Contributor’s Note: Elaine Rasnake is one of the most exciting indie/electronic artists in Philly. In addition to rocking the DIY scene her music is finding a home online among fans of Grimes, Slyvan Esso, and Neon Indian. Fans can find Elaine Rasnake at the following locations:
–What were some of the challenges of recording, mixing, and mastering an album all yourself?
The hardest part was having that lack of a second or third set of ears to make sure I was making the best musical and engineering choices. After a while, listening to your own voice over and over can become very tiring if you’re not used to it. It was also tricky to keep deadlines when working this way since I was the only one holding myself accountable throughout the whole process.
–The sound design on your album is really tremendous, what sort of synths did you use? Do you have a favorite synth or piece of equipment that you used on this album?
Thank you! So all of the synths were actually created using layers of different digital synths in Ableton and Pro Tools. I tend to lean towards using digital plug-ins and gear since it’s much more portable and as the technology continues to evolve, it is getting a lot better at standing its ground with their analog counterparts. I don’t have a favorite synth or piece of equipment per se but I did enjoy creating the synth part for ‘Lighter/Brighter’ by finding a warm synth pad and improvising around the kalimba part. Warm synth pads are amazing.
–On the song ‘Lighter/Brighter’ you use a kalimba and the rest of your album heavily features guitar. How do you approach blending acoustic instruments and synth sounds?
When I am in the production and mixing phase, I like to think of all of the instruments as puzzle pieces that create a complete image. I enjoying working on finding that perfect space in each song where the acoustic and digital/electronic sounds can coexist and compliment each other.
–I hear a lot of The Postal Service on your album, what were some of your influences for this album specifically? What were you drawing on when you were writing ‘Breathe Again.’
YES! I love The Postal Service and ‘Give Up’ is definitely an inspiration to me in both its lyrics and production. When I write my songs, it actually starts off as freeform “diary entry” style poems that I write while listening to ambient music which is why you will hear some slow evolving pads at times throughout the album. While I was brainstorming the overall sound for ‘Breathe Again’ I kept going back to ‘The Age of Adz’ by Sufjan Stevens and ‘22 A Million’ by Bon Iver. Both of these albums are absolutely incredible and do a beautiful job of marrying powerful electronic sounds with their acoustic instruments.
How will your next release be different from this one?
I actually bought a Fender Telecaster last year while I was making ‘Breathe Again’ and I really want a chance to play it live so I have a feeling the next album will have a lot more electric guitar in it. I have also been listening to a lot of Phoebe Bridgers, Japanese Breakfast, and a bunch of local indie rock bands which will most likely have an effect on my sound.
!!!Rapid Fire Question Section!!!
Favorite song to wake up to? “Christine” by Christine and the Queens
What’s your favorite cocktail? I’m more of a beer person.
Who’s the biggest celebrity you’ve met? I got to meet the poet Andrea Gibson who performed at my college and they were so amazing and kind.
Dream piece of equipment? I would love to have a Korg MicroKorg.
Best place to get a late night snack in Philly? Definitely Dock Street for some pizza and Mood Cafe for a Lassi.
And there you have it! Elaine Rasnake has a couple of gigs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania coming up, check out show dates below!
Sat. Oct. 20th- The Art Dept Collective in Philadelphia
Fri. Nov. 2nd- The Meadow in Philadelphia (w/The Rareflowers, Chloe Likes Olivia, and Andy Cook)
- Photo Credit: Storm Paul