Friday, 12 October 2007

On singing...

I'm working on a new album right now. The 'difficult second album'. Except that I've been making albums for quite a while now and I reckon this one is technically my fourth. But I've only released one record, so as far as my adoring public is concerned, this is technically still my second album. Or second 'released' album. Except that I haven't released it yet.

Anyway, semantics aside, it has been quite difficult making it so far. I'm bloody busy right now (still plugging "Twisted City" and engaging in other miscellaneous activities which I won't bore you with). I'm making the record in two stages: one, I'm recording the guts of the songs in my own little studio; two, I'm taking the tracks to another studio and tarting them up - replacing drum machines with live drums, keyboards with real pianos, hell, I might even get somebody in to do lead vocals.

I jest of course; how could I deny my dulcet tones to my multitude of fans? But sometimes I think it would be much nicer to get somebody else in to do the singing. This is because for me vocals are by far and away the hardest part of recording - particularly when you're recording them yourself. It's the musical equivalent of staring at yourself in a mirror and looking anxiously for every sign of a grey hair, wrinkle or general blemish. Which of course I never do - I leave that to my girlfriend. She doesn't have any of the aforementioned, but every day she convinces herself that she does.

To make matters worse, I have a good microphone. It's one of the most expensive things I own - it cost me about 1,000 Euros - and as a result it captures things 'honestly'. Which means it captures bad notes very accurately. So you end up doing lots of takes. And then listening to them with the most critical pair of ears imaginable.

Fortunately though, modern recording technology is perfectly capable of making a silk purse from a sow's ear.

Anyway, the album is coming on a bit. I've got about 8 songs shaping up nicely. It's different to 'Twisted City' - I can't explain why, except that it seems more 'colourful'. There's a wider variety of sounds on it, which with my synesthesia thing going on, makes it seem a bit more visually exciting to me (if you can describe an album that way without sounding bonkers). And some Neil Young influenced guitar solos seem to be sneaking their way in.

In other news, I'm watching Saturday Night with Jonathan Ross. Jools Holland is on. I'd like to go for a pint with him one day, he seems like an interesting fella. He's got a slightly squeaky voice too, which I like.

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