When we created our wish list of studios for this next record, at the very top was the analog wonderland, The Bomb Shelter in Nashville. This is where some of our favourite records were made like the Alabama Shakes Grammy award-winner, "Boys and Girls", parts of Margo Prices's, "Midwest Farmer's Daughter" (the one that shot her into seemingly overnight superstardom), and the Langhorne Slim ground breaker, "The Spirit Moves".
Now turn the clock back about 13 years...(cue dreamy ascending whole tone scale with lots of reverb)...we were living in Miami, drinking too many cafe con leches, and eating tacos with our dear friend, Jon Estes. We used to play music together. Lots of music. We also obsessed over the same albums and would dissect every little nuance of them. Fast forward to the present day...Jon made us breakfast tacos this morning at his house in Nashville...where he now runs Studio B at The Bomb Shelter along side studio owner and producer extraordinaire, Andrija Tokic. Andrija has been collecting analog gear since he was a kid and we had been pouring through production credits of our favourite albums mentioned above...trying to figure out exactly how these amazing throwback sounds were being created. Turns out, if you want a vintage, throwback sound, you need to use the same gear. Can I be a gear nerd for a second? I won't get too technical but I just recorded my vocals on the same microphone the Alabama Shakes used. I also recorded on the same RCA microphone that people like Frank Sinatra swore by. John recorded his acoustic with Langhorne Slim's capo he had left lying around the studio. The energy in this place is electric. We were so in the zone that some of my (this is Lisa btw) scratch tracks are what went on the record! The amount of music created here is mind boggling. All it takes is one glance around to see the walls and entire ceiling covered with award winning records and you know you're in a special place. I can't believe we got to add to that energy with our own.
We came down with our band already picked out - some of Nashville's most hard working and valuable players. We used the guys from the band Steelism (look them up!) to record the bed tracks. They have also lent their talents to folks like Dolly Parton and Kesha...pssh no big deal ;) Instant chemistry and friendship. That does not always happen! We brought in folks on pedal steel, piano, and trumpet who are currently touring with Miranda Lambert, Margo Price, and Canada's own - Johnny Reid, respectively.
We then spent three days mixing! This is where the real sparkle happens. This is where you watch the 1/2 inch tape spin, you add cool effects, and really create "your sound". We got to watch Andrija and Jon work their magic and we left Nashville with our new mixes in hand. A whole new album. A fresh sound with vintage charm that sounds like you were right there in the room with us.
But wait - tacos! We know everybody talks about the BBQ in Nashville but for us veggies, we were all about fried avocados, a side of plantains, and a cold horchata to soothe the vocal chords. We highly recommend the East Nashville staple, Mas Tacos. Just be prepared to wait in a line out the door because they are THAT good. We even got the t-shirt. No really, we did! Pic or it didn't happen, right?
Thanks for reading - we cannot WAIT to get this album to you! Stay tuned for pre-order deets!
Lisa & John