It was around summer 2008 that I started preparing for a new album. On my tour with Melanie Dekker in the fall of that year, I already played a bunch of new songs with Alex Brackx. In the spring of 2009 I recorded 'Hoping for a miracle' with producer Gert Jacobs, as a first single to be released before the record.
I released it in the fall of 2009. Radio stations in Belgium responded that they would wait for the new album before they would air it. Really, that's what they said. Nothing more, nothing less.
So I started working frantically on the other songs, writing, recording demo's, re-writing, re-recording demo's, selecting songs on the shortlist, throwing them off the shortlist, writing new songs, etc.etc.
All the while, I was wracking my brain on how I would finance this record. My plan was to launch the single, get some attention and shows, and get the necessary funds by launching a crowdfunding campaign.
Of all those things, only the last part, I could do myself. The other steps didn't work out. So I subscribed to Akamusic and tried to get the funds. I already decided to name the record 'The sound of the beat' a long time ago. Almost instantly after I wrote the song. So the campaign already bore the name 'The sound of the beat'. The problem with Akamusic was that you had to succeed and reach your goal to get the funds collected. I set my goal to 10000 €, what would have been a comfortable recording, production ànd promotion budget for this new album. Unfortunately, I aimed too high...
I already wrote a blog on that story a while back so I won't get into detail here.
Meanwhile, songs were still being written. But I had no money to record them.
I did however start to record at home with Logic (instead of garageband) and that opened up some possibillities in this pre-production fase.
Meanwhile the years passed, good things happened, bad things happened, I worked a lot, I renovated my house, I had a baby. And still the budget wasn't sufficient... But I launched a new crowdfunding campaign with world of crowdfunding in 2013. This time I decided to pursue a minimum budget (recording budget, nothing more) of ca. 3500. Although I didn't reach the goal either but I did managed to get 2190 €, thanks to some very dedicated fans!! I added the rest of the necessary funds by dipping into my own savings.
And then suddenly things became possible. We went to record with Ward Neirynck at MM Studio (Geraardsbergen), the studio where I have recorded everything since 1998 (except for Hoping for a miracle, which was recorded at Audioworkx in Hogeloon (NL) . I teamed up with 'my' musicians, my all star team that have been with me for a long time now. I met Alex Brackx in the summer of 1996, right before I was going to record my first record, 'Growing Pains', so we go way back... Eric Bosteels played on my 2001 demo 'Up all Night' and has been my drummer ever since. Bert Embrechts joined the team when we were preparing for the recordings of 'Wolfish Times' in 2005.
So it's safe to say that I feel very comfortable playing music with these guys. Although I'm not the most productive musician out there, and I certainly don't play enough gigs to keep them in business, they have always been very supportive of my songs and music. So thank you again guys, for giving it your all on this record (and on the previous ones).
The shortlist of songs for this record is obvious. It's the twelve songs you hear. Or eleven, because I decided to make 'Hoping for a miracle' a bonus track, rather than a regular song in the track list. It was recorded almost six years before the other songs and stems from another era, songwriting-wise.
But the other eleven are the ones that stood out and that fit together well. Because in other to choose wisely for this record, I had to kill some darlings. They were painful decisions to make but it had to be done... some songs really weren't compatible with others, or were simply not yet ready to be recorded. So I decided to keep them with me for a little while longer. That's why song's like 'The Keeper', 'California', 'I know you're leaving' haven't made it onto a record just yet...
Production-wise my motto is always 'why make it hard when you can keep it simple'. I'm a big fan of records/music/artists where things are not being made too complicated, where you can still hear every instrument or track that has been recorded. that's why this record is mostly a fourmanband-record. That's why we are able to play the record live without too much compromise or without leaving out too much. The only problem is the backing vocals. I recorded all vocal tracks on this record out of economic reasons but also because I could. I am a vocalist. My voice is my best instrument. So it seemed logical that I would record them all myself, partly in the studio and partly at home.
I had a blast at the recording sessions in january 2014. I was six months pregnant and very tired, but that didn't matter. I loved making music, and singing (although the singing part was getting more difficult every day - I even stopped recording the vocal tracks at one point and decided to continue recording after the baby was born, because I was short of breath almost instantly one day.) Recording the accordeon was quite a challenge, imagine a big belly and a big accordeon on top of that.
But somehow we managed. After the baby was born, in may 2014, I started recoring overdubs at home in the summer and fall of 2015. In january 2015 Ward started mixing the record. Uwe Teichert, who I already worked with for 'Wolfish Times', mastered the album and on may 1st 2015 I released it on my own label, Superjane Music.
No big promo stunts, no bells and whistles. I just put it out there. And ever since then I have been gradually making it known to the world that I have a new record. I've played a few smaller gigs but I'm putting together a live tour as we speak for 2016, so stay tuned for that.
I cannot promise this record will get a follow-up soon. This is my fourth album in 20 years time so I will not commit or make promises to release anything within five years. But you never know...
As for sound, this record goes back to my folky roots. To me it almost feels like the sum of all my previous records sound-wise. In this record it all comes together.
I really hope you enjoy it because I gave it all I had, and then some...
Read more here
Album credits here