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FLAC files are available in 24 bit 48 kHz and deliver *exactly* what I heard when I produced the audio. All downloads come with JPEGs of the front and back covers, as well as PDFs of the lyrics and liner notes.
I wrote this song in 2021 as part of my daily songwriting exercises; it appears that I first started it on October 19, to be exact. I called the idea folk minor borrow, probably because of the chords in the harmony that were borrowed from the parallel minor; the idea was in C major but had several chords from C minor acting as subdominants and dominants. The lyrics started to form after I had the musical idea. For years and years I wanted to write a song that combined starlight and nostalgia; I rememember the first time I drew a parallel between the two was during a car ride in New Zealand with Natalie Finnigan, who at the time was singing with me in Wellington. I don't recall if it was our conversation or if my mind simply wandered, but I felt really inspired when I imagined that the stars were burnt out and their light was still reaching us. Memories continue to reach us long after their source moments have passed; starlight takes eons to reach us. It wasn't until after I had sent the mastered track to the distributor that I searched online and confirmed that most of the stars we see are still there; however, it is indisputable that most of them are far enough away to have their light continue to reach us for a long time after they've gone.
As a kid, I was fascinated with campfires and I especially loved waking up early and rekindling a flame from the embers of the night before. I would do this by gathering small kindling or leaves and then by blowing and blowing and blowing until... poof! A new flame. I loved this when I was a kid. I'm not sure how exactly, but this idea made its way into the song, too. I guess blowing at the embers is like trying to keep a memory alive—longer, brighter, stronger. I am a nostalgic person, but I was more so when I was younger. I would stare at the sky and feel a bittersweetness that was undeniably nostalgia. Today, I'm almost too busy to be nostalgic! But it's still in me, and I owe to it for a great deal of my songwriting.
Checking my files, it appears I returned to the song early March 2022 and began producing it. I got more into it when I laid down the electric guitar—I felt I had captured a nice tone with my electric guitar and amp via a ribbon mic and a small-diaghram condenser mic. The vocal take probably came a little later. Later yet, I needed some real drums but realized that I couldn't afford them—a decent (sounding) studio costs money, as does a great drummer! So I decided to try out my fingers on the pads of my controller, using Addictive Drums 2, and although at first I was a little bit in doubt, it became clear that the drums were finished. I didn't quantize them, so the drums have my real human feel behind them. Of course it took many takes and—as often is the case with a real drummer—I had to nudge a few hits here and there.
Bass, on the other hand, did not require a great-sounding studio and I was very much keen to involve my friend Murilo. Murilo gave it a spin at home and then a week later came by to plug in directly to one of my preamps. We were done recording him in less than an hour; I later put his performance through my usual emulation chain of a bass amp and speaker.
That was pretty much it! I added some Hammond B3 on my own using my keyboard controller and an emulation synth I have. And the backing vocals were a quick addition as well at my studio. I decided to take a leap with this song—really for the first time in my life—and invest extra in divulging my work. I hired Auteur Research in Canada to help me push Nostargic out to the masses. So, if you happen to have heard the song on a playlist somewhere, or if you've read about it on a blog, it's because of Auteur.
I hope you enjoy Nostargic; please share it if you do!
released June 2, 2022
Produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Jesse Rivest at his Little Bakery Studio in Brasilia, DF, Brazil.
Song written and sung by Jesse Rivest.
Drums performed by Jesse's fingers using pads and Addictive Drums 2.
Electric bass performed by Murilo Fabrino.
Electric guitar performed by Jesse Rivest.
Backing vocals performed by Jesse Rivest.
Album cover photography by Jesse Rivest.
Album cover layout by Jesse Rivest.