Keeping it to a hush, Mini Dresses has been recording their first LP and staking a sonic space of tangible diligence. The recording of this self-titled album has been the drive of Lira Mondal and Caufield Schnug for a year now with the only goal being that it feels right. Seeing that the internet is a hurricane of convoluted new music options, the idea that this album would be given time to spark, was a conscious decision.
After 8 years of playing music together, the couple has become accustomed to each other’s artistic preferences. In the past, little guidelines had slid into their writing process, such as ‘never hit the crash cymbals’ and ‘only use two strings for the guitar track’. The sprawl of time that was taken with this LP lent an opportunity to develop a mutual new perspective of the band’s overall frame.
“When we first started recording, I wanted more slick production and then we fell in love with the materiality of the tape and vintage effects that we have been working with. We realized that just because we are releasing something big, doesn’t mean that it has to sound big,” Mondal said. “This will be our most low fi recording to date, and very textural and tactial.”
The original spark that fueled the transition in production style derived from a recording session in Mondal and Scnug’s living room. They recorded a new song, “Hands Down” on their Macbook and hearing that untouched version play out of those common laptop speakers, something stuck. This perspective then re-imagined old favorites for the album, like “Post Office Girl”, “Everywhere I Go”, and “Are You Real?” and steered new tracks on the same direction.
The cycles of experimentation and drafts were held in the far corner of an industrial building in Roxbury, where the newly established studio owners, Spencer Gralla (member of CreaturOs) and Evan Murphy (member of Beware the Dangers of the Ghost Scorpion!) cultivated the space for the
album to expand to its final state. Gralla and Murphy poured savings, newly learned home improvement skills and some parental electrician expertise, to create a nurturing space
for recording artists, such as themselves. After some Googling, the two found that the building was once home to Fort Apache Studio, where legends, such as The Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., and Elliott Smith, once set out to record, but they’ve already carved out
their own magic.
“I really want you to see something,” Mondal smiled and opened the entrance door. ”Come with me!” As Mondal turned a quick left corner from the studio, she led the way to a fire escape where the skyline revealed to be a small piercing silhouette amongst the vast late fall sunset.
“I come out here between takes sometimes.”
Getting back into the studio, Mondal put down her peach-pear flavored La Croix, which received unanimous rave reviews around the studio earlier, sat at the drum set, and started a bass drum beat. Waiting for the drummer, Luke Reed, to arrive for recording, Schnug asked, “Let’s jam? Spencer?”
Galla then picked up a bass as they felt around the sonic space, occasionally sharing glances. After a full day as a pastry chef on Mondal’s end, and a teaching fellow at Harvard on Schnug’s end, the energy towards the album, sees nothing resembling the form of exasperation or exhaustion. Just awe.
Offering a joint statement, Mondal and Schnug explained, “We’re not exactly aspirational or career-minded by any means. The project is more about staying true to our vision and not necessarily about maximizing our output or reaching more people. The plan is to stay in Boston and to continue pushing in new sonic directions. That’s the good life.”
The release date and location of release is still undetermined, but Allston Pudding will update readers when details are released.
Check out Mini Dresses with Major Stars, Taiwan Housing, and KSZNK at O’Brien’s on Friday, December 9th.