‘Is This Goodbye’ originally started as an instrumental that I had written and recorded it in my studio. It could have been released as is, it felt mature, musical, and nostalgic, but I’d always wanted a “classic confident male bowie/fleetwood-esk” vocal telling a story. I didn’t want a catchy hook that was just copied and pasted as verse, chorus, verse etc. I wasn’t interested in making it into a 3 minute radio hit either.
I’ve always respected Jamie as a singer, song writer and a producer. He co-wrote/ produced Lianne La Havas’s Green and Gold; which blew my mind. I sent the song to Jamie to see if he was interested. Jamie is based in Nashville. His studio is incredible, West Air Studios, it’s filled with so much equipment, drum machines a steinway and natural light! I’m pretty sure it’s attached to his house.
Jamie was up for it, but it was the worst timing, he was about to go on tour. While on tour, he had a few days off while he was in London, so he headed to Paul Epworth’s, Church Studios, to write and record some vocals. (Church Studio’s is incredible, originally owned by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics!)
What Jamie delivered was somewhat like a strange Neil Young/ Bowie vibe. Different to what he normally does, but it worked. It well and truely exceeded my expectations. The tone, the delivery, the melody, amazing. I had nothing to do with it, he sent back the lead, so many bv’s and some amazing EMS vocoder parts. I had to sit with it for a while so I could let it sink in, almost get into his character and figure out how I was going to make it sound and more importantly feel timeless and placeless without over producing it.
I had spent a fair bit of time experimenting with effects, tape delays, amps etc until I finally found something that felt right. Once I had finished mixing the track, it was shipped to Paris where Alex Gopher mastered it at Translab, a beautiful mastering studio!!
Jamie’s lyrics are very personal and raw, “The story is intense. Knowing someone is sick and it might be the last meeting but it’s not emotional. The need to get some kind of closure. Selfish, but human….”
Working with him, as a musician, he’s great; We’ve ended up with a beautiful honest song that does feels timeless and placeless.
Music aside, I have even more respect for Jamie and looking forward to more music together. He’s busy, so doesn’t have a lot of time, but when he commits to things, it’s for the right reasons.
I’ve been working towards this moment for a while. I’ve been DJing for 10 years, and that has help me buy equipment, building a studio, put myself through the Conservatorium and give me time to learn how to use everything. I’m not interested in cutting corners; I’m really dedicated and passionate about making this my career. I’m more interested in gaining the respect from musicians and producers I respect, than trying to make lots of noise, really quickly; I’m happy to let the music do the talking.
I think Jamie can see that? and is probably why he took the time to give a unknown independent artist the time of day. He is genuine, talented and humble; exactly what we need in the music industry.
I originally built Sentir Studio to produce my own music, work with touring musicians and establishing the record label, Sentir Sound, feels like a logical extension. I really respect guys like Richard Russel, James Murphy and Erol Alkan. I met James in NY and he has given me some incredible advice and direction to date, they’re all incredible producers and label owners. I like the idea of the music I create in Sentir Studio, to be released on Sentir Sound.
I’m working towards building a family, similar to XL & DFA, where the artist on the label are solo, but also collaborate with each other on the label. Everything released will be available both digitally and physically!
Words + images: Murray Lake
‘Is This Goodbye’ is the debut single from Sydney based musician and producer, Murray Lake feat. Jamie Lidell.