We had the privilege of mixing our new EP, Ballads for Trying Times, at the legendary New Monkey Studio in Van Nuys, CA. Bought in the 1990's by the late Elliott Smith, the studio sports an original vintage 1970's Trident Triad A-Range console. Believed to be #3 of 13 total A-Range consoles that were built, it was used previously on recordings by Rush, The Police and Cat Stevens (and many more) before being purchased and installed at NMS by Smith.
We worked with engineer Nick Luca (Iron & Wine, Neko Case, M. Ward) who did an incredible job not only making the songs sound great, but also establishing a relaxing, productive and creative environment for us.
It was our first time mixing in-studio (previously, we had only mixed our first album remotely with Mason Jar Music) and it was so enlightening to be able to do the detailed and nuanced work of mixing and editing in real time. We discovered an interesting dynamic during the editing process, in which Rachel focuses on the many meticulous, intricate details, while Thu focuses on the overall big picture. We never noticed these things when we were editing remotely - listening to mixes in isolated spurts and writing long paragraphs of notes. It was a joy to take all of the guesswork out, and allow the studio to provide the forum for critical listening and decision-making.
We are so incredibly thankful to Robert and Nick at NMS for welcoming us into their space, and giving life to these songs. Each song has the richness, complexity and immediacy that we always imagined when we wrote them.