Behind The Scenes: Claire Morales
Denton is known for its flourishing music scene. You can roam the square to the sounds of new artists as they wait for a stop and your nod of approval. There is a feeling of want and desire that grips anyone who walks down these streets.
Claire Morales knows that feeling all too well. Her newest project contributes to the musical yearning that fills the Denton air. We sat down to talk about her work on a second album, and she explained the reasserted process and development of her new project.
The second album is all about human desire and how it motivates a person. Hunger, ambition, romance, and sexual desire are just a few emotions that inspire the tracks, Claire explains. Her idea for the album emerged from listening to a particular episode of the podcast This American Life. “I listened to a podcast about testosterone, and about how this guy had zero testosterone…he said everything looked beautiful, but he didn’t really want it,” she says. Claire states she began to reflect on how wanting is a part of life. She explains the start of this second album came during a time in her life when complacency undermined ambition: “You can have everything you need, but still want more. It can consume you a bit.” Her new project can stand as a reflection of this preferred ambition. The album isn’t a display of motivation, but rather an illustration of internal thought on human desires. “I’ve had a couple friends say [these songs] are what I would say in my head,” says Claire.
The recording took six days of studio time. “We were there from 11 in the morning to nine at night,” she says. Claire and her band recorded outside of Denton, ten miles down the road in Argyle, at The Echo Lab. Claire came prepared with demos to build on. Parts of these 10-hour days were spent setting up equipment perfectly to highlight the vibrancy of each instrument. “The first day was just miking drums. Getting the drums down is really important part of the process, and moving them little centimeters and inches can really change how the record sounds,” Claire explains. Getting most of the instrumental parts recorded together in the same room contributed to the unique tracking of the album. Claire explained that to get a raw, live sound from the songs, they had to record as many instruments together as possible.
Claire credits Matt Pence, the recording engineer at The Echo Lab, and Jeremy Buller as producers of this new album. They helped with direction, the overall feel of the album, and the arrangement of each song. Jeremy, a former Denton resident, flew in from Seattle to help his friends create the new tracks. Claire’s band is comprised of Alex Hastings on lead guitar, Ryan Williams on bass, and Russ Connell on drums. Claire, her producers, and her band pieced together a Spotify playlist as inspiration for the album. Songs from the 60’s and 70’s saturate this playlist. They used songs from artists like Sibylle Baier to David Bowie as muses to guide them through the recording process. “There is a song on the album dedicated to Sibylle Baier,” Claire says. She stated that listening to these songs as they were in the studio helped give an intimate mood to each track and aided the band in their search for a fuller sound. These melodies also ignite the feeling you get when listening to a song live.
Looking forward in this whole process, Claire has a few ideas up her sleeve for album promotion. Although she would like to keep future plans for this project secret, she did divulge a concept for promotional photos to come. She states that she wants photos to match the feel of the album: “It feels very grand, and so I’m thinking something mythic.” The album will hopefully be finished and released next year. It will be released on CD and for digital download, but Claire and her band plan on having the album pressed to vinyl to match the rock essence it will impart unto its listeners.
When asked about the feeling that accompanies making a second album, Claire was quick to say that it’s exciting to make all-new material that no one has heard yet. This second album has her thinking about the next step in the process—she has been doing her research in how she will go about releasing it. Claire is trying to get the full effect of this album and what she craves across to her audience. In true Denton fashion, we will be waiting impatiently for this new album. The record’s release date will keep Denton wanting and yearning for something, a desire that this town thrives on.
All Photos by The Vision Beautiful
Header image created by Shaina Sheaff