Principle recording on the new album is complete.
Principle recording on the new album is complete.
Time to bring you up to speed, loyal reader.
Previously-mentioned straggler, the song once known as “Reclamation,” has been finished. Its lyrics were some of the hardest fought-for on this record. The effort was worth as it as I’m actually quite proud of it …I’m somewhat surprised to report. That particular song’s new title is known to me, but I’m hedging on it. I will probably resolve to accept the title I am considering, but I’m not pressed to decide just yet, so I’m standing non-committal until such time.
Honestly, much of the album is done. Like, really, truly finished. I’m down to one final track on which vocals have been started, though they are as of yet unfinished. There a couple of open-ended considerations with one other and I’m still turning a few stones trying to see if there are any other preferable options before I definitively accept that it is done. It is very strong as-is, but it’s hard to not hope it can be elevated even higher.
I suppose I should know more Friday. I wouldn’t hold my breath, but I’d say it is likely we’re close to things really kicking into overdrive. There’s much to announce, but I shouldn’t get out over my skis, just yet.
Of recent note, vocals have been completed and the final mix is very close for the album’s opening song. I am unsure that I would regard it as single material, but a very clear video has been envisioned and I’m inclined to make it. We’ll see.
Lyrics for song mentioned and referred to as “Reclamation” in my previous post have stagnated and I’ve hit a minor block with them. The solution will come to me. I just have to be patient.
Past that there is a mostly completed lyric for as-yet unrevealed song that if I find the right approach for recording, would complete the second half of the album. It is funny that it’s taking so long to finish because it was started in 2004 and was originally intended for the final ether album. It eventually was excised for reasons I’ll someday illuminate. As I say, the lyric is mostly finished and it’s time to just do battle with it until it is completed.
All of this is to say, in summary, that the thing is close. I can see and hear it and I’m trying my damnedest to bring it to completion before mid-August when everything gets turned upside down.
In all of the old era of my catalog, being this close would tempt me to concede to challenges and let things I knew needed fixed pass by me in the interest of just finishing. But I haven’t released an album in almost 16 years and no one is waiting for this thing. So I am inclined to just get it right instead. If all holds to expectations and the situation is workable, I am hopeful that I will be ready to release the thing in October.
So it’s been a little bit with no update. Much to report.
“Shark Eyes” is in the bank.
The title track of the album is in the bank – I’ll tell you the title and all about it later.
Lyrics were the main bone of contention this week as I have been chipping away at one that has a working (but probably not being used) title of “Reclamation.” That one is probably about 50% there. The verses are good. There’s a repeating pre-chorus that is proving challenging, mostly because I have too many good albeit unfinished ideas for it. The chorus will be quick though once I sort out the pre-chorus, as the strategy for it has been determined. This particular track will bear the closest resemblance to old mrmoth of anything on the album, though lyrically it’s still a bit of a departure.
“Metropolitan” has taken considerable steps forward. I’d been struggling with the choruses, but ultimately made the difficult decision to kill the sung chorus altogether. It was a bit over the top – a problem I find with most choruses generally – and ultimately there’s such a nice melody in the keyboards that I really hated stomping all over with my voice. I think it’s done, but I’m ultimately going to have to decide if I’m okay letting the song breathe without a sung chorus. It feels right, listening to it, but I’m not sure. I’ve heard these songs so many times as instrumentals, it’s difficult to know whether it’s my ear or if I’ve trained my response.
All told, I’m about three vocals from being done. If I’m honest it could be a million miles away just this moment for how it feels.
Over the last week, the completed form of this project has really started to take shape.
The afore-mentioned cover got reworked a little to a place that I can probably call it final(ish). It’s too early to share it. That probably won’t happen until the project is announced properly.
While a working title has eluded me throughout the production, this weekend one appeared. I wouldn’t call it final but it is certainly close enough that it will bear a striking resemblance to whatever the final title ultimately becomes. Arriving at it was only possible because I have been able to finally see the thematic through-lines of the project and establish a proper running order. The title is a product of those two factors and it may or may not be shared with one of the songs – the last one. It’s too early to say definitively. With the ether series this is always quite easy because of the narrative structures. For those albums, I often knew the title before I ever recorded a note. Not so much with this current project and once I can actually discuss more about it, that will be easier to explain.
For now, know that I genuinely feel like I came over the top of a very steep hill this weekend. So much so that I can finally admit this is going to be an album. A proper album – my first since 2002.
“Shark Eyes” is recorded, with the mix and masters very close. Just negotiating some rather troublesome frequencies in the mix. Hoping to wrap “Metropolitan” soon, too.
Also, there’s a finished cover for whatever this project is going to ultimately be regarded as.
I’m at a stage with things where I am frustratingly close to finishing some tracks, but something small – usually my inflection in my vocals – stops progress toward completion. Today’s point of frustration is a song called “Shark Eyes.” It is very thin on layers and requires a very flat delivery lest the vocal stand out too much over the backing. It’s close. Many of the new songs are. I just need to keep circling back to them after I walk away for a bit. Performing and being your own producer is a massive headfuck sometimes.
New Single: Listen here.
Our cover of Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control” has been released as a single. This is one I originally covered long ago, in 2003, ostensibly as a b-side to “Forever.” That version was much like this one, though it featured some pretty heavily distorted vocals and a more dense mix. Because I did not have the legal means at the time to release it commercially, it was briefly given away as a free download from the site.
This version is heavily remixed and with a new vocal, and is now home among the handful of covers we’ve been releasing alongside new original tracks. It’s been in the band’s catalog so long, it feels like one of our essential tracks, yet strangely very few people who follow us have heard it. It’s nice to finally have the means to let it be heard more broadly, seeing it appropriately completed and officially released some 16 years later.
As with all of our cover singles, the proceeds from this single will be given to charity, this time to RAINN, who are “the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.”
The “Metropolitan” verses are finished. Took a stab at the bridge and it didn’t quite satisfy. Needs a more careful approach. Skipped the chorus initially but circled back to it. I have been trying to include more traditional, vocal choruses as of late and this one has one of those. Again, the lyrics, melody, and phrasing are all there. I just need to dial in the amount of pepper. “Metropolitan” is a more delicate song than I have done in the past and the vocals require the energy level to be just-so. Finding that sweet spot, especially as it shifts through the song, has been the particular challenge of this one. More next week.
There will be more updates until completion of the current project. I need some kind of accountability and perhaps chronicling my progress going forward will help to maintain some forward-moving inertia.
I’m recording vocals now. Today’s effort was on a song tentatively titled, “Metropolitan.” The lyrics, the melody, and the phrasing are all there, but as it is a more subdued song, I’m having trouble finding the right inflection for it.
While I’m quite a bit more capable as a singer than I was when I first started, I do have some decidedly fixed habits when it comes to my style of singing. I have pushed outside of my normal habits for music and arrangement recently, but I am still trying to find my way to a different styles of vocals that still feels like me. I’m broadening my palette in that regard, though, and the progress is slow at present.