"Wouldn't It" From Claire's New "Hearts and Minds" EP


"Wouldn't It"

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Claire Massey is the original vocalist in 'ohana Dreamdance, co-writing "Made To Love", and singing on four or five of the group's first tracks, only one of which ("Let Me") has been released so far. But most of Claire's music has come out of her successful collaboration with highly respected Chicago guitarist Tommy G., a collaboration that has included writing, performing and recording a number of noted projects. The two were founding members of the nineties pop group, now cult favorite, Tami Show, which included Claire's sister Cath, and after Tami Show's run through two major label deals ended, Claire and Tommy continued working.

Their 2002 LP Suncat Muse included the single "Butterfly", which, in complete defiance of the sordid financial realities of modern corporate radio, reached the Top 20 of the national AC charts as a true independent single. Their production technique has always come from traditional band-based arrangements, and it begins when Claire and Tommy write a song, usually a guitar driven progression from Tommy that Claire will put lyrics and melody to. When they're ready, they find some great musicians, usually the same ones, book studio time in a great room with a great producer/engineer, and work together with everybody until the track is right. It's the approach of most great bands, and a very different process from the producer-and-vocalist approach of most beats-driven music, like dance and R&B.

Claire and Tommy had a song they had tried to include in a couple of these projects, a ballad called "Wouldn't It", but they could just never quite get it to where they wanted, so it never made it into any of their releases. A year or so ago, Claire began to think that it should maybe have an edgier, more electronic production, so she talked to 'ohana Dreamdance Producer Johnny Nevin, who put the track together around her stunning vocal. The track at the top of this story is the final version of the track, out soon as part of a new EP called Hearts and Minds, that we'll be saying a lot more about.

Besides the track itself, we've also put together a podcast that traces the development of the "Wouldn't It" production. It starts with the intro from the final master, but then goes back to the very beginning of the process. It shows five different stages of the song's development, playing different progressive versions of how the arrangement and production of the track changed. Each of the versions is from the same section of the song, the second verse and chorus, until the podcast closes with the rest of the song from the final release. If you've got four minutes (the rest of the seven minutes is just the end of the final version), this is a fascinating trip through the process of how a singer and producer find the track that they want to make out of great song.

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To hear more from Claire, the best place to start is planetclaire.com.

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