To my surprise, I just found a Youtube video of Orphan Songs playing “What you want is lost” live at the album launch party last year. I had no idea the clip was there, but I know who made it: my creative friend Martin Sjölander who was the driving force behind the alternative pop music scene in Kalmar until he moved away. He also hosted the party with his club Popidyll.
It’s almost exactly a year ago the debut was released, but we couldn’t have the show until November. That was partly because it was tough finding a date close to the album release, but I also needed time to get a band together and rehearse. All my former bandmates were scattered and I was in a brand new part of the country where I didn’t know any musicians. However, things tend to fall into place if you let them. Finding a drummer was easy, I just had to ask Lulla. And she knew a guy called Martin at work, who turned out to be an excellent guitar and bass player. Despite the fact that the three of us had never played together before and that we only rehearsed five or six times before the show, I think it all went very well.
Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5eIFS5QKkQ
This summer I set a goal for my music-making: to record one song a month, no matter what. I felt I needed to create some rules for myself so to avoid getting lazy or feeling that the idea of producing another album all by myself is too overwhelming. Another finished album, I must admit, seems very far away at the moment and I can’t really hear what it is going to sound like. I’m finished writing most of the songs, and now it’s just the small matter of recording, producing, mixing, mastering, creating a cover, make the money to press the CDs and promote the damn thing. (sigh!)
However, I think the one-song-a-month concept is actually going to work. Now it’s 22:50 on August 31st and I have just uploaded the first song called “Rulers or Slaves”. I’m usually pretty good at keeping deadlines and if I take this rule seriously, I might have enough songs for a second album before next summer.
But “Rulers or Slaves” was tricky to record. I didn’t really like the song at first; well, I mean I DID like the song as it sounded in my head when I wrote it, but when I started working with the backing tracks we recorded in April it felt like a hopeless endeavour.
I did layers upon layers of electric guitars (I think there are at least 8 electric guitars on the track) three or four acoustic guitars, some pianos, a few strings. Nothing seemed to help. It wasn’t until I started laying down vocals that I felt it might actually take off. I topped it off with a tambourine on the chorus and felt a little better. Production-wise, the song is nothing special as you can see – pretty straightforward production for a straightforward song. After some mixing and botched mastering earlier this evening, I listened to the song as for the first time and actually started groovin’ a bit (not too much though). It really helped when I cut out the boring intro.
Like I said in the previous post, I’m not sure this song will make the album, it all depends on how the rest of the songs will sound. Thanks to the rythm section for a job well done. 😉
I figured I’d write something about how things are going with the new album. I have already written the songs and now it’s just a matter of making time to record. I got together with Henrik and Mathias in April for a four-day session in the country house studio in Nyebo. It was a lot of fun and we managed to record the back tracks for no less than six songs during those few days. I was amazed by how much we actually covered (and the awsome quality of it 😉 ) considering it had been years since we had played together. The process was basically:
1. “Let’s try this song” [Two hour rehearsal]
2. “Sounds pretty good, lets record this thing.”
3. Five of six takes later: “That’s good enough. What’s next?”
I wrote a rock song called “Rulers or Slaves” a few days before the Nyebo sessions. I figured it would help things get going in the right direction if we could do a bit of rockin´before we started on the mellow stuff. The boys and I where a bit rusty and it felt good to be able to crank up the volume. I am working on “Rulers and Slaves” right now and it does not sound like anything I have ever done before (and I don’t mean that in a good way. Ha ha!). Will it make the album? Hmmm. I think I’ll leave that to the “jury”, which normally consists of Mathias, Henrik, Lulla and Nate.
After the sessions in Nyebo, I didn’t do anything with the tapes at all. I was lazy and didn’t feel like doing the tedious cleaning up of drums and bass. Trust me, that is the most boring part of producing your own music. Listening to drums and bass all day, turning the knobs trying to make it sound good is a pain. Well, during my summer vacation from work I realised I had come up with some sort of plan if I ever was going to finish another album. So I decided to finish one song a month no matter what. Some of you may think that’s a piece of cake. However, considering I have a family and a regular job one song a month is actually quite a challenge.
Here are some photos from the recording sessions with Henrik and Mathias.