I’ve produced a variety of records with different bands over the last few years. Every project I work on is distinctive and unique in some way, but my favorite part is that I get a firsthand glimpse of a bands inner-workings and dynamics. I get to see (and help capture) the good, bad, and ugly. And sometimes, if I’m really lucky, I get to be a part of something very special. This has been my experience working with The Super Saturated Sugar Stings .
In January 2014, we drove to Fairbanks and spent 10 days recording a new album. We immersed ourselves and worked long hours in the dead of the Alaskan winter. My good friends Tim and Karen Foote graciously provided their amazing ‘Roundhouse’ where we worked, lived, and cooked. It was exciting to be creating with the band again, and I really appreciated SSSS’s motivation and willingness to push themselves into a newer artistic direction.
Over the spring we continued working on the album in Anchorage, and enlisted the help of other Alaskan musicians including Kevin Worrell (upright bass) and Logan Bean (trumpet). In April the band finished overdubs, and we handed the tracks over to Anchorage-based mixing engineer James Glaves. Finally, the freshly mixed tracks were sent out to be mastered by Patrick Damphier (Nashville, TN).
The new album, Heart Shaped Leaves, is an emotional and heartfelt journey with a band that clearly wants to take listeners down a sonic rabbit hole. Theatrical, sorrowful, vivid, enchanting. These are some of the words that come to mind when losing myself in the band’s music. I suppose my feelings and imagination are aided by the fact that I was fortunate enough to be there when it all went down.
I once asked a famous songwriter what the trick to good songwriting is. He replied simply, “Just tell the truth”. I’ve also heard that the best artists are the one’s who constantly redefine themselves. I believe the Super Saturated Sugar Strings have accomplished both of these things, and in doing so made an album they’ll always remember and be proud of. – E.P.
Join SSSS to celebrate the release of Heart Shaped Leaves at Taproot, Saturday June 28. Early show 7-9pm Late show 10pm-1am. Tickets available HERE.