Boxcar Sound Recording Studio 468 Cumberland Avenue
Get caught up on my chronicle of the Ghosts of Memphis sessions at Boxcar!
Emotions ran high at Boxcar Sound as I checked back in on the process of the new Ghosts of Memphis album. They’re nearing the end of the recording and it was just Matt Montour and Trevor Howard in studio for this session. The main tasks for the day were vocals and glockenspiel – hence my title for this particular entry, the much more badass-sounding vox and glock. (Matt was quite keen on referring to the glockenspiel as the glock. I approve.)
It had been a while since I last visited, and I was curious to see the new vocal booth that the Boxcar boys had built, having only seen pictures of it. Stepping inside it, you definitely feel like a rockstar. Had I any kind of vocal prowess at all, I would have wanted to give it a go. Maybe if I keep plugging away at our karaoke adventures, eventually I’ll be up for the challenge!
Matt set up an extra set of headphones so I could listen along with him while Trevor sang his heart out in the booth. It was a new experience to get to hear the rough vocals that closely, when every little sound is captured by the mic. First up, Trevor was working on vocals for “I Can’t Save You,” which is a song I hadn’t heard yet. Matt was looking for just the right sound and as he gave Trevor a few notes I piped in, “What’s this song about, Trevor?” for encouragement. So I may not get a production credit, but I like to think of myself as an integral part of the process, nonetheless. Really, though, I don’t know how Matt does it. All I saw was a blur of colours and lines as they breezed past on the monitor while he clicked away at lightning speed, tweaking things here and there.
Taking a break from that song, Matt gave me a sneak preview at some of the almost complete tracks that are soon to be mixed. “J’Entend Ton Coeur” has come such a long way since Avishka and I were there on day one for its demo session. The glock that Trevor added to it during this session gave it an added little twinkle. Matt also played me a track I hadn’t head, “What Do You Do,” as well as “Mary Rose,” which features vocals by the lovely Allie Smith of the duo BowTie. Each song I’ve heard can stand alone and each has its own special quality, while still staying consistent with Trevor’s sound. It’s shaping up to be a great album.
After what I called some “experimental glockenspiel,” to find just the right accents for “J’Entend Ton Coeur,” Trevor switched gears and headed back into the vocal booth to sing “Rails”. Matt pointed out to me later how difficult of a song it is, noting that very few people could even sing it. It’s definitely a demanding song that would take a lot out of you and Trevor has the chops to take it on.
Once again, I loved getting to see the studio and I appreciate the guys letting me come by to visit. We’ll be keeping tabs on the album up until its release this spring.
Until next time!