Conversation: Husbands talk covers and recording

Husbands talk with Puddlegum about recording covers, a Roland synth they picked up, and their recording process (LP 3 is in the works).
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Oklahoma City surf pop band Husbands have been working on third full-length, having given us a hint with their September single, Garth. The band wrote the song as a tip toward Danny Davis‘ small hometown, Yukon, the home of Garth Brooks.

Not a lot to see, unless you look a little harder
How tiny must you be to never get any father?

In the middle of completing their next LP, Husbands found it “cathartic” to record minimalistic covers with a Roland JX-8P synth they recently picked up, releasing these covers on their Instagram account (IGTV). Puddlegum talked to Danny about these minimalistic and simple covers.

“[We] just bought an old synth on FB marketplace (Roland JX-8P) and decided to record some covers as an exercise to work out some nice sounds from it,” Danny shared. We’re deep in the throes of recording our third full length album, so it’s been a little cathartic to low key put out these lofi covers while we’re hammering the record out.”

There’s something to the early and mid 80s synths. The sounds are perfect for lofi, both unique in their sounds and coupled with lovable flaws. This particular model that Roland released in 1985 was used by Depeche Mode; no other endorsement is needed.
Apartment Story by The National by Husbands (Instagram)

In the past four days, Husbands have shared seven covers, beginning with a cover of Desperado by The Eagles. The vibes are strong. Husbands followed this with Bluish by Anco, then a cover of Bob Dylan‘s Copper Kettle. “Probably the best moonshine song out there,” the band wrote.

Danny shared about covering versus recording their own songs, “There’s a notable mental difference between recording our own songs and just messing around with covers. For some reason it’s easier to be more experimental when recording a cover. Maybe that’s because we tend to do a lot of the writing as we record, and we don’t have to think about the writing part when it’s someone else’s song.”

“I just splurged on this new fancy studio desk and reorganized everything in the studio. All the gear is connected now so it’s just been easier to use all the crap more effectively.” Smart. As an engineer, I can say that having your gear set up really elevates the creative flow, since you’re able to jump into ideas (and not risk losing them while you connect cables).
You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon by Husbands (Instagram)

As for the recording process of these covers, Danny shared, “Tracking wise, the guitars have been in the closet, so it’s been about filling in the sound using only the synth and some drum samples to fill the sound. Trying to keep it pretty minimal, arrangement wise.”

It’s in this minimalism that these covers work so well. Doubling up on the vocals, using varying tricks, from a vocal slap to reverbs. The tones of this synth sounds so nice that I might look for a JX-8P.

The band released a cover of Apartment Story by The National. Then, You Are A Light by Pavement. The band’s sixth cover is a brilliant take on You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon.
Desperado by The Eagles by Husbands (Instagram)

We’re really enjoying these songs, and looking forward to the LP three. To simplify your search for these covers, here’s the current track-list. (We’ll update this list as Husbands release more on Instagram.)

Desperado by The Eagles
Bluish by Anco
Copper Kettle by Bob Dylan
Apartment Story by The National
You Are A Light by Pavement
You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon
Holiday Road by Lindsey Buckingham

P.S. – There’s a good chance you’ll find them on BandCamp soon.

Photo credit: Lainey Conant; used with permission.

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Kevin Flick
Kevin Flick

Kevin Flick founded Puddlegum in 1997 and has been engaging in music journalism off and on since. He's also a recording/mixing engineer and loves to help bands work through the creative process. He has coproduced and mixed for artists such as Saeyers, Midi Memory, and Cathedral Bells.

Rumors are that he's a Brighton Hove & Albion FC fan. He's also obsessed with coffee. Kevin resides in the college community of Bloomington, Indiana, where he studied at Indiana University.

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