I debuted this song at the SAGE Gateshead Pay-Per-View in May. It’s a strange beast; like an REM song produced by Guy Sigsworth. That’s mostly what I do. Make the imaginary things real. These songs already exist, in a sense. I just have to be quiet enough to hear them.
I recorded a vocal I’m very happy with today. It takes a minute to find the voice for a song. It often feels like a song asks me to lean into something specific about my voice. This song, I was singing delicately. Cute maybe. It wasn’t working. The song wanted me to sound stronger. More authority. The lyrics are me singing to myself from the point of view of a parent. I guess that makes sense. The song wants me to be the adult in the story, not the child.
Always the child. I’m a 30-something teenager.
It’s nice to be back. I had a moment to focus. Press the red button. Connect the dots. Live with the song a while.
The songs already exist. The job is to hear them.
I’m starting a new studio diary! Yes. I am so in the zone right now; I’ve been making music every single day for long enough to feel like I found my thing again. I’ve been super withdrawn from recording in recent years. There is loads of reasons for that. Before the gloves came along I was like getting really super frustrated with recording anyway; and then the live thing happened and I didn’t really feel like I needed to worry about it. Live music was really exciting, and paid quite well. But i’m back in the headspace to record songs. I’ve got really excited about keeping things quite low-key; I don’t really worry about where I record nowadays. I’ve put together a really ramshackle studio set up in my garage which is not much more than an SM7B plugged into my MacBook. I’ve got a really nice chair as well. You need a nice chair. More on that later. #Chair.
Last week I released a version of Stay Frosty. It’s been floating around in various states of completion for awhile; I finally decided to dig in and get it into some kind of shape a couple of weeks ago. There’s been loads of bits and bobs of it from different sessions dating back to the flesh and dust sessions in 2015. I don’t think there’s anything that old that made the final cut, but this is from the batch of songs that I was working on when I got the gloves.
I put this version out, and I was happy with it when it went out. Less so now. One of the great reliefs of the digital age is how easy it is to release, review, and refine a piece of work. So few people have heard this version of state for a state that there is really no consequences to changing it.
The version I put out the had vocals recorded quite awhile ago, I’m not even sure when. And it’s, fine. But it’s not great. Actually, that doesn’t mean anything. Great is not a thing. It’s not authentic. That’s the problem. It’s just the words in tune and in time; it lacks any real conviction.
My voice has changed so much in the last few months. That’s very deliberate: I’ve done a lot of work to improve it, it’s probably the best it’s ever been and probably the best it ever will be. So I decided to have another go at recording it. I’m really happy with the new vocals. I think they will probably seem quite different to some people – I really do feel like my voice is quite different now. It’s certainly stronger, and I feel like I can put a lot more into it because it’s in much better shape. No other instrument is so dependent on your health to sound good.I’m working on choreography with Ayaka tomorrow morning but then hopefully I’ll have chance to mix the new vocals. I’ve got some new toys to play with; I bought the Waves Aural Exciter today which really does seem to add some vintage shine to my voice. Mmmmm.
I don’t think I’d ever have had the confidence to just be so blatant about revising something before. But I really feel so excited about the process at the moment that I don’t wanna really hide anything that I’m doing. It’s a really valid and necessary thing to refine and improve work, but sometimes it feels like music is something that gets set in stone, and isn’t a changing, transient thing. I think of recorded music more like software nowadays; versions of an idea with the luxury of pushing out updates when necessary. Songs have rich and varied lives, and I’m less and less convinced that anything has a definitive version. With that, Stay Frosty version 2.0 will be with you soon!
As always thank you for listening, reading and caring xx