Wednesday, October 6, 2010
The Nature of Things - the fourth Francis Friday album
click HERE to get to Francis Friday's "The Nature of Things" bandcamp page!
The Nature of Things is a good companion album to Culture & Consequence. It's a very well rounded collection of material, with all sorts of themes and styles explored during its making. I took my time on the recordings and learned a lot about my craft as a result. There's a lot of collaboration on it which is something I missed in the previous 2 releases.
The whole thing was recorded from about December of last year until about a week ago. Probably the longest I've ever taken on a single album. It wasn't non-stop work, sort of in spurts, but I think that was a good thing. I recorded the usual way.....I play all the instruments in my home studio....which is pretty basic. The photo below shows the space I work in. I record the basic tracks, like guitar, piano, vocals and drums on my vintage cassette 8-track. I've been working with cassette recorders like this for pretty much my whole life. It's not superior recording, but it does have a waning style to it and it's nostalgic and comfortable to me. I then dump it onto pro-tools and do the overdubs and mixing digitally. It's a nice balance of analog texture and feel with digital accuracy and control.
The cover art came from Rebecca Posner, an artist I discovered at the Greenpoint Open Studios this past weekend. She was part of a group show at one of the old factories by the East River and her work really spoke to me. I was delighted when she let me use one of her pieces for my album cover!
Divided in the Rain was a fun one to do because it was an older song that I transformed into a country ballad duet. I'd been doing a few shows with my friend Rachel Mason and she was kind enough to collaborate with me on the recording. We did the session in just a couple hours and that was all it took.....I really love the way our voices work together! To add the final touch of country, I found a guy on the craigslist musicians community to play the sweet sounding pedal steel guitar. I didn't even meet him, it was all done through email and file transferring. Great work though (he also appears on the song Memphis Summer Dream).
Another fun one was the 3-part harmony of myself with good friends and long-time collaborators, Rob Markoff and Jonathan Cole. While on my tour down south, I was touched by the pure soul of gospel groups, especially The Swan Silvertones. The song Therapeutic Confessions is basically a gospel song but replacing the idea of god with the practice of psycho-analysis. Pretty fun!
my gospel group...
I really think this is my best album ever and I hope you do too!!! Also, if you haven't done so already, be sure to check out my Culture & Consequence album I put out last year. It was a pre-cursor to this one.
The entire album is available for free. Download the zip file below.
Labels: The Nature of Things