We are really pleased to release our song "What's Going on in Your Head," this week. It has been a long journey to arrive at this release, starting from the Los Angeles living room of friend and producer Stefan Sigerson, to making the song fully twice over. The initial version took on a more full band sound, with live drums and electric guitar and rhodes piano in addition to our usual electronics. However, even after making a final mix and having it mastered we never felt the song connected properly.
So even though we'd spent almost two years attempting to perfect that version I finally decided to scrap it and start over. Taking the drum stem from the original version we imported that into Abelton Live and build an entirely new song. This time instead of quoting so directly from the trip hop influences of Portishead and Massive Attack we took it more minimal and created a new synth driven riff to centre the song to. You can hear it in the intro, the icy slightly distorted synth arpeggio that opens the song. As soon as I hit on that pattern the lights came on again and I could hear how we should approach the song. Then it became apparent that we needed even less from the drum track than I'd initially recorded. Muting and reducing things kept bringing the song forward and Isabelle's vocals got more and more prominent and smooth with each decision. Really stripping it back to just this one element made the later drum and bass drop at verse two seem much more epic.
From there is was another year of messing around with the recording. I must have played the bass line 20 times of more. It kept evolving and I kept hearing how to refine it more. Then of course I needed to record my backing vocal parts and they too proved more challenging than I would have guessed. The reason of course for all this effort was the dissonant chord progression that I'd put into this song. Back on the night it was born it had a more simple chord sequence: A minor, C major,G major, F# minor. However once we'd returned to Vancouver and pursued the song I'd added in a spooky drone that changed the second chord to a C minor chord, adding in a diminshed 5th to the pattern. Because we didn't alter the vocal melody we had to find that perfect balance between dissonance and beauty. Isabelle and I worked on the part for years. The subtly in inflection and how my harmony part fit with the lead and against the music was really challenging to master. Finally we did it!
We begin performing this arrangement live in 2018 and then again at the few shows we playing 2019. Each time it grew stronger and more direct. This past summer we knew we had to get this song done so we could move on. It is with a great deal of pride we present this new one and hope you enjoy it as well.Big thank you's much go out to everyone over the past 4 years that's helped us find this record. From the initial guitar work of Don Harrison, the live drumming of Leigh Grant, the remixes from Mark Hjorthoy, and Paul Schroeder to the advise and ears of Stefan Sigerson and Barry Flynn it has been a long road and we couldn't have found it without you. Thank you all once again, and thank you for reading this and listening to What's Going On In Your Head!
Mark and Isabelle
Combine the Victorious