It’s official, the new album is in the can. It’s a wrap. Done. Finito.

Here’s some details about the who/what/where.

Hey y’all, Kevin here. You probably know me as Kevo. I’m the dude that’s been hanging around the van and the stage for going on about three years now. I’m going to be writing the recording from my perspective. I will likely be writing a lot more of these posts as we go because it’s something I like to do.

The beginning

Songs tend to reshape over time. Some speed up, some slow down. Pierce isn’t afraid to let a tune evolve into a natural groove, almost expecting it to keep changing with time. It keeps me on my toes as a player, which I enjoy.

We started with a a batch of eight songs that Pierce had been fleshing out on the road and around campfires. Once the timing was right, we set up shop in Pierce’s childhood home to record the tracks. Joined with longtime collaborator Adam Johnson (Sound Lab Studios) at the helm of capturing sound, the goal was simple: strip the recording down to a bare setup, incorporating the third, invisible band member; the room itself.

Stripped Down

Tracking in the living room
Photo by Adam Johnson.

We cleared out a space in the living area and sat on opposite sides of the room, Adam capturing the sound of the high ceilings, wood, and furniture between and around us. We played acoustic guitars. We put amps in the bathroom that was in the process of being remodeled. We turned those amps up. We even brought out some traditional instruments like mandolin and banjo when needed.

Raw. Gritty. Honest.

These are a few of the words I’d use to describe the vibe we wanted to capture. I think we did it.

As we got into the flow of recording, the song count turned into eleven. Some of the songs were haunting, while some morphed into a carefree bounce. Using the space and comfort of Pierce’s own home challenged us to get creative. Sometimes a stomp here, a clap there, and a scream were just what the song needed. Sometimes we had entirely too much fun for this to be “work.”

That’s a video made on the last day of tracking. Recording doesn’t have to be so serious all of the time.

Gussied Up

With the help of Matt Nielson (Curious Music) and engineer/producer Adam Johnson, we took those raw samples of acoustic instruments, stomps, claps, hollers, and…well, had them gussied up. Matt has an ear for creating textures that sit underneath the acoustic mix so well, it’s hard to tell exactly you are hearing. From an ethereal, droning undertone here and there, to re-amping our acoustic signals into amp tones that make you think and earthquake is happening around you, the sound of this album is hard to pin down.

It takes the listener on a dynamic ride from a campfire to a dream; sometimes pleasant, other times a nightmare.

Final Touches

We went to Sound Temple Studios for mixing and mastering. They have a beautiful and incredibly equipped space set up that isolates you from the outside world, letting your ears and mind focus solely on the sound.

Album release details

Stripped Down, Gussied up will be released on June 2nd. Preorder the album on Kickstarter or get tickets to the Grey Eagle release show here.

Preorder the Album

If you missed our Kickstarter campaign, don’t worry! You can still preorder the album before our June 2nd release.

Preorder Now

Get Tickets

Pierce Edens’ Stripped Down, Gussied Up will be released with a concert at
The Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC the night of June 2nd. Our Nashville friends Boy Named Banjo will be joining the evening.

Get Tickets