27/03/2019

A first EP for The Papas

Wiser Heads is a collection of four songs recorded at REC Studio in Geneva last February. It’s already available from Bandcamp and SoundCloud and it will become available on just about every digital music platform in the next few days. (Distributing music has become very easy, but it’s still not instant!)

It’s released under the name The Papas, as it features the first recordings I’ve done with Olivier Gauthey, a percussionist I started playing with last year. For the recordings we were joined by a Geneva-based bass player called Yann Emery.

Four songs

There’s a story behind each of the four songs – click the song title for the full story in each case:

  1. Wiser Heads (The Ballad Of Dave & Gina) – the result of a charity auction contribution
  2. Moi Aussi – my first song written in French, commissioned for the opening of a photo exhibition
  3. My Silver Son – written for my son Declan, “my only second one”
  4. First In My Eyes – written for my son Robert

(There are earlier demo recordings of each of the songs in the blog posts I’ve linked to above…)

Recording

I decided last autumn that I wanted to A) do a “proper” recording of the song Moi Aussi and B) record some songs as The Papas, to kickstart our life as a musical duo.

Olivier Gauthey, REC Studio, 14 February 2019

I got in touch with Serge Morattel at REC Studio in Geneva. I picked the studio more or less at random, but I had a good impression from the start. I booked the next available day he had, which was 14 February.

The next step was to find a bass player, as we felt it wouldn’t be quite enough having just the two of us. I found Yann via a website advertising music teachers. He was happy to help out.

I had played the four chosen songs quite a few times with Olivier, but only managed one rehearsal with Yann, who otherwise used some rough demos and the chord sheets I supplied to learn the songs.

Yann Emery and Olivier Gauthey at REC Studio
The lads getting acquainted.

Yann and Olivier met for the first time at the studio on the morning of the recording. Both of them are really great musicians though, so we managed to record the four tracks in the two hours we had together in the studio. We did about three takes of each song, all playing live together (although I was in a different room to have clean tracks for each instrument).

Studio selfie

I recorded the lead vocals and harmonies that afternoon. Serge did a great job on engineering the recordings. The mixing and mastering was done by Bryan Shortell.

Give the songs a listen and let me know what you think.

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