This version of Porcelain Backdrop (track 8 off of ‘Midnight Door’) is really only slightly different than the version that made it onto the album. I have to admit that the difference is very subtle. You see I had grown slightly weary of… not of the sound… but of *relying* on the dual vocals thing that I blatantly borrowed from Elliott Smith.
When Elliott Smith recorded ‘Either/Or’ and other albums, he often doubled up on his vocals… ie., he recorded the same vocals singing the same words and notes twice. For me what it did is made hushed vocals louder and more present. It also accentuates rather than avoids the very natural inclination that humans have to being not perfectly “in tune”. When the two slightly imperfect vocals cross paths, they create a very human sound, since, when two real human beings sing together, they tend to be slightly “out of tune”, and thus, they sound HUMAN. (I rant because so much music that you hear is not really people’s voices, but computer “fixed” vocals).
When I record cello for other people’s projects, I like to double up, and record two versions of the same melodies to be played at once, so that the sound of my less than computer cellos adds up to a human sounding orchestral type of thing.
So I got addicted to doing the same thing with vocals. Which is what you’ll find on the original version of Porcelain Backrop off the album. But I almost released it with only one vocal, so that you could hear the sort of rawness of the lyrics, against the very deluxe backdrop of sound.
Porcelain Backdrop was named so because… well, it kind of just stuck. I did however, record that song after returning home from my epic road trip. I was trying to write a song, which is something I never do, I usually say: “I’m inspired… NOW is the time to write a song”…. and I wanted to write about how grateful I was for finding
1. answers to some of the more simple problems facing me regarding moroseness (“I think that I can see through… the shortening of the days”),
2. a person who really wanted to share with me in the experience of living in the way that Kate did on our road trip. (“you saved my boat from sinking… you made my nights complete”)
Without further ado, Porcelain Backdrop as never heard before with one vocal track instead of dueling: