With one day to go, today’s the day I give some love to the studio teams who made this album possible (and amazing.) Earlier in this series, I talked about the powerful work we did at Mortal Music (Revolution Sound Studios) in Charlestown, MA, with Andy Pinkman and Craig Small on “Harder Girl” (2016 single). I’ve also talked about “Color the Air” and “Sweetheart”, both produced by Small and recorded at Q Division, with additional recording at A Small Studio by Small and Henley Row by Dan Nicklin. Boston has a wealth of great studios and fantastic engineers and producers, and it was a rare pleasure to get to explore so many as we pulled this project together.

Ed V. and James Bridges at Q Division Studios. Photo by Fuel Heart Productions.

The bulk of the album was recorded at Q Division Studios in Somerville over the past year and a half, produced by Ed Valauskas. With 2 singles under our belt and a third pending, we realized we had enough new material for a full-length. Ed worked with us on the 6 remaining album tracks, as well as the live track of my mother’s tune we recorded last February. Working with him was a complete joy, from the musical ideas to the attention to process and detail to the warm, calm bedside manner. I’ve always found tracking vocals terrifying, but found myself actually enjoying it this time (whiskey helped.) I love Ed’s sense of collaboration in the studio; of listening to and guiding us through all the ideas that popped up; and of getting out of a song’s way to let it breathe and be the piece it wants to be.

James Bridges and Caitlyn Bongiovi shared engineering duties throughout, and the calm, capable energy they bring to a session is an artist’s dream. It was also a boon to have both these talented engineers able to move seamlessly between each other’s sessions; another great advantage of the Q community of professionals. Shout-out also to Pat DiCenso, who engineered “Sweetheart” and “Color the Air” and mixed all 10 tracks on Long Fuse Burning. With so many different people involved in the project, Pat was actually one of the only consistent elements on the album. He and Ed did a masterful job of sequencing and unifying the album and tying the piece together into a cohesive whole.

Missed Connections on our last full day at Q Division. Photo by Fuel Heart Productions.

The final piece of this Q and Q-adjacent dream team (hai, Moontower!) was Mike Quinn, swooping in at the end for mastering. Mastering is something of a dark art to the rest of us, and having an expert like Quinn in your corner can make all the difference when it comes to the final product. The masterful way all these folks were able to work together to see our album from early stages to completion, and the support we received from the studio throughout, was a great thing to be a part of. Our Year at Q was a total blast. We were all sad to wrap it up (Stud: “I’m gonna be so sad when I don’t get to hang out with Ed V all the time anymore!); and encouraged to write more so we can get back in there as soon as possible!

Long Fuse Burning will be available on August 16 for purchase and on all streaming platforms. Pre-save or pre-order today.