Breaking the Record with Roan Yellowthorn, Part 55: “Acid Trip”

Breaking The Record 2020
Breaking The Record 2020
Jackie McLean of the indie band Roan Yellowthorn grants us an inside look at the making of an album from start to finish in her ‘Breaking The Record’ column.
Stream: “Acid Trip” – Roan Yellowthorn

My new song ‘Acid Trip’ is out now. I have to say, I’ve been really looking forward to releasing this one. It’s one of my favorite songs off of our new album and, probably, one of my favorite songs out of all the songs I’ve ever written (and there have been a lot).

And I just found out today that it got added to two official Apple playlists – New in Alternative and New in Rock. So that’s super exciting!

Just jumping into the Breaking The Record series documenting the making of our album from start to finish? Read part 1 here!

I wrote this song at my mom’s house in Maine. I brought my keyboard with me on the trip, on the chance that I’d want to work on some music. It’s kind of an elaborate keyboard to set up. There are no internal speakers so it requires a PA to get it to work. But I’m glad I went through the process of bringing it because, while I was there at my mom’s house, I had an idea for a song.

It started out as one line – this became the first line of the song – and it developed pretty organically into its own entity. A self-contained world of impressions and feelings.

The initial idea came a few days or weeks earlier while I was driving. I took notice of the feeling I was having – and watched myself feel it. It was the feeling of freedom that I always get when I travel alone. The feeling of possibility and excitement. And I noticed the impressions that passed in front of me as I looked through the windshield – feelings and colors and memories. Emotions. All in a swirl that felt bright and intense and saturated with meaning and significance.

I’m really happy with this song. I knew I loved it as soon as I wrote it. And I was really excited to record it when we brought it to our producer, John Agnello.

The process of recording this song was so much fun. We added harmonies and instrument parts to enhance the vibe. At the end of the song, Andy Burton plays an instrument called a Continuum to create sounds that sound like human voices, echoing and murmuring. We made some parts of the song backwards for a cool effect. As it went, we made it trippier and trippier.

This song is a banger. It makes you feel alive and also connected to your feelings. That’s how it makes me feel, anyway. I hope you like it. I hope you listen to it and feel high. High on life.

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Stream: “Acid Trip” – Roan Yellowthorn

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