Recording with The Left Behinds

So I just spent two weeks laying down tracks for The Left Behinds upcoming (as of yet untitled) sophomore album. Oh man, what an experience! The Left Behinds are an incredible indie rock/folk band who formed while the members were attending the University of Lethbridge. They are one of Calgary's finest (Check 'em out here!). Joining them on creating this album was an absolute treat, and for two weeks I felt like part of the band as we worked together closely, treating the recording process as an extension of the music itself.

We began by laying down live instrumental tracks for all the songs on the album, a huge task in of itself. We decided to take an unorthodox approach, recording without a click track, and just capturing the musicians as if they were playing in a live setting. This gave the tracks an amazing raw feel, as we embraced slight imperfections, and in doing so captured the emotionality and intensity of the band playing together. We also had the pleasure of using some sexy vintage equipment, including several 1970's era tube amps! I felt this equipment captured the quirky spirit of the band beautifully. Here's a picture of them laying down some sweet sweet music. Notice Kathryn's amp to her left is draped with a blanket for sound isolation, just one of the many DIY recording techniques we made use of!
Once the foundation of the tracks were laid down, we began overdubbing vocals, lead guitar, and a variety of other sonic additions. This is where the creativity really came out. We spent time chatting about the direction of the different songs, and what kind of sonic statement we wanted to make with each track. We experimented with guitar effects, feedback, group vocals, hand claps and more to give character and texture to the songs. I even got involved in some of the aforementioned, as you can see here me and Ryan laying down backing vocals in the "vocal tent" we made.
We had a lot of fun, learned much, and captured some beautiful moments over the two weeks. I'm currently mixing the album which should be out by late November. More to come, stay tuned friends!


Add comment