A rock opera in 5:44 – that’s what you’re in for with “Rosie.”
It takes a special track to take you on a massive journey in a short amount of time, but this hyperkinetic new single from the rising NYC act Sylvana Joyce + The Moment. Aptly named for lead singer/keyboardist Joyce’s apparent ability to arrive into the present and then totally explode it, the five-piece’s lineup stretches from synths to fiddle, and exuberantly sounds not quite like anything else.
In the debut of SonicScoop’s “Track Attack!”, we get the artist’s perspective on where they record, and why the studio worked so well. In this case, the facility of choice was Greenpoint’s These Outer Spaces Studio, which turned out to an intrinsically inspiring muse for this searing single.
I Am: Sylvana Joyce of Sylvana Joyce + The Moment.
The Track: “Rosie”
Where I’m Coming From
“Rosie” is about the duplicity of someone’s public and private personality. Originally, I imagined the song as a blind date gone horribly wrong – realizing that someone who you thought was attractive and inviting is actually a monster.
But, when I dug deeper into writing the lyrics, I saw an opportunity to make deceptive appearances actually a powerful thing. Specifically with women, there is a stifling decorum and personality we are expected to portray, a prim and proper, soft girlish-ness. Our looks, our sensuality, all of these things are made the focus to our self-worth – and stranger still, we are all told that only a certain type is acceptable.
When I envisioned the character of Rosie and how the song would unfold, I was thinking about how scary it is to break away (or witness someone else depart) from that socially acceptable mold, to the point where it seems grotesque and sinister. As I began to perform the song, I realized just how accurate it was to the plight of women in the entertainment industry.
Rock and Roll, specifically, is still a man’s world, and I feel like this song is a siren screaming, “this is not ‘woman music’. This is just good music.” The rock and roll universe needs a Rosie the Riveter character to lead the way for more women to claim it as their own.
I had a lot of fun combining the band’s live instrumentation with some extra layering of a live string section, synth pads, and Wurlitzer effects to add more intrigue. Our live sound is already rich, but I wanted to extend the sound a little bit outside our usual arrangement to make it larger than life.
Be careful what you wish for – I now want to try to bring a more involved setup to our live concerts. Haha!
These Outer Spaces Studio (in Greenpoint, Brooklyn) is such a warm environment – not too elegant as to feel clinical, but with enough room to write, record, and just chill.
The first time I visited TOS was to help my dear songwriter friend Janna Pelle with auxiliary sounds in her upcoming record, and it almost felt like the space was conducive to creative inspiration. The live room is just surrounded by an assortment of vintage and limited edition gear, including two full racks of KEYBOARDS/synths! ::drool::
Max Low, the producer-in-house, and I clicked on the get go. Once I heard the roughs of our tracks and the magic we were able to capture, I knew this was the right environment for us.
All I Ever Dreamed of…and More
I have some very specific goals for our upcoming record – I feel like you need to enter a different creative space. You no longer have elements of the visual like you do in a live performance, so, especially for me, it’s an opportunity for the sonic space to encompass the entire world of the songs.
Our last record was mostly recorded live, and this time, I wanted to up the ante and introduce some cinematic elements to our tracks. What rocked about Max’s approach was that what we heard back in our earphones as we were tracking sounded very live and dynamic. The drums were so punchy and full, the tracking EQs of the roughs were fantastic. It got us pumped on the get go to hear such a scintillating untouched take and I think positively influenced our performances on the record.
At one point, I had an idea to write a string octet on the spot with the violinist in my band, Sean-David Cunningham, and Max just gave us the space and vibe to roam free and track to our hearts’ content.
Once we got to mixing, Max and I just started geeking out about cinematic and sonic influences for the record and had so much fun just talking about the potential of the tracks.
I think it helps that he and I have some intersection of taste, and so we trusted each other and connected through the mixing process. He was able to translate my ideas from layman terms into the right production elements.
We did a light mastering on the mix at TOS and plan to do a full master when the track is released with the record.
For this track, publishing will be huge. The mix of the groove/hook and theatrics, I think, will make for a perfect background track (or even theme song) on film/TV. Sean-David and I were fantasizing about this being the perfect song for the upcoming Ghostbusters movie trailer… 😉
We’re very proud of this song, and we have some amazing fans who have been waiting for new material from us, so we’re excited to spread it far and wide – look out for an accompanying (and horror-tastic) music video of the song, coming soon!