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Spiritual Mansions “Lady Cascade” (Influenza)

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , , .

Spiritual Mansions Touched

Approach Influenza as a series which serves to help give insight as to where music is born; these are the thoughts, influences and the inspirations directly from the mind of the artists. Here guitarist and vocalist Ryan Harris discusses his songwriting process, in particular discussing the creation of “Lady Cascade” from Spiritual Mansions’ latest album Touched. The band will be hosting a CD release show for the album tonight at the Turf Club—joining the band will be Daughters of the Sun, Whitesand/Badlands and Magic Castles.


On “Lady Cascade”:

I’ve found that the most productive time for me to write songs is in the morning, right after I’ve woken up. I’m not sure if it’s because my voice is stuck in the lower register, I’m still half-dreaming, or that the day hasn’t yet had the chance to clutter my mind. At any rate, most of my songs are written in bed and I generally have a rough recording of the song before I eat breakfast.

The original demo of “Lady Cascade” is a crusty-eyed collage that features about four layers of my voice trying to sing harmonies that are far out of my range. The guitars aren’t necessarily in tune with each other or played in time, but the internal microphone on my laptop makes every mistake sound intentional.

For me, the most enjoyable part of recording a song is hearing the backing vocals finally added to a track. Harmonies accentuate melodies and develop feelings introduced by the lead vocals. Mark, Sam, and Anthony did a wonderful job doing backing vocals on the entire record, but this song is probably the most ambitious in terms of vocal arrangement and expression.

Concerning the subject matter for this song, I imagine it as being the musical equivalent of NBC’s 30 Rockas drama instead of comedy: this is a chapter in a straight-to-DVD folk-opera starring Tina Fey as Lady Cascade, the seductive but cutthroat cougar boss. I haven’t figured out the rest of the story yet, but this chapter introduces the plot and main character.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]