My (actual) debut EP, Distant Voices, started life all the way back in December 2018. I wrote the title track initially for an advert brief but in end submitted a different track (I didn't win the brief), and so the idea of the song lay dormant for a while. It was only after seeing Odesza at 02 Brixton Academy, in January, that I returned to the track with new inspiration. All I had were the starting piano chords and a rough drop but I quickly built on it and the real light bulb moment was when I added the vocal sample onto the drop.
February 2019 I started actively working towards my debut EP, which at the time was supposed to be dark and glitchy, aiming for somewhere closer to The Glitch Mob. However after a few months of producing a bunch of tracks I just didn't have enough pieces to create a cohesive EP, so I scraped the idea and it was around this time Piano Notes Vol. 1 was conceived and I started working towards that instead. (Maybe one day we will hear some of those unreleased tracks?)
Around October 2019 I started Inner Notions and got about half way through making it before stopping, because at the time I had no idea what project it would fit into so fell out of love with it. A month later I came up with the first few bars for Mornings Past and again gave up on it because I couldn't figure out how to connect the intro to the drop.
But one day I decided to go back and have another go at Mornings Past and just like with Distant Voices it was the vocal sample that played a pivotal role. In this case I'm referring to the chopped up sample after the intro. It was a bit of a happy accident as in the sampler I set the vocal sample to the wrong note and so it actually produced different notes to what I was playing but it meant the melody was completely different to anything I would have written.At the same time as working on Mornings Past I started Eventide which at the time was going to be Mornings Past 2.0 and whichever sounded better I would keep. Obviously in the end both turned out good in their own ways and so both made it onto the EP.
Artwork I made but decided to scrap.
It was only once I had finished Mornings Past and Eventide that I came up with the idea to make this EP. So I went back through my catalogue listening to old projects, and decided that Distant Voices and Inner Notions would both be on it. I finally finished Inner Notions and made a few changes to Distant Voices and by January 2020 I had four songs I was happy with. However I wanted a fifth track for some reason and so started working on Evenings Last. It didn't take too long to make the track despite hitting a few compositional roadblocks. One important element was actually the crescendo french horns in the drops, as for some reason it just made the melody sit better.
Now at the end of January the EP was done, however I still had the daunting task of mixing and mastering all the tracks, which at the time I really no idea how to do. So throughout March and February I attended a mixing and mastering course which was single handedly the best thing I have ever done for my music (except from maybe buying my first drum kit).
I may do a post about the course and mixing and mastering in the future but for now I'll keep it on topic.
With my new found knowledge I tackled the mix and master and they turned out better than anything I ever would of done previously but in all honesty I know there are still a lot of issues with the mix and master of the EP (which maybe one day I will go back and work on). Long story short I realised having over 100 tracks in a project is a nightmare to mix...
The mixing and mastering was done and now all that remained was to finalise the artwork which I had actually made a few months prior. I am super happy with how it turned out and think its hand down the best bit of graphic design/photography I've done to date. The picture is in fact two separate pictures spliced together.
The first picture is a photo I took from the top of the Eiffel Tower at sunset and the second is on a beach somewhere in Kenya. With a bit of editing and some adjustments to the images the final artwork was complete and the EP was ready.
And so that's all she wrote really.
Distant Voices was important for me because it set out a groundwork and a style which I am going to develop and evolve from. My future releases may become darker with time but I feel I can always return to this space and may well do in the future.