top of page
Search
  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos

5 THINGS MOONSEA LEARNT WHEN RECORDING 'VIOLINS'

Listen to the track below!

Image: Barbara Luyza.


moonsea, the musical project of Dr Cecilia Xu, has unveiled her new single, Violins. To celebrate the release, the singer has shared with MILKY five things she learnt whilst recording the song.


"I’ve always been the sort of person that falls in love fast and completely. It’s quite the health hazard. With this song, I wanted to take those feelings of infatuation and desperation and ramp them up to the extreme. My idea for the instrumentation was romantic symphony meets indie rock band, and I really love how seamlessly it evolves from one to the other. The last lyric 'Please look at me!', pretty much sums up what this song about at its heart; the deep and terrible need to be seen." Xu shares.




DON’T PANIC IF THE MUSICAL DIRECTION ISN’T IMMEDIATELY OBVIOUS

I recorded my second single Sensitive a couple of days before Violins and the process was really different. The production decisions for Sensitive were really obvious for me and Xavier from the start, and we very quickly understood the direction the music was taking us in. With Violins, it was a bit more of a journey and I initially panicked thinking it wasn’t going to turn out well. But we just took our time and trusted our instincts. In particular, I wanted an indie rock sound for the later half with plenty of drums and electric guitar. When we stepped back and looked at the finished product I was actually really happy with the result.


(ALMOST) EVERYTHING SOUNDS BETTER ON ELECTRIC GUITAR

I grew up in the classical music world. I learned piano, violin and cello. My guitar skills are rudimentary and self-taught, but I absolutely adore the sound of electric guitar and I love using it in my music. I think it’s so versatile; it can very bold and dominating but it can also be smoochy and convey infinite emotion and that is the sound I wanted for Violins. I’m trying to get better at the guitar so maybe one day I can rip out the guitar solos in my songs live.


SUBTLETY IS ART

One of the things I love most about music making is being challenged and learning from the people you work with. Initially for the instrumental break after I sing “in my head, the violins begin to play”, I wanted to have actual violins playing because, well, of course! Xavier suggested that we go with a more subtle approach, so the violins you hear are just a little wash in the background rather than playing the melody in the foreground. That way, the listener still gets the feeling of butterflies and violins playing without it being shoved in their face. It’s like the “show, not tell” of music. 


DON’T BE AFRAID TO PLAY AROUND WITH VOCAL EFFECTS 

This is the first song where I’ve utilised vocal effects to this extent, and varied them so much throughout the piece. I love the way it keeps the ear engaged and eager to hear what sound is coming next. They also lend a lot to the storytelling of the song, for example, the initial verses go deeper and deeper into that nostalgic old timey vocal sound as I’m singing about falling in love, then the chorus with the lyrics “but I know you don’t look at me twice” is crystal clear, jolting you back to reality.


SHOUTING IN THE STUDIO IS REALLY, REALLY FUN

If you’ve met me in real life you’ll know that I’m fairly soft-spoken. Shouting of any kind is very much against my nature, but I knew that’s what this song needed. I’m grateful to Xavier for not laughing and remaining incredibly supportive and professional as I yelled “PLEASE LOOK AT ME” over and over again in his studio. It was actually a really fun, cathartic experience and I love how it sounds on the record.



Violins is out now!


コメント


bottom of page