I recorded Where to Begin in my closet from late 2016 throughout 2017 at my townhome in Austin. At one point in 2017, I was working three different jobs so it drastically slowed down my progress. By 2018, I started talking to Andre Moran about him mixing and Mark Hallman mastering the EP at the Congress House Studio, which was done in about 8 sessions from December 2018 to March 2020. Imaginary Friends was the first song I wrote on the guitar when I learned to play it in early 2012, and I wrote Rocío while living in New York City in 2013. Prints of Her Lipstick was originally part of a different song altogether, but it evolved into what it is on the EP.
While Prints of Her Lipstick and Imaginary Friends have a basic structure and lack a traditional chorus, the hissing in Prints of Her Lipstick could potentially be connected to the Biblical reference to original sin in Imaginary Friends. That wasn’t initially intended, but I noticed that in production and thought it was interesting. Rocío contains an evolving chorus and is a four-chord song. If you listen closely enough, you can hear me clearing my throat right in the middle of the first chorus. The sample of the birds before and after the song I felt provided a unique transitional texture, and was a way to connect my personal experiences in New York to my life as an artist in Austin. I recorded the birds at the corner of Woodward and Palmetto in Ridgewood, Queens.
For those three songs, I originally wanted to record something raw more along the lines of The Paul Simon Songbook, but as I started working on it, I liked the textures provided by the harmonies, ukulele and percussion so just allowed it to expand naturally insisting only on acoustic instruments. As for The Man I’ve Been, it was recorded at my first apartment in Austin on May 7, 2008, and just seemed to fit with the rest of the EP so I included it because it was one of the first things I ever recorded. It was written by my late friend and talented songwriter/musician Jon Pettis to whom I’m tributing this EP. It was on-the-fly and unrehearsed, and I liked the way it came out because it almost feels like you’re in the living room with us.
The layout of the cover art for the CD was inspired by the layout of Pink Floyd’s Animals.
Credits and technical information about Where to Begin
Prints of Her Lipstick, Imaginary Friends, and Rocío written and performed by Tim Delaney featuring Mary Beth Widhalm (vocals) on Imaginary Friends.
Did this already happen? monologue by Blue Mongeon. Opening dialogue between Gene Griffin and Jon Pettis.
The Man I’ve Been written by Jon Pettis and performed by Jon Pettis (guitar, vocals), Tim Delaney (drums), Blue Mongeon (mouthing sax, backup vocals, claps), and Gene Griffin (claps, bongos).
Prints of Her Lipstick, Imaginary Friends, and Rocío are multi-track recordings recorded to an automated click track in the closet of my current residence using an AKG C414 XLII microphone, MBox 3 Pro, and Pro Tools 10 from December 2016 – 2017.
Instrumentation: Guitar, voice, ukulele, rainstick, 2 tambourines, and a Crown Royal bag filled with bottle caps and pennies. A nutshell shaker previously used in a burial ceremony that belonged to a shaman from the Huichol Tribe also used in Prints of Her Lipstick and Imaginary Friends.
Did this already happen? and The Man I’ve Been are mono-recordings recorded in the living room of my first apartment in Austin using a Nady CM88 microphone, MBox 2, and ProTools 7 LE in 2008.
Instrumentation: Guitar, voice, drums with brushes, bongos, and hand claps.
Birds recorded on the corner of Woodward and Palmetto in Ridgewood, Queens, New York, NY using an MXL 4000, Presonus BlueTube, FLStudio 11, and a Toshiba Satellite.
All songs recorded and produced by Tim Delaney.