Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Musical Blueprints

Many times during the recording process Shawn(producer/engineer), myself, and any of the number of people who have been working on the album with us, will listen to what we call a “reference point,” which simply means… listening to other albums to get ideas on musical concepts like…arrangements, vocal harmonies, electric guitar sounds, rhythms, production techniques, and on and on and on. Basically we’re saying, “These people made great records, how can we do the same”?

There is SO much that goes into making a record and these artists mentioned below have laid out some unbelievable blueprints to follow. Honestly, there are tons of great artists and songs that have shaped the sound of this CD, but here is the short list of the ones that we spent the most time with…

I highly recommend you check out these artists and albums when you get a chance, they are all fantastic in their own ways:


Joe Purdy: Last Clock on the Wall, You Can Tell Georgia, Only Four Seasons
- Joe has by far been the #1 influence on the CD. You’ll hear bits of his sound sprinkled throughout every song. In my opinion, no one is making music as pure as he is right now.
Songs most heavily influenced by Joe on “Colors and Chords”: Tangerine Eyes, Something Good, Sidewalks/Mary Jones, Words, Bobby Jones.


Josh Ritter: The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, The Animal Years
- Josh is an absolute master with words. His music is a blend of folk, rock, and singer/songwriter. He has a very unique sound that we quite envy and referred to often. His song “The Temptation of Adam” is one of the greatest non-cliché love songs I’ve ever heard.
Songs most influenced by Josh: Lock on the Door, Words.

Damien Rice: 9, O
- You don’t quite understand how much of a genius Damien is until you start breaking down his songs. They make complete and incomplete sense all at the same time. Not many artists can write a song as moving and heart-wrenching as “Rootless Tree”, “9 Crimes”, or "Delicate" while remaining so artful and accessible to listeners.
Songs most influenced by Damien: Waste, Grey, Tangerine Eyes, Silence

The Fray: How to Save a Life, The Fray
-Many of the piano melodies you’ll hear on “Colors and Chords” were inspired by the style of The Fray. I enjoy their approach to piano-rock music.
Songs most influenced: Grey, Lock on the Door, Sidewalks/Mary Jones


Bon Iver: For Emma Forever Ago
- The sound of our CD’s are much different, but his originality is inspiring and thought-provoking. For Emma forced me to take a long look at my own album, and because of it, made some changes that I felt improved it greatly.
Song most influenced: Waste

Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes
- I picked up a copy of their album late in my recording process and I’m forever grateful I did. The vocal harmonies on this record are stunningly beautiful.
Songs most influenced: Words, Tangerine Eyes, Waste

The Beatles: The White Album
- Obviously these guys influenced much of all modern music. We listened to some of these recordings to get an idea of the instrumentation they used to produce those classic sounds we all sing-a-long to. They were masters at making the simple sound so grand.
Songs most influenced: Fixed on You, Words.


The album is not finished quite yet, so if you have any great music that you feel I NEED TO HEAR…let me know and I’ll be sure to listen.


“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
Albert Einstein

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