yo! trying to keep up with this more regularly.
Wilder Maker had a fantastically busy July, playing a sold out Bowery Ballroom show with Natalie Prass, a great Union Pool hit w/new friend band Big Thief, a fun show for the pre-college kids at Pratt, and the last of the tracking on Everyday Crimes Vol III. Currently 99.9% mixed and drifting into my ears. Soon to be in yours! This is the first time in about 5 years something I recorded in my bedroom is going to be made public. It's nervewracking and scary, but the game has changed a lot since then. New gear, new skills, new collaborators, but most importantly, a new comfort in embracing play.
The songs are still serious, but I had an epiphany about two years ago, working on the original version of Hope Springs. I had built the chorus out of digital instruments and samples (wrote the verses after) for no particular reason, just messing around, and it had a bouncy, happy air to it that felt cheesy to me and made me nervous. But I also loved it. I listened to it on a loop for a very long time, grinning like an idiot. Then, paging through the samples I'd culled from previous WM studio recordings, I added one of us all singing the word "DIE" very somberly and put it through a delay so it would repeat on every downbeat. It was impulsive, and the effect was hilarious. I burst out laughing, and kept it looping for a long time once again. Something about it was like scratching an itch. It was simultaneously silly and serious (which, so am I). We resampled it (direct from the 16 track tape) for the studio version we did at the Soul Shop for vol 1:
That sampled sound is one of the anchors of the song to me now, but the way it came about was pure accident, pure goofiness and impulse, trying to exaggerate the mismatch of tones in the original track that was tickling me so much. It was a huge lesson, to just RELAX and follow impulses and not spend any of my hard earned energy thinking about how other people might perceive them. This lesson is something I've known intellectually for a long time. Yet it took this epiphanic moment for me to actually incorporate it into my character and get to work.
Also, when I showed it to people, and remarked nervously on how cheesy it was, no one seemed to agree with me at all. A good reminder that you are never the most accurate evaluator of your own creations, especially when your own insecurities are hanging around. Just make em and set em free.
Anyway, I can't wait to share this stuff with you, and to make more in this vein. One of my favorite things about WM is the openness. We can be at work charting a horn section for an all-analog 1971-feeling songwriter record the same week as I'm playing sampled drum beats into my laptop on a midi keyboard, or filling an entire cheap composition book with vignettes about one character to turn into a one-track LP. No restrictions. Ever.
Here's us at Bunna Cafe. singing ooohs together like a bunch of innocents.
I also had the pleasure of co-producing a song for my friend, the magical CF Watkins, throwing saxophones, finger snaps and all manner of mysterious sounds onto her beautiful song "Stone Mountain," out soon on her I Am New LP.
• started working on a video game soundtrack w/Craig from Miniboone
• co-writing some with a great songwriter
• compilation vol 1 is not out yet (oops) but vol 2 is about to be begun!
• WM EC3 release and tour in October to be announced very soon