INTRODUCING: QUARANTINE SESSIONS
I accidentally curated a lo-fi compilation benefitting Sweet Relief.
I had an idea the second weekend of the quarantine: “There are drums in the garage. Go record a few beats and email them to musicians.”
This 11-song lo-fi collection is the end result. The unsolicited drum tracks I sent off were created with a single overblown USB podcast mic in a cluttered garage with concrete floors. Many songwriters politely declined or wisely never responded. One recipient described the drums as sounding like the “goo inside a Stretch Armstrong. It makes GBV look like Steely Dan.” Another said the drums were “some distorted MahFakhs.” Both were correct.
I honestly expected zero responses, especially when I gave everybody less than two weeks to complete something. It’s a testament to my talented and fearless songwriter friends that this compilation even exists. To say that I was amazed by the stylistic diversity of musical responses would be a vast understatement (and don’t get me started on all the unbelievable hooks). Included are tracks from brave souls in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Hawaii, San Francisco and New York.
In the end, the boombox-quality drums seemed to level the playing field. Everybody had the same impossible task: I gave them mossy stones and asked for lemonade. Some used the full drum tracks, others a cymbal crash or floor tom loop — one way or another, the DNA of that original spark is on every track. My hope is that this primordial rock ’n’ roll experiment, in its own weird way, captures some of the strange energy generated in moments like this.
That’s where you come in. This started out as a challenge for songwriters, but now it’s a challenge for listeners. If you came here looking for anything remotely “well produced” or even “slightly reasonable” — and why wouldn’t you given Big Stir’s excellent track record? — it’s better we part ways here and remain friends. Otherwise…
Ladies and Gentlemen, socially-distanced children of all ages, I give you the Quarantine Sessions.