Lunarin’s spanking new album – The Midas Sessions – has been on heavy rotation here at Power of Pop central and we got in touch with singer-bassist Linda Ong to get her thoughts on the new album…

Why an acoustic album?

Few people know this, but playing acoustic has always been a part of our repertoire. We have always made it a point to play acoustic gigs alongside our usual electric ones ever since forming Lunarin in 2003. I remember playing an acoustic show organized by Double Yellow Line at Yusof Ishak House in NUS before the Chrysalis was released. During the time when we released the Chrysalis, we played an acoustic show at Earshot at the Arts House (one of the songs appeared on our EP “Little Pieces”). After we released Duae, we played an acoustic show with you at the library at Esplanade.

Nothing gives us more joy than to watch bands and songwriters that we love play stripped down, acoustic sets. There is something very heartbreaking and sincere in listening to a well written song stripped down to its barest elements, with only raw emotions and pure musicianship in support. I never thought of going acoustic as a “step down” or a sign that we have mellowed. It is just a different direction that is worth exploring and developing.

Having our own home studio gave us the luxury of deciding to record these songs instead of just leaving them as material for acoustic gigs. This was a luxury we didn’t have previously! 

What were the major differences between recording Midas Sessions as compared to Duae?

Well this time we had Natalie and Victor playing on the album. So we had to figure out how to record violins and cello properly with our limited equipment and space. That took a fair bit of trial and error, because when it came to dealing with violins and cello, it was important to try and capture their natural organic sound. It was very different from recording an electric album when we could just run the bass and guitars through effects. Lucky for us both Natalie and Victor were two very patient people. So after the initial teething problems were sorted and a modus operandi was established, recording them was a breeze.

Because of our experience recording Duae, recording the rest of the instruments (guitars, bass, piano, drums) was relatively painless. Personally for me, recording vocals was the highlight of the recording process. Going acoustic enabled me to explore a wide range of styles vocally. I must confess to being a tad over indulgent. I did far too many vocal overdubs and far too many different vocal harmonies than I would have liked!

Kah Wye was away for quite a bit of 2011 due to overseas work commitments. Because of this, I had to assume a greater role in recording this album than I did in Duae.  Quite a far bit of the cello and violins on the album were recorded with just me, Natalie and Victor, which was fun. 

Lunarin is very much a D-I-Y operation – what keeps you going (recording and performing) despite the pressures of everyday life?

A love for music. It isn’t really that difficult! (Good answer! KM)

What are your promotional plans for Midas Sessions?

We are planning an album launch at The Pigeonhole on Sunday 15 Jan 2012 8pm, which is also the official release date of the album. After that we have a remix of Right of Sleep, done by someone we hugely respect, that we plan to release shortly after the album is out. We’re looking forward to that! 

It took you 4 years to record Duae and 2 to finish Midas Sessions, will the next album surface in 2013?

Unfortunately no. The Midas Sessions consisted of B Sides and songs from our earlier albums, so the songs were already written when Duae was released.  The time spent after the release of Duae to work on this album was purely spent on recording. This however, can’t be said of any subsequent album to this one. After this album is out, we will need to go back and start writing new material again. At the rate we are going, we’ll see you in five years’ time!

Check out the excellent music video of Right of Sleep. The Midas Sessions will be launched this Sunday, 15 Jan at 8pm at the Pigeonhole. Admission is FREE.

Right of Sleep from lunarin on Vimeo.

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