however, mixing the live drum kit with sampled hip-hop kicks and snares, gave us a mix of live band with beats we wanted.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    ‘Pictures’. This is our next single, I love it because it’s a sound we’ve created by mashing up all our favourite bits from different genres, we’ve invented our own style of hip-hop with this one.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Records are arriving in a few weeks, otherwise its a digital release. It will be available on every digital platform on May 14th!

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs? Are you doing any gigs or promotion for its release?
    Yes, we just released a video single “Waterproof Coat’ and plan on releasing two more. We want to take this album all over NZ, starting with live shows Wellington May 25th and Auckland June 29th, more dates to be released.


  • General

    The Eighth Note/New Album: Bloodshot

    11.05.18 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians, and ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release.

    It’s a chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guest’s are Bloodshot, who have just released their debut full-length album ‘Pull the Plug’.

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
    We are Bloodshot. A Metal-core band from Wellington, New Zealand.
    With inspirations from the likes of: Bring Me The Horizon, Crown The Empire, Northlane, Issues, Periphery, TesseracT, and many more.

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    We’ve just released an 11 song album but have also written an EP’s worth of new songs in the mean time.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    Our Debut Album ” Pull the Plug” was recorded a few locations, first we tried recording in a studio which we weren’t really vibing with. So we decided to go back to our rhehersal space which just so happened to have a high arched ceiling which gave the room very nice acoustics to work with. So that was all mainly recording for the drums. Everything else was done at the kitchen table apart from vocals which happened in Jesse’s bedroom with a couple of mattresses for sound dampening. We probably started the process January/February 2017 mucking around with ideas. Officially starting in mid April 2017 then finishing after a number of hurdles late April 2018.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    Bloodshot and Doug Thimbleby ( Jesse’s dad ) Produced and engineered the album. Doug doing about 90% of the work with us just feeding our input to him. The tracks on the album came together over a long time. Some dating back to 2013 with the most recent being written early 2017.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    For the most part idea’s struck us when-ever inspiration hit and we wrote from there. There were times however where one of us would be listening and think ” I want to have a song like that”, then we’d go away with that for inspiration and write something. As for the lyrical sides of things, Tyler wrote the majority with Jesse writing lyrics to 3 of the 11 songs. We write lyrics to what ever is going through our mind at the time or if something significant has a big enough impact on us that we feel we need to write about it.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    Most definitely. We wanted this album to sound a lot more like the music we listen to. Both in writing and production. Taking this approach definitely is what caused us to take longer than expected with the production. Something BIG that was a hurdle for us was going from Digital to Analog. We tried bouncing our finished songs on to a 2 track Otari Mx5050 Reel to Reel to capture, the “analog goodness” we heard so much about. But that “goodness” ended up being a detrimental high frequency harshness once back from mastering and had also “slammed” the audio before it even got the chance to have compression put on it.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Not any specific gear to say. But I guess the closest would be Fractal Audio’s Axe Fx Ultra Guitar Processor / Effects unit. With a lot modern bands using it, it was definitely helpful to create a more modern tone with ease.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    I wouldn’t say there is but I guess our most dynamic song is our last track
    ‘Peripheral’.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    There are a limited edition of 200 physical copies available. As for digital platforms it will be on everything: Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, iTunes, Googleplay, Amazon, etc.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs? Are you doing any gigs or promotion for its release?
    We’re definitely working on videos for this album. Which I can’t say too much about but they’re going to be sick! We are doing a show on the 11th of May as our official album release and a lot of promotion within the next coming months!

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
    Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat are the main forms of contact for us.

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal
    Crown The Empire – The Fallout
    Periphery – Select Difficulty

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    Of Blackest Oceans, Order of Diptera, Claemus, Black Water, Curlys Jewels, Mishap, Pale Lady, Kairillion Theory, Horizon A.D. There’s so many to list but definite Of Blackest Oceans.

    What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    Valhalla !!! It’s like a second home for us haha.

    In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    Tyler or Jesse normally come to practice with an idea show the band and we just collectively build on it from there until we’re happy with it

    Where/when is your next gig?
    May 11th – Lower Hutt – The Angus Inn – Free Entry – 8pm.


  • General

    New Album: Emily Fairlight

    07.05.18 | Permalink | Comment? | By


     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Emily Fairlight, who has just released sophomore album, ‘Mother of Gloom’.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    The Album was recorded in Austin, Texas May 2017.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    Doug Walseth of The Cat’s Eye Studio recorded the album and Ben Edwards at The Sitting Room mixed it. I wrote all the songs at home, apart from ‘Breathe Baby Breathe’ – I wrote that in Texas on the last day of recording.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    Just woke up and wrote them really. Overall theme is exactly what I’m feeling at the time..

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    Not intentionally, but it’s been a long while since I recorded my first album! And I’ve “binned” one album in between.. The next album will be different again I guess.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    It’s recorded to tape and digitally, that’s how Doug works. And I had a general idea of instrumentation before going over to Texas. Doug and I made notes on what, and he arranged for session musicians. I did a lot of wandering around over there, listening to headphones and coming up with bits.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    Probably The Escape. it’s the song that got me the invite to go and record in Texas. Most of the content, in a more complex way, revolves around the simple message of that song.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    There will be! At any of our shows May/June and in stores after. Vinyl and CDs. And yeah digitally from May 4th, the usual haunts – Spotify, Itunes etc…

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    Yep, we’ve released one for ‘The Escape’ and the next single ‘Drag The Night In’. Then one more for ‘Body Below’, and after that I’ll sleep a while I think.


  • General

    New Album: Nicole Andrews

    04.05.18 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Nicole Andrews, who has just released her sophomore album A Stranger.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    The album was recorded at Rhombus Studios here in Wellington starting in about February of last year. We took our time with it to really make sure it sounded like we wanted.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    Thomas Voyce (Rhombus) produced, engineered and mixed the album at Rhombus Studios. I come to him with a completed song and then he works with me during the recording and production process in the studio to really finalise the sound, adding other instruments and such. So, the songs were fully written, but then things like guitar, bass, drums were all added by him in studio while we hashed out what the songs needed and how they could be elevated with these additions. This was quite a lengthy process, but was a nice second creative burst to finalise the sound we would go for.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    The themes of the songs are definitely love and loss, in all the senses of love and ways you can lose. It is a really dark album in my view, and is like a snapshot of life from a very particular time, since all the songs were written in just three months. The process of writing these songs was slightly different for me, primarily because I was working with a new instrument, the synthesizer, which lent itself to layering sounds, something I had not done before as a pianist until I produced my first album. So I wrote it by piecing together synth lines straight into demos, then layering those up, adding vocals and messing around with the songs quite a lot in the recordings to create shape and my ideas.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    Yes, I had intended to move in an electronic direction for this album because I’ve always been very much in love with the genre, and always felt slightly limited working solely with the piano. So the idea was to do something completely different to what I would normally do, and see where it takes me. I wasn’t sure what that was going to mean for me until the songs started coming.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Well, working with the Prophet 6 really opened up the possibilities, but to create the songs I really just used what I had on hand at home, recording demos on my laptop. Nothing fancy… By the time the songs got to the studio though, we used a huge variety of gear to get the sounds we wanted.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    I think ‘Echo’, which is the last song on the album, captures the full essence of feeling that I expressed across the album. Each song focuses more closely on different feelings and events, or ideas. But ‘Echo’ to me is the most raw song on the album.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    I’m not doing CD’s this time to try and save up for doing vinyl later, but until then the album will only be available for download, starting on the 4th of May. The downloads will be available on all of the normal platforms like iTunes, Amazon and such. However, I also have a Bandcamp page and sell them directly off my Website.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    I have two videos for the album, both are done and dusted. The first video is for Lovely Thing which was filmed back in May last year by Adam von Penfold, who is a talented artist with film. He approached me back when I was still releasing things for my first album, In the Shallows, and I intended to work with him at the first chance I could. The second music video is for my song Beg for More, and that was filmed down in Diamond Harbour in Christchurch by my friend Jaya Gibson. Jaya has worked with me for years and he even designed my logo and did the graphic design for my album cover for A Stranger. He’s pretty awesome. For both videos I just let them take full creative lead and do what they want.


  • General

    New Album: Darren Watson

    01.05.18 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Darren Watson, who has just released his first all-acoustic album ‘Too Many Millionaires’.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    We recorded and mixed Too Many Millionaires at Surgery Studios in Newtown over three days in November last year.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    Lee Prebble engineered/mixed the album and I produced and arranged everything. We recorded live in the studio, with everyone playing together in the same room at the same time. It was a real blast working ‘live to tape’ – working without a net. There’s a couple of things like tambourine added later but we haven’t replaced anything from the original chosen live takes. It’s very REAL. No auto-tune and moving single beats around visually to make things ‘perfect’ like so many seem to today.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    I guess there really is a theme to the album but it didn’t start out that way. I wrote the songs over the last 3 years or so and whittled the list we actually recorded down to eleven tunes or so, then I whittled it down again to make it a cohesive LP. It turns out it’s a bit of a concept album by mistake! There is a definite mix of the personal and the political. But I never saw the difference anyway, and it’s still all the blues to me.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    Yeah, it’s the first time I’ve worked entirely acoustically (no electric instruments) and totally live in the studio, tracking everything at once and not replacing anything. Often you at least re-do the vocal tracks but I really wanted the feeling of immediacy and freshness that a live performance can give you. I’m really chuffed with how all the musicians played and bought into the spirit of the record. I think people will feel they’re in the room with us as it happened. That’s the aim anyway.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Well, Lee pretty much stuck with old gear – valve condensor and ribbon microphones and we even used an old Echoplex on the vocals on a few tracks. It’s VERY analog sounding. And hey it’s an LP, so . . .

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    Probably ‘Mean Me Right Blues’. 2AM, a little bit intoxicated, and ready for some 2AM kind of music. 😉

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    It’s available as a limited edition 180g 12” LP, compact disc, and hi-res download from music.darrenwatson.com (nb. the www is missing intentionally).

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    We released ‘National Guy’ as a single on March 30 and there is a video I shot at my local town hall with my cellphone.


  • General

    New Album: April Fish

    09.04.18 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Katie from April Fish, who have just released new album An Alien Invaded the Circus.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    I spent some time recording at New Zealand Pacific Studios (a gorgeous artists’ residency in Mount Bruce, where I wrote two of the songs that ended up on the album), and the rest was at my home studio in Wellington.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I did the engineering. It was mixed by Vince Welch, who is in Boston band Bent Knee. They’re one of my all time faves and he did an amazing job, I feel so lucky to have him work on this album. We communicated online, sending tracks back and forth until we were all happy with the result.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    As with the previous album, this is a collection of songs I had written over the years, that felt like they belonged together. The title comes from a comment my niece made about a moment in our first album, Blurred, that she described as sounding like an alien invading a circus. The image stuck with me and it seemed fitting to name this song collection after such a bizarre turn of phrase. I wondered about who gets to decide who the aliens are at a circus, since the word could easily be applied to both the performers and the audience. A lot of my lyrics are from the point of view of a concept or a personified feeling, so it felt fitting to have a title that could also flip around.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    With our previous release I was fairly new to recording and under time pressure, so it all happened very quickly and I was learning on the go. With this one I really took my time and didn’t compromise at all, so I think it sounds closer to the version in my head. I’m still learning how to make that happen, and hope the next release will be even better at capturing the sound I’m after!

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Not exactly. I wanted to see what I could achieve electronically since we didn’t have a budget for session musicians so I programmed all the instruments except John’s Warr and double bass, and the accordion and ukulele on ‘The Main Attraction’.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    I think ‘Silver or Sulfur’ is the one, for me, that gives the best impression of how I hope the album comes across as a whole.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Yes! Physical CDs come with a hand-cut mirror feature, with gorgeous artwork by Zephyr. Physical and digital copies are available for purchase on Bandcamp, and the album can be streamed on Spotify.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    We shot some footage for Axident, but being DIY it ended up not being particularly useful in the end. We do have a cool lyric video on the way for The Question, though!


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