When approached about being a part of the MusicFest NW Covers project, the Rainy States responded with their usual mix of enthusiasm and eagerness. The resulting cover of Halo Benders' "Snowfall" is absolutely killer, with singer Betsy Johnson and singer/guitarist Kevin Morgan expertly emphasizing the right emotions while the tasteful playing of their bandmates strikes us with the melancholic, hopeful thoughtfulness we've come to expect from the band. As bassist Ben Johnson explains below, in his usual informative and eloquent manner, the band also took time out of their recording schedule to complete the project:
"snowfall" by the halo benders, reprised by our group the rainy states, began as a request for us to be part of a mfnw covers project. in short, we cheated by combining doug martsch from built to spill and calvin Johnson—who will be performing as a solo artist this year—by choosing the halo benders as our group to send up. anyway, we felt they were a cool group to pick. plus kevin morgan and myself learned to play our guitars by copying groups from this era and mode. in addition, halo benders drummer ralph youltz lives in portland and has been a member of many local groups including the feelings, the no-no's, and ape shape. he was also the original drummer of built to spill when they were based out of boise.
as far as the actual recording goes, after we had the song we rehearsed it a couple of times over two days. since the request to be a part of the podcast coincidentally coincided with our plans to record our debut single "new castle," we only had to add "snowfall" to our schedule. in any event we began tracking the music on august 10th. on that day we finished work on "new castle," our secret b-side, demonstrations of our new songs "annabelle" and "cadillac," as well as the basic parts of "snowfall" for use on the podcast. while kevin van geem and i worked on mixing the instrumental tracks, betsy and kevin morgan got their vocal approaches together. we rehearsed the vocals on august 12th, 14th, 19th, and the 21st. on august 28th betsy laid down her vocal takes. kevin morgan put the backing vocals together on august 30th. since we had been mixing as we went, once the voices were on we just had to do a little tune up to prepare the final mix. all in all, the whole process took about ten days to get the tracks together.
we write, arrange, record, produce, and engineer all our music at home as a group. we are planning on putting "snowfall" up on myspace as a download. take care and bye.
it was kevin van geem's idea to add the loud, dense, introduction as a counterpoint to the sparse vocally driven remainder of the song. "
The Rainy StateSpace
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Photo courtesy of the Rainy States