As mentioned last post, much of my time of late has been taken up with the remixing and remastering of new/old album Pennies On My Eyes. This was originally a mini-album from 5 years ago which was released then as part of the split CD Graveyard Full of Blues with Sleepy Eyes Nelson.
The logic behind the remastering is simply that I was never happy with the original release. For various reasons, I left the mastering incomplete along with alternate takes and whole songs. In the meantime, despite its limited release – the CD was sold at gigs and from Europa Music in Stirling; the download was only available via my Bandcamp page (with the two halves of the project split up online, so Sleepy’s excellent Build That Coffin of Mine was available separately via Cheap Wine Records’ Bandcamp) – the albumette picked up its own head of steam, garnering a few good write-ups and an award nomination. My Side of the Veil became a live favourite while Oily Old Rag gained a new lease of life as the Dog Moon Howl song Tenement Porch Dog.
As with my first release, the demo EP Broke, Lonely and Guilty, Pennies… was recorded at my then home studio, the Channel Nowhere Secret Facility, basically a converted walk-in cupboard. Everything else I’ve released, under my own name or with Dog Moon Howl has been studio recorded and although there is a pleasing rawness to the original version of Pennies…, it sounds just too rough to me. I was obsessed with pushing the bass and curbing the top end at that time, and the end result is frankly dull. So, I’ve gone back in, brightened the sounds up, rescued a few additional tracks and compiled them together as a new, album length piece.
Of course, the original tracks remain lo-fi but hopefully with a touch more in the way of clarity and dynamics. I’ve added a couple of touches I wanted to try at the time but dropped due to looming deadlines. The three new tracks are Richter Scale for Heartache, which had already been recorded at the time the split CD was suggested although the mix was never completed, Stone With My Name Carved on It, a single-take moody, distorted solo slide guitar instrumental that I don’t even remember recording and No-one Cares if You Die, a banjo tune that started life as something else entirely. I matched the rediscovered banjo track with an old unused lyric and Bob was quite suddenly your uncle.
The audio masters for Pennies on My Eyes are being completed this week. Then it’s the turn of the artwork. As soon as possible thereafter there’ll be a physical release (CD and, it looks like, tape) with downloads available via Bandcamp and from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify et al via international digital distribution from CD Baby.
Watch this space!