Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 23rd 2010 3:30PM by Lonny Knapp
To create the timeless quality of the album she enlisted the help of some friends. While many potential producers pitched crunchy guitars, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Les Cooper suggested a horn section.
"I was like, 'Les, you're hired. Let's make a record,'" she tells Spinner.
Using modern technology, vintage gear, and samples from jazz recordings, Cooper helped create a sound Smith calls 'modern vintage.'
"'I Know' is built from sampled music from the '30s, but Les composed a beautiful horn arrangement for 'If You Asked Me' and we had live players come in and play. There are a lot of modern sounds, but we drew from vintage inspirations," she says.
When Meaghan recorded a cover of the Pixies' 'Here Comes Your Man' for the soundtrack to the film '(500) Days of Summer,' she was fortunate to work with ten-time Grammy-winning producer T-Bone Burnett. The track 'Poor' emerged from those sessions.
She said that Burnett didn't rely on studio trickery when capturing the sounds heard on the record.
"He's really old-school, He records on tape, and he's not into editing or multiple takes. 'Poor' sounds like it does because he's not into messing with stuff too much," she said.
Meaghan calls 'Heartbroken' one of her favorite songs on her record. For that track she enlisted Greg Kurstin, who was nominated for a Best Producer Grammy this year for his work with Lily Allen and his own band the Bird and the Bee. While T-Bone Burnett works live off the floor, Kurstin lives in the digital realm.
"We worked only on his computer. The whole track was sampled and run through Pro Tools. It was the complete other end of the spectrum."
A couple of guest performers added finishing touches to 'The Cricket's Orchestra,' including renowned turntablist Kid Koala's flourishes on the track ' A Little Love.' Some might think it odd to have a DJ guest on an old time jazz-inspired album, but Meaghan feels the collaboration makes perfect sense.
"He takes a lot of old sounds, messes with them and presents them in a modern way. Having him on the record really jived with the idea of a making music that is modern and vintage. " she said.
But perhaps the most interesting guest contribution was her father's whistling solo on 'I Know.'
"I'm super lucky that he's on my record," she said. "He plays bass and he's actually a beautiful singer, but he just wanted to whistle and I was cool with that."