The Big Crunch

These past few weeks, Murray has been in the basement studio, poring over all the recorded tracks. He’s choosing which takes to use, re-amping things, experimenting with effects, comparing microphones, doing some editing, and on and on. He starts mixing tomorrow at the Hotel2Tango: Murray’s pretty comfortable there, and he’ll be manning the boards for over two weeks. It’s the longest The Dears have ever taken to mix a record, but I personally feel super confident in what’s going to come out of there.

The other day, Murray was working on getting the tracks ready for mixing, when he realised what he had to do: he just said f*ck it, and is going all the way. Now what, you may be asking, does that mean? It means no restraint. Not chaos, but a very careful, controlled density. I mean, this album is huge and full of crazy depth, and I’ve said it before but this is a real Dears album. I really doubt we will get played on the radio, or get a video into rotation, but we were never really good at those things anyhow, so why try to go there?

The strings came in today. We start mixing tomorrow, and today Murray is still tracking at Mountain City. In fact, we are tracking tomorrow morning, right up until we move into the Hotel. But I was at Mountain City when they showed up, just two players, viola and cello, and even as they started to rehearse the simple chords that were to replace the Mellotron, I knew this album was about to be elevated to new heights. This record is going to destroy you. I promise.

I have to go in tomorrow to do my last vocal tracks. I’ve kind of taken the lead on one track, and do some harmonies on others, and I’m always really self-conscious about my vocal tracks until I hear them in the mix. Listening back to a solo-ed vocal take is excruciating, so I try not to do that, but I did realise that I really love singing. It’s a lot of fun. Maybe I should start a vanity side-project? Naah. I’m not a song writer, so I would have to pull a Scarlett Johansson and just do covers, but I’ve always found those sorts of endeavours a bit masturbatory. I have thought of doing a not-lame album for kids that wouldn’t drive parents crazy…like re-worked lullabyes or something. I could do “Asleep” by The Smiths…though that would be kind of dark…maybe forget the whole idea.

At any rate, Neptune and I are going to be at a lot of the mixing sessions (mixing is more toddler-friendly than tracking), so I plan on posting more about how that’s going. Maybe I’ll add some multi-media as well so you can see the crazy lengths to which Murray’s hair has grown.

15 Replies to “The Big Crunch”

  1. hahaha, I hate listening to Vocals Solo-ed!!!! It’s like your naked in front of a football stadium. Glad to hear your album is going well. Your semi lead vocals on 22 were great, can’t wait to see what you came up with for your lead vocal song. Please post murray’s hair.

  2. Amen to NY singing the world’s wee ‘uns (and their progenitors) “Asleep”. I think it sounds like a great idea. Now if you could just find a little muted trumpet to go with it… a nice Harmon mute ought to be just the thing…

  3. Looking forward to the new album and thank you for the updates.The covers idea sounds a great idea.
    Regards to you and the band

  4. As a parent – make an album of kids music that doesn’t drive parents crazy please?? Seriously most kids albums drive parents crazy (in part because we get to listen to them 100 times in a week) but if you could make an album for kids that doesn’t suck musically, something you can actually listen to….

  5. “Oh, The Dears absolutely would not do a cover live. We’ve also never recorded a cover and probably never will.”

    Haven’t you guys covered “Frankly, Mr Shankly” a few times? I could have sworn I’ve seen you play it live before – at the Phoenix, maybe?

  6. grah7830 – after a moment of “did we?”, both Murray and I confirmed that The Dears never covered “Frankly, Mr. Shankly” live. I think we mentioned the idea in an email newsletter once, but as a joke.

  7. Huh…I could’ve sworn I saw you guys covering it once, but you [i]would[/i] know better than I would…so, obviously my mistake. My apologies.

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