Chalk and Numbers’ 2nd EP is a more varied and ambitious recording compared to their 1st EP. The songs have a little more variety compared to the first EP and that lends to a more varied production. Pretty much every song on this EP we had to rely on tape bounces to capture all of the sounds we wanted. We do the tape bounces completely analog just like the Beatles and Beach Boys did in the 60s where we set up multiple tape machines, bounce the 8 tracks into the 2 track and then back into the 8 track where we now have 6 tracks available. If you get the bounce wrong, you either scrap the entire song and start over or live with the blemishes.
I definitely had to learn to live with blemishes on this recording. It becomes clear when you listen to older recordings why they left things that would be considered mistakes in the recordings when you realize how much effort it takes to revert things. It’s not like you click the “undo” button on a computer to go back a previous generation. Of course, the blemishes are what give the recording character and I hope people enjoy listening to Chalk and Numbers’ material to find cool little things (there’s always at least one audible cough on every one of my recordings).
For the tracks, Pretty Colors has lots of tape speed and tape echo effects. All of the tape echos were played live in the studio and we kept experimenting till we found sounds that worked. So Much for the Bay is us revisiting the Pet Sounds vibe with the dark, reverbed sound and the tic-tac bass. Things You Do reminds me if Buck Owens wrote a dark song and my solo has a few homages to Don Rich in it. In the Dark was the most challenging song to work on with reverse guitars, reverse reverb, tape speed manipulation, track bouncing, and autoharp. Boy may sound like the most straight-ahead song, but I think it was the one we fussed over the most to get the sound right with multiple remixes.