We’re getting close! Today I am headed back to Soma in Wicker Park to mix with John McEntire, and I’m pretty excited. I’ve never run a marathon before, but friends have told me that by mile 21 or 22, you’re exhausted and just want the race to be finished. I can relate—after two years of living with these songs, I’m really just ready to be done so I can move on to other things. We’re getting close, though; by tomorrow night all 10 songs will be mixed.

I will say that I’m very happy with how the songs are shaping up. Since the timeline at Soma is so tight, I’ve done a lot of work creating rough mixes at home, which in turn has pushed me to make sure that each arrangement is at its best. And after spending a day with the album closer, “State of the Union,” I’ve finally come to understand the degree to which I’ve embraced the piano on this record—I think that all but one song utilizes the instrument, and the closing track is really just a straight up piano ballad. The Tortoise / Stereolab influence is pretty clear, too, at least to me—lots of droning organs, live drums run through strange filters, and not a single strummed guitar chord (though I use plenty of eBow, and a little bit of acoustic finger-picking).

More soon,

Joel / City States

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