We have a tradition of following up a full-length album release with an EP of remixes, reinterpretations, and what-have-you.
After we completed "Perihelion" in 2013, we started to think about what to do for the followup EP. Farming out remixes to all the electronic bands we knew seemed like the obvious choice, and while it probably would've been great (and remarkably simple), it just didn't seem like what we wanted to do.
We toyed with doing a live album, but we'd already done stuff like that before; then we toyed with doing a live album with just vocals, violin and drum machine, but the initial tests we did weren't nearly as interesting as we hoped.
After much discussion we hit upon the idea of doing a few stripped-down, downtempo, string-heavy arrangements. We recruited a cellist, and we began tearing down a few of our favorite songs from Perihelion, rebuilding them from the ground up. We discarded a lot of the big-room studio trickery we'd used before, focused on keeping the raw number of tracks fairly low, and reigned in the dance beats for more organic percussion lines.
There was a lot of trial-and-error. We'd recorded strings before, but rarely as the focal points of a song, and even more rarely in an ensemble form. Gear failures put everything on hold until repairs could be made. We did lots of retakes to get the now-very-exposed vocals to sound as close to right as we could make them. We kept a close eye on dynamic range when we mixed so we wouldn't squash the life out of the string parts.
It took a year to produce four tracks.
And here they are.
Wardrobe, The One Who Came After Me (Oehler/Goedken)
Retrograde, Metaphysic (Oehler/Sheridan)
Produced by Null Device
String arrangements: Oehler
Eric Oehler: Vocals, Synths, Violin, Additional Percussion
Jill Sheridan: Vocals, Keys
Eric Goedken: Lyrics, Production
Kendra Kreutz: Cello, backing vocals
Recorded, engineered and mastered at Submersible Studios
Engineer: Eric Oehler
Assistant Engineer: Lenore Schmoldt
Original tracks from Perihelion (2013 Null Device)