Where has this week gone?! It's been such a busy week, I'm only just getting around to bringing you up to date with what's been happening in the studio. Things are really starting to take shape - it's all very exciting.
Day 5 - Monday
Monday was my first vocals day. Before all of that was a trip to the garage. Did I tell you that my windscreen wipers on my car stopped working? Well, having rocked up at the garage at 8am, expecting them to get it fixed in an hour or so, they tell me that it's not going to be ready until the following day. WHAT? Stranded in Whifflet when I am meant to be in the studio is not ideal. Thank goodness for my father in law who spent his day off ferrying me around! I'd have been proper stuck otherwise...
So, after a bit of a minor panic, I made it to the studio just after 10am. After a bit of essential editing in the morning, it was time to lubricate the old vocal chords (yep, more blackcurrant and rhubarb tea) and get to work. With only the pacman lamp for company, I took up residence in a darkened live room and set to recording the vocals for five songs, including brand new songs "Where You Are" and "Sparkle". Where many of the songs featuring on Album Number Two have been in the works for the years since my last one was released, others are brand new, so it's really exciting to hear them taking shape - just playing back the rough mixes so far is a real thrill.
I was on a roll on Monday - it's been a while since my voice felt so good. Yeah, I was surprised too, given that I felt pretty horrendous at the end of last week, convinced I was getting a cold. Seems I have successfully staved it off, thank goodness. I think I've just passed it straight on to Murray, bless him. But, at least it didn't interfere with my voice in the end up, which was my real fear.
There are a number of factors which I feel contributed to a solid performance that day:
So, all in all, Monday was a very productive day and set us up for a flyer of a week... Next up - additional guitars and backing vocals...
Day 6 - Tuesday
Today, I welcomed one of my absolute favourite people to the studio to record a few backing vocals. After a long morning in the office, and then a trip back to the garage to pick up a courtesy car (STILL no replacement part for my broken wipers), my little brother Franco hopped off the train and into the studio.
Stuart had been putting down some additional guitars for "Home" in the morning, so we left him to work on that whilst we ran through our harmonies. Franco was drafted in to sing some harmonies on Don't Recognise Me. Those of you familiar with my work will recognise this song as a regular in my usual set - it's basically a love song to my childhood. Oh my, that sounds cheesy... Oh well. But with a reference to the "cheeky chocolate covered face of my baby brother", it only made sense to ask him to come and sing a little bit. And not only because of that - he also has a cracking singing voice. WIN! He was a proper professional, nailing the parts in less than 20 minutes - some great work, I can't wait to hear it in the mix.
Once that was finished, it was an early night for my and Franco to let Stuart get set up for Wednesday... yes, that means drums!
Day 7 - Wednesday
This is the day I have been looking forward to. There's something about adding drums to a track that just brings it to life, injects into it an energy that often you didn't even realise was there. That was today's focus - drums. And against the clock!
I was fortunate enough to be able to bring in the excellent Ross McFarlane (Texas, The Proclaimers, etc) to provide drums for the five tracks that need them, which was a bit of a coup I have to admit! Very excited I was, as I made a further trip to the garage (my car was finally ready... Just as well, since it had started chucking it down) and then hauled ass over to the studio to make a start. Stuart and Ross had just finished getting the kit set up and miked when I got there, so the first hour or so was spent blocking out the songs and talking Ross through the geography of the five tracks that we'd be working on. By the time we had done that, and then checked the levels on the mics, etc, it was pushing 4.30pm... We were getting kicked oot at 7pm, so time was against us. We'll never get five songs done in this time, I thought. Stuart assured me that if anyone could get the job done in that time, it was Ross. And he was right. Bloody hell, this guy is a machine! A real master at work, all he needed was a talk through the song structure, a couple of practice passes and then we'd get a take. And then move onto the next one. And you'd think that working so quickly would result in sub-standard results. Not so. I couldn't be happier with the parts, Ross has captured the feel of the songs perfectly. What a nice chap, and I am so delighted to have his work on the album. Happy girl!
So, tomorrow - bass and more vocals! It's all starting to come together! Until tomorrow, goodnight.
Love A x