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By Joshua Madden
Four down, one to go. So far, four of the artists signed to Uproar Records have finished recording with the duo of Paul Whitney and Colin Laflin, who jointly own Transient Workshop in Austin.
Both members were involved in the recording and then split up the post-production between the two, with Whitney taking the lead on Colleyville junior Layne Lynch and Fifth & Fite while Laflin took the lead with O, Loveland and Trannie Stevens.
Holly Tucker will be doing her recording session in about a month, said Whitney, a Waco native who now lives full time in Austin and works at the recording studio.
“Both of us would be called producers, engineer, mixer. It’s really all us,” Whitney said.
Uproar Records artists, as part of their deal with the label, have the opportunity to produce their own individual EP with a recording studio and have been working with the duo.
Rockdale senior Lincoln Faulkner, the president of Uproar Records, said the main priority for the label right now is promoting the EP releases. He explained the process for getting each artist into the studio is different, with each group presenting its own challenges for recording.
One of these artists is Lynch who sings and plays piano. She has written many of her own songs and performed them for her EP.
“Some of the artists are really heavy in terms of the instruments that they use, some of them are light. With Layne, so much of it is light and acoustic. We were able to add in some additional strings and give it much more of a full-band type sound, which is something you won’t have heard at any of her performances,” Faulkner said.
Faulkner pointed out this as one of the things that differentiated Lynch from other Uproar artists like the band Fifth & Fite.
“With [Fifth & Fite], they are a full band so that means you have more instruments and more tracks to work with, but you also have more personalities. With Layne, you just have to figure out what Layne wants while with a band you have multiple members with different visions that you have to blend together,” Faulkner said.
Whitney explained that there were also technical differences of the recording as well, saying Fifth & Fite came down to the duo’s standard recording studio, which differed from Layne, who had already recorded at a local church.
“The main difference is that we were working with a band and not just an individual,” Whitney said.
Faulkner explained that these differences reveal themselves during the recording process, saying Fifth & Fite often will bring three vocal tracks to a particular song while Lynch may simply have one or two, making it a bit more difficult to merge the various tracks and visions for a song.
Lynch has recorded with different people in the past, although she said the first group was on different wavelengths as to what each wanted out of the recording. She said that the process of working with Uproar was a much more collaborative process than her previous recording experiences have been.
“It’s the first time I’ve gotten a recording back and been like, ‘Wow, that’s exactly what I wanted out of this song when I was writing that,’” Lynch said.
While recording, it was a combination of her vision and the vision of Whitney and Laflin that resulted in a song she was happy to call her own, Lynch said, and talked about the editing process for her song “Hold on to it” as one example.
“It started about a month or two ago, with the first song he started on [‘Hold on to it’]. He had this idea to add in some electronic flourishes and while it was really cool, it wasn’t what I was going for with the song,” Lynch said.
“It kind of made you bob your head in a happy way when that’s not what I was going for. The song is vulnerable, but hopeful. It’s about God’s love, so I sent him back a long list of suggestions and things that I was going for with the song and once it got back to him, he took out all of the electronic flourishes and kept in the real drums instead of having an electronic beat to it.”
Whitney said they had recorded the piano and the vocals separately with Lynch and that when they were mixing the songs, Lynch had asked to emphasize the piano more than the vocals.
“It wasn’t really what I had pictured at first, but I eventually got the point where I realized what she was going for and realizing how the piano could be the driving force in the song,” Whitney said. “I’m used to the drums being the focus of the songs and they are there with some punchy beats, but the piano is definitely the major focus of her music.”
Lynch praised the work Whitney has done with the recordings from their sessions together.
“Paul just kept sending me updated tracks and we both reached a medium place between our two visions for the song and I’m so happy with it. The piano is now a central part of the song,” Lynch said. “He [Whitney] said it reminds him of fireworks with the drum beats in the background.”
Lynch said her EP will be called “Beauty Beneath” after a song she had previously written, although the song will not actually be on the album itself and will be released on March 21.
“The whole theme of the album is that through all the darkness and under the rough there is this hopeful center with Christ as the focus,” Lynch said.
Lynch said recording music is a different experience than performing live, and hearing her own voice led to some surprises for her.
“We both agreed that one of the songs, ‘Mine (The Secret Song),’ was probably the one that went over best both vocally and in terms of recording,” Lynch said. “I had no idea that I could really sound like that, which is something you don’t really get to experience as much when you’re doing live performances. It’s cool to sit back and actually listen to the song.”
Ultimately, Lynch said how much better this process had gone for her than previous attempts to record her music.
“These are songs that I am actually proud to show people as opposed to the ones I had recorded with other people, which will be staying forever hidden on my iTunes,” Lynch said.