Last Thursday (11/12) the fourth astrid album was wrapped at Canyon Hut Studios in Los Angeles and is ready to be sent over to Tony Doogan back in Glasgow for mixing. It took 5 days, 2 pounds of premium coffee and some god awful studio banter to complete.
The album was mainly recorded live, certainly all backing tracks are live as are Willie’s lead vocals. The closing song for the album, “Give Yourself Away” was recorded entirely live with acoustic guitars, upright bass, makeshift drums and 3 part harmonies. We also tried the Motown vibe for recording our harmonies on this record, 3 of us round one mic and finding our spots.
It was pretty much straight to business the day after Willie and his lovely wife Michelle arrived in Los Angeles. We got up first thing in the morning and did a 10 hour day of pre-production at my house. We set up acoustically so we could figure out the songs clearly. For this album we enlisted the help of Dash Hutton from HAIM to play drums and sing harmonies, the studio is also at Dash’s house in Laurel Canyon which once belonged to Alice Cooper believe it or not! Eric McCann was producing this record as well as playing bass guides till Gareth adds his parts back in Scotland.
Eric produced ‘Feel Something’ for me a few years back and we’ve worked together on every musical endeavor since so I knew Dash and Eric would be the guys to call when you’re against the clock! Our friend Alex Kinnan shot photos and video throughout the whole session.
Here’s a little look at us figuring out ‘Sad Magnets’ at my house. Please forgive the fact I did not get out of my pyjamas that day!
We literally went round to Canyon Hut the following day and knocked out 7 of the 10 backing tracks as Dash had to leave town for the weekend so then we could concentrate on the overdubs. Dash’s brother, Tim Hutton, was looking after us at the studio in his absence.
Once Dash came back we recorded the final backing tracks and it was straight to my vocals, harmonies and guitars after that. The track listing we chose for the album is as follows –
Over The Hill
A Little Understanding
Give Yourself Away
Even though it’s been 11 years since we worked together it did not feel like that at all. Willie and I had so much fun with everyone making, in all honesty, what we feel is the best astrid record yet. It was so easy to do and we just had fun the whole time so hopefully that shows on these songs.
The record is a definite return to the 60’s inspired West Coast sound the band had in the beginning so no better place to record it than in L.A, right? We’re really looking forward to everyone hearing these songs and want to thank everyone who helped make this album go so smoothly. The two Michelle’s we love you and thanks for putting up with us both on a mission! Tim, Dash and Momsy Hutton, thank you for taking us into your family home and looking after us with such warmth, generosity and kindness. Eric McCann, you’re the rock that held this all together and made shit happen, love you brother! Lou Marron Paige, manager extraordinaire and Alex Kinnan for snapping and shooting the action (keeping us mildly entertained also). We could not have done this without the help of Hi-Arts funding so big shout out to Alex Smith for making that happen! Now it’s over to Glasgow to Gareth and Tony for the next phase!