Lousy with Sylvianbriar was created with a new songwriting approach, a different recording method, and a fresh group of musicians. Seeking creative inspiration, Kevin Barnes re-located to San Francisco where he spent days soaking in the strange surroundings and channeling the city's energy into his writing. After a very prolific period there, he returned to Athens, GA, and assembled the cast of musicians to begin the sessions.
Barnes eschewed computer recording -- with its pitch correction, limitless effects plug-ins and editing possibilities -- and instead, with the help of engineer Drew Vandenberg (Deerhunter, Toro y Moi), he recorded Lousy with Sylvianbriar in his home studio on a 24-track tape machine. With no computer tricks to fall back on, the band -- Kevin Barnes (guitars, bass, vocals), Rebecca Cash (vocals), Clayton Rychlik (drums ,vocals), Jojo Glidewell (keys), Bob Parins (pedal steel, bass), and Bennet Lewis (guitars, mandolin) -- could only get out of the recordings what they put into them. Most of the tracking was recorded live with the band in the same room together. They worked quickly, with the band members composing their parts on the fly and with little second-guessing. The album was recorded in just three weeks.
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