IN FOCUS // Inside the Recording Studio with Bryde

For Bryde, (aka. Sarah Howells) 2016 has been a defining year, taking the music project to new heights and travelling down new sonic pathways. EP2 spurred many first’s for the artist: from recording a track in L.A, collaborating with brilliant Bill Ryder-Jones (of The Coral fame), a partnership with Tipping Point Records and the introduction of a darker, rockier sound. The recording process of this EP was integral to the developments that conspired later, so we’re delighted to be able to shed some light on the studio sessions that took place in August at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios.

In this exclusive look behind-the-scenes from the making of EP2, Jodie Canwell captures the enjoyment of the experience, alongside the reflective. Take a peak at the snapshots and then enjoy a Q&A with Sarah, as we delve deeper into the recording process. 

Do you enjoy working in the studio?

I do! It’s really exciting going in with a few songs you love to sing live and coming out with a permanent record of it. Scary too as there’s not usually much scope for changing it afterwards. Recording the fourth track ‘Transparent’ in L.A. was a bit of a leap of faith as I knew I as going home to London the next day. But somehow it all worked out just right.

How was it working with Bill Ryder-Jones?

Fun! Loads of fun and quite fast-paced. Bill was already jamming the chords to one of my songs on this old analogue synth when I arrived. The whole week flowed really well and we never really hit any brick walls in terms of ideas or getting the right sounds. There was pizza too, so it was perfect really.

What did he bring to the project?

I kind of entrusted Bill with the sound and direction of the 3 tracks of this EP kind of knowing/hoping he’d do something I loved. And he did! The main thing he brought was this raucous lead guitar on ‘Honey’ and ‘WTMYFG?’ which gives them this abandonment that both songs required.

Did you find yourself experimenting more this time around, than you did on the last EP?

This EP was more about trying really honest, organic sounds. Making interesting textures with your traditional drums, guitar and bass. I didn’t really think I wanted to play around too much with digital sounds on this one and luckily that wasn’t what Bill had in mind either. We programmed a synth bass drum sound, but everything else is a tangible instrument played by a person.

Will you approach recording differently after this experience?

I think every time I record it’s a slightly different experience. Everyone has his or her own way of working. I have certain processes I like to stick to when recording vocals for example but generally it’s a producer’s job to lead the process. We’re recording the next single together just before Christmas.

How many people joined you in the studio whilst you underwent the recording process?

It was just Bill, Chris Taylor (the mix engineer) and me most of the time, then Andy Royden came in and played the drums for us on two of the songs, over the course of an afternoon and morning.

Is it easy to be so vulnerable and raw when you’re recording, to almost be performing these songs in front of the studio crew?

Hmmm sometimes it’s exhilarating. I prefer recording with people I don’t know as well as there’s a detachment to what you’re singing. When you’re working with really good creative people it’s easy to express yourself because that’s what they’re used to and what they also do. If the songs are still fresh and new to me then I just get lost in the emotion on them anyway, regardless of the situation.

‘EP2’ can be ordered here on digital download, vinyl and CD. Bryde will be touring the UK in April with her band, a full list of dates can be found here.

All studio photo’s were provided by Jodie Canwell.

For more information on Bryde, head to her Website.

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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