After dabbling in electronics and synths on the previous couple albums, Rae Spoon's latest, I Can't Keep All of Our Secrets, dives straight into it. Vue spoke with Spoon by email about the recording of the album, which distances Spoon from the songwriter's origins in folk.
Vue Weekly: How long did it take to make I Can't Keep All of Our Secrets from the initial songwriting through to the end of the recording?
Rae Spoon: I wrote “Ice Caps” four years ago and the other nine songs came together in five months before they were recorded.
VW: When you were writing the songs, did you come at them in a particular way? Lyrics first? Music first?
RS: I wrote a couple of the songs on guitar. Most of them started out with a programmed beat or synth line and then I built the lyrics on top of them.
VW: What were the recording sessions like for this album? You collaborated with Lynne T and Alexandre Decoupigny on beats. Would you tell us about that?
RS: A lot of the programming was done in Montréal. Lynne and I both worked on beats there and Alex worked on them in Berlin. The guitars, vocals and bass parts were recorded in Calgary last July with Lorrie Matheson. I gave Alex and Lynne more melodic demos of the songs and they both built the beats they programmed around them. It was really nice to work with both of them. They both brought very different sounds to the project.
VW: Were there any other songs written that were left off the album?
RS: Yes. I wrote one song and then decided it pulled the album too much towards the folk genre that I was working hard to distance myself from. I usually bring a group of songs to the studio and pull the song that seems to be contributing the least to the overall theme.
VW: How did you decide which songs to include on the album? Did you have an idea of what you wanted I Can't Keep All of Our Secrets to be when you started, or did the finished shape emerge as the writing and recording went along?
RS: For this record the theme was conscious from the beginning. I wanted to write about grief and I wrote all of the songs about a very specific time in my life. It was a very quick process because I had been bottling up a lot of the ideas for some time.
VW: You tapped Lorrie Matheson to co-produce. What drew you to him and what did he bring to the sessions?
RS: I've made my last three albums with Lorrie Matheson. He's a great producer and he can make anyone sound better than they are. I think he has a great sense of how to record acoustic instruments. My singing is very central to my sound and he has made sure that I didn't lose that element even when I was exploring new genres.
VW: If you were to trace the musical map that led you to I Can't Keep All of Our Secrets, what would it look like?
RS: The map to writing this album traces the effort to find answers outside of myself in many different countries. In the end I realized the places that I was looking were inside of my memories. It was a matter of sitting still and exploring them.
Fri, Mar 2 (8 pm)
The Artery, $10