Singled Out: Lovett's The Fear

05/11/2011
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Today Ben Lovett tells us about "The Fear" from the new Lovett album "Highway Collection," which was released earlier this year. Here is the story:

It was an accident, one of those things that just happens to you. I had been up all night and most of the night before, sneaking into a studio that isn't there anymore, recording my first album of songs, Highway Collection. We were 5 days into what would take years to complete, but I didn't know that then. I had just laid down a scratch vocal on a song called, "The Fear" when I got a call from a friend who taught a summer camp for kids.

"I heard you were in town, I need a favor." It was late on a Thursday night, our session was just starting. "This guy was supposed to come and speak to the kids for an hour tomorrow about music and he just cancelled on me." He explained that the camp is supposed to provide a guest speaker each week and they needed a replacement. We made a deal.

"If you come talk to these kids for an hour tomorrow morning you'll have the whole camp in one room and you can do whatever you want."

"How many kids?" I asked.

"100 kids."

"I'll be there."

I hung up and spent the next 8 hours in the studio, recruiting people from the bar across the street to yell and shout out a group vocal part I was hearing for the song. It was an all night party in the studio, then around 8:00 am I walked out into the merciless sunlight and drove in rush hour traffic to an elementary school in the suburbs. When I got there the kids were all seated in the auditorium. My friend greeted me, smiled, handed me a wireless microphone and said, "You look like absolute hell my friend, they're all yours." I walked onto the stage and suddenly realized I had no idea what I was there to do.

At that point I basically blacked out. Whether it was panic or sleep deprivation or divine intervention I cannot say, but 60 minutes later I had recorded 100 kids feverishly clapping and shouting the chorus and third verse to "The Fear." I apparently took the microphone and reversed the signal path from the PA back to my laptop, thrown on a pair of headphones, and, with arms flailing wildly about somehow orchestrated the camp into a rousing discontented choir of believers shouting, "We are not alone" at the top of their lungs.

I came out of there dizzy. Everything seemed to happen in an instant. It's the kind of moment that you can describe in 10 words or 10,000 words knowing neither will ever fully explain the feeling. In the final mix I used both the bar crowd and the kids, and there's a certain power to the combination; neither of them were supposed to be there, it was an accident, one of those things that just happen to you.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself with a free download and learn more about the album right here!

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