Fascination Grand Chorus' December 2017 release was 5 songs inspired by Wildwood, NJ. It was nice to have a loose theme to work around because it allowed me to to suggest some production sounds to match a beach/shore feeling. Although for this release, there's nothing surf rock but instead we more for Sirens calling and waves crashing on the rocks type of feel.
My favorite track on the EP is Hereford Inlet which is also the one I conflicted the most with the band over. The instrumental tracking went pretty smooth. The tune has a driving rock sound, but I went for a Muscle Shoals Jimmy Johnson percussive rhythm guitar. We also got some great crazy Fender Rhodes sounds running that through a tape echo. Andy wanted a bigger drum sound for this release so most tracks ditched the 1 track mono approach and went with a 2 track stereo drum. They also didn't want to bounce tracks so with no bouncing and the 2 tracks of drums, you are already painting yourself into a corner with 6 open tracks. That would come back to haunt us on this track when after filling up the tracks, Stephanie had no space to double track her vocals which is pretty much their default expectation for every song. I don't think every lead vocal needs to be doubled and I think the single tracked vocal works well for this song. I tried to have each of the 3 parts (verse, pre-chorus, chorus) have a distinctive vocal sound. The verses have some light tremolo for the nautical watery sound. Then pre-choruses are more ghostly with reverb and echo. The choruses try to emphasize the spookiness by using an approach taught to me from Ashley and Justin from Sunshine and the Rain where you cup the microphone while singing. It gives it a close, lo-fi sound, but no need to use any extra eq. I think the vocals came out great, but the band was disappointed that the vocals didn't end up double-tracked, but that's the breaks when doing analog recording - you have to make some trade-offs.
Angelsea ended up using 2 tracks of drums, but each track is a different performance. We originally were going to erase one of the performances but as we were listening to the playback, it sounded interesting with both drum tracks in at the same time with their slight discrepancies.
Sundown was a more 60s influenced song with lots of guitars, but I don't think they dominate the track. I tried to have each guitar contribute little bits similar to how Phil Spector would arrange his tracks. Wait and When Your Mine both are more aggressive straight-ahead songs.