Half Moon Run

I spent a day in the studio last week with Glassnote Records’ (Phoenix, Mumford and Sons) artist Half Moon Run. The band is from Montreal but they were in Chicago on a tour stop for a couple days. Their overseas label wanted to release the song “Judgement” as their next UK single but the band wasn’t happy with the original album recording, so they opted to re-cut the song here in Chicago. The song is quirky and refreshingly sparse in it’s production, which means I could shoot for bigger sounds than I would in a busy production.

I booked Shirk Studios, a fantastic new studio in town, with a gorgeous-sounding, high-walled drum room, a fantastic mic collection which included a vintage Neumann u67, a u87, a pair of km86s and a gorgeous vintage RCA 44bx ribbon mic, and an equally fantastic collection of vintage and modern outboard gear.

The band has been touring for a year and half straight, and it was evident in their performance. We did three full-band takes with no click, and ended up keeping drummer Dylan Phillips’ very first take. Conner Molander then took about 20 minutes to put down his keyboard and bass parts. We spent some time dialing in guitar sounds and redoing the two solos in the song, and then went on to vocals. In similar fashion, singer/guitarist Devon Portielje knocked out a complete keeper vocal take on the third try. This guy is one of the most expressive, character-rich singers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, and I can’t wait to see how his voice grows over time. They added a few little synth highlights using my newly acquired Moog Minitaur bass synth and that was that…a beautiful, fun, efficient session; the way they all should be. Watch out for the single in the UK in the near future and check out this amazing young band on Spotify when you get a chance.

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