Two weeks ago, Murray moved the recording into another studio. Today he finishes working there, and he’s completely exhausted. The other day he was lying on the couch, barely awake, saying: “It’s weird being so tired and so inspired at the same time.” The songs are perpetually shape-shifting, taking new unexpected directions with every element he adds. He was browsing some samples in Logic while near passed out, and was triggering these angelic harp arpeggios, saying: “I think I’m going to lay this down on Half Mast; it’s gonna take the song to a whole new level.” That’s what’s been going on for the past four months of recording this album.
Rob has been coming in laying down some sick bass lines…now that he’s finally back from tour doing sound for Stars. Thursday I was in recording backing vocals, and I had to try not to listen to his new bass track I was accompanying. Like Murray and I were saying its not even a bass line but its own, melodic track. Crazy. Anyhow, one of the parts I was singing was pretty high in my out-of-shape vocal range, and I burned out my throat a bit. I left the studio not sure if I was catching cold or really, really not used to singing. I forget how much touring trains the voice, seasons it, and if you stop it gets, well, flabby. My voice is flabby, but it usually is whenever we’re recording; it sounds different than on tour, more honest and vulnerable instead of confident and blaring. I like it…like everything else, it’s classic.
Anyway, this studio has great vibes. It’s clean and cozy (and has a window, but all you see out of it is the wall of the building next door) and is the newly built, relocated Stock Market Audio (check your NCL and Protest liner notes). They changed the name to I think Mountain Studio or Mountain View or something, but Joseph and Adrian really stepped up their game. Neptune calls them Joah-Fish and Enegin, obviously, by their superhero names. In my headphones, I could hear the sound of the snow-clearing trucks in the talkback mic. It was comforting, reminding me ever so gently of the outside world, of the piles and piles of snow still on the streets, and of how the resignation to snow affects the Montreal mentality.