Song #1: Set Me Down
Here's a scary (to me) statistic: I recorded the bones of the song that became Set Me Down, track #1 off of my upcoming single, in 2012. I can't capitalize numbers for emphasis, so let me spell that out: TWO THOUSAND AND TWELVE. That was, let's see...about six years ago? That's way too long, and that being the case, releasing these two songs in 2018 is really intended to function as a sort of throat-clearing in advance of the truly new shit coming down the pipeline later on in the year.
In 2012, when I decided I wanted to pull Set Me Down together, I was about halfway through a one-year stint as a federal law clerk in Augusta, Georgia. I lived in a one-bedroom loft apartment (pictured here) about one minute from Augusta's....hmm...."minimalist" downtown, and it was actually pretty swank as far as that sort of thing goes. My fortress of solitude, replete with exposed ductwork, humongous windows, and an incongruous but fully functional garage door to the bedroom area, also came with sufficient space to set up some recording equipment, so, sometime in the dead of winter, I programmed a lazy-in-a-good-way feeling computer beat and tracked some guitar and vocals over it.
Before that, though, in TWO THOUSAND AND ELEVEN, when I was still in LAW SCHOOL, when I was a TINY, TINY BABY, I'd recorded a super-rough demo of the song in my even rougher music space in Athens. It employed live drums, which I didn't and still don't play particularly well, and as a result features timing that's way off, but you can check it out here as a teaser for the real thing. I map out of most of my songs this way before recording them for real, so if this is something people end up enjoying, maybe I'll make sharing them a regular thing. Here it is:
But back to 2012: I cobbled together a really bootleg version of Set Me Down in Augusta, crammed it deep into my hard drive, and then basically sat on it until 2017, at which point I dug it back up and, with the technological know-how I'd accumulated over the course of five years, re-recorded the stuff I'd clearly botched the first time around (acoustic guitar, vocals...basically everything that required a microphone), mixed it, sent it off for mastering, and, a few days later, received my finished product.
I'll talk more about the song itself when it goes live in the next two weeks or so (officially, January 12th), but this should be enough backstory to whet your insatiable appetites. If these posts end up coming across as over-the-top self-indulgent, rest easy: I'll trim 'em back a little. This style of marketing/sharing is new to me, in the sense that I'm accustomed to writing snarky articles about video games or heavily stylized Chick-fil-A blog posts rather than autobiographical pieces about writing songs. But I used to love reading Guster's studio journals when they were recording a new album, so hopefully someone out there will find this entertaining in the same vein.