On May 27, 2015 | 0 Comments
Okay, I'm a bit behind my intended release schedule, because life has gotten in the way! The new single "Fields of Youth" is nearly done, and will be released soon (with a video, if I can manage it). Also, I'm working on a collaboration with Jared Lockrem and his musical alter-ego Open World:
I told Jared I'd have it done by the end of May, but now it's looking more like June. Better late than never! It's going to be a cool piece, as Jared has written a really wonderful piece of music. I'm just going to add my guitar, lyrics and vocals to it, and we'll see what happens.....
COUCH BY COUCHWEST 2015
On March 18, 2015 | 0 Comments
Okay, my new song has been delayed because I was....doing another new song! Couch by Couchwest is a cool online music festival. The submission guidelines just call for a new, live performance of one of your songs. I wrote and recorded a new one for this festival, called "The Signal Fades". The festival goes through March 21, and there are prizes awarded. You can head on over there and give a "like" to my new one if it suits your fancy:
LYRICS ARE UP
On February 15, 2015 | 0 Comments
Finally got all the lyrics up on the "Lyrics" section--I believe I got all the Atlantica Vox songs officially released, and a few that are upcoming!
FREE ANDROID APP FOR ATLANTICA VOX
On February 01, 2015 | 0 Comments
Keep up to date will all the latest songs, videos and news!
Free Atlantica Vox Android App---now available:
NICE WRITE-UP ON GERMAN MUSIC BLOG
On January 20, 2015 | 0 Comments
Thanks to Walter Hacklaender for the kind Atlantica Vox mention on his blog "A few good times in my life.
Dienstag, 20. Januar 2015
Her Silver Pin
There was one artist that arrived in my inbox these days and he's too special to list him with the others. Kyle Fiske aka Atlantica Vox is a DIY-musician based in Rockport, Massachusetts. He describes his music as a modern retro-wave, with roots in late 70's/early 80's post-punk and new wave music with some reggae, ska, folk and electronica influence. Most songs were based on a some straight chords, effected with overdubs and hall and sung by a deep voice. I enjoy his guitar inspired music with his dark voice. All in all it's a great work for someone who plays all the instruments, writing the songs, producing and publish them. This songs should played in many stations.
THE GREATEST GIFT
On December 01, 2014 | 0 Comments
A new Atlantica Vox song is done, and it's called "The Greatest Gift." This is an original Christmas carol that I wrote for the compilation album called Ethereal Dreams: A Gothic Christmas. I had playing around with the main verse and chorus riff on acoustic guitar for a number of years, and I always had it in mind to be a Christmas song. I filled it out with some electric guitar, lyrics and some synth electronica, and I was fairly happy with the results. The full album is available at:
SIRENS WITH CELL PHONES
On October 04, 2014 | 0 Comments
The latest single---I was pretty happy with the way this one came out, all things considered. I got a fairly nice guitar sound with layered (fairly clean) electric and acoustic guitar tracks. The solo at the end was definitely inspired by some of Johnny Marr's simple yet distinct solos with The Smiths.
ON THE HORIZON......
On October 02, 2014 | 0 Comments
So, what's up with Atlantica Vox? Well, I've been a bit lax about posting stuff the last couple of months, but some things are shaping up for the fall. I will be finishing up a new song for the second annual Christmas carol compilation CD, organized by Dave Smith. Last year's CD was a cool mix of darkwave, ethereal and alternative takes on traditional carols. I covered "Remember O Thou Man", and I thought it ended up sounding pretty cool. This year, I'm doing a completely original carol, called "The Greatest Gift", so we'll see how that turns out.
I'm planning on releasing at least one more Atlantica Vox single this year, as well. I always have about 50 songs half-way done, so this isn't definite, but right now it looks like the next single will be called "Fields of Youth", and I'm planning on having a simple video to accompany it, similar to the one I did for "The Refraction Point of Waves". I shot some footage at my parents' farm when I was home in September, and some of that is pretty cool (although I am noticing that it's increasingly difficult to make myself look like a cool rock star as I advance into middle age.)
And for 2015? Well, I've got a whole bunch of things lined up.....so stay tuned!
Stop by and have a look around the website if you have a hankerin', where you can listen to my songs old and new, watch videos and check out the new "lyrics" section. Any comments and questions are more than welcome.
As always, thanks for listening!
NEW VIDEO--THE REFRACTION POINT OF WAVES
On June 30, 2014 | 0 Comments
Okay, the new video is done. I shot the footage around Rockport and Gloucester, MA, and then mixed in footage from an old documentary on radar. I wanted a slightly abstract, vaguely sci-fi vibe to the video, which is also what I kind of had in mind when I wrote the song. Thanks for watching!
NEW SINGLE - "THE REFRACTION POINT OF WAVES"
On May 28, 2014 | 0 Comments
All right, the new single is out! With this one, I wanted to further explore some of the synthpop and electronica directions that I had started on with my 2013 album "Lights and Rare Things". I had gotten so used to writing everything around the guitar, and for this one I decided to just write it around the synth and rhythm parts. It's definitely influenced by bands like Kraftwerk, OMD, New Order and others. Still, rather than just imitate other bands, I'm always careful to include elements of my own "Atlantica Vox" sound so that there is a connection to my earlier work. In this case, I added some harmonica, and my familiar guitar sound for an extended riff at the end. It's available for sale now at the Bandcamp link, and soon on iTunes and CDBaby. Thanks for listening
ATLANTICA VOX NOW ON VEVO TV!
On March 16, 2014 | 0 Comments
Okay, I've got my own channel on VEVO TV!
This is one of the coolest music video sites---it's like Pandora radio mixed with old MTV. You can search for an artist's videos, and then it will keep playing videos for similar artists that are similar. VEVO can be watched on Youtube, but it's also a separate, independent channel on its own site, or on streaming devices like Apple TV and Roku (which I use). I thought it was pretty neat watching my video for "All the Lights I've Gained", and it was followed up by Adam Ant's "Friend or Foe, and Wall of Voodoo's "Far Side of Crazy." How cool is that!? I have five videos on there, one is my live acoustic recording of "Getaway Plan", and the other four are the super cool videos Daniel Andrews of Trickledown Productions created. Give it a look-see if you get a chance. As always, thanks for listening! --Kyle
"HER SILVER PIN" - NEW SINGLE!
On March 10, 2014 | 0 Comments
All right, here is the latest Atlantica Vox single, called "Her Silver Pin". It's a bit of a medium tempo, modern rock song---some postpunk guitars and a little electronica flavor. I put in a synth/guitar solo outro that I think is pretty cool, and brings in some Kraftwerk/Gary Numan sounds. The song is available for download at the Bandcamp link, and it will be on iTunes and CDBaby soon. Thanks for listening!
"LIGHTS AND RARE THINGS" REVIEWED IN AMBOSS MAGAZINE (GERMANY)
On January 24, 2014 | 0 Comments
Cool--got a nice review from Andreas of Amboss Magazine, an online music magazine in Germany. Here's the link:
The review is in German, but here's the English via Google translation:
"Atlantica Vox is the solo project of mastermind Kyle Fiske from Rockport, Massachusetts. With " lights and rare things" the artist lay...s... his second full length album before . The result is a very varied work, which has its home somewhere between Wave Rock , Singer / Songwriter, Folk and alternative. As a first comparison The Cars came to mind , which celebrated the beginning of the 80 achievements and voice (accent ) by Kyle is not dissimilar from Ric Okasek me.
The opener " Ovation " is kept very quiet, the instrumentation is very subtle , the biting guitar sneaks up rather cryptically . Playful electronics, deferred Soundtrack experiments and a dark atmosphere determine the entry into work . " New bright way" has come much more powerful , has a touch of 80s Wave and shines with a catchy melody line . Here, as in , guided by wonderful Chorus "around your world" comparisons to emerge ( the solo albums by McCulloch Or. ) with Echo & the Bunnyman . " I'll be your king tomorrow" is supported by an oblique electronics and Kyle goes from singer to storyteller. With "One day in the sun" there is a trip to an Irish Pub . With lilting melody offers you pure hawks Irish Folk . Full of energy is brimming with playful rocking " a rare thing" . Discreetly interspersed launched a post-punk attitude , their darker undertone comes more gray in color than black.
Atlantica VOX offers a varied work which does not care about genre boundaries. Overall, it is possible to create a harmonious overall construct whose determining characteristics ( acoustic , electric guitar , subtle electronics , dub , clear , brushed vocals) penetrates in great detail in the songs . Perfecting the good overall impression delivers the soulful dealing with seductive melody lines whose subtlety is evident at all times . ( andreas)"
ATLANTICA VOX--2013 IN REVIEW
On January 09, 2014 | 0 Comments
2013 was a fairly productive year for me on the music front, and really saw the return of Atlantica Vox. I had put out my first Atlantica Vox full-length CD, “The Phantom Town Demos”, in August of 2008. As I’m a very prolific songwriter, I just assumed I would be putting songs out on a more regular basis. My original plan was to just start releasing singles every month or two. As I got working on things in mid 2009, though, I had enough songs coming together that I decided to put them into another full-length album. I had made the technical switch from recording on my stand-alone hard disk ministudio to doing everything on my Cakewalk Digital Audio Workstation on the computer. As I got working on the songs, though, one thing became increasingly apparent—I didn’t know what the heck I was doing when it came to recording and mixing! I was always pretty confident in my songwriting, and my playing is passable, but as I sought to improve the recording quality on this new release, my “seat-of-the-pants” approach wasn’t really cutting it. I knew my songs weren’t sounding the way I wanted them to, but I didn’t know what the problem was. And, for the first time in my life, I was pretty sure that the quality of my instruments, microphones and recording equipment and software were all fine---the problem was in my general knowledge of audio production. So for many months, I really cracked the books on learning about the frequencies of various instruments, proper use of equalization, compression, multi-band processing, send and return effects, panning, stereo vs. mono tracks, mastering software, and all that fun stuff. I certainly didn’t become an expert recording engineer, but I DID learn a heck of a lot, and even though my songs recorded in my bedroom still didn’t sound like they were recorded by Steve Lillywhite in a multi-million dollar London studio, I was getting them to at least sound pretty balanced and clear, and to capture the vibe I was looking for. While I had the songs all written and mostly recorded by 2011, It wasn’t until early 2013 that I was putting the finishing touches on and getting ready to release it.
I had gotten so tired of working on those 12 songs for several years that I needed a new musical outlet. On one weekend in January of 2013 I wrote the acoustic song “Getaway Plan”, and I filmed and recorded myself playing it live, and released it as a single. This was SO satisfying—the whole thing came together in just a couple days, while the creative spark was still very fresh. Also, as I mostly do layered recording and overdubbing, it was a good exercise to do a live solo performance of a song in one take. I also used a recording technique I had read about to simulate a dual-mic recording, and I was pretty happy with the results.
So, moving up to April, and I’m JUST putting the final touch on the new album, which I decided to call “Lights and Rare Things”. And of course, my computer crashed! I got some sort of email virus that corrupted my operating system, and wouldn’t even let me log on to Windows. When I tried to go to restore points, or run a repair program or antivirus stuff—apparently that just solidified the corruption of the operating system, and the local repair shop said it was a lost cause. Although I couldn’t salvage the operating system, I WAS able to make recovery discs that pretty much rescued all of my song data, so I didn’t really have any major losses on that front. I did, however, have to re-install Windows 7, and then download and reauthorized all of my many music programs and plug-ins, and synchronize them again. This took about a month, but in May, “Lights and Rare Things” was done. I went to Discmakers online do-it-yourself CD manufacturing site, uploaded all my songs, the CD art, and placed my order. I got the package in the mail in a couple weeks, and I have to say, the packaging looked awesome, and the discs sounded fine! Success!
The songs then got up on all the digital sites like itunes, CDBaby, Googleplay, Amazon, Spotify, Last FM, Jango and all the others. I have to say I didn’t sell a ton of copies, but I got very positive comments from many folks around the world (not sure what the connection is, but outside of the US, I seem to be most popular in Mexico and Israel). I also got my song “Ovation” selected by Strummerville, a London-based music-oriented charity founded in memory of late Clash frontman Joe Strummer, and it was included in one of their “new artist” mixtapes.
Over the spring and summer, I got into contact with an old high school classmate, Daniel Andrews. We hadn’t been in contact for 25 years or so, but it turns out he runs his own video production company, specializing in music videos and live music performance! Being from the same background and generation and having a lot of overlapping musical tastes, he got all of my musical influences and appreciated what I was trying to do. He offered to do a short film of four of my songs—it would be about 20 min. long, but he said he would also split it up so that there would be four individual videos for the songs, as well. A nice, young (and pretty) singer in his area, Jamy M. volunteered to star in the videos, and over the summer they were filmed. They were black and white, a little abstract and mysterious, very professional—and I loved them! That was REALLY awesome of Dan (and Jamy) to do that for me. I put a heck of a lot of hours into my music without seeing much financial return, and I greatly appreciated him putting his own time, resources, experience and creativity into that project. And on an artistic level, I’m a one-man band who literally does every single thing, at every level, for my own music. This gives me full control, but it can be exhausting---it was a real relief to just let go and not have to do anything, and have somebody else bring in their artistic vision to the collaboration. The whole film was called “False Horizons”, and the individual videos were for “New Bright Way”, “A Rare Thing”, “All the Lights I’ve Gained”, and “The Unforgettable Sea”, and they’re up on Youtube. Check them out if you haven’t!
And to close out the year, I did a cover of the Christmas carol “Remember O Thou Man” for a cool compilation CD of gothic/darkwave Christmas songs called “Darkness Falls Upon this Christmas”, put together by David Smith. I also finished up an old song of mine called “Gold New Fall Sky”, and released that as a single in December.
For 2014, I’m going to try to release at least 6-8 new songs, some videos, and a live performance or two on video. I will be collaborating with my old college buddy (and guitar mentor) Matt on a techno/rock track or two, and I think I will do another Christmas carol.
And finally, I revamped the website in 2013—and added a discussion/comments section. Come on in—I’d love to hear from you! Thanks for listening----Kyle.
ATLANTICA VOX CHRISTMAS CAROL---"REMEMBER O THOU MAN"
On December 20, 2013 | 0 Comments
Earlier in 2013 I was asked to contribute a song to a project which was to be a compiliation CD of Christmas songs done in a gothic/darkwave style. The basic parameters of the project were that the song could either be an original or a cover of Christmas carol, in line with the gothic flavor of the projects. The project featured a number of different artists and bands, and although some of us are Christian, that wasn't a requirement--the only stipulation was that the songs not be disrespectful towards the holiday.
I decided to do a cover version of the song "Remember O Thou Man", written by Thomas Ravenscroft, in 1611. It's very strange and moving to work with a piece of music that's 400 years old. To think that the melody and lyrics were composed so long ago, and have affected so many different people, in so many different places, over so many years---and I was going to contribute to that in my own meager way. As usual, my vocals aren't stellar, but I think I got a nice overall sound to the song, and added some interesting electronica and guitar elements.
NEW SINGLE IS OUT!
On December 04, 2013 | 0 Comments
Okay, "Gold New Fall Sky" is out, and available for download at the Bandcamp link below (for $1). I recorded most of the music around the time of my first CD, The Phantom Town Demos, in 2008. It didn't make it onto that album or Lights and Rare Things, but I always liked it and finally added the lyrics and vocals and finished it. Hope you like it and thanks for listening!--Kyle
GOTHIC CHRISTMAS CAROL CD
On November 11, 2013 | 1 Comments
Okay, been away from the blog for a little while, but I got some good advice from a friend: "post stuff on your damn blog if you want anyone to go there!" Point taken. :)
So, I will be contributing my Atlantica Vox version of the 17th century Thomas Ravenscroft carol "Remember O Thou Man", which I gave kind of a New Wave update. Should be a cool compilition CD, with interesting gothic and darkwave takes on various carols. If you pledge for the Kickstarter project, you can get all kinds of goodies---including some Atlantica Vox CDs signed by yours truly! Here's the info:
FALSE HORIZONS--THE FULL-LENGTH VIDEO!
On August 12, 2013 | 0 Comments
Okay, when Daniel Andrews at Trickle Down Productions and I started talking about him doing some videos for the songs off of my new Atlantica Vox CD, Dan had put out the idea that he would like to do a short film incorporating four full-length songs, which could be separated out as single videos for those songs. The whole project, however, would consist of those songs, plus video and audio transitions using smaller clips of other songs on the album, to make up one complete work. Although the videos don't convey an obvious storyline, they all feature the same actress (thanks Jamy!), and there is definitely a sense of connection between the songs and images---I think it's a neat, slightly abstract theme that lets the viewer bring their own meaning to the work. I was really happy with the way this came out!!
THE LATEST VIDEO---THE UNFORGETTABLE SEA
On July 10, 2013 | 0 Comments
Here's the latest video from director Daniel Andrews at http://trickle-down-productions.com/. This one is for my song "The Unforgettable Sea". I LOVE this one! It's so cool to really click with someone artistically, and I think Dan has a really good feel for my music and the vibes I'm working with, and trying to get across. So many cool images in this video:
FIVE FOR THE GETAWAY---ATLANTICA VOX SAMPLER TRACKS
On June 03, 2013 | 0 Comments
Above the picture is a link to my new release on Jamendo. This is a site where artists put up songs for free streaming and download. I put together a few tracks off the last album and a couple newer ones, and called it "Five For the Getaway". Feel free to download and share these tracks--they are free, although if folks like them, I wouldn't complain if you wrote some positive reviews on Jamendo! Thanks for listening--Kyle
UPDATES FOR JANGO, STRUMMERVILLE AND UPCOMING VIDEOS
On May 21, 2013 | 1 Comments
The new CD, Lights and Rare Things, has been out for a couple weeks now, and it's making its way through cyberspace. You can find that CD and other Atlantica Vox music on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Spotify and other outlets. I appreciate all the positive comments, and for people taking the time to listen. It's really satisfying and fun to make music and put it out there, but it's also years of work and not a little money---and let's just say that for most independent artists, it's not a moneymaking venture!
I've also put the new songs on Jango internet radio, which is a really great internet radio station. Like Pandora and others, you just create your own station by listing the artists you want to hear, and along with playing those, it will also play similar artists you might like. When you listen to songs on there, you have the option to become of a fan of the artist---and the artist gets notified. I love getting those notifications! Technology can be pretty amazing--I'm just recording those songs in my low-budget home studio and putting them out there, and I'll get the occasional email that "Maria from Santiago, Chile likes your song" or "Yuki76 from Osaka, Japan likes your song". Neat!
Also getting psyched for upcoming videos for a few of my songs being done by Dan of Trickledown Productions. I've seen previews of them, and they're really great, and totally capture the spirit of my songs. Dan clearly has some years experience in filming and editing, as these look really professional, and have a clear artistic vision of their own. Collaborating with a talented artist like Dan is really cool, and I greatly appreciate his enthusiasm for my songs.
Also, this week my song "Ovation" was selected to be included in the weekly mix tape of Strummerville, a London-based charity founded by the friends and family of late Clash singer Joe Strummer, for the purpose of promoting emerging artists. Man, how cool is that---I've been a HUGE fan of Joe Strummer since I was 18, and he's influenced my music a lot. They're a really great charity for promoting music around the world, and in areas where resources for music are scarce:
NEW ALBUM IS OUT!
On May 12, 2013 | 2 Comments
All right, after many delays, Lights and Rare Things is finally out. You can listen to full-length streams of all the songs on the "Music" page of this site, and the downloads and cds are available for purchase on the "Store" page here. Thanks for listening, and I'll be posting some free song downloads, liner notes and other things in the coming weeks!--Kyle
"HOW DOES HE GET HIS GUITAR TO SOUND LIKE THAT?"
On May 07, 2013 | 0 Comments
I just recently got back into contact with an old college friend, Matt R. It got me reminiscing about those days, and how I came to learn to play guitar and write songs.
I was not musical at all in elementary school, junior high or high school. Wasn’t in the chorus, wasn’t in band, and the extent of my musical experience was the required playing of the recorder in Mrs. Hadley’s music class, in 5th grade I think. I had a moderate interest in rock music, and liked some of my older brother’s Kiss albums, and I think I had some of those K-Tel greatest hits albums, and at least one Bay City Rollers album. But I never really clicked with a lot of those big 70s hard rock bands like Led Zeppelin, with the long hair and longer guitar solos, and I certainly didn’t care for those mellow singer-songwriters like James Taylor and others of that ilk. But then, when I was 13 or 14, cable TV finally came to our area, and with it this brand new thing: MTV! Who were all these weird, wonderful bands, with strange videos, tight, catchy songs and futuristic looks, really cool guitars and science fiction keyboards? The Police, U2, A Flock of Seagulls, Devo, The Cars, The Split Enz, The Fixx, Wall of Voodoo, Talking Heads, Berlin, Adam and the Ants, Billy Idol, The Clash, Bow Wow Wow, INXS, Big Country, Missing Persons, Thomas Dolby, Eurythmics, David Bowie, Gary Numan and dozens of others. And aside from the music and the look, the lyrics were really something new. The hackneyed “sex, drugs and rock’n roll” or pseudo-profound lyrics of many of the 70s dinosaur rock bands didn’t really say anything to me, but the things that U2 and Big Country were singing about did. And that’s what I really got out of the post-punk explosion of New Wave music: a band and your songs can be about ANYTHING you want. From the overtly Christian lyrics of U2, to the Celtic folk storytelling influences of Big Country, to the minimalist, abstract approach of The Fixx and Talking Heads, to the weird Americana of Wall of Voodoo—rock and roll was no longer stuck in a cliched, juvenile box. (Of course I later learned that Bob Dylan and others had already broken down those barriers years earlier, but I didn’t know that at the time.) Then, somewhere along the line, I thought “hey---I can do this!”
I think in my junior year of high school, I mentioned that I might like a guitar for Christmas. My parents had my Aunt Rita, who fronted her own country-rock band in Northern NY for many years, pick out an electric guitar and amp for me, and I got that for Christmas. It was pretty cool—a shiny black copy of a Fender Strat, and a nice small amp. Well, I played around with it for a few weeks and discovered something: “holy crap, this is HARD”. The guitar made its way to the back of my closet, where it sat untouched for the next year.
A year or so later, I was a freshman in college. As I had some spare time between classes, I brought my guitar, and made some further attempts at learning how to play, with little progress. I still kept plunking away, however, the rest of that year and over the summer. I even took some lessons from a guitar teacher, but I still wasn’t getting too far. My sophomore year, though, something changed. The first week of the year, I think, I was in my room with my roommate Adam, and I was playing my guitar in my usual terrible way, and I had the door open. My new next-door neighbor poked his head in. He said his name was Matt, and he saw that I was playing guitar. He asked if he could play it, and I handed it over. Matt first tuned the guitar properly (as he did pretty much every time I handed him my guitar over the next 3 years), and then he proceeded to play something completely awesome—I don’t remember what it was. I had not thought it was possible that music like that could come out of that guitar! Matt and I became friends, and I soon learned that, along with being a really nice guy, he was also a fantastic guitar player with top-notch equipment. And importantly, Matt liked a lot of the same music I did!
When I was learning to play guitar, I really struggled with the fact that even when I partially learned a song from one of my favorite bands, my guitar part didn’t really sound the same as what I heard on the record. I remember my guitar teacher, who was an older guy, teaching me to play “Bigmouth Strikes Again” from the Smiths. He taught me the right chords, but it didn’t really sound right. But when Matt showed me how to play it, he explained WHERE on the neck Johnny Marr played those chords, and what type of guitar effects and amp sound he used. When I wanted to play Message in a Bottle, Matt showed me how to set the chorus pedal to get my guitar to sound like Andy Summers, and when I wanted to play Sunday Bloody Sunday from U2, Matt showed me how to use a delay pedal to get the Edge’s guitar sound. When Matt played Message in a Bottle, he sounded EXACTLY like Andy Summers. That’s what I had been looking for!! So, Matt was primarily responsible for getting me over the hump that many beginning guitarists never get over. From then on, although I never became a virtuoso guitar player, I was largely able to play the guitar parts I wanted for my own songs, and to get them to sound just the way I wanted. And I’m still playing and writing a lot.
So, when I wanted to learn the guitar and needed to know the answer to that all-important question,“how does he get his guitar to sound like that?”, I’m really grateful that Matt took the time to show me!
NEW CD---LIGHTS AND RARE THINGS---IN FINAL PRODUCTION
May 01, 2013
Okay, it's finally done. I've been working on the new CD, Lights and Rare Things, for over three years, involving countless hours. I had decided to do all the mixing and mastering myself, and it turned into quite a daunting task--more than I had bargained for. And to top it off, the week I was finishing it, my computer crashed! I was able to salvage all the files, but it was quite an ordeal to get everything up and synced again. But, it's all done, and I submitted the artwork and song files to the CD replicating company this past weekend. It should be available within a week or ten days. I'll post more when we reach the actual release date.
Thanks for listening,
ONE DAY IN THE SUN--LINER NOTES
On March 28, 2013 | 2 Comments
I put out this song a couple weeks ago, and just thought I talk about it a bit. "One Day in the Sun" is one of the new tracks on my forthcoming CD, and it's a bit of an odd duck in that it's not in the vein of the rest of my music. Most of my stuff is modern/New Wave rock, but this one is in the genre of traditional Irish music. I've been a longtime fan of traditional Irish music. I think I first started appreciating it in the 80s as a fan of the Irish folk/punk band The Pogues, as well as the wonderful 1986 album "Fisherman's Blues" by the Waterboys, another band that mixed celtic influences with modern rock and some punk. These bands made me want to seek out more traditional celtic music, and I explored bands like The Chieftans, Deanta, Tannahil Weavers, Eileen Ivers, and a bunch of others. The last few years I've seen the Celtic Christmas Sojourn show here in town (Rockport, MA), and there have been some wonderful musicians there.
So, even though I'm not a skilled, knowledgeable celtic musician, I took the challenge of writing in this genre seriously. I used a drop-D tuning on my guitar, where you drop the sixth string from an E to a D, which gives a bit more of a chiming resonance to the acoustic guitar--this is traditionally used in celtic music. I played a pretty straight-sounding electric bass that comes through okay. The problem I ran into is that there are a couple instruments in the song that I either don't have or can't play: namely, drums and accordion. I used a simple brush kit in my drum machine, and I thought the samples on that sounded like a pretty good approximation of acoustic drums/percussion. I was hesitant to use a sampled tone for the accordion, which has a prominent role in the song. A lot of times sampled instruments, like guitar, brass or woodwinds, don't sound that natural because they aren't naturally played on the keyboard, so their real character doesn't really come through when you do play them as keyboard-controlled sample. But then I thought "wait, an accordion IS played with a keyboard!" So, I was able to cheat a bit and use an accordion sample, and I think it sounds decent enough.
One other thing--with the vocals, I've heard from Irish musicians in the Boston area that one thing Americans should NEVER do when playing traditional Irish music is adopt a phony Irish accent when singing. I think I was mostly successful in avoiding that, but I may have slipped up here and there! And as far as the lyrics, I just wanted to do some first-person storytelling and create an interesting traditional-type character. I hope folks like it:
LIGHTS AND RARE THINGS...OFFICIALLY DONE!
On March 16, 2013 | 0 Comments
Okay, I believe when I put up the trailer for the CD this last fall, I said it would be out in September....aaaannnd....6 months after that, it's done. It's tough to let things go when you're making an album on your own, because once you have all the equipment and software, you're not constrained by paying for studio time or for engineers, and it's hard to stop tweaking, because it can always sound better. But after a while, you just sort of conclude that you're agonizing over details that most listeners aren't going to notice, and it's not an efficient use of your time.
Also, I just kind of stopped comparing my recordings too harshly to professional recordings produced in million-dollar studios. I'm not going to be able to completely replicate that, so I just focused on trying to make sure all the important elements of the song come through, that nothing sounds too harsh, and that it generally captures the vibe I'm going for. I'm reasonably happy with the outcome. I still have to put the artwork together and submit it to the replicating company, so it will still be several weeks before the CD is out, but.....IT IS DONE.
WHAT MAKES PEOPLE CONNECT WITH MUSIC?
On March 04, 2013 | 0 Comments
Hmmm.....if I had the answer to that, I'd probably sell a lot more records! Kind of interesting though, on Jango internet radio, my new song "Getaway Plan" seems to be noticeably more popular among listeners in both Israel and Mexico. What the connection is, I don't know---but I guess that's just one of the cool things about music. I guess I'll just have to work out the logistics of my Jerusalem/Tel Aviv/Monterrey/Mexico City tour!
VIDEO WORK WITH TRICKLE DOWN PRODUCTIONS
February 14, 2013
Okay, I've given an advanced copy of my new Atlantica Vox CD, "Lights and Rare Things" to Dan Andrews of Trickle Down Productions. We haven't decided on the song(s) yet, but a video in some shape or form will be forthcoming later this year. You can check out some of his work here:
Dan and I have collaborated in the past as the legendary shortstop/second baseman double-play combination on the historic 1982 SLC J.V baseball team (well, at least I'm pretty sure we turned a couple of double-plays successfully, and as I recall we did win several games), and this new collaboration is sure to be even more promising! Seriously though, I do appreciate Dan bringing his professional skills to go along with my DIY musical endeavors.
On February 13, 2013 | 0 Comments
Thanks for all the kind words about my new song, Getaway Plan. I was reminded again of how cool modern technology can sometimes be for making connections. To record this song, I used a technique I read about in "Recording" magazine, in an article by Kevin King (recording engineer/studio owner) where he described how to simulate a recording session using multiple microphones if you one have one microphone. After I recorded the song, I emailed him the link of my recording, and thanked him for the article. He wrote back and said that I really nailed the technique he was talking about, and that I got a great recording out of it. That was really nice and encouraging for me, as I struggle with the technical side of music production.
THE RETURN OF ATLANTICA VOX!
On February 09, 2013 | 0 Comments
Okay, I've been a bit behind schedule, but new music is coming from Atlantica Vox! I've also got this nifty new website: www.atlanticavox.com which has this cool blog feature, which I intend to make use of regularly. The new CD, "Lights and Rare Things", is nearing completion and release....after a slightly troubled production! Now, the last couple weeks, I got a little frustrated working on those same 12 songs on the new album, so I decided to take a break and write, record and release a new single in the meantime. It's a simple acoustic song, called "Getaway Plan". Details of that will be announced shortly. Thanks for listening!