Peterborough newcomers Lonesome have just dropped their debut EP ‘To Myself, From Myself’ that shows their particular brand of post-rock that uses ambience and harmonies to create an epic yet melodic experience. Bassist Chris Roberts said “We try and take the listener on a journey through our songs, and with that comes the big epic parts, and the quiet melodic parts. Hopefully that journey sparks some emotion.”
We caught up with the band to find out about the recording process and how ‘To Myself, From Myself’ came to be.
Recording ‘To Myself, From Myself’ was a long but rewarding process. We wanted to approach this record in a way that allowed us to be as creative as possible with no constraints of time or budget. Our guitarist, Will, owns a studio called The Den Production Studios in our home city of Peterborough, so it was a no-brainer to record there, with Will at the helm and his trusty intern, Ben Cotton, engineering.
Tracking started on 23rd September 2017 with a five day stint of drums. This allowed us to take as much time as possible finding preferred microphone positions, tunings and refining parts. We approached the drum tracking in a very relaxed manner to maintain a positive atmosphere, even in the most challenging of situations, taking breaks in-between songs while we edited the previous song’s takes together.
As most musicians will know, tracking can be such a stressful experience, especially when things just aren’t going right. However, fortune was on our side and the drum tracking was a very easy process in the end.
After a brief break from the studio we returned for a week of guitar tracking on 1st October 2017. During this time the outside shutter at the studio broke, so we decided all three guitarists (Jay, Paddy and Will) would stay at the studio. Although this seemed like a less than ideal situation it actually aided the recording process. We were able to continue tracking late into the early hours of the morning and then pick up when we like the next day.
Most guitar parts went down quite quickly with a few re-amps required here and there to aid in frequency distribution and avoid some mountainous EQ curves.
We took almost two weeks off between guitar and bass tracking so that all necessary compiling and editing could take place before Chris laid down his parts on 20th October 2017. After a challenging first day we found that the intonation and action on Chris’ bass was unworkable. There was a large up-bow in the neck and any notes past the 7th fret were flat —our first and only issue we encountered during the recording process! After nipping to our good friends at Music Street in Huntingdon we had a working bass and stayed late into Sunday night finishing up the last of our bass tracking, which I recall fondly was the intro to ‘Remember’.
After a short period of respite we started to write and demo the vocals to the record. This is somewhat of a strange writing process, as readers may be aware. The reason behind this back-to-front working was to allow the vocals to take on the role of enhancing sections and melodies rather than being the main focal point. Our idea was to look at the vocals as another instrument.
We spent a lot of late nights in the studio over the following weeks sculpting vocal melodies and lyrics out of voice memos Jay had recorded, mostly melodies with nonsensical lyrics.
Once the vocal writing process was complete we then re-tracked our written vocal parts from the demos. This was a relatively quick process only taking around two days to complete. Even then some of the demo vocals made it into the recordings as, frankly, they were hard to match in terms of delivery.
The final recording session to take place on ‘To Myself, From Myself’ was on a snowy 10th December at Half-Ton Studios in Cambridge. The sole intention of this session was to track piano; however, the studio’s extensive collection of keyed instruments was laid out in front of us and of course it would have been rude to not add Rhodes and even a Hammond organ to the record for good measure. With this final day of tracking complete we left the record in the hands of Will and Ben for mixing and Alan Douches at West West Side Music for mastering.
Lonesome‘s debut EP, ‘To Myself, From Myself’, is out now and you can download it from iTunes(here).