Recording Days 2-4: vocals

Recording vocals for my new album was a blast! Instead of booking a date at a high-end recording studio, I went to a tiny, chill, low pressure, home-studio for my singing. We’re doing the rest of the instruments in fancy studios, but when it comes to singing from my soul, I need the vibes to be slow-paced and intimate. People can tell when a singer is faking the emotions. I need time to crawl deep inside of the song.

I meditate on the song meaning before ever hitting the record button. For the one about my ex-best friend who I love dearly forever, but who I found out was lying to me about all kinds of things for years and stole my money, I looked up her instagram. I thought about how I miss her and what I would say if I ever ran into her. How would I explain that I love her just the same as always but can’t trust her enough to be in my life again?

For my song about struggling to break free from negative cycles (addictions/depression) I thought of my friend I watched go down hill, wayyyy down hill from alcohol. I also for once in my life, welcomed the heaviness of depression to return and take over my body just for the hour while I sang. I could feel it like an invisible dark cloud hovering over me, wondering why I’d invite it back into my life after years of never even calling to say hello.

Despite the heavy emotions in some of these songs, the process was super fun and so rewarding! Recording vocals when I was younger was painful and tedious, always feeling like it wasn’t good enough. “Lemme sing that one again, I can do it better!” I would say over and over again to the sound engineer’s fading patience. But now I feel like I have much more control and usually knock out a great take on the fist try. All those years of voice lessons do pay off! Hear that aspiring singers? Don’t delay, go take voice lessons. Don’t wait a decade like I did.

More recording stories to come!

RecordingJesse Strickman