The Shifting Sands with Manny Nieto in LA.
The Shifting Sands announced a new 7″ single today, sharing a video for a new song called “Run” which appears on the single, due out towards the end of January 2018. [UPDATE: the single is finally on its way to NZ and we expect to have it in stock and to fulfill pre-orders in the week of 12 February 2018. Thanks for your patience!]
The Shifting Sands Zoe/ Run (7” single)
After touring the West Coast of the USA supporting David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights, Mike McLeod booked studio time at Manny’s Estudio International in East Los Angeles. Far less glamorous in reality than it all may sound says Mike.
Joining the Shifting Sands for the sessions was guest guitarist Steven Schayer – a then LA-based musician with NZ connections, having played in The Chills during the early 90’s US-based “Soft Bomb” album era. Steven brought a different flavour to complement the independent DIY No. 8 wire approach of The Shifting Sands.
Manny Nieto also brought a different flavour to the table, producing the tracks. Manny has worked with Steve Albini and has recorded bands like the Breeders and Los Lobos.
Whereas previous albums had been layered in fuzzy guitars and synthesizers, this session involved less layers, but more harmonic breadth within the layers. Tom added bass tracks on an 8 string bass, Mike adding a bass 6 – a guitar tuned down one octave.
While there are less layers of harmonic distortion – a characteristic component of the Shifting Sands sound – there is still a lot of harmonic complexity, just realised in a different way to the approach the Shifting Sands took on their first two LPs.
The band recorded on a Neotek console and via a two-inch tape machine, before mixing down through a ¼ inch tape reel. Back in Dunedin the songs were mastered by Tex Houston. The 7” vinyl release format completes this analogue approach.
These songs reflect a special moment in time, in the sweltering heat of Los Angeles, while the band were far from their busy normal lives and able to spend time purely focused on making music, in a vastly different environment to their home town of Dunedin, and their base at Chicks Hotel in Port Chalmers.
Port Chalmers, Dunedin