As a kid, Port St. Willow Frontman Nick Principe tried to convince himself not to play music. We're happy he didn't succeed. In the past few years, somewhere around the time he moved from Ithaca, New York to Portland, Oregon it started to feel like Port St. Willow had a sound and a shape.
He didn't always play solo. As a kid, Principe spent most of his time in a barn in upstate New York recording with longtime friend Peter Silberman, currently the front-man for Brooklyn-based indie band, The Antlers.
"I started talking to Peter about doing Shaking Through right around the time that I finished up recording Even // Wasteland" says Principe. "I had a few songs coming out of that record, and they all sort of melded together to form this one.... To me, this song encapsulates a lot of what my record was about. Action over thought. Moving on from depression, not immersing yourself in it. Basically just getting out of your own way."
The recording started around a triple tracked 9/8 drum beat played by Principe, and carefully thought guitars that arose from a sea of pedals dialed in by Peter. Nick's scratch vocal take early in the day was nearly perfect which eased the stress for the rest of the day.
Port St. Willow has many plans for 2011, including a new full length and a west coast tour. They will also be the first featured artists for Weathervane Music's Private Studio Concert Series in April.
How do you approach a triple tracked 9/8 beat? It's as difficult as it sounds. Hear series creator Brian McTear explain their methods.
Our field audio guy Steve Maglio came to the shoot with a vintage ribbon mic. It sounded amazing. Hear series creator Brian McTear explain how we used it.
Series creator Brian McTear talks about his experience using old mics and how they compare to modern ones.
Inspired by our impromptu performance at Bookspace with A Classic Education, we decided to see if lightning would strike twice. On an overcast day, we grabbed Brian's Gibson acoustic and an old banjo and wandered into Fairmount park for an afternoon of interviews and music.
The Port St Willow Episode marked the first time Peter acted as producer for someone other than his band, The Antlers. See what he learned and what he plans to take back to his work on the upcoming Antlers record.