That made us happy, since we've still been listening to Nolens Volens, their excellent sophmore release, pretty regularly.
We liked this album, so asked the group to write a bit about the making of a few songs on it. And Mike Hughes -- band member, multi-instrumentalist, and producer -- agreed.
Here's Mike on four tracks off of All in Time, along with streams of the songs in question:
"It's a Mess"
Sometimes you can write a complete song in 15 minutes, sometimes it takes 4 years. This one took 4 years, which seems absurd to me in retrospect, because musically its really simple, 2 chords, no changes. It started as a little guitar sketch, then I added the big bass and drum part, and forgot about it for a long time. When we were figuring out which demos to pursue for All in Time, I remembered that little idea, and thought it might make sense amongst the other songs we were leaning towards. It was passed around, and its completion is a testament to the collective writing process. This song proved really hard for me to mix, and didn't really sound right to me until I handed it over for mixing to Dan Long, and he absolutely crushed it.
As a demo, this song was really pretty, and almost entirely acoustic. Will also had the lyrics done, and it came to the rest of us as a pretty complete thought. After we started working on the other songs, I dove back into this one, to sort of inject some of the aesthetic that the record had begun to take on. In practice, this meant adding ethereal electric guitar layers, vocal effects, and the glitchy drum beats. The main percussive element is actually based around a random sample I made. In a totally goofy exercise, I was trying to record a really nice creaking sound the bathroom door in my house was making, and while I was recording, I dropped a bunch of cable slack on the wooden floor, and it made this really great noise. After a bunch of processing, it became the glue that held the rhythm section together.
"All in Time"
This song was one of Chris' demos. The first half of the song was complete, but didn't have an ending. I really liked the repetition of the words "all in time", and thought it would be cool to zero in on that sort of meditative, hypnotic side of it. I took his demo, and programmed the extended looping second half, while we were still in the demo building phase of pre production. When it came time to record, we tracked the basics, guitars, and drums, and then re-did vocals. For whatever reason, we couldn't recreate the vocal magic that happened on the original demo, so I lifted the vocal right out of the demo, and that became the lead vocal track on the finished version. It was recorded with the onboard microphone of Chris' macbook!
"Whatever comes our Way"
I always saw this song as sort of a microcosm for the record as a whole. This was another instance where I took a demo of Will's, that was a complete song in its own right, and sort of dismantled it, and gave it that start stop feel, and tried to inject more of a "hypnotic" vibe with the addition of the extended outro, and glitchy drums and synths. The most fun part of altering this one, was taking out the steady beat that ran throughout the original demo, and adding those heavily compressed and overdriven drum fills. We were also very lucky to have our friend Angela Correa (Correatown) lend her voice to the transitional section in the middle. It was feeling a little spare, and she really made if feel finished. This song has all of the elements you find spread across the rest of the album, there are pretty, acoustic sections, great lyrics and vocals, big acoustic drums and overdriven guitars, ambient parts, as well as programmed glitchy electronics and drum machines.