And So It Begins...
So it’s time for me to start composing my first self-written, self-created, self-produced album. It’s scary, and there’s a chance that I could be really shitty at this. In fact, I am going to be honest with you: it will likely be kind of amateur-adjacent. This is not because I lack focus or ideas or determination, but because that’s how the learning curve works.
I learned so much from the first album I produced, which was a series of standards. While I am proud of my work, I learned a lot about myself and about the process. First, I learned that I wanted more creative control – which if you have ever met or worked with me, you know that is about on trend for a Caroline Kearney project. And there are other things I would do differently in hindsight. Still -- while I can see flaws in the first album—it doesn’t mean I am not proud of it or that I don’t think it is a reasonable byproduct of the time I spent working on it. It was a culmination of everything I knew till that point; but we grow as people and artists, and move towards evolution instead of getting trapped in that space.
So here is my next snapshot of evolution: a new original as yet unnamed album. (I think it’d be weird if I had a name for it already.) During this time I am (optimistically) planning to blog copiously about the process, issue raw and lightly mixed songs. I want you to take this journey with me. Feel free to listen, share, give feedback, give encouragement, ask questions or send updates about your journey.
I don’t know what my project process looks like yet. Will I go end to end with a single song? Sketch out a bunch of songs and remix periodically a million times? Will they have the same hallmarks and instruments? Will everything make it on the album? (Probably not.) Will I release a series of singles or EPs before I release a whole album? (Most likely.) I have so many questions, but I am so excited to start.
With that, this is my first blog. Because I think what you are absorbing is so much of how you process the world, here’s my current details... I'll try to update these anytime I'm thinking on anything, and add Soundcloud links, etc. as I go.
Where My Brain At??
Book I’m Reading:
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield
A modern take on Pride and Prejudice which has me thinking all kinds of things about taking a classic and remixing or sampling characteristics of it into something more modern, but just as fun.
Music Artist I’m Obsessing:
Whether it’s the Love Alone Remixes or London, I like his mix of organic instrumentation and layering of voicing, lush pads and extended effects, and even his sometimes glitch inserts that catch my ear in a weird way. Plus, he has a nice voice and a natural cadence that has an earnestness I find cool.
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Nina Nesbitt from the Four Weddings & A Funeral Soundtrack
I loved the original by The Darkness – a guilty, fun romp. This is not that. This is delectable, refined, ethereal and totally different from the original. It changes the feel while neither lessening itself nor the original. I love it.
Podcast I’m Binging:
Constitutional by Lillian Cunningham and the Washington Post
Peeps I don’t know enough about the Amendments – like at all. I listened to all of her previous series, Presidential, and even though I thought I was all sorted on Presidential opinions and who I liked or who I’d cancel, I came out thinking differently about most of the presidents – except Nixon… nothing can really change your mind about Nixon, it turns out.
I also can’t stop listening to Crooked Media – specifically Lovett or Leave It, Pod Save the World and, of course, Pod Save America. If you don’t have a previous understanding of activism, politics, historical precedence, foreign policy or national security, you can learn so much. Plus, they are all pretty funny, especially Lovett or Leave It, which can be a balm for the sometimes pre-dystopian feel of these times. Too much? There’s also a series called This Land about a landmark Supreme Court case dealing with American Indian territory in Oklahoma or – one of my very favorites – Hysteria, a podcast by women for everyone.
Hitsville: The Making of Motown on Showtime
Just the business plan alone in this documentary, centered around Motown and specifically Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy, is worth a watch. It’s amusing, informative, thought provoking, and a must watch for anyone curious how a group of disenfranchised people could impact the world in such a singular, smart and moving way. I loved it. I’ve watched it like 3 times now.
She's so young and so passionate. Agree with her (which I do) or not, you can't help but be a bit (or a lot) inspired.