2014’s Best Sessions Recap

 

This is it… the grand finale for 2014.  It’s been a pretty fun year for us on the ‘LastFM Originals’ production squad.  We want to say thanks to everyone who participated/watched/read/shared any of our Sessions, Interviews, Shows and otherwise.  We hope you enjoyed consuming them as much as we did producing them.

We mulled it over as a staff and accumulated what WE felt were some of our high points in the year.  This is a lineup of stuff we not only patted ourselves on the back production-wise for, but also artists & material that we were & still are really digging… and in the spirit of giving, we are super proud to share them with you again.

We bought the mirror-imaged indie-duet Lucius out to one of our favorite NYC haunts: Hill and Dale to do a little pre-doors jam-sesh and the result was something extraordinary.  Their harmonies seemed designed to work in the vintage audio audibility of the brick-lined bar.

Lucius – “Turn It Around” (197k scrobbles)

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Turn It Around Lyrics
She felt comatose waiting for this thing to grow
She's impatient 'cause she wants it now and so it shows
She can't be bothered by the ties that bind her
She's united when it strangles everything it holds
 

Full session with additional performances HERE

 

In the same vein – Israel Nash fit right into the environment… giving us the additional (yet very welcome) challenge of a bit more robust of a plugged-in multi-instrumental session; as opposed to an acoustic gig.  They rocked hard, they rocked loud and rocked us right back to a classier & more classic era of rock n’ roll.

Israel Nash – “Rain Plans” (8.3k scrobbles)

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Full session with additional performances: HERE

 

Conor Oberst had a massive year carrer-wise, and it was our privilege to be a part of it.  Invited to our home-turf studio, Connor swung by to preview tracks in advance of the release of his latest record Upside Down Mountain

Conor Oberst – Hundreds of Ways (82k scrobbles)

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Hundreds Of Ways Lyrics
What a thing to be a witness to the sunshine
What a dream to just be walking on the ground
What a time to live among the ashen remnants of our love
It came before and I'm still looking for that now
 

Full session with additional performances: HERE

 

Being from right down the road in Queens, we had worked with Bayside once beforebut when word came of the release of Cult, we knew we had to get back on board.  With an album that so sincerely embraces and appreciates the band’s long-time die-hard fanbase, what better place to feature than in the Last.fm community?

Bayside – “Pigsty” (27k scrobbles)

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Pigsty Lyrics
Your name is dirt
And I've got you under my nails,
From clawing to freedom,
I've been buried below your dark trails
Do you know who you are?
 

Full session with additional performances: HERE

 

On a chilly morning in late 2013 *disclaimer: the edited videos went live in 2014* – we met Vinyl Thief at the Idle Hands (R.I.P.)  basement whilst the upstairs was undergoing a renovation.  The energy in the room was incendiary & extremely contagious.  We aren’t much for early rising on the team (go figure) but it was well worth it.  Plus the sense of achievement of working with & then watching a band grow so incredibly much in the period of the past year makes our hearts grow three sizes.

Vinyl Thief – “Stop Motion” (3.7k scrobbles)

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Full session with additional performances: HERE

 

Moon Taxi put the parameters of our tiny in-house stage to the test.  We weren’t prepared to get 5 full fledged musicians squeezed into a tiny space but I’d say it all worked out for the best.  It’s hard to really pick a specific highlight from this session; all I can say is we are all still humming the tracks months later and that definitely says something.

Moon Taxi – “Morocco” (22k scrobbles)

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Full session with additional performances: HERE

 

Back to Hill and Dale again – (seriously, cool spot to chill) – Hailing from Franklin, TN: Colony House had been garnering a lot of buzz on the road, and when it came time to release their debut album When I Was Younger, they chose US to run the feature.  Also – bonus points to the boys for being so incredibly friendly at the session.  We have very little to complain about here regarding our jobs, but its extra swell when we encounter a band thats not only talented & professional, but also just super nice to work with.  It’s a nice pat on the back when that extra bit of ‘thank you’ shows through, ya know?

Colony House – “Silhouettes” (43k scrobbles0

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Silhouettes Lyrics
Are you half empty?
Why don't you fill up?
There's no sense in holding onto something broken,

Did you lose something?
 

Full session with additional performances: HERE

 

Now, in addition to gigs & sessions, we shot a TON of interviews this year… and to say the decision was unanimous as to what our biggest peak was is a major understatement.  We got to share physical reality with the legend Robert Freakin’ Plant… and you know what?  He was knowledgeable, well spoken, FULL of bonkers stories from rock history, and overall a total sweetheart to just chat with.

The Last Word: Robert Plant

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Additional Robert Plant clips can be found HERE and HERE

 

Bastille were a band that Last.fm Originals rallied behind from their earliest debut  and the guys were gracious enough to bring us back following all of their fame and fortune.  This time we met up with them at the celebrated Electric Lady Studios to reflect on the past couple of years of skyrocketing success.

The Last Word: Bastille

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Damon Albarn has woven himself into every essential corner of the music industry.  Songwriter, producer, singer… many MANY do, but some may not recognize his name immediately off the bat.. but you are probably aware of the group Blur or possibly a little act known as The Gorillaz?  It was intensely cool to score a few minutes with this guy, and he had some really great comments on the progression of the field of music in general.
The Last Word: Damon Albarn

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We don’t get an exceptional amount of time to work on jazz music (yes we regret that and yes we are working on rectifying it!)  So on the all-too rare occasion we get to work on/with something  a little outside the norm we jump at it… and (guilty as charged) it was a personal privilege of mine just because I was raised as a jazz trumpet performer in a jazz household.  Jose James was the definition of cool in this interview where we got to talk about specific tracks of his like ‘4 Noble Truths‘, ‘Anywhere U Go‘, ‘Everylittlething‘ and his album at large: While You Were Sleeping
Jose James

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Working with a rock legacy is always cool… but whats even better is when you forget that they are a legacy, because they are so unique and established on their own.  This was ever present when we spoke to not one, but both of the Lennon brothers.  Julian Lennon of the White Feather Foundation exposed us to his new album Everything Changes, and documentary/app project Through the Picture Window

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Meanwhile, Sean Lennon of Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (GOASTT) took us on a historical venture through the 60’s golden era of music and media and went full circle with the eccentric composition of Midnight Sun.

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So in summation.  A hell of a year.  Once again – thanks to everyone who has experienced it with us in some fashion these past six years of session production (wow!) – we hope to share more with you in the years to come as we solemnly swear to continue to bring you exclusives & highlights from a non-partisan music fan & lovers perspective in an effort to always bring something new and awesome to the table.

If you are so inclined to get to know the crew better, check out our ‘Best of’ albums & shows collections from 2014.  We’re scrobblers too!

Nathan – (video producer/camera/videographer/editor)

Keith – (video producer/camera/photographer/editor)

Gian – (recording/audio engineer/mixing-mastering)

BVG – (production manager)

 

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