I just received word that my first solo EP since I was 16 is headed to mastering in August! I mean, I'm excited. To honor this momentous occasion, I thought it might be nice to share with you how this whole thing even came about.
Some of the songs on this EP were written way back in the Fall of 2013. After they didn't seem to be the right fit for any of my other projects, I decided it was time to collaborate with my two buddies back in Austin (Jacob Hildebrand and Kevin McCullough) to turn them into something that I could call my own. The problem that I struggled with was whether to keep them as folk songs (a la Emmylou Harris or Alison Krauss), which is the inevitable result of preliminary writing sessions on my own, or do something crazy and turn them into pop music (a la Massive Attack or Kye Kye) - something that tied in the indie electronic music I had listened to for years and my own sensibilities as a writer. The songs are each so special to me - they are true versions of what comes out of my brain - thoughts on closeness to God, His role in marriage, suffering, joy, how He uses nature and emotion and creativity to make us unique saints. I did not want them to be misheard. So, after a good amount of soul-searching, tea-drinking, and Mexican prayer candle-lighting, the three of us decided to just go for it and make an electronic project - something none of us had ever done before, something that honestly scared the living tar out of me.
We had no idea it would get anywhere close to what you'll hear very soon.
In April of 2014, the three of us sat down together and decided which songs should make the cut, and what arrangements we needed to settle on. Then, we began laying the rough cuts with guitars and quick vocals. (Some of these elements actually made it all the way to the final mixes, which I think is incredible, and really tells me that the original artistic integrity of the project has remained a priority throughout.) It took several months to settle on styles, and reference tracks, as each of us were truly getting to know this music for the first time. So, after nearly 8 months of tracking, we were finally ready to lay down final vocals, which took about 2 weeks to get just right.
Then, the grueling process of mixing fell on Jacob's shoulders. (This ordeal, I will save for another blog post - there is too much good stuff in there to summarize!) After 7 months of mixing, these 6 songs have finally become what we all could never imagine, but feel as if they truly speak into what the three of us are as artists. Well, in my opinion. :) Jacob and Kevin have truly laid out blood, sweat, and tears on this - something I cannot assume they would do on a project they did not truly feel inspired by or passionate about. I think this is a good sign for our future.
I'll let you know more on this process as things move forward! It has been quite the journey.