I’m releasing an EP called Extras | Volume I today, a four track EP that features several unheard recordings from my quieter years between 2010 and 2015. You can download this EP for free on Noisetrade, or stream it in its entirety on Bandcamp. Tips are much appreciated, but more than anything I want you to hear these songs! Read on for a little history about Extras | Volume I.
I recorded "She's Not There" and "Dance in Place" with my previous band, A Minor Bird in 2011 at Kopperhead Studios after returning from a several month stint in Nashville. We recorded both songs in an evening, tracking drums, bass, and guitars live before layering vocals and other instruments to taste. Producer Spencer Martin took these two tracks to the next level with his layering tactics as well as his meticulous, brilliant mixing style.
As a band, we were reaching our stride. Recording live was a big step for us, but now as I look back I know that night was foundational for us as musicians. Our time in Nashville encouraged us to pursue groove and intentional melodies more than ever before, and I think it shows on these recordings. We never got around to releasing these, as the band broke up a few months later, but I’ve always wanted to. If you have Embleton’s new record, It Did Me Well, you’ll hear a different, more laid back version of “She’s Not There”. While the newer version lacks some of the intensity of A Minor Bird’s version, I think we still achieved the honesty the song deserves. I like that “She’s Not There” works both in the rock and country genres.
The Mr. Tornado remix started out as a demo in my bedroom in 2010. I’ve always made rough demos to get ideas down with the minimal recording equipment I own. The demos typically serve as a reminder of the initial inspiration, but tend to keep their original “rough” form until I get around to tracking the songs professionally. I often send my demos to a few friends to get feedback. I don’t remember how Spencer Martin heard Mr. Tornado, but after hearing it he asked for the raw tracks. I put them on a flash drive and gave them to him without thinking much of it. Within a few days he told me I had to come over for a listen. The result: “Mr. Tornado Remix by Spencer Martin”. I’m not sure Spencer slept much in the three or hour days he worked on Mr. Tornado. His file of the project became so large that he couldn’t open the recording session on his computer without it crashing. The remix is intimate. It’s vast. It’s unbelievable. Thanks, Spencer.
I ended up re-recording Mr. Tornado about a year ago. I knew it didn’t quite fit the mood of the record we were working on, but I still wanted to do a pro recording of it. I’m not sure how pro this is, but I tracked the newest version of Mr. Tornado in my home office. My friend and engineer John Finley added some trumpet parts and threw a killer mix on it. I released the song as part of a sampler, but I think it fits this format a little bit better.
I really hope you enjoy this short, four song EP. I’ve wanted you to hear these songs for a while now. Extras | Volume I may also shed some light on evolution I’ve been going through as a musician for the past five years. The evolution is most certainly not complete, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to change and keep changing. I hope you’ll keep listening.
- Kevin Embleton