We have an incredible listening party for you today ft. tunes by Methyl Ethel! The one and only Jake Webb gave us a look inside FIVE of the band’s tracks, all of which you can stream along as you read about ’em RIGHT HERE! For even more, head on over to Spotify, and be sure to grab tickets to catch this Sunday’s (9.29) show at Bowery Ballroom!
But without further adieu, here’s Jake with the breadown:
It would seem I’m somewhat of a hoarder. A hoarder of weird little sonic tidbits that is; I’ve been doing it for years. On every METHYL ETHEL release to date, there is a cacophony of these collected soundscapes. I realise it isn’t the most groundbreaking production technique but I love collecting sounds that grab my attention, especially as I’m fortunate enough to be able to travel a lot. Whether it be a barge booming on the Thames, cicadas on the streets of Kyoto or the snoring of my band-friends, these sounds are unique and will always have a place in the recordings that I produce. Here are a selection of songs that have a little spice added:
Idée Fixe – Oh Inhuman Spectacle
When I listen back to this record, I’m reminded of just how many hours I put into experimenting with sounds. I had just bought my first ever computer so I was able to really extend my ideas beyond that of cassette tapes and CD Portastudios. I made all of the bubbly textures from sounds I recorded while traveling in the UK and France. One in particular is rattling bottles in a liquor store on board a ferry travelling across the English Channel. The other sound, which I think is pretty unique to this song, is the train that swells into the second verse.
Tutuguri – Teeth EP
The first song I ever recorded on my cassette portastudio was a cover of a song by my friend Drage. He’d given me a copy of his tape and I couldn’t really decipher any of the lyrics. It didn’t matter, he writes great songs and I butchered it anyway. In homage to the spirit of him and his soulmate Pete, I included a sample of them both rambling at the end of this track. I found it on one of the cassettes he gave me after we played a pretty wild show together and I drove home too drunk. I didn’t technically ask for permission but I definitely told him about it.
Summer Moon – Everything is Forgotten
I’ve surely recounted the story of the samples contained in this track many times before…
I recorded the bulk of this song in a house in the bush pretty far south of Perth, Western Australia. In summer it’s really hot down there, even though it’s close to the beach. Basically you gotta keep the windows open to let some breeze in. When I was recording vocals for the track, the Kookaburras started cackling in a really demonic way. Needles (intentional) to say, I was ready to capture these beasts and share them with whoever cared to listen!
Act Of Contrition – Everything is Forgotten
Maybe even just prior to the events of the above I was at said beach, Indjidup to be exact. I recorded the sound of it’s calmness; which is usually a summer event as the winter can get pretty wild down there. That same day, I asked my friend Noel (who is French) to read a prayer (in French) that I could confess into this song. Voila!
Real Tight – Triage
Straight after finishing Everything is Forgotten with Mr Ford in London, I returned to Perth eager to try out all that I had just learnt. Of the batch that I feverishly recorded, three made it onto Triage. [The rest are sitting in a folder as more or less a fully formed weird kind of ambient album with some kooky cafe flavours suspended amongst them.] Basically the main event of it all was the organ sound on Real Tight which was made out of a whole barrage of found sounds, including the Thames barge. The really obvious sound that defines the track is a recording of my bestie Jack stirring a pot of famous pasta sauce when we lived in a shop in Fremantle together.
Ahh the memories!!
Featured photo via Hayley Staples