Nine Bands Share Their First Recording
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For musicians of all ages, one of the most exciting things in the world can be digging your teeth into a brand-new project. With fresh faces and skill sets, the experience can make music feel brand new again for many. So we appreciate it when bands are willing to step back and share earlier works that haven’t seen the light of day.
We asked eight acts, including Rubblebucket, FAWN and ARMS, to share their first recordings as a band and talk about this process, and they were generous enough to revisit their beginnings. Feel free to share your own first recordings in the comment section below.
4. Brass Bed – “Hope”
“Listening to ‘Hope’ again, I’m struck immediately by how young we sound, but also by how much of current Brass Bed is already evident in it. Jonny and I tracked this together in my parents house during my first college winter break in 2002 on a Yamaha AW16G digital recorder which we called Simone The Sixteen Track Stimulator. That device would go on to record many early Brass Bed demos and recordings ’til it was retired in favor of a Cubase/Firepod rig some time in 2006. This is the track that initiated our interest in studio experimentation and combining odd ambiance and textures to otherwise straight-forward pop songs.
“Behind my tinny squeak of a voice and overwrought lyrics, you can hear what I like to imagine was Jonny’s first discovery of the beautiful psychedelic sound found in manipulating the delay time on a cheap delay pedal. I know it was a revelation for me anyway! My obsession with dissonant passing chord tones is already in place, and also the lyrical use of religious imagery often found in my songs. On a scale of shame to embarrassment, I’d give this one a ‘nostalgic novelty.’
“While the song definitely lacks the gravity I thought it had at the time, it’s youthful low-fidelity and playfulness make it really charming. Not bad for a couple of small town 18-year-olds. (Fun note: we later recorded a rock version of this song which we called ‘A New Hope’ or ‘Episode IV’.)”—Christiaan Mader