In March of this year Robb released his second album ‘Sleep Tonight’.
The album was written in the summer of 2012 in Italy. Robb started writing blogs and posting demos from the album at the end of the year 2012. It was the start of what became a long but great project with an amazing result. Robb`s initial plan was to record a relatively quick second acoustic solo album. Acoustic yes, but relatively quick? That didn’t happen…
The first decision Robb made was to not go into a studio to record the album. Time pressure would be of great influence and instead of buying time at a studio, he decided to invest in good studio equipment and build a studio at home. That way there was plenty of time and when things didn’t work out with recording, they could just come back another day and try again.
That decision, along with this way of recording, brought about the final result… which is now the album Sleep Tonight.
I was lucky enough to see the whole process of the recordings. Robb shared little previews whenever things were recorded and mixed. It was great to actually hear the songs grow. It often got me so surprised at how the songs were developing and how it all sounded. Every time Robb shared a preview there was something new to hear. It was great to see (and hear) everything fall into place. Thinking back, I’m still amazed by the skills and the perseverance of all musicians involved.
There’s a song that always stood out for me…right from the start.
It’s very hard to explain why, because I love all the other songs from the album as well.
But this song in particular is a song I still remember hearing for the first time very clearly.
Robb wrote this blog about it and posted the demo in March 2013.
I still remember that I had goosebumps while listening to it for the first time and it’s been a favourite ever since. It’s also a good example of how a song can develop. There actually are better examples, but this is just one of my favourite songs 😉
The demo for this song wasn’t available to listen to for a long time, but I asked Robb if he could make it available again for the public to listen to, so I could use it for this blog, which he did! (Thanks Robb!)
Take a moment and listen to the demo:
What started with a 4:28 minute demo ended up being a really amazing 6:25 minute song. The last song on the album. This song also features The Ulster String Quartet; Danny McCann-Williams, Thomas Jackson, Nicholas Rippon and Sian Hetherington. A lot of the songs on the album relied on the string parts and Sleep Tonight is one of them. The strings add so much to the song.
Here’s how the song ended up. It’s not very different from the demo, but you can very well hear how much this song has evolved during the recordings.
Sleep Tonight was one of the last songs Robb was working on before he finished the album. The last part Robb added to the song are these lyrics:
“I am able
I am willing
I am hopeful
I am stronger
I am patient
I am grateful”
I remember that I thought the song was finished and then Robb came up with that last final touch. Sleep Tonight became a really beautiful end of a great album!
Robb actually made himself finish the album before he went on holiday last summer… He is a perfectionist and there would always be something that he would want to change or make better…
Actually, it was weird that the album was finished at some point. First of all it must have been weird for Robb, because he worked on the album (almost non-stop) for months. And then the band, and everyone else involved as well… a lot of time when into recording this album. I know that I’ve been in serious withdrawal…no more previews… this was actually something I got so used to. It was good that it was summer and a summer break was needed to let everything sink in and to look forward again on what was coming.
If you want to know more about the album Sleep Tonight, the recordings etc., read the blogs Robb wrote about it.