Yesterday, I had a chance to dig in to the album I’ve been working on since December. The project is mostly a redux of out-takes from The Return of Spring.
If you’re familiar with the history of Spring, you know that it is the third installment in a seasonal triptych that began in 1996 with The Lessons of Autumn. The second part, The Promise of Summer, was released in 2002.
This out-takes album, so far, is comprised of ten tracks that were recorded during the Return of Spring sessions, but for whatever reason were abandoned. Only one track, “Snake Eyes” (which appeared on the last podcast), had been mixed at the time Spring was released.
Three of the songs—“Water & Wine,” “The Great Divide,” and “Out of My Mind”—were tracked on the same day as “Pullman,” “Fallin’ in Love Too Fast,” and “Focus, Part One.”
"Come Alive" is a rock counterpart to "Everything Is New." "Sparks" was tracked during the same session as "Alphabet People" and "Snake Eyes."
When Spring was at the pressing plant in September, I began tracking four songs that were laying around, in contention for Spring, but didn’t make it to the tracking stage. The songs are “Pillar of the Sun,” “Paper Staircase,” “Seminole Train,” and “Walking on Elm St.”
My goal is to have these songs wrapped up by January 31st. As a group, I’d say they are about 70% there. I should be able to make adjustments over the next few days.
The biggest challenge is making the disparate tracking elements mesh in a way that works for the collection. It’s easy to get a song sounding great on its own. In the context of album flow and content, mixing is sometimes like negotiating.
Once this first stage is complete, the collection will have a definitive sound. With that established, I’ll track three additional songs in February and three more in March, wrapping on March 31st.
On these new sessions, I hope to have some fun stretching my limits. The six songs will all come from the Morning Pages demos from 2008. These sessions produced the song “Lost?” that appeared on Malamander.
Over April, I’ll be mastering the project. I’ll take a month to do this because mastering is like that.