that's Helsinki right there.
City of my birth, in fact. Born as the endless night of a Finnish winter descended. The friddget winter of '64-'65. While The Beatles posed in Central Park, man.
I know a thing or two about winter.
I wrote and recorded a version of this song
a year ago February. I really dug "An Easy Winter" and wanted to hear it so I demoed it up pretty quick, using a cut 'n' paste of drums from other sessions and guitars through boxes.
I never stopped wanting to hear "An Easy Winter" in Cinemascope and decamped to the studios of gentleman farmer Greg Aldritch in Amherst MA a couple of weeks ago to record basics using lots of real, one-performance drums and some nice, big, ringing Marshall amps. I wrung myself out getting a solid, Moonish drum track and lots of tube-soaked, chubby bass and guitar tracks.
When I brought the rhythm track back to my studio I spent a good week recording the labyrinthine cascade of vocals and separate four-part call and answer passages. The earlier recording of this had been sort of clogged with admittedly pretty harmonies and I really wanted to still incorporate them so I worked long and hard to get everything to fit without getting insanely busy.
I used some interesting processing on the vocals in this mix. I wanted to have the lead vocal really jump out which is a challenge because it's competing with all these doubled three-and four part harmonies. Instead of doubling it all over the place and just filling more space I did a couple of odd things. First, I looped out the lead vocal into reverb and a stereo delay but compressed the send really hard. This results in the reverb and especially the delay "growing out" from the lead vocal on the verses giving an impression of hugeness without gumming up the vocal. It's like a predelayed reverb that fades up.
I also did an old Motown trick of tracking the lead vocal to another track and accentuating the upper midrange and sending this through a frequency-specific compressor so the enunciation, especially of consonants, would be hyped. Then I mixed this back in with the lead vocal. In the chorus I did double track several key phrases so the lead vocal wouldn't collapse against all the supports.
Everything else in the recording and mixing was pretty basic, the nature of the song being what it is. It was an obvious candidate for the energy-over-gadgetry approach."An Easy Winter"