I began writing what was to become my fourth LP 'Feathers Wet, Under the Moon' after returning from tour in July 2013. I had originally intended to record the album myself at home, but by April of 2014 I found myself in Nashville at Mark Nevers' Beech House studio. Mark has been responsible for some of my favourite records of all time by artists such as Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Silver Jews, Lambchop, and Vic Chesnutt, and I had also been listening to the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Gillian Welch, Mickey Newbury and Willie Nelson during the writing process, so recording with him in Nashville was something that made a great deal of creative sense to me.
On my previous records, I had composed, note-for-note, every part for each instrument and either played it myself, or instructed the player how it should be performed. The sessions at Beech House were very different. Mark called in a group of local musicians, I presented them with the bare bones of the songs, and we then tracked them together, often creating arrangements on the fly. It was humbling to be around such incredible players, and I am forever indebted to them for their contributions to the album.
During the second week of recording, my friend Daniel Blumberg flew in from London, and we worked on overdubs, adding piano, strings, vocals, and some additional guitar from William Tyler whose 'Impossible Truth' is one of my favourite records of the past few years.
I flew back to London at the end of April and, after he took a few weeks off to go fishing, Mark began sending me mixes. Working on the mixes for these ornate arrangements by email was incredibly laborious, and ended up taking a couple of months, but we got there in the end.
The versions of the songs on this release are the home demos which I recorded to 8 track in my bedroom between July and December of 2013. It's interesting now to hear the songs stripped of the arrangements we created in Nashville, and also to recall my vision for a self-produced, home-recorded album.
'Feathers Wet, Under the Moon' produced by Mark Nevers at Beech House Recording, Nashville, TN, was released on 4th May 2015 by Lefse Records.
released May 18, 2015
All tracks recorded at home by Alexander Shields.
Guitar solo on 'Waltz' by Daniel Blumberg.
all rights reserved