Singled Out: RadioBlack's Sunny Daze

06-12-2017
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RadioBlack

RadioBlack recently released their self-titled debut (mostly recorded at the Foo Fighters' Studio 606). To celebrate we asked frontman TJ Courtney to tell us about the song "Sunny Daze". Here is the story:

Sunny Daze is the one strictly feel-good song on the album. It ultimately came about because I was dating someone new who was very cool, mellow, and was helping me enjoy myself for once. Coming off the heels of a really toxic relationship with an ex-girlfriend, I was in awe of how easy going and feel-good this new thing was. A few of us were laying out playing music on the flat-roofed section of a house in my hometown, Wilbraham, Massachusetts, on the first nice day of the year. We were having drinks and essentially pretending we were on the beach. I think we had a Sublime Pandora station on (or something similar) and a bunch of throwback alt-rock summer songs were playing. After a while the designated DJ's phone died, so we were stuck in silence for a bit. As the lyrics mention, the distant sounds of the street nearby became calming, almost like the sound of the ocean. After a spending a few minutes listening to that, the chorus melody started rattling around in my head and I thought damn, that's pretty cool. I volunteered myself to go inside and get my phone so we could keep playing music, my true motive being to open my voice memo app and get the idea down. At that point I had written the chorus melody and some of the lyrics. I took a voice memo in the bathroom, then went back up on the roof to hang out for a bit longer. After another hour or so I made an excuse to leave and told everyone I would meet back up later that night, and went home and demo'd the whole song.

The original demo was much slower.. more of a laid-back acoustic song. This was right around the time I was talking to the guys at Studio 606 about recording there, so I sent it to their in-house producer Lou the next day. At that point I was still pretty nervous sending demos off to the crew over there, and I still remember getting the email back from Lou saying "this is awesome!"

A few months later, when we went in to record it, we started jamming it in the live room and Taylor (Hawkins) and the guitarist on the song Mick (Murphy) started playing it with the tempo way faster than I intended - it felt too fast to me at the time. Eventually I got used to that sped-up, more arena-rock version and we went with it. The "street sounds" chant in the chorus took a long time to get right - we ended up layering close to 40 takes of my voice to get the sound we wanted.

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

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