Nine years ago, I walked out of Kaleidoscope Sound in Union City, NJ, where my bandmates and I had just finished recording the fifth Late Model Humans album, Ain’t No Good. I didn’t know at the time how long it would be before I walked into a recording studio again.
Yesterday, I walked into Vinegar Hill Sound in Brooklyn to start recording my new album with the working title Compulsions. I have a feeling it is going to be a really good piece of work, and there are at least four reasons why:
The first one is named Reed Black. Reed is the owner of the studio and he is producing this work. I have worked with a lot of producers over the years (including myself) but have rarely come across someone who combines intense focus with a laid-back manner that inspires the best performance out of the musicians he tracks.
The second is named Chris DeRosa. Chris is the drummer, and his enthusiasm and professionalism made it easier and more enjoyable to lay down the skeleton of this project. We will be adding flesh to those bones over the rest of this process but if the foundation is not solid everything else will crumble. These songs will not crumble.
The third is named Julie Rozansky. Julie has the rare ability to combine the structure of practice with the spontaneity of inspiration. In addition to bass lines that support and drive the material, she added vocals to two songs that I think will make them the best two songs on the album. One of them, we had not even rehearsed and she came up with harmonies on the spot that elevated the material.
The fourth is me. I prefer humility to pride but I am really happy with this batch of songs. They are different from the songs I have written in the past. These last two years have challenged all of us in ways that we have yet to process and I know I am not the only songwriter who feels compelled to attempt the inevitable alchemy of turning the insanity of this world into something beautiful in the ears of the beholder.
Now that the ball has started rolling it will be fun to see where the bounces take us.