Saturday, August 30, 2014

Battling Vocals

The last month I've spent a couple of hours every week in the studio and it seems I've finally got some routine rolling into that. As always not as frequently as I'd wish for but things are moving in an even pace and I get things down, which feels good. I've been working mostly with the final writing and arrangements of, and nailing, the vocals of my solo album. I dare say that most of everything else, except maybe some lead and classic guitars, are recorded by now (a lot need to be edited and compiled though, and then the mixing, so loads of work remains). There will be vocals on five of the songs, the other half will be instrumental, and I can tell you the vocals are pretty tricky on some of the tunes. I really tried to get some of my dear friends, who happen to be awesome vocalists, to do it when I started out this project but it all ended up them convincing me to do it myself. Mainly I believe due to all the strange timings and phrasing I have going on in my vocal melodies, pretty progressive stuff I'd say and not always that easy to get into your system. So that's why I ended up waging this war with the vocals myself. When I started working with it my singing technique wasn't even close of being able to nail it, but today I can say we're at least closer. I'm pretty picky, and am not going for less that getting it all exactly as I want it, as it was meant to be, with the right feeling I'm after in these recorded vocals. Whatever it takes. The thing is also that I actually really enjoy pushing myself, stretching my abilities but it consumes time, wish I had more of it, but I'm convinced that I'll be nailing it all soon enough.

Last week I grew a little bit bored of trying to rise the bar of my vocal capability and I decided to letting it go for a while and ended up finishing another "Odd song that doesn't fit anywhere" instead. A pretty cool one indeed, if you ask me. It's in Swedish and called "Bara Du" ("Only You" in English) and since it's in Swedish it might should've had landed in my project "Under", where everything is in Swedish, but it's undoubtably an odd song that doesn't fit in, so. Anyway, it turned out pretty cool, a very riffy tune full of my style LA-80's guitar fiddling fills but performed on a steel string acoustic combined with my, what I believe, pretty Joakim Thåström inspired vocals topped with Andreas "Drake" Mallander's fretless bass singing through it filling it all up to perfection. It is clean and naked but there's A LOT going on there, loads of improvisation, melodies and loads of rhythm, though there's no percussion or drums on it. A strong song, pretty unique in style, but it all sounds very natural and unforced, which it most certainly is - it just happened (had written the song earlier though). It's not flawless performed and super tight, but it's most certainly live and it's there and then, totally fitting and going hand in hand with the song and I believe we nailed it pretty well. 

Hope you'll like it as much as I do. 

/ PM