On my birthday, December 5th, we finally released the album, Hurray! it's done! I couldn't wait to put it up and share it with everyone and its so great to finally share it with the world. I hope you enjoy what you're hearing, we had so much fun making it and it has been a huge journey just for this one 7 song album (ep? I don't know--album certainly sounds more authoritative).
Anyway, I think its important that I write a few things about it as it has been the central focus of my life for the better part of a year and a half so here we go.
Miguel and I got together in May of 2015 to play music and see what would happen. We had already become great friends at school and it seemed like we should go ahead and give it a try. So he came over to my parent's house in Memphis and we started to clunkily try to navigate the songs and see how it worked out. This is where we got a sort of handle on how some of the songs would turn out, and surprisingly, after a couple of weeks, things started to lock in.
Miguel had a bandmate from other groups we had been in named Griffin. Funny enough, I don't remember the actual experience of first getting into a room together-the three of us. This is probably because it seemed so easy to fall into place, show Griff the songs and see what he would do-It shows how much he contributed to the songs when you listen.
That was our summer of 2015-spending multiple days a week in Griffin's backyard practice loft rehearsing and arranging and jamming and finishing as many songs as we could. Bouncing between Griff's house and the late great Republic Coffee, smoking cigarettes and talking about nothing. At the time we were called City Middle (a song by The National that I adore). We played a lot of shows around town on Pants Tour with Smith7 records and the wonderful family that we have there and around with other bands at bars in town.
At the end of the Summer, our friend Wyatt offered to let us come record at Visible Music College, where he had access to the recording studio, and we jumped at the chance. We went in on a very hot summer afternoon and Wyatt set up the studio for live tracking. We did tracks 3-6 straight through, two takes or so apiece and that's what's on the record--the basic guitar, bass and drum tracks were tracked live, no metronome, just as plain as we played them live. Albeit, you can tell with some changes in tempo, but the human-ness of the album really comes through in that way and the sound we got was what we were hoping for--3 other tracks we recorded that day did not end up on the record. The next day I recorded vocals alone but only kept a few from your song and turkish silver.
Griff stayed behind in Memphis and Miguel and I went back to school (side note: Griffin ended up landing a role playing bass for Elvis in the Million Dollar Quartet show, so he kept busy). Miguel and I kept the band going with our friend, Seth. Seth is a complete musical genius and composer and I think he needed an outlet to play loud and there we were-it was a great fit. We played shows in New Orleans and started gaining some traction-we released a early mix and master of your song on December 5th of 2015, and played shows what seemed like constantly. We even got to drive up to Memphis in November and play a show with one of my all time favorite bands Young Jesus-an impossibly exciting event for me. We recorded Middle at the Loyola studio with Scott Philibert the same way as before-live, quick and painless. We left the studio in four hours and thats what you hear on the record. We kept this up through the spring when Miguel had to go back home to Memphis.
Summer of 2016 I mostly spent in New Orleans. 2016 from pretty much day one on has been one of the most difficult years of my short life. So many people I knew have died and friends of friends and family members too. Its been a rough go. Over the summer, I had a close friend from high school, Grant mix the record as I finished putting overdubs on the songs. I'll never trust dropbox again. Ever. Anyway, we managed to get the majority of the album finished and just before the beginning of the school year, I recorded the intro and outro tracks at my house in New Orleans.
People would always come up to me and say, "I like the band name, its a reference to Central City NOLA." This got under my skin and I frustratingly went about trying to rename the band, I settled on a lyric from the Young Jesus song Brothers: "Grandpa grew trees, now the green grows through our spot" and that was it. I felt like it fit more with what I was writing, it was a lyric I would always sing to myself and it got more votes than any other candidates when I asked my friends so that was it.
I got the crazy opportunity to fly to Boston to have my album mastered by Jeff Lipton, who did my favorite album to date (Volcano Choir's Repave).I flew to Boston in September with my Mom and met Jeff who was so kind and complimentary and made my album exactly what it is-I wouldn't trade this for anything. I feel so fortunate to have worked with him.
That's how the album came to be and here it is. We're planning to tour this coming summer and are working on new stuff always. Sorry for any crazy grammatical other atrocious typos. Thanks for reading.