In over my head: recording Wilde’s first single

A page from Austin Kleon’s ‘Steal Like An Artist Journal’ with my notes about recording a single

As Christmas approaches with the weight and speed of a limited express train to Mernda, I’ve been preparing the final touches for my band’s first single release.

When I booked the first recording session, it was a very last minute decision. I happened to have a day off, the bassist and drummer were free, and I managed to find an engineer and recording space who were free (Jono from Good Mood Melbourne is great and also mixed the track for us).

What started off as feeling like a great idea quickly became ‘okay wow, this is a bit more complicated than I thought’. And from there it only got more difficult. I’ve never felt so in over my head!

But yesterday I found this page from Austin Kleon’s ‘Steal Like An Artist Journal’ (image above) and to my surprise, the journey of creating this single matched Kleon’s mapped out project shape. Cue the “I’m not the only one!!” happy dance.

Now that the dark night of the soul part of the project is over, all that’s left is to finalise the artwork and send the song off for online distribution.

If you’re interested, this is the timeline of bringing ‘Sober’ to life:

  • August 2018: I wrote the song ‘Sober’ in my bedroom in Moonee Ponds.
  • September 2018: Brandon (bassist) and I jammed this song in my backyard where he came up with the bass riff.
  • October 2018 to May 2019: The full Wilde line up jammed ‘Sober’ and we played it live, tried out arrangements and added three backing vocalists! I also rewrote the lyrics for the verse a few times.
  • May 2019: After a copyright drama, I rewrote the chorus (including chords, melody and lyrics) two days before we went into the studio to record it.
  • June 2019: Laura (drummer), Brandon and I recorded the rhythm parts in the Good Mood Melbourne studio.
  • June 2019 to November 2019: Jacob (guitarist) and I recorded electric guitar parts at his house; I recorded acoustic guitar, voice and percussion parts in my bedroom; I also rewrote the bridge and main guitar riff.
  • November 2019: Jono at Good Mood Melbourne mixed the track across two sessions.
  • November 2019: I sent the final mix to be mastered by Pheek.
  • December 2019: Artwork for the single cover finalised and song sent for release!

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