Sunshine Blue 4:090:00 / 4:09
Studio 90 was born when songwriter/guitarist, Dave Meek asked vocalist and saxophonist and long-time friend, John (JB) Hayes to listen to some songs he’d been working on with a view to doing the vocals on them. “Sign me up!” JB said as soon as he heard them. Dave and John had previously worked together for years in the successful Bunbury based cover band, Midlifecrisis. “I knew John’s voice well and to a certain extent I had considered that in the lyrics and melodies, even before I had asked him ha ha”.
Some of the songs were written for a female singer, “I had a certain tonal quality in mind that I was looking for” says Dave, and soon he was put in touch with vocalist Angie Williams. “I asked her to sing a couple of lines for me when she came around…...I was blown away…… that’s the voice”.
Angie’s experience as a touring backing singer with Julie Kember and her work in various cover bands around the region meant she picked up the gist of the songs fast and her self-harmonising was magical. Dave would sing roughly what he wanted her to sing, and she would come back with exactly what he wanted, complete with well worked out harmonies. A lot of the vocals on her tracks are first takes!
This collaboration is purely a studio project and there are no plans for live performances, but further songs are already in the making.
Their debut single, Sunshine Blue, is a summer love song and is as laid back as the title suggests, as is the upcoming EP. “The song is inspired by lazy, loving days in the sun,” says Dave Meek, “W.A. has some of the best beaches in the world and I’ve spent more than half of my life here, who couldn’t be inspired to write happy songs”.
STUDIO 90’s sound has been likened to Coldplay meets Brian Adams meets The Edge meets Keith Urban meets David Gilmore, but has it’s own distinctive signature. “I love dotted eighth delays on guitars”, says Dave Meek, “they add an interesting rhythm to the parts that play off each other (inspired by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmore). I also love the interplay of different melodies in a song between the guitars and between the guitars and the vocals.”
“ I’ve played all of the instruments on these songs except for the saxophone (on one of the tracks which will be on the upcoming EP) which JB graciously laid down for me,” says Dave. “The drum tracks were built hit by hit in Fruity Loops using samples I had collected over the years and then treated in exactly the same way that a live kit recording is. All the percussion I played myself. That’s what gives them the ‘live drums’ sound.”
Sunshine Blue Single
October Sun EP
The October Sun Songs
The October Sun EP is a collection of love songs inspired in part by living in the great south west of Western Australia. With a happy vibe to all of them, they make for great listening when you are feeling good about life, but also when things aren’t going so well, and you need a bit of a lift.
The songs all have strong ‘singalongable’ hooks in them that can pop back into your mind pleasurably at any time of the day.
” I like strong, memorable melodies in songs”, says songwriter and guitarist Dave Meek. “I like to keep the chords nice and simple and let the guitars and the vocals create the more complex tonal relationships in the music”.
Each song has its own particular features;
THERE’S SUN IN MY SKY has some great lower harmonies dubbed the ‘Johnny Cash’ lines by Angie because of the way that great singer would add almost drone like lower vocal parts to a lot of his songs. Angie sings such a lower harmony all the way through the song with three-part harmonies in the choruses, and a lot of the parts are first takes. An acoustic guitar part trundles along nicely right from the start of the song tying everything together, whilst on top of this various interesting guitar parts add different flavours between verse and chorus.
FEELING GOOD leaves you feeling just that! The rhythmic interplay between the vocal and the main verse guitar part which is continually changing encourages repeated listening. The saxophone continues that relationship with the guitar through the middle eight before being taken up again by the vocal. The strong choruses leave a satisfying feeling of everything rounding up nicely. Most vocal parts are first takes here too!
SUNSHINE BLUE is about as laid back as you can get. Visions of summer loving are conjured up by each bouncing note. There is a rhythmic complexity to the choruses that defies you to stop tapping your foot. John’s breathy singing through the choruses leaves the listener in no doubt as to the loving feelings being portrayed through the whole song.
COMING BACK TO YOU has a great country feel to it with simple instrumentation and Angie’s country singing background shining through. Super self-harmonies with a lovely movement between thirds and fifths keep things interesting right through the song. Delay throws and ‘telephone’ eq effects add interesting elements and the ‘violin’ guitar part partnered up with the ubiquitous tremolo guitar adds something special from the first chorus right through to the end.