Sunday, February 23, 2014

keep it like a secret

Built To Spill implemented the plan and paired things down to coalesce into a more focused fuzz for the noisepop nuggets that comprise this shimmering indie treasure.  The trio had made a dramatic leap in their sound with their major label debut 'Perfect From Now On' with much longer songs that featured extended guitar jams.  The followup 'Keep It Like a Secret' was recorded at Bear Creek studios in Woodinville, Washington by Phil Ek, with overdubs at Avast! Recording Co. in Seattle, Washington.  The sessions featured Doug Martsch on vocals and guitar, Brett Nelson on bass, and Scott Plouf on drums.  

Martsch recalls:  "'Keep It Like a Secret', that was really collaborative. When we were working on 'Keep It Like a Secret', rehearsals were just us messing around and they weren't structured. Sometimes we'd be playing different instruments, and sometimes someone would have an idea and we'd all play off of that. Probably about half of the record was built out of jams and we'd just record hours of practicing. And then I'd go back and listen to the tape and find interesting parts and we'd build on those."

Nelson considers:   "'Keep It Like a Secret' was just a lot of jamming and writing our own parts and then Doug had ideas for specific bass parts and drum parts and we were just trying to match sounds that Doug gets in his head. He'll describe, like, 'I wanted this part to be a certain way.' And we try to make it sound that way as best as we can. Or Doug'll play something and a melody will pop into my head and I'll try to figure that melody out for the bass part."

Plouf says:  "We would just go in there and somebody would just start playing. And everybody else would try and figure out what to do. Or even changing instruments around, or just being completely lazy that day, and everybody's just basically a hack and it sounds terrible. And you have five hours of total junk. But it's necessary to eventually get to a place where there's something good. We would just be sort of jamming around and Doug had a foot pedal that would turn the tape machine on, to start recording. Whenever things started clicking with all three of us, he would start recording. And then when it started going bad, he would just turn it off. Because we'd be playing for like four or five hours. And then he'd get like an hour-and-a-half worth of stuff that we thought sounded good while we were playing. And then Doug would go back and re-listen to it, and be a little bit more particular — pick like a five-second part, like, 'Oh, that's a good part' — and dump these all down onto one master cassette tape. And then slowly dump all those into songs somehow."

'Keep It Like a Secret' became the band's first album to chart, peaking at number one hundred and twenty.

vinyl only: "Forget Remember When"

 'Keep It Like a Secret'
full album:

"The Plan" -- 0:00
"Center of the Universe" -- 3:30
"Carry the Zero" -- 6:14
"Sidewalk" -- 11:57
"Bad Light" -- 15:51
"Time Trap" -- 19:14
"Else" -- 24:33
"You Were Right" -- 28:43
"Temporarily Blind" -- 33:30
"Broken Chairs" -- 38:21

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