I thought I was afraid of recording. I’m a musician who likes to perform live, creating music in the ephemeral moment and feeding off the energy of a room full of people. Recording always seemed like the complete opposite to me. In the studio, you don’t move from one fleeting moment to the next, you repeat the same moment over and over again until perfect and then it's set in stone, or in a lossless file format. Instead of a room full of people, you are shut in a little soundproof room by yourself, with headphones that feed you nothing but the voice of the producer and the sound of your own nervous shallow breaths.
On stage, I don’t think, I sing loud and make jokes and laugh at my mistakes. But when I’m recording, my mind usually goes into overdrive and I psych myself out before every take. “You’re going to mess up, and then we’ll be on take seven. Shut up. Everyone is tired of listening to you sing this one line. Shut up. You’re never going to get this. Shut up.” My hands shake uncontrollably, and I can’t wait for it all to be over.
But this album is different. My producer is a close friend of mine from high school who came back into my life at the perfect time. There’s a lot less pressure when you’re working with someone who has seen you come to school dressed as a cat on a regular wednesday. The studio itself is a DIY dream straight out of Pinterest, built from scratch by musicians from my hometown. Every time I go there, I feel a little more comfortable. The little soundproof room doesn’t feel confining anymore, it feels like a place I can scream and belt and hit right notes and wrong notes without judgement. This time, it’s different from a stage in a good way. Since I don’t have to play piano or ukelele while I’m singing, I can focus on the sound of my voice and I can think about what each word means to me. And the words on this album really do mean a lot to me. I was in tears while writing most of them (all of them), but putting them out into the world feels powerful, like I’m turning all those nights spent crying until I was sick to my stomach into something worthwhile. Here I am in the studio, almost a year after I wrote these ten heart broken/ brain broken songs. I’m in the little sound proof room, following my producer's instructions to “just try yodelling” over the bridge, and I don’t feel afraid at all. I’m enjoying every minute of it.