So over Christmas break Matthew Lovelace got to come visit for almost a week, and in that time we got to work on his album. It'd been awhile, and while Fred and I had done some work on it on our own, we were starting to lose the feeling that we all knew what we were trying to do and where we wanted it to go.
What an awesome week that turned out to be.
Some of the demos he brought in were good enough to use as final tracks, and between the work we got in on those and the work we did on pre-existing tracks, we got together almost the entire album. It's not finished, and all these songs might not make it (I've got 12 "definites" on my iTunes right now, but there are at least that many waiting in the wings that we could work up pretty quickly), but now there's a shape. I can listen to all that we've worked on, and there's a flow from song to song.
This is probably my favorite part of making albums. The bones are almost all there. It's just about fleshing things out now. Adding parts (or whole songs, even), changing the order around, thinking about the tone and feel. It's turning out a little quieter and more low-key than I'd expected. I'm excited for people to hear it.
(Parenthetically, this is also my favorite part of making albums because I can hear past the mistakes. Anything that's not right is just an opportunity to make the song better. This is in stark contrast to the deflation of getting a CD back from the presses and listening for the first time. "Well, that's not right. And it's there. FOREVER." (Second parenthetical: this feeling goes away after a couple of months.))
Still, there's a feeling that maybe the whole form is going to disappear. Not music, obviously. But as the media for music pushes towards electronic only, and people more and more buy music by the song, making a whole album seems like an archaic idea.
But I don't care. I still love collecting songs into groups of 10-14 and trying to get them to add up to something greater than the sum.