As you've no doubt heard by now, Air Dubai and the Heyday are releasing their brand-new records this weekend at the Gothic Theatre, in the form of a dual CD-release party with Bop Skizzum and Places. Yesterday we presented you with an exclusive advance listen of Wonder Age, Air Dubai's new album. Today we present an exclusive preview of Till We See the Sun, the Heyday's new disc.
As you might recall, in order to finance the new platter, the members of the Heyday appealed directly to their fan base, offering a tiered donation platform for fans that included an array of unique opportunities, from having the band perform at your house to getting the chance to actually appear on the record. The act raised enough money to record six songs.
Once the funds were raised, the bandmembers returned to the Blasting Room for just over a week of tracking at the end of May with Christopher Jak, the same studio maestro who produced their self-titled debut in 2008. The Blasting Room's resident dynamic duo was also involved -- Andrew Berlin engineered and mixed the disc, while the mastering was handled by Jason Livermore -- so, needless to say, the sound is stellar.
The EP is about on par with what you'd expect if you followed the outfit early on: a half-dozen tunes that sound similar to the breezy, Americana-inflected pop that dominated the Heyday's debut. Led by Randy Ramirez, whose vocals are notably kindred to Nate Ruess (the Format, Fun.), the band has mostly retained its striking melodic sensibilities here, and while there are no immediate breakout singles like "Come In or Stay Out," there's plenty of sing-a-long fodder and radio bait to be had.
Click through to listen to Till We See the Sun in its entirety and to read some fun facts about the sessions as told to us by bassist Pete Wynn -- including how the band slept in bunkbeds at the studio and stayed up all night watching Berlin grill up Unicorn Burgers.
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The Heyday Till We See the Sun Self-released
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1. Had a Feeling 2. Good Old Days 3. Fools Go Fallin' 4. All the Time in the World 5. Thick and Thin 6. Midnight Cold
RANDOM FACTS ABOUT THE RECORDING OF TILL WE SEE THE SUN
- Our old keyboard player Jeff played on the recording, but he's no longer with us.
- We had a film crew of some of our buddies come up and record HD video of a lot of the tracking and general fucking around up there, did some awesome interviews, and they'll be turning it into a pretty cool doc video about the whole process. I don't know when it'll be completed, but it should be pretty substantial, and will be awesome for everyone to get a look into the studio life.
- We all basically lived in the Blasting Room through all of this. Slept in the bunkbeds, stayed up all night, watched Andrew make elk burgers on the grill out back, which we called Unicorn Burgers.
- Decided to mix in-house up there, and Andrew did an amazing job. Turned out exactly like we wanted it to.
- We did a day at Backbone Studios outside of Loveland, to get some real piano and Hammond sounds, and Andrew did all of that engineering. Cool to use a real Hammond that would catch on fire if left running all night.
- Steve Melton from the Northern Way did backup vocals with Chris Jak and Randy.
- Members of the Northen Way and Tickle Me Pink sang gang vocals, as well as a lot of our friends.
- As part of our album-funding project, Along for the Ride, a guy named Chase Squires bid on and won the chance to come hang out at the Blasting Room and sing gang vocals. We'd never met him; he drove up, learned the words, hung out and got to lay down some vocals. Really cool to get a stranger involved, and now he comes and hangs out at shows. This is exactly the kind of relationship-building we were looking to get out of Along for the Ride, really personal types of connections.
- Andrew Berlin invented a "feedback machine" out of a little tiny amp that we used to great effect on a couple of songs.
- Coffee, New Belgium and the show Hoarders helped a lot during tracking.
- The sessions went way more smoothly than the first time. If we had had more money, we could've cranked out a full record, easily.
- Speaking of that, we had to choose five or six songs out of a pool of about 15 for this EP, so we have lots of new material. Just a money issue.
- Pretty much all of the bass and drums were recorded live by Sean and I. Not a whole ton of overdubbing.
- During tracking, I made a series of tweets called "Pretentious Studio Tweets" that was just a bunch of bullshit studio jargon that nobody could understand.
- I tracked all of my bass while wearing my 3D glasses I got at Avatar.