Claire Cronin, 'Big Dread Moon'

apologies, i’ve posted a couple of these tracks already. (guess i’m just excited.)

i helped a little with producing / adding sounds to my partner’s new LP, which is out now on Orindal.

(btw, there’s almost nothing electronic about this record except a touch of moog - played by the great shazhad ismaily, who also engineered - on the whole it is quite sparse and, hm, “traditional” in both production style and song structure. RIYL: words.)

claire and i will also be going out on a brief (11 shows) tour of the midwest and east coast, starting next week; dates and updates are here: we’ll be supporting the brilliant owen ashworth performing as Advance Base.

right! process:

we made the record at shazhad’s figure 8 recording in brooklyn. this is a truly top-shelf studio with “indie-friendly” rates and i highly recommend it if you have a modest budget. in our case, the booking of studio time was my engagement present to claire (we got married last summer); i’ve wanted to see a set of her songs captured in this way for a very long time.

the record is mostly guitar, voice and viola. we tracked, edited and rough-mixed these parts in 3 days. then we did 2 days of overdubs (bass, drums, some additional guitar, stroh-violin, touch of piano, touch of moog) and mixing. tracked in protools with pretty minimal punch-ins / edits, final mix through figure8’s remarkable neve 5218 console.

the basic arrangements hew closely to how claire and i have been performing these songs as a duo over the last few years. it was tempting to make bigger arrangements, and an interesting line to walk between adding space and texture, and keeping lyrics foremost / preserving the starkness of the music. time limitations probably helped.

(this is in contrast to claire’s last record, Came Down a Storm, which was a collaboration with our friend john dietrich (of Deerhoof) - john wrote about half the music for that, and did all the arrangements / engineering / production (with additional engineering by jay pelluci.) it has tons of fascinating guitar and synth sounds / parts and goes in many directions; this one is a much sparser affair.)

here, the biggest mixing challenge was guitar -> vocal bleed on the harder-played songs; vox and guitar were always tracked together live. guitar was always recorded DI and then usually re-amped.

mastering and a touch of remixing was done by matt mehlan at his home studio in chicago. matt does good work at extremely reasonable rates, and does some engineering at chicago’s experimental sound studio.


THE shazhad ismaily from ‘secret chiefs 3’?
that’s amazing!! best wishes for the tour

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Although i don’t quite get along with sung music (except someone is screaming really angry, like 80s and 90s punk and hardcore), the voice sits really well in the song.
I do apreciate the sound of instruments, and i must say that the guitar tone sounds amazing.
The song itself (the one in the link), is really good, and one i will listen more. Quite simple (not simplistic) and, as the architect said, “less is more”.
As for the extra strings, the viola played by you, they compliment the guitar and create a more full sound.

Once again, congratulations and have a nice tour.

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this record is fantastic.

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Just listened to the whole LP, I love it! Normally not into vocal heavy folk, but this one has the right atmosphere!

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Sad that there’s no Vancouver concert date

We would have been there for sure

this one is just midwest / east coast. claire will do west coast in the fall. i may or may not be able to make it all the way to BC (work :frowning: ) but i’ve several reasons to visit vancouver anyway, sometime

Beautiful record. Reminds me, in the best way, of Jason Molina’s music! Desolate and honest. Love it.

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this has barely left the turntable since arriving last week. a truly great/beautiful/haunting record. our 18mo daughter also loves it, though I suspect some of the lyrical content is beyond her grasp at this point :wink:

if y’all ever need a pittsburgh show, feel free to hit me up and I can try to help


oh woops hey, Claire and I are playing some (most? all?) songs from this record tonight at Zebulon in Los Angeles. It’s a free show, starts at 9 (in, ya, 2 hours)

Cool bill with Emily Lacy, Daniel Brummel, Pauline Lay, Kathleen Kim, etc


Claire and @zebra’s set was by far the highlight for me. Should you get chance to experience, I highly recommend you do - the album it great as well.