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"It's kind of a mixture of older songs I did by myself or with Cory that we're reworking or adding stuff to and newer songs we've just been finishing this week," Marchant explains. "I was kind of concerned about how everything would work together, being done at very different times, but it's come together."
"I don't think the stuff we're recording now sounds like us live," adds Brown. "We're using the studio as an instrument, creatively, to benefit the songs. I'm sure the Beach Boys sounded really different live in the beginning, too."
Marchant isn't sure about the Beach Boys reference, but he's excited about how the recording process will affect the evolution of the Widowers sound. "I think this will shift how we play live," he enthuses. "We'll get all these recordings done, and we'll want to do new harmonies and add new parts, so I think it will improve our live shows."
Though the ensemble has earned a reputation for sprawling compositions, there's a concerted effort to keep the recorded versions concise. At one point, while reviewing one of the newest recordings, Marchant asks Brown how long it is.
"It's about four, four and a half minutes," Brown replies.
"Let's see if we can cut it down to 2:15," says Marchant, only half joking. "Just verse, chorus, and leave it hanging."
"I like that effect with pop music," Brown offers. "You hear something short, and it makes you want to hear it again."
The approach has certainly worked so far. And the outfit hopes the new disc will continue to stoke its current buzz. Beyond that, Marchant isn't sure what's in store for the band.
"It would be nice if we could get to the point where someone else would release our stuff and pay for it," he muses. "But I never think about touring ten months of the year, the way so many bands do. I'd rather stay home and write songs."
From the sounds of it, Marchant's recent brush with mortality has strengthened his resolve to getting the most out of Widowers. Reflecting on his spotty memories of the hours and days that remain unaccounted for has been both harrowing and motivational. Now more than ever, he's aware that he has to seize every opportunity and maximize it.
"I'm on my last life," he concludes. "This is my last extra guy. Next time, it could be all over."