Remnants from The Barn: A Makeshift.
Working full-time on 2 albums in the last year I couldn’t make myself get excited to start another – not even a single track. Particularly not something I had already attempted, failed and quit midway through mixing eventually scrapping it off the 2nd EP – …for the most part.
Since the release of my latest album in March, I found myself in a rot, unable to focus as I transitioned into the next phase of the project, living a wild fantasy, – learn to – write.
After several weeks of painful inactivity, mind-numbing confusion and endless waves of frustration, I gave in. I needed a distraction.
Why not open an old wound?
I wrote Away With A Fairy sometime in 2011. A guitar-centric, straight up folksy tune that evolved out of a repeating guitar riff that loops throughout the song.
Wanting to try out a different approach to producing, I experimented on tracking drums first and build over it.
Ian and I worked on the arrangements by exchanging ideas. We drew story lines, diagrams on a white board trying to make sense of what we understood, then figuring out how to translate those ideas into drum lines.
It’s obvious neither one of us had an idea what we were doing or what to expect but we had fun. Like working on a puzzle, the process was tedious, boring and frustrating -but rewarding. Like many other pursuits, it was mostly trial and error. We took so many breaks and one time almost called it a day, but we got back inside the studio and continued. When we could no longer think of something else to add after a day of tracking, we were both exhausted of the work but relieved it was over.
We both particularly liked Wednesday Nights by Sleepercar and was a big influence to how this all came out. We reveled on its song dynamics. Took cues from the subtle drum arrangement. Jim Ward’s raw intensity. In fact, we love everything about the song. But more so is because it was simple. Honest. Delicately vulnerable.
It always amazes me how something so subtle, vague and abstract could spark an idea – stirring the senses, influence emotions, ask questions, alter change, take risks.
We were immersed.
Day was a wrap.
But not long after we tracked drums I received news that the barn where I built my studio had been sold and I had weeks to pack.
Change of plans.
Over the next few weeks we managed to add keys and vocal tracks with Mackenzie and guitars with Ian. I also added a couple of guitar takes, percussion, vocals and bass.
Disappointed but not surprised.
I had already moved to a new studio when I started working on the mix. I was up with an impossible challenge of making a song out of tracks from different version. After several attempts, I eventually gave up.
It was only after the release of my latest album, Nomad Heart,
two years after Ian and I recorded the drum track in the barn when I resumed the work. I had already forgotten about it since but it didn’t take long to register as soon as I opened the project.
This time I was determined to finish it more than ever. I had already spent too much time over what was missing or could be added. Also I felt I was getting more and more attached to an idea, and suspected this could be the culprit as to why I could not finish the song.
I knew what I wanted but I need to make a decision, and make peace with it. Of course, easier said than done.
Having previous experience helped prepare on what to expect. I had to make the project less complex and set for a goal – a deadline. I wanted to make a choice – I chose to let go.
Nostalgic, I remember the song Wednesday Nights and the places it takes me when I listen to it. I remember the time writing Away With A Fairy, possibly drunk, definitely lonely. Recording the tracks in the barn until hitting bounce on the final mix. Trying. Failing. Starting over again.
Those were the days. Simple. Honest. Vulnerable.
This one goes like an open letter
Strapped a tide in a misty wave
Enveloped is a disco frantic
Simmered down to a fragile stare
Oh my life
I can’t promise I will heal you
But let me tell you I never fold
Once again I…
Hurry up highway cop
Down to my one way drug
Once again I…
Hurry up highway cop
I’m down to my one way drug
Take the wheel to my silent plea
Take me on a time machine
Let me in
So I can fill the part that’s missing
In your heart
Decide to witness
Decide to stay
released May 25, 2018
Written, produced, performed, recorded, mixed by Renekarl Paradela
Vocals / Keys Mackenzie Most
Drums / Guitars Ian Pineda