Dishwalla Singled Out Week: Waiting On You, Love

07-12-2017
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Dishwalla

Dishwalla are releasing "Juniper Road," their first new album in over a decade this Friday (7/14) and to celebrate we asked Jim Wood to tell us about some of the tracks. Today he talks about "Waiting On You, Love". Here is the story:

Waiting on You, Love is an idea of Justin's that he had sung and played a couple of bars into his phone. Later on he finished out the arrangement and lyrics and we tried it out as a band. It was acoustic guitar-driven and had kind of a push and pull feel to it. During one of our writing sessions we tried an alternate version where we set up in a circle with me on acoustic piano, Scot and Rodney playing acoustic guitars and George playing percussion, Justin sang a guide vocal along with us through the talkback mic in the control room, which is used to communicate with the people wearing headphones in the tracking room. This version was much slower and darker, and changed the mood of the song completely. When we mixed the song the small talkback vocal sound was transformed into a larger than life version of itself by smashing it though some vintage audio compressors.

That version sat for about a year until we revived it again as we started digging into just what the new record track listing would be. The consensus was that while Justin's voice sounded great with all of that open space that the overall vibe of the song still wasn't quite right. We tossed around a bunch of ideas and ended up trying a completely different approach with a more driving beat and Peter Gabriel-like bass line, but also with ambient guitars and keys. Rodney was playing a heavily effected single note part using analog delay feedback and the keys were based on an Omnichord, which is a Suzuki toy autoharp form the early 80s that makes awesomely weird sounds. The song slowly speeds up from start to finish and George's drum part alternates playing ahead and behind the beat in each measure. We cut a single take of that and knew we had something good, but it was still very undefined to stand alone as a complete song. It was looking like it was going to become a cool B-side.

During the Joshua Tree Sessions with Sylvia Massy we dug into it once more, and added bigger guitars and the spacey intro piece. We also added Justin's original guitar part into the second half of the song which gave it the extra drive that it needed. Musically we had all of the pieces but something was still missing on the vocal performance. I went back to the original live acoustic and piano version and lifted that demo guide vocal that he had sung through the talkback microphone and cut it into the new version. It was done at a completely different tempo but after some editing it sat right into the mix made the song complete. There are no other vocal tracks on that song and its one of the most epic on the record. All of the drums, bass, main guitar track and keys are live. Sometimes your first sketch is the best one.

Learn more about the album and stream the lead single right here!

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