What happened in the studio

Studio Diary

Greetings from Finland!

I’m writing this from the airport, as I’m waiting for the plane to roll in and take me home to England. I’ve spent almost a week here, working on my record. It’s been fun and I’m really pleased with the results.

But let me start by rewinding to about three months ago. I had written probably maybe 6 tracks. I was quite surprised that it was happening in the first place, and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them. I wasn’t at all committed to the idea of making music again. I had said goodbye to music a long time ago and I wasn’t particularly excited about the idea of getting back into it.

Yet, I felt a quiet tugging somewhere in the back of my mind. I really liked the songs that I had written. Making them had been easy and fun and I was a bit surprised that I had been able to make them all on my own. I felt that it would be a real shame if I didn’t finish them. So I decided to do that - at least finish them.

I called my long-time friend, and former Velcra-drummer Mikko Herranen and asked if he’d like to do them with me. He said yes immediately, and we booked a week in his brand spanking new studio in three months’ time. 

As soon as that was done, it all started to feel real and suddenly I got really excited! I was committed to these songs, regardless of the next steps. At least they were going to get done, and suddenly that felt really good. I dropped a little hint on my blog that I was working on something exciting because I just couldn’t keep it all to myself anymore. Then I just admitted that music was indeed happening.

I was really surprised by the response. Lots of people sent me really lovely messages telling me that they were equally excited to hear that I was back to making music. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve released any music!

For the following three months I kept writing and editing the songs, and by the time I set off to Finland, I had 8 songs done and dusted. I had two more tracks in the works, one that I had written but which didn't have any lyrics, and another one which I had an idea for and about 4 bars worth of ideas.

As I was waiting for my plane, I decided to work on the latter song a bit, and I ended up completing it during the journey. Lyrics and all. What just happened?! Haha!

I arrived in Finland at midnight and got up early the next morning and headed to the studio. Herranen’s studio is nice and cosy and without further ado, we started recording. We had 4 studio days booked, and I had 9 songs to complete. We had no idea how long each song would take but figured that 2 tracks per day + one long day for 3 tracks should be doable.

We completed 2 tracks on the first day, and 4 on the next(!). Then we took a day off and continued working again, finishing all the songs in just 3 days. The last day was spent on re-working some of the vocals. We even used the morning of today before I headed to the airport, to work on some additional bass stuff.

Just like the entire process of making this record, being in the studio was fun, and fast, and easy and joyful. It felt effortless, but by no means were we rushing or doing things half-arsed. Quite the contrary. We spent quite a lot of time discussing the tracks and trying out different ideas.

Overall the mood of this record reflects the entire process. It is focused but relaxed. We didn’t waste time on doubting ourselves or second-guessing our decisions. We were super-productive, and totally laid back at the same time.

I hope this mood of joy and fun and an unwavering certainty of what we’re doing comes through. Actually, I’m sure that it will. The process will always leave its mark!

I've done my fair share of serious, artistically ambitious work, and right now I feel like I'm totally just following my heart, and making decisions based on what I enjoy. It's such an energising and liberating thing to do. 

This record is my return to my very early roots of electronic, dance-y, 80's synthpop and I love it! :)

There are still a million things to do before the record is ready to come out, but I’m hoping to be able to release the first track soooooon. I'll keep you posted.

Speak soon,

Jessi.


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