Though notable and numerous exceptions abound, most records don't happen when a band simply sets up one microphone, hits the record button and plays the songs they've written and learned. Records oftentimes take days, weeks, months or, if you're Axl Rose, years to complete. Bands with budgets go from studio to studio, coast to coast searching for that perfect snare sound or the right vibe for their precious material. The process can get expensive, tedious and stressful.
New trends in technology, however, have made recording at home or in a familiar practice space viable, even for bands that aren't looking for lo-fi charm or thick tape hiss. Two Raleigh bands, The Rosebuds and Annuals, both make pop music that, at its best, demands high production value. You need to hear the vocals, to identify the hook, to feel the guitar solo. And both bands are on labels with the money to fund sessions at big studios.
But on Life Like, The Rosebuds' fourth album, and Such Fun, Annuals second album, they got those sounds mostly by recording at home. Life Like feels cozy and full, its 10 tracks simple and charming but defined by sharp drums and gauzy guitars. Such Fun feels clean and durable, its production raising the bar far beyond Annuals' previously busy music. Both records will be released on Oct. 7. Together, they represent a new opportunity to stay at home, take risks and make strong records. —Grayson Currin