i’ve been trying to write this blog for the past 6 months. Actually i’ve tried to write many, at many different stages of the recording process, and each time i try i feel like whatever i’m writing isn’t quite making sense, isn’t quite telling the whole story and isn’t quite… something else.. So i’ve given up trying to make sense and all of that and i’m just going to tell you how it is
We started in December, at Albert’s studios in Sydney, just before Christmas and got three days of recording in. From memory we did 8 or 9 songs just me on my guitar and mandolin and one of my best friends Kent Eastwood came in and sat across with me and played along on his Banjo/guitar/mandolin while i sang the songs. At one point we played a song together with just him on the piano and me singing.. it was really late at night and we were so tired from all the work we’d been doing and then this song just came straight out of us both and my heart filled with all the sadness and joy it could hold and then i sang out all my sadness and was left with only joy
In February we went to Jungle Studios and spent the most amazing day with YOU GUYS! the ones who pledged for the album and chose the package that included the chance to BE on the album. We had two groups in that day, clapping, whistling, singing & stomping, eating cupcakes and having loads of fun. I can’t wait to show you guys the songs you’re on – quite honestly, it really makes the songs really special, better than i could’ve ever imagined – especially ‘Hit Me With Your Heart’.
Then i went on a tour, for a really long time, and played all around Australia in beautiful venues and in YOUR homes which was, once again, a beautiful and mind opening experience.
By this time i was really very tired. So i did my best to rest and get ready for a huge week of 12 hour days to finish off the recording with a whole lot of really fun musical sounds like drums (the best i’ve ever heard), double bass (absolutely gorgeous), trumpet, trombone, clarinet (played by my cousin Justin!), sousaphone, organs, electric devil guitars… it was the most beautiful and intense thing i think i’ve ever done and at the end of the week i got quite drunk and ate way too many chocolate freckles & Anzac Cookies and woke up in the middle of the night feeling very sick and had each and every one of my songs stabbing my brain and haunting me while i tried to sleep. I’m not being dramatic, that’s exactly what happened! So i spent the next couple of days in beautiful silence, walking around my neighbourhood, eating really really healthy food and watching really bad movies (including the Exorcist which is SO not scary but i did go to bed for the next couple of nights wondering if it was going to start shaking).
Then back in! Every time we thought it was finished we’d realise there’s more to do, something to change, something to add or take away. I’ve never approached recording like this before – over a long period of time with gaps in between to listen back, think things through, and make sure that i’m 100% over the moon happy with every single sound. It seems so obvious.. of course you’d do that right? But it’s amazing how easy it is to lose perspective of why you’re recording something in the first place and just end up wanting to get it finished and done, or feel like it’s too hard to get it right.. But i felt like i needed to change the way i make music and i’m so glad i didn’t rush myself, or anyone else, and just allowed each song to take as long as it took.
So, what next? Well, i think i’ve been learning – time and time again, in so many aspects of my life – the value in taking things slow, and understanding that things will unfold in their time and that each day we just wake up and do a little bit more of something on top of a little bit more of something until we look back after a year’s passed and we realise that really we did a whole lot.
So, with that in mind, i’ll first be releasing an EP, i think around October this year. It will have 4 songs on it and i’ll take it to shows and sell it after i play and i’ll busk on the streets of whatever town i’m in and give it to anyone that throws $10 in my guitar case. I’ll make a video clip, and then maybe another and i’ll visit radio stations and talk to people about it and then i’ll play some more shows and maybe, after that, a few more.
In the end, we recorded 13 songs that ‘made the cut’. Since finishing the recording i’ve written another song that i absolutely love and, between now and the end of the year, i’m quite sure i’ll write a few more. So i think i’ll be heading back in the studio to add more songs to the album before finally releasing it early next year. So, by the time this record is actually released it will be over a year since we first set foot in the studio to make it and it will be somewhere around a year and a half since you beautiful people pledged to help see it get made. It will be two and a half years since the first song was written for the album and it will be somewhere around 3 years since i knew i wanted to make one.
To those of you that pledged through Pozible, late last year, for the album to be made – i hope this is ok with you. It’s a long time since you pledged! Releasing an EP first and then an album means more music in the end. That’s good news! And, it makes the workload a lot easier to manage and allows me to keep building my little musical castle to help keep on doing this for a long time – which is so important to me. So, to say thankyou for waiting and thankyou for your support and thankyou for making all of this possible in the first place – and to make sure you have music in your ears – i’ll be sending you the EP, before it’s release, as a gift. Without you i honestly wouldn’t have been able to make these songs sound the way they do and, in fact, i might not have even recorded them at all. So, from the very bottom of my heart, thankyou for being here and sharing in all of this with me.
This is a very long post! So i’m going to leave it there. But will give you guys more updates as they come, and as the time comes nearer to you hearing some of this new stuff.
Lots of love, lots of light and all of the gratitude in the world