…and looking back up that hill, preparing to the ascend that mountain again.
It’s been two weeks since the time we spent at El Dorado. For Erica and I, the first three days were not at all easy. See, we’re parents of young children. One of the best songs on the record is this tune about the kids and how the weight of their lives has impacted us. The kids come for you at any and all hours of the night or morning. They are in need. They need you, and you will respond.
Zion, our beautiful eight month old blue-eyed, blond haired, Michelin Man / Aryan Poster Child, decided that he was done sleeping past about 3am. Ella, our beautiful three year old brown-eyed, brown-haired princess pixie, has decided that she is the Queen of Quite a Lot, and spends the majority of her time informing her mother, father, brother, and Copland The Wonder Dog what they should be doing and how they should be doing it.
Unfortunately, neither of the children are concerned about unrecorded vocals that need to be finished, edited, printed, and organized. They have no appreciation for the tumultuous and (I believe) symbiotic relationship between art and deadlines. They are unimpressed by phat kick sounds and well sung vocal doubles. I did catch Ella singing the chorus from the title track, so that was pretty cool… but you get the idea where we’re at.
Aside from the kiddos, work resumes. Vocal students need coaching and… umm… help… and worship choruses and hymns don’t arrange themselves, people. We may have danced in the rain like hippies on working vacation, but we still work for The Man, make no mistake. That link really, really makes me laugh, and I can’t explain why. Sorry
So, you have to understand that the week at El Dorado was a true watershed moment for us. We were artists among artists. Artists among artists with a purpose and a deadline is a lethal cocktail. It’s intoxicating.
The worst thing about coming off of the high was that the fruit of our labor isn’t ready to be shared yet. The board mixes, which are simply rough bounces with little to no automation or processing of the individual tracks, sound great, but they’re still board mixes. I can’t just push play and not make any apologies.
The vocals for this album have been almost completely recorded in the margins. An hour here… an hour there… put Zion back to sleep… get that last chorus… make more coffee… repeat. We work like mad dogs on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings when the kids go to see Grammy and Poppa. If we get to do this again, I will save up until I have enough for more time at the Big Studio. We get a killer vocal sound out of our little place, we really do. We’ve spent the time and money to get a few really nice pieces of gear, and I’ve learned how to use them. It’s not an issue of fidelity, although I am sure the vocals would sound 10-12% better with their vocal booth and gear, it’s an issue of headspace.
It takes time to get lost in a song. It takes time to know where your spot is. While I make no claims or give no comparisons, when it comes to our singing, it’s not a hobby. We have a vast array of tones, articulations, and phrasings to choose from. There are literally thousands of ways we could sing each phrase on each of these ten songs. All you have to get is one… that’s the hard part.
But, by God, we’ve pressed through. There is only one song that remains partially unsung, and Friday’s a’comin’. On the afternoon of Sunday, September 10th, I will get in my car armed with a few changes of underwear, a pair of running shoes, some t-shirts and shorts, my ears, and a hard drive. I will pass through the valley of despair and will again climb the mountain. Or drive up the mountain. Whatever.
The bottom line is that I love these songs, and I am so ready to get lost in them again. This time, however, when I crash back to earth, I will have ten audio files with me. I can’t wait to play them for anyone who is willing to hear them. Watch out… ’cause The Dailies are about to rock you. Or perhaps bore you. Or maybe make you feel sorta indifferent.
Ok… ok ok… how about this… Watch out… ’cause The Dailies are about to rock some of you.
That is so not rock and roll. We are gonna Rokk you, and you’re gonna likke it. I need some Umlauts, we’re gonna Rokk Yuu Soo Haaard.