I am very excited to introduce the first full-length album that was recorded and mixed completely in-house at Taylor’s Playground Recording Studio. The project is a CD called “Trusting You” by a mother & daughter dynamic duo known as 2Harts Surrendered.
They have a sound that reminds me a bit of the Judd’s (probably mostly because of the mother & daughter factor), but definitely a ramped up modern, contemporary version. I think the album sounds like a mixture of traditional hymns, red-dirt folk, and modern Contemporary Christian Music.
Most of the songs are full-band arrangements, but we also had a bit of fun with the box drum and just letting the vocals shine. I think there is a good variety of sounds spread across a great selection of songs.
This project was started back in the beginning of 2015 when I received a phone call from a guy by the name of Larry Skrant. He had heard about Taylor’s Playground from John Schmid and he wanted to meet with me to see if I would be up for recording a full-length album for a mother and daughter from Oklahoma. It sounded interesting, for sure. We got together to talk about the project and set a date for one full week of recording in July.
Leading up to that full week of recording, I got in contact with the mother to find out more about who they are and what they are doing. I already had some information from Larry, but it was good to collect information straight from the source.
Tiffany is the mother, and the daughter is a teenager named Skyler. Their last name is Swihart (which is where the name “2Harts” comes from). They are really gifted singers and just incredible, fun, down to earth people.
So they sent me a demo of the songs (recorded with an iPod as they sang around the kitchen table). After asking a few follow-up questions, I realized that they were not planning to play any of the instruments, but they were just planning to sing on the album. Because of that, I decided to start crafting the songs before they got to the studio so that we could spend most of our time on recording week just focusing on vocals.
That began a process of recording and emailing, receiving feedback, then re-recording and re-emailing. I think that process worked really well since they live in Oklahoma and I am in Ohio.
I also asked my good friend Nick Mast if he would be interested in helping with the project by playing drums. He is a gifted drummer, so I was thankful that he was able to help out. I was originally planning to play the drums myself, but was excited to have Nick helping out -which meant that I could focus on other instruments and the actual recording aspect. Nick spent several Thursdays at Taylor’s Playground working on drums and we got a lot of the drums and scratch vocal and guitar recorded before the week of recording in July.
On the week of recording in July, Tiffany and Skyler nailed their vocal parts and we just had a really enjoyable and productive week. I had to record some acoustic guitar here and there, and Nick had to re-record some drum parts as well as lay down some new drum parts, but we mostly focused on vocals for the entire week. Mark Rowe was my assistant for the week, and he was incredibly helpful in so many practical ways -which allowed me to just focus on recording.
At the end of our week together, Tiffany and Skyler went back home and I continued to plug away on the project for the next several weeks by adding bass guitar, electric guitar, additional acoustic guitar parts, keyboard parts, and percussion instruments. I also had a violinist named Julie Bame come to Taylor’s Playground to record some violin parts that really added a lot.
Then came the mixing.
I plugged away and plugged away at the mixing and felt really good about where the project was at. I sent Tiffany a first round of mixes to listen to and we made a few adjustments here and there. On the second round of mixing, we felt like the project was complete.
The CD is currently being mass-produced at DiscMakers and will be available in September.