This all started back in 2012. I had played guitar and drums for awhile, but I hadn’t written any of my own songs. My parents surprised me with an amazing birthday gift - recording at a local studio for the day. Not knowing what to record, I pieced together some really bad songs a few days before. As discombobulated as they were, I was hooked. Something about songwriting just clicked.
I was fortunate enough to record at a few more studios the following year with my brother, Palmer. Even though we had an amazing time, we had a few bumps in the road. Being our stubborn selves and not knowing anything about recording instruments, we decided to take the DIY route.
We bought some cheap recording equipment and went to town. The quality started off pretty rough, but we pressed on, read about techniques and watched “how-to” YouTube videos. It was exhausting at times, but also a blast. The whole EP came to life through many hours of trial and error, and every song took many turns from what I originally had in mind.
As we improved our techniques and purchased new equipment, we’d scrap a song that was considered ‘finished’ to get a better quality. On average, each song on the EP has 3 throw-away versions behind the final version. We definitely got burnt out over the years, but being able to look back and hear the improvements made it worthwhile. The great thing about living in the digital age is that anyone can have the power of a studio on their laptop, but there’s also the downside of taking shortcuts and losing the uniqueness of a song. Our unspoken rule was to stay true to the sound of instruments. We’d rather move mics around a drum set all day to find our desired tone than fix everything on the computer and have it sound ‘perfect’. We aimed to capture exactly what happened in the room; mics straight to the amp, no auto-tuning the vocals, what you hear is what we heard. We chased that raw sound, as imperfect as it might sound in the end.
Over the past few years, we operated like a mobile studio. We were both in and out of dorms and apartments, so we’d record what we could without pissing off our neighbors. Every break or vacation, we’d venture back to our childhood home in Michigan. Our parents let us rearrange the entire house - dining room became the drum room, storage closet became the amp isolation booth, cables running every which way (we have the coolest parents). We tried to finish as many tracks at home as possible, but our time was always limited. Even though we never had a consistent place to record at ease, it kept us scrappy. From tracking vocals in dorm closets to building an amp iso booth out of couch cushions in my apartment bathroom, we worked with what we had.
The best part about making this EP was working with Palmer. He is the only reason why these songs came to be. Not only did he record all drums, but he was a self-taught audio engineer. I never felt confident about any of these songs until Palmer got behind the mixing board. Just when I was about to throw the towel in on a song, he’d make it pop. He’s a rhythmic genius behind the drum throne, and we’ll crank up the volume a little more on the next EP so you can see what he’s made of.
‘Let Go’ is a collection of 6 songs that I wrote and recorded over the past 6 years. I put everything I had into this EP, and it still doesn’t feel like it’s enough. Truth is, I’m too eager to start the next one.
Thanks a million for listening, and I hope you enjoy the songs and the stories behind them.