10 Things I Hated (And Loved) About Recording My EP with Jeremy Snyder and Friends

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Wurlitzer electric piano

I got to play a Wurly for the first time!

This post has been a long time coming. Sorry for the delay. As you may have heard, I’ve been dealing with some pretty major things over the last few months. I was just playing my piano and going through some solo arrangements of my songs and I remembered that I had yet to write this. So, here goes: the 10 things I hated — and loved — about recording my EP with Jeremy Snyder, and friends.

What I loved

1. It made me a better songwriter. I was just playing one of my older songs and realizing what a cheesy American-pop funk I was in when I approached Jeremy in the first place. Thank you sir, for pulling me out of that. I’m having to rearrange all the songs on my record for solo piano, but it’s working out surprisingly well. (I had a few people ask me how I planned to pull this off live, and up until recently I had no answer.)

The songs that aren’t on this record are starting to sound more like they’d fit in with the ones that are. I’m also taking more risks with chord changes and doing more interesting things with the new songs I’m writing.

2. It was funner than fun. I recently heard that funner is now in the dictionary. I don’t know if that’s true, but it gave me an excuse to use it in a sentence.

3. I had my first taste of a Common Market sandwich. I know, I know. I’m a loser for never having experienced the greatest sandwich place in town prior to 2013. I must say though, it was worth the wait.

4. I got to work with really awesome musicians who are way better than me at everything we do. David Curran. Stephen Morrison. Seth Worley. You’ll probably never, ever, ever read this blog. But if you do, I just want to say that it was such an honor to work with each and every one of you. I am proud to have your names on my first EP.

Oh yeah, I guess I shouldn’t leave out Jeremy Snyder.

5. Jereme and I (my husband Jereme – not to be confused with the producer I’ve been talking about this whole time) conceived our first child on my last night of recording. Sorry if that’s TMI. I really don’t care. It brings a whole new level of significance to the experience of recording this EP. And even though she’s in heaven now, I know we’ll still get to meet our little angel someday. I’m calling the baby a “she” because I just have this feeling it was a girl. Only time will tell…

6. My record kicks ass. And yes, it’s done. And yes, if you contributed to my fundraising campaign, you’ll be getting a pre-release copy soon (along with any other perks you selected). And if you didn’t contribute to my campaign, guess what?!? You still can!!! Send a Paypal gift to my e-mail address: info [at]selwaluke [dot]com. You can also preview a track here.

What I’ll do differently next time

1. Spend more time with Jeremy in the post-recording / production phase. I pretty much let him take the reins after we finished recording all the studio parts. I think next time (if he’s cool with it), I’d like to spend more time working with him on all the extra production stuff. I really want to learn more about that process and have more of a voice in that part of it. Looking back I also feel like the whole thing went really fast. Especially the vocal recordings, and I’m super picky about vocals.

2. Hate more stuff (for no other reason than to piss Jeremy off). Every time someone asked me if I liked what they were doing musically, I said yes. That’s because it was true. I did like everything. Probably one of the reasons why it all went so fast. But I also didn’t feel very confident about speaking up because I think I was still trying to understand myself as an artist and figure out what my record would sound like as a full-blown production. After this EP, I’m feeling a little more confident. I’ll probably have more opinions the next time around, and I just might try to make some of them negative.

3. Run my fundraising through Kickstarter instead of Indiegogo. (Not that I think it would have made a huge difference.) As my campaign was coming to an end, a few people (one of whom didn’t contribute a dime) messaged me and said “you should use Kickstarter next time around. It’s more popular and gets more traffic.” I was a little bothered by this when it came from a guy who didn’t seem to care at all whether or not my record was successful. But just for “kicks” I think next time I’ll give Kickstarter a shot and see how it goes.

4. Make Jeremy rap on a song.  I don’t really think this warrants an explanation…

The loves outweigh the hates by two, so on the whole, I’d say this was a pretty decent experience.

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