The making of ‘Selected Anachronisms’

During the recording of ~An Inexact Science~ it became apparent that there were songs we had written that we really liked but that simply did not fit in with the rest of the album. After some heavy pondering we struck on the idea of doing a separate disc that these extra songs plus some remixes of tracks from ~An Inexact Science~. However with the fairly heavy touring schedule that followed (including a three month tour of Europe and Japan, two full tours of Australia and various random shows here and there) we eventually realised that it wasn’t really going to happen like that at all - time being what it is, it was obvious that there just wasn’t time to devote to it. Other ideas were thrown around, such as doing a double CD and all sorts of crazy ideas. Eventually we started to realise that there were a whole bunch of songs that were taking shape that all fitted together and had their own place, and that the album ‘Selected Anachronisms’ was where it was heading.

In stark contrast to the mammoth two year spread that was the making of ~An Inexact Science~, the making of Selected Anachronisms was extremely quick. Aside from a couple of tracks that had been commenced around the time of ~AIS~, ‘Selected Anachronisms’ was written, recorded, mixed and mastered in a fairly intense two month period. Rather than amble along at our own pace like the previous album, we worked fast and solidly and sometimes insanely – 12 and even 20 hour days were not unheard of, especially in the latter stages.

Ultimately, we ended up with a couple of songs that had their origins in the ~AIS~ recording sessions and a whole bunch of newer songs that were predominantly written and recorded in this new two month period. There were also another couple of songs written that may or may not see the light of day in the future, it’s too early to say.

It’s fair to say that the new songs were probably influenced by our fairly hefty touring schedule in late 2006 and throughout 2007. Live shows really tend to bring out the more rocking and more dance-able side of things, and that’s exactly what’s come out on ‘Selected Anachronisms’. There are still some quieter moments (the quiet acoustic and layered textural tracks will probably always be a big part of Dandelion Wine) but there’s definitely more of a focus on the kind of things we do live.

For those interested in the geekier side of things, we experimented with microphones during these sessions in a way that we had never done before, especially on Naomi’s vocals. There was everything from Rode NT1’s to AKG C414, Microtech Gefell UMT70S, Royer 122 ribbon mic and even an original vintage valve Neumann U67. In addition to the old Ensoniq EPS 16+ keyboard and the Electribes we used previously, Dave Foreman kindly let us borrow his fantastic old Juno 106 analogue synth which leant some great basses and textures. Guitar-wise, there was the usual live rigs and favourite bits and pieces we always have, plus some new toys picked up along the way and even a couple of cameos from an old Kramer! Probably the biggest new addition was the HandSonic electronic hand percussion unit which enabled us to play a huge variety of percussion on this album and has since become a staple in Naomi’s live setup.

Banner image by Colin Page