Let It Be Told (out October 8 via Mecca Lecca Recording Co.) was recorded in Memphis, TN at High Low studios, and the album’s soulful proclamations are backed by a chorus of fuzzy guitars, vocal harmonies, and very singable hooks.
Ghettoblaster caught up with Weinstein-Foner to discuss Let It Be Told recently and this is what he said about it.
When did you begin writing the material for your most recent album?
I started writing the material for Let It Be Told in the fall of 2008 after spending the summer rafting down the Grand Canyon. The first song that I wrote was “Automobile Blues” and I wrote it while I was driving down the Maine Turnpike.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
That would be “Turtle Brain”. It was one of the first songs on the record that I wrote, but it was one of the last to be recorded. I was resistant to recording it because of the content the song dealt with; I guess I hadn’t really let go of the relationship that the song addresses, so it was hard for me to let go of the song and the emotions around it enough to get it down on the record.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
“Warrior.” I had a vision for the song being really stripped down, backed by a huge chorus of Native American drumming. I’ve played it that way with some friends of mine from the Golden Drum in Brooklyn and it sounded amazing, so my original concept was to try to replicate that. I still would like to record that as an alternate version.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
Jake Rabinbach (of The Echo-Friendly) produced the record, along with Toby Vest (of Tiger High) who owns High Low Studio in Memphis, where the record was made. Jake and Toby brought so much to the table on this record. I had the songs written and had been playing them live for a while before making the record, but going to Memphis to make this record and using the sonic palette of the studio really brought these songs into new incarnations. Jake has such a way with songs and production elements, and Toby’s skills with recording, mixing, and engineering are phenomenal. Seeing them work together and getting their input on this record was an amazing experience.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
Only a few. I had Jake Rabinbach (who produced the record) play the guitar solo on “Warrior”, which he played on his Tokai Telecaster (can you believe it??). He also played the harmonica on “No More Secrets”, and a few other things – tambourine, shaker, etc. Jake Vest (of Tiger High) played the piano line on “Warrior” and he also brought in all the synth sounds, although I played them. I played everything else.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?
The overarching concept is all about love, learning, and the soul’s journey. Let It Be Told is my first album as SWF, and it took me a lot of love, effort, and intention to make it real. The songs came out of that process, and in a way, that’s what they are all about – my journey towards making this record.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
I am and have been playing all these songs live for a while now. The songs that I always get the best response from are “Let It Be Told” and “Warrior”, and I always end my sets with these two. “Let It Be Told” works so well in a crowd as a sing along, the chorus is like a mantra and it will get a whole room of people singing in a really beautiful way.