Starting this project we wanted to try making the product as professional as possible. This would give us a great portfolio piece as well as giving us the opportunity to learn out publishing and meeting with other people ,outside of audio, that can help develop our product further.
As we started finishing up the pre-production and skeletons we agreed that we needed an album over for the EP. Jordan had a friend, Kim Hopper, in graphic design that was eager to make some drafts for us. After some more consolidation and refinement we all agreed up the main album cover as well as individual song covers.
These covers were used on our publishing platforms (Soundcloud, Bandcamp) to visually legitimise the music that our audience would be listening to rather than having nothing to show as a visual representation of the band. The artwork also acts as a visual representation of the aesthetic of the EP. For example each landscape shown in the song covers fits perfectly with the timbre and aesthetic of the song itself.
As well as having artwork to legitimise our music we also published them, of course. We used Soundcloud first as it is one of the easiest ways for any indie artist to make their music heard. We also put the EP up on Bandcamp for $7. Having put it up on this platform in particular and asking for a sale is another crucial point in establishing this music. Bandcamp is usually used for music that is meant to get released, you won’t find a demo or work in progress there. The fact that we decided to charge money for it shows how seriously we take the product and how we perceive the standard of it meeting our expectations.
Even though we did not have any sort of budget, we did submit it to the submissions drive by the date we agreed on and it was all published on the date we agreed on, as well. Keeping to a certain release date put extra pressure on us and was immensely stressful but it gave us an idea of how to work with deadlines in the professional industry.
Aesthetic of the Product
Meeting the aesthetic that we originally had in mind was another vital part of the project. All of the reference tracks mentioned here: https://saeaudiostudio1grahamj.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/lo16-19/ were taken into consideration as I worked on th tracks and offered input based on these references. It was hard to find a specific reference that we entirely based a track off but rather we took elements and the aesthetic from them and used that as a reference. For example I used the light keys in the Beach Weather track (the first track in that blog above) as a guide when we were mixing our track Axiom. I wanted those big crescendos but also light intimate elements to give the track some more character. The main references weren’t actually musical, more the landscapes in the cover art.
The main EP cover itself is used as a representation of the journey, concept that the EP is based on. The cover for Sleepy has snow and trees but also a road signifying that some sort of travelling is occurring. The warm sunlight also shows that the day is starting, a good time to start travelling. The colours of the artwork also helped influence us on sculpting the dynamics of each track. For example, Holiday’s cover is bright blue which helped influence the more upbeat track and still uses the imagery of the road as a constant that the EP is progressing.
The concept of this album was “driving songs” though more technically each track represented a different stage of a journey. We aimed for light, upbeat tracks that weren’t distracting or hard to listen to but were still catchy. Again, listening back to some of the reference tracks the ones that really stood out when we listened to them while driving were the ones without lyrics. This had a huge impact on our production and we used harmonies in some tracks instead. I feel like we met the main aesthetic that we were trying to achieve and then some as we used visuals to further emphasise it.