From a house in Iowa: The story behind my new self-titled album

From a house in Iowa… Literally.

I’ve been pretty obsessed with cooking for the last, oh, five or six years, and it’s taught me an invaluable lesson. If you have really high quality food, don’t fuck it up with a million seasonings, or by constantly flipping it around in a pan or on the grill. If it’s good, just let it cook. I’ve watched hours of various food shows, thanks to Netflix, and very often the real magic, more than technique, is the fusion of styles; the creative matching of ethnic flavors in unique combinations.

Last summer, when I first started messing around with a new batch of demos, I very quickly decided that I had some strong songs that I didn’t want to fuck up, if you will, by getting too involved with. I love recording studios, and some of my favorite people, who have my utmost respect, run and work in them, but these songs came from a more personal place that I felt, very early on, required a different kind of attention than what a studio presented. They came from the silent hours between towns, stretched over multiple years, answered only by the insistent whine of the highway and the confidence of time.

I tracked this entire record on my iPad, in various parts of my house, performing live into the onboard condenser mic. I worked very quickly. Most of the final versions were first or second takes. In between tracking I’d often say to myself, “Dan, maybe you should go into a studio”, but then, after resting my ears for a day, I’d listen again and something would always draw me back in. I found a couple apps to assist with mixing/mastering the audio, to the best of my ability. I forwent fixing minute performance errors and audio engineering blemishes. It mattered significantly more to me how these particular tracks felt versus whether or not they were properly recorded. Like the culinary influence, I cared more about the mixing of my influences and ideas, than I did about genre or technique.

The result is an album of personal introspection. When you travel for long periods of time, alone, you slip closer to an off-the-grid experience. While, admittedly, this is not always the healthiest for one’s sanity, it did provide a fresh perspective on my priorities. I could almost see society from the outside. These songs are that view, presented in the starkest, most pure way that I can offer, for anyone who might like to take a look.

– Dan Tedesco
Des Moines, IA
9/30/15

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