Alice Ivy gives us a BTS look at the recording of her debut album, I'm Dreaming
The Melbourne multi-instrumentalist's debut album, I'm Dreaming, is out now through Dew Process / UMA.
Header photo taken from our Live Session with Alice Ivy last year. Revisit it HERE.
Over the past few years, Melbourne's Alice Ivy has proved to be an underdog in Australia's electronic scene. The multi-instrumentalist, known for her expansive and sample-heavy productions that can be lazily compared to elusive Australian figureheads The Avalanches, has delivered some of our market's most spectacular creations, from the Bertie Blackman-featuring Chasing Stars or the Georgia van Etten-featuring Touch to the popular E^ST/Charlie Threads collaboration Get Me A Drink and hip-hop leaning Be Friends.
All these singles (plus more) feature on her first full-bodied piece of work I'm Dreaming, which sees Alice Ivy showcase her masterful talents in album mode with little faults. Amongst the already released singles, I'm Dreaming solidifies Alice Ivy's prowess at crafting clever and intricate productions which shine with her recognisable bright touch. St. Germain layers a jazzy brass line with tribal-esque percussion rhythms for a track that offers a light, instrumental relief after the strong, vocal-heavy leading three singles. Bella, on the other hand, wouldn't feel out of place on The Avalanches' Wildflower, with fuzzy vocal samples combining with an airy and extensive production which seems to feature heavily across the record.
It's a brilliant debut album from Alice Ivy, and to celebrate its release and her forthcoming album tour (full dates at the end), we got the Melbourne musician to give us some behind-the-scenes insight into the album's creation, from her workings with Ableton and collaborators like E^ST to a bunch of random studio dogs – because dog content is the best content, obviously. Grab the album HERE.
Now, over to Alice Ivy:
About three years ago I started to learn how to use Ableton Live for an assignment at Uni. I’d been playing guitar in bands for years but what I fell in love with about Ableton is that it gives you the independence to do everything yourself. I started writing I’m Dreaming in a studio I set up at home in Brunswick.
My initial setup was pretty basic. I had a two channel interface and used the Ableton Push to generally record all of my drums and keyboard lines using plugins, samples and recordings I had made. After a few months, I gradually began to move onto a lot more hardware.
I didn’t start out with the intention of writing an album, but it began to piece together track by track. The first song on the album I wrote was Charlie. I wanted to create a song that would fill a dance floor and make people feel good.
The second single from the album Almost Here was tracked all over the world. While on tour I recorded the live drums at the Red Planet studio in Hobart with Sam Dowson from Lazer Baby, demoed the vocals in Europe and recorded the topline at my uni studios and the verses with RaRa in their home studio in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
I supported E^ST on her national tour in November 2016, and we immediately felt as though we had to write a song together. I was planning on touring Europe that summer and already had my flights booked; unfortunately, I broke my leg at a music festival just beforehand. Instead, that trip turned into a bit of holiday. On long flights and during downtimes I wrote the beat to Get Me A Drink which I finished in a week or so when E^ST visited Melbourne after I got home.
On that same trip to Europe, I crossed paths with my old friend and vocalist Georgia Van Etten in London. Over a few glasses of red we recorded the album title track I’m Dreaming in my Air BnB in Camden Town.
A cool aspect of making electronic music is that you can work from basically anywhere. Here’s me making a beat in bed while on tour in Singapore.
For the last track on the album, I did something nerve-wracking and sung the vocals myself. It’s been a strange but really rewarding feeling having so many people tell me this is their favourite track on the record.
I met Bertie Blackman when I opened for Urthboy in Melbourne, and she was performing with him. Bertie has an insane voice and I was super stoked to get her on Chasing Stars. We recorded this up in Sydney in Joyride’s studio above a pub.
My housemates were getting pretty fed up with me tracking at home ALL THE TIME, so I upgraded to a studio down the road where I finished the record with help from my dog Lexie.
And here is another random dog in the studio...
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