The Studio Sessions Journal: Recording Life in Rear View 6/7/17
Bill (producer) told me to pick the song in advance for the next day. I have a hard time with (what I feel) are big decisions and so I often do not make them until the last minute. This song I sort of just ran with though and it felt right.
For one, I think Life in Rear View could potentially be a good album title. Also, I really like the song when I'm not viewing everything I do with such a hyper-self-critical eye. My friends love the song and many texted me to include it, so I figured that despite the fact that I think there are parts of this song that will not make sense to anyone but me, it is obviously resonating with others in some way. I've realized that songs take on their own meaning to new ears. And that's the way it should be. Ashlee (the best vocal coach of all time) told me that putting your own music out there is, in a way, like putting your child up for adoption. You know that it will give your child a chance at having its best life, but at the same time, it is painful to know that it is now out of your hands. She told me stories of others who have felt similarly.
To me, this song is the start of the story that this album tells. We begin with our protagonist (okay, so maybe it's me) experiencing a lot of big changes in her (my) life, dealing with loss, hanging on for dear life, and feeling frozen as life keeps moving - unable to deal with the endings of big chapters or the continuous passage of time. Having a hard time letting go. I write about time a lot. Or so I've noticed. I think I feel the way I felt when writing this song, quite often. It just takes on new meaning for me as time goes on.
I wrote it in two different sittings. Once, when home in San Diego, the verses came to me and I never thought that I would come back to them. Until one day, several months later, the chorus came to me after reading a poem on Instagram.
Jack came with to the studio today. It can be fun to have new energy and life in the room. He went and picked us up sushi and took some cool photos and videos for later use.
As I continued to embrace this song and let it be exactly what it is, I had a ton of fun. The chorus has a lot of "ooh" rhymes and so Bill and I kept singing the song in this weird operatic voice and changing the words to lyrics both crude and silly. Think "Ooh ooh Bill likes du-ooh-des" and, his reply, "Ooh ooh no I like boo-ooh-bs." Anything with an "ooh" rhyme or slant-rhyme: toot, nude, pubes, anything and everything that a 13 year old boy laughs about. Not the most mature.
Bill and Jack like to make fun of me for chewing incredibly loudly. Apparently it's a thing. They asked me what I was going to do when I'm invited to have dinner with the Queen of England. I joked that I never went to cotillion (but actually, I didn't). Basically I'm never going out to eat with people again. Thanks guys.
We danced around. It really was a ton of fun.
I normally warm-up quite a bit before recording vocals, despite already singing for much of the day because I want to be a smart singer who sustains her voice for as long as possible. But today, I had a bit more of a, "F**k it!" attitude. So I still warmed up (just not as much). LOL.
We broke the song into sections because there is a pretty drastic shift in tone between the verses and the choruses and so Bill had to set things up differently for each. I was meant to improvise at the end of the song. There was one moment where I tried something that really didn't work and started laughing. Bill was like, "You're laughing because you're embarrassed and you shouldn't ever feel embarrassed for trying something out. That's what I asked you to do. That's what you're supposed to. If you mess up it means you really are trying something new and going for it. No need to laugh or be embarrassed. Just ask to start again." Pep talk. He was right.
I hadn't washed or brushed my hair this morning and it was incredibly obvious. Just a side note. I made a mental note to shower as soon as I got home. This post makes me sound gross. I promise I'm not.
Anyway, today was pretty great in terms of learning experiences and all-around good times.
Oh, I also played Bill a couple of options for the next two songs. He told me 3 that he liked equally and asked me to pick between those. It's really hard because we've gotten to the point where there are about 8 songs that genuinely are equal in terms of what should or could end up on this album. Two more spots. There are a lot of options, they all are just different and (as music usually is) it's subjective at this point.
Wish me luck in deciding.