Chloe Gallardo goes Behind the Scenes

As die-hard music fans, sometimes it’s not enough to just play our favourite songs on repeat over and over. Sometimes, we want to go behind the scenes and know everything there is to know about those songs and the artists behind them. (Not in a creepy way, of course.) Indie-rocker Chloe Gallardo was kind enough to take us through her latest record ‘Defamator’ track by track, and provide details behind the writing and recording process. The beautifully honest and occasionally shoegazey record is out now on Taxi Gouche Records, and you can check out Chloe’s commentary, alongside some exclusive photos from the studio, below.

1) Bloodline –  The guitar you hear in the intro of this song is this cheap little Yamaha classical guitar that I bought myself not too long before we recorded. We used the guitar a lot all over the record but mostly I remember my guitarist playing “pallet cleanser” songs on it in between takes. Our go-to was ‘Since U Been Gone’ by Kelly Clarkson.

2) God Is Dead – Tracking the vocals for this was really a process. For a lot of the songs, we recorded the vocals earlier on in the recording process and then as time went on, I listened back and thought I could do a better take. So I re-recorded a few songs while I sat on the couch in the control room with people still in the room with me. It made it way more intimate because everyone had to be super quiet and they were just listening to me sing. This song is obviously a heavier subject matter so having to sing it over and over in that setting kind of set me off and I ended up crying in front of everyone. My producer thought it added a lot to the emotion and feel of the song, but in that moment I was so embarrassed I wanted to go home.

3) There Will Be Blood – We stole our friend Brett’s baritone guitar for this song and actually liked it so much we tried adding it on as many songs as we could before he took it on tour with him. His tour ended up getting cancelled because his band got COVID so we got to use it on pretty much every single song. My record definitely would not sound the same if it wasn’t for his guitar.

4) Defamator – Tracking this song was super cool because we got my friend George to come in and play pedal steel on it. It added such a cool ethereal feeling to it which I thought was really unique because usually I hear pedal steel in the context of country or folk sounding music. We also sampled some of the pedal steel on the interlude tracks of the record.

5) New Jersey – The highlight of this song for me is definitely the scream outro. It was so fun to record. I did it in only two takes and we had to save it for the last day of vocal tracking so I didn’t have to worry about blowing out my voice for future takes. We turned out all the lights in the room and I just screamed bloody murder as loud as I possibly could. We ran it through a bunch of slapback and distortion and it just ended up sounding so good.

6) To See You Go – I think this was one of the last songs we tracked drums and bass for. I remember sitting in the control room listening to it all come together and kind of freaking out a little. It was really weird that all these people were there for something I wrote in my little bedroom. One of the things I really like about this song is that the feel of it came so naturally as soon as we added drums. It’s like the song came to life and we realized it’s full potential.

7) The Way – We didn’t want to use live drums for this song for the sake of keeping some variety in the mix. Initially we were going to make our own drum machine by having our drummer play through a tiny cigarette amp so it sounded super wacky and distorted, but I remember it kind of ended up sounding like a fart machine, lol. I think we all might have been extremely exhausted after repeated 10+ hours days in the studio but we probably laughed about that for a good hour or so.

8) Last Dance – One of my favorite memories about this song is my guitarist, Adrien’s, solo on it. We had all made plans to cut our day a bit short to go see Slow Pulp play at The Echo so Adrien didn’t have too much time to track his part but he pretty much laid down everything in one try. We got to listen to it in the car on the way to the show and we knew the song was complete.

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