Propelled by a genuine reflection of many of the beloved power pop groups of the 70s, Michael Rault delivers slick, high-spirited, and thoroughly dynamic songs on his new album, It's A New Day Tonight, out now via Wick Records.
Your record has an indiscreet focus on sleeping and dreaming. Why were these such fascinating concepts for you during the creation of this record?
I'm not really one hundred percent certain why the whole sleeping/dreaming motif came up. I think I wrote the song "Sleep With Me" first, quite spontaneously after trying to write a song for a few days straight with no real idea of where I was going with it. Eventually, I started to notice that the idea of dreaming vs. waking life kept emerging in the different bits and pieces of songs that I had been working on. After that, I made a couple more intentional efforts at writing specifically dream-themed songs.
I think I generally approach writing songs from a relatively subconscious place, just letting my mind run free and seeing if a recognizable form pops out of the mist at some point in the process. It wasn't until after finishing the album that my friend Meg Remy suggested that I read "Man And His Symbols" by Carl Jung, which ended up shedding some light on the whole thing for me - both on my writing process and some of the subject matter of the album.
The new record is out on Wick Records. Did working with the Daptone imprint impact the final sound of the record?
Oh, yes. Of course - in a huge way. Previous to this album I had exclusively done digital recordings, so making the transition into analogue recording was a huge change for me. It was a bigger change than I expected. When you are recording to digital, you switch your whole state of mind, and you start to edit every little thing, and there is a tendency to get really lazy with performances, and every time you make a mistake you just move on - knowing that you can edit it, or patch it in, or combine a number of takes later to form a super take of all the best bits. But, when you're recording to tape, suddenly you realize that you need to play the song well - from beginning to end - like a live performance. Except - unlike a live performance - it will live on forever and become your album afterwards, and you have to stand by it and feel OK with it. So, the process really whipped me into shape as a singer and musician. I went to boot camp!
It's night and day looking at my abilities before this album and afterwards. On top of all of that, Wayne Gordon's engineering and co-producing added so much to the quality of the sound on the record, and having Gabe Roth and Neal Sugarman involved and overseeing the process added so many years of combined experience and overview to the mix. It wouldn't have been the same album without them.