After over a year of nonstop work, the self-titled album is finished and available to the world! The CDs are super fun, packaged with a comic-bookish Storybook Companion inside. On the streaming side of things, the album is available on almost every marketplace. It really is an intense project. The music production of the record was our sole focus for 2018, but the parallel processes of creating the story and the art were given just as much priority. The web story is an impressive feat by artist Will Lund, and we see it as central to the release. The semi-animated pages pair the chapters of the story with the songs—an intimate experience that adds depth to the release in a way that we feel even music videos couldn’t touch.
One major difference between this record, and many others featuring a lot of synthesizer sounds, is the presence of real drummers. Orion Torre and Chris Lammers worked hard to serve these songs with grooves and sonic characters that can only be expressed with drums and cymbals. Their work is orchestrated with some processed samples. We used the TR-09 drum machine, and the Yamaha DJ-X [toy] vintage sound module. This approach, on the percussion side of things, allowed for the instrumental pallet to to be a fusion between synthesizers and real guitar (and bass) playing. After all, it has been a trend in the past few decades for songs to be either synth-based or guitar-based, with very few examples of shamelessly employing both.
Another thing we’re proud of is the extraordinary mixing by Billy Oskay in Oregon and Sean Kelly in Weehawken, NJ. Billy used an almost all-analog process, which is a great way to treat digital synthesizers. Sean’s work on Nevada and Cracks in the Wall is cutting edge. Both mixers made bold and creative mixes that made our tracks crispy and smooth—not an easy thing to do when there are so many instruments.
All in all, the release is full of adventurous sounds and captivating storylines, and we are really happy the world can now hear it.