Picture of a place
Martin, Mike and I recorded this one live on April 14, 2019. You can hear the rain on the recording. Martin and I did the guitar, singing and clarinet live into one ribbon microphone, plus we were wearing suits so it wasn’t easy. The occasional taps you hear are my sleeve buttons hitting my guitar. The only dub was the Tuba by Jay Burr, but you wouldn’t have known that was the case if I didn’t tell you because he plays so naturally and responsively. Leon Redbone is a big inspiration to me and I hope you can hear his influence in the arrangement of this song.
Recording can be difficult because of the endless options to re-do the whole song or even a bar or a note, and also because of the infinite hardware and processing options. I find it overwhelming. Martin and I arranged vocal parts that meshed and we performed it well together so I didn’t want to record them separately, so we did it all at once. If any fidelity is lost or musicianship unimproved by tampering, so be it. It felt great to do a good take and know we were done without any further analysis or repair. Plus it’s old-timey and I’m nostalgic.
The events in the song were inspired by walking to the grocery store (about 1 km from our house) with Oscar on one of the many February snow days of 2019. Snow days are usually a source of joy for teachers and children but somehow I managed to be grumpy about it. Maybe because it was the fifth one and Oscar walks really, really slowly when there's so much snow to kick, pick up and eat. Oscar's got the ability to enjoy where you are and what's happening right now, especially when it's snowing, and maybe I've become a little less hurried and a little more thoughtful thanks to his slow-walking ways.