A track-by-track guide...

"I've never been super into the idea of doing a Track By Track for 'We'll Be The Moon'" admits Fixers singer Jack Goldstein. "I like the nature of letting the music do all the talking, it just feels right for this particular record. I see the value in explaining songs, notions and ideas but WBTM is, for me, quite a realised effort; perhaps a direct contrast to forthcoming releases, its hard to call at this stage. That said, I wanted to share the notes, notions and concepts we came up with for the album before we recorded it. I've attached all the notes I made prior to our recording session and a notions board of ideas that clusters the record in a sense. Some of the tracks are different to the final tracklisting but this is the preliminary list we had a month before we went to the studio, it shows how many of the songs were learnt from scratch in the studio. I'm not so certain on a lot of the music I reference, it feels like a lifetime ago..."

URIEL//
It's alarming how detrimental the use of a guitar track is on the overall production of this song, its the difference between a dance/pop song and an overblown Coldplay song. The vibe is pure J-Pop, think of the lack of pretence in acts like Perfume and MEG - joyous, dancey pop without the phoney delusions of grandeur that are evoked by The Killers or Coldplay. Reference track for URIEL production is this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJQHIAIuQjI&feature=related

WHO SAYS BOYS//
Another dance song but with a whole different aesthetic. This has to be pure dance pop basically. I want to bounce the entire track onto a cassette tape afterwards and then record it back into the desk whilst subtly warping the tape. Think Washed Out, Italo Dance music and old warped Vangelis tapes from when you were a kid. Euphoric, nostalgic lo-fi Italo pop. As well as the Italo Disco reference, the original sample me and Roo used was taken from Pino Donaggio's Body Double soundtrack. Reference track for WHO SAYS BOYS production is this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqP2-w6AWS4

DAIS FLOWERS//
The structure of Dais Flowers (or lack of) lends itself perfectly to be represented as both a loose, long and psyched out Gang Gang Dance-esque space jam or a more refined, controlled and euphoric, "end of the world" dance cut like Emeralds. Lets blend the two together and make an almighty behemoth of smoked-out beauty! It has to sound both like five musicians losing themselves in a riff for ages and a two dj's playing off each other in one climatic build-up. Reference tracks for DAIS FLOWERS are both this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQZo2rsReEM and this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2CXnJ3OSz4

A CREATIVE SPRING//
This song has a similar structure to Apache I guess, so straight away I want to abandon the feel of a straight run through of a song by a band. Instead, I want it to sound like a series of chopped loops, slightly distorted with a Wise Blood feel to it. The production and feel of STRT SRNS by Wise Blood mixed with the slightly overdriven sound of How To Dress Well. This will bring the track into a whole new emotive light, remove the Animal Collective essence and add an entire new level of excitement to it. Reference track for A CREATIVE SPRING is this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQcn5W83JaA

AMSTERDAM//
The basic feel of this track is Cocteau Twins meets Kate Bush, we should resample the snare drum so we get a big echoey washed out kit with a digital reverberated Cocteau Twins-esque snare sound. I really want my vocals to sound as much like Kate Bush as possible, not easy I know. She has a very distinctive delivery that I can study the hell out of and I think we explore the world of pitch altering, it would be very subtle (to make the vocal slightly higher) - its experimental, exciting and The Beatles did it all the time so its not cheating in any way whatsoever. The way I propose we achieve this effect is record the entire track as per normal, then lower the pitch of the track and then track vocals over the top of the lower version meaning that when we come to raise the pitch of the vocal take it will be at the same pitch of the original backing track. Reference track for AMSTERDAM snare sound is this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf9jk6qk6TI and for the rest of the instrumental this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3diz8I0AVVk

MAJESTIES RANCH//
This has a real estate/beach fossils vibe so we should treat it with the same production. Soaked up, under produced, garage but without the angst. We want to get this twinkling, delicate sound which is rough around the edges - like a bunch of kids with guitars trying to recreate the entire Phil Spector Wall Of Sound but only having a organ, two guitars and a drum kit. Nice, loose shakers on this as well, no polishing up. It should sound like a bunch of kids now trying to replicate the sixties and making a whole new sound of their own. Its a thin sound that will suit the song perfectly. Reference track for MAJESTIES RANCH are http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_Yt2LcCqrk&feature=related and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfi2HJGziAA

SWIMMHAUS JOHANNESBURG//
This song will sound like the Slave To The Rhythm by Grace Jones. Like with a lot of the songs that we have been sitting on for a while, i've gone back and recollected what I was listening to at the time I wrote the song. The guitar stabs at the beginning are great, as is the beat mixed with the live drum beat with the tambourine. The real guitars part don't work, they should be replaced with sweeping digital orchestral parts and synths. We will aim for a nice refined and polished Trevor Horn sound but then very subtly warp in some analogue way (either through cassette tape or VHS) - its not to create the level of nostalgia and lo-fi-ness that Who Says Boys will have but instead to add a layer of warmth to the sound of the recording so that it sounds like slightly aged. We should use a Roland JX-8P if we can get our hands on one. Reference track for this is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy3fsj-aGWw (this isn't the album version and has a slightly different feel to it so try and download the 6:12 version if you can so you can hear all the cool orchestration etc) and for the chopped/resampled live instruments the beginning of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NieCsI0j3I&feature=related (don't listen after the twenty second mark!)

ALEXANDRA//
We have pretty much nailed the feel of this track, its got to sound like Disintegration-era Cure with a bit of Kanye's 808 and Heartbreak mixed in as well. This is a good chance for us to make a more refined and realised track with a strong emotive feel - it should sound a bit more fragile than the demo. The harmonies should be pure Brian Wilson, think when the harmonies first hit you in The Night Was So Young. The track is a reference to the character of Alexandra Owens in Flashdance, I was obsessed so the real core production of the track lends itself to Giorgio Moroder's soundtrack to the film. Reference for ALEXANDRA is this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOHQs405XcU and this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5KsPn9vtMQ&feature=related

IRON DEER DREAM//
It going to be touch to replicate that vibe. However, this needs to be a free, fun and danceable pop song and, weirdly, needs to be consciously un-exhuberant or else it could suffer from slipping so slightly into the crass musical territory of the E.P version of Uriel. We need to be channelling Passion Pit, The Naked & Famous with a little bit of Gang Gang to soak the track in excitement and freshness. Reference tracks fro IRON DEER DREAM are this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceqBXK8jAiE&playnext=1&list=PL8FCDB20AEDBA6D26 and this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCcUXEC5_eU

REALLY GREAT WORLD//
I was going for a simple, John Maus meets Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain feel with this track. So I think we should record a digital, warm 80's beat reminiscent of the kind of lo-fi stuff we were doing with the first recordings of Who Says Boys and Were Still Friends. We should re-amp this through a cassette or VHS deck to get that washed-out effect and then blend it with a simple live drum beat, perhaps looped, which is a carbon copy of the Range Life drum sound - its a pretty stark drum sound, just snare, kick and ride with a few bells and shakers fucking around in the background. At the 3:29 mark where the weird brass lift comes in we should overdrive the vocals and pull them really out of the mix, with a distorted digital bass to really fuck things up and make everything fun - i can imagine "guaranteed world, its a world you've hurled" and the vocal cry that follows being an overdriven That's Not Very Funny kind of vibe, a complete contradiction to the light, romantically naive nature of the song but that adds another level of fun and energy to the track. The digital banjo should stay, we don't want to turn this into a Travis song! There is a really nice mathy guitar line that I like which you can't really hear in the demo - i'll dig it out and send it over Dawson. It would be nice if that was slightly more in the mix, perhaps we could utilise some weird panning. I'll try my best ti do a Neil Young/Brian Wilson doing a woman's voice at the beginning of the song, infact it feels like we should keep the vocals in the high register until the overdriven climax? I thought when the vocals came in strong on the demo it sounded totally wanky. The whole beginning section we could keep, rerecord the ride cymbal and then stick the whole thing through a cassette deck to warm it up and infuse it with that whole nostalgic vibe. References for this track are http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMku-GbafEg (the underlying beat which will be blended with the live drums) and this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VVj1zqbWpU (for the live sound and overall guitar sound) - the overdriven vocals at the end should have this feel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQD0z8eB_jA and the vocals for the remainder of the song should have this kind of feel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vbclu8ELDE (Brian's woman voice at the beginning of this blows my mind, listen at 0:46!) and this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e3m_T-NMOs

GOOD NIGHT//
I have asked for some ukelele's to be hired in for the session so we can play around but its going to be touch to recapture that whole vibe - We should re-record the harmonies but still allow them to retain that stark, loose feel. I wanna hear people shuffling in the background, talking beneath the track, lovely tape edits. References are http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHXGvDP8iLI (This is my all time favourite BB song ever and 1:53 is my favourite part of any beach boys song ever! when brian says "miss you so hard, now." in such a lazy, nonchalant way over the topline its like nothing i've ever heard in music before!) and this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0juu940iJI (This is my favourite version of this track, you can hear all the boys reactions when Brian plays them the amazing mid-section for the first time at 1:23, the chord changes are just magical! mike says "that is a motherfucker" at the end too!)

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'We'll Be The Moon' is out now.
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