Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Two Years in the Making

It was more than two years ago that the Love Letters first went into to studio to lay down the basic tracks for four songs. We wouldn't finish recording, adding the last overdub, until the following summer. Before we even went in, I had been in contact with John Collins about producing us. That came about for a few reasons.

For starters, I don't exactly trust my own ears to get the mix/production I really like. For as long as I have been recording, I'm still not sure how to pinpoint what should be done. During this time, I was listening to the first New Pornographers album, Mass Romantic, and thought, That is what we should sound like. Male/female harmonies, keyboards blending with raw guitars, hooks galore. There was also the story Mr. Collins told me during a phone interview several years ago, about mixing one of the NPs' songs for a commercial and emailing the finished product to the people making the ad. I figured if he could do that by mail, maybe he could take raw tracks and polish them up.

He said he'd be willing to do it, but once we finally got things done, he was in the midst of traveling from Vancouver to New York to mix what would become the New Pornographers' latest Brill Bruisers album. This just happened to coincide with Aimee's departure from the Love Letters. Oh, the times that try men's souls. (And women's too.)

Well, tenacity paid off and over this past weekend, the Love Letters FINALLY had a record release show for a double 7" record. There are 4 songs, one on each side. Two of them were produced by Collins. Two were painstakingly mixed by the band and studio whiz Dave Cerminara to make sure they didn't completely pale in comparison. After awhile I just wanted to get it out so I resigned myself to the idea of revamping the record "label" of my previous band, Igor Records.

The show took place at Club Cafe, a nice as place as any to have such a shindig. (I should also add that the weather held up really nicely.) In honor of the special occasion, Aimee rejoined the band for the night and we became a quintet. My ears were clogged, as a result of walking pneumonia that I think I had for about two weeks prior. So it was hard to tell exactly how loud I was (really freaking loud, apparently), but things held together really well. There were people there taking pictures, though the only time I showed up in one was in a group shot. I guess I'm not that interesting to shoot as a performer.

Great Silence, a band made of up co-workers past and present, also played. I think it might've been their second (maybe third) show. Their one singer didn't have any pipes that night so they did mostly instrumental stuff, which sounded like My Bloody Valentine or Bowery Electric: droney riffs with a lot of spacey guitar textures. Though things sounded tentative, it was a good time. Can't wait to hear more from these cats.

The picture at the top of this entry is our record cover inside Sound Cat Records. They have copies of it, as does the Attic Record Store and Desolation Row (which is inside Caliban Books). If you're in Pittsburgh, check out the records there. If not, email me and I can get you a copy.

I realized earlier in the day, that everything I've done with the band over the past two years was building up to that evening. It kind of freaked me out. Now - what's next?

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