Hey team,

Writing to you from Reykjavik, Iceland where I’m currently on a trip with my wonderful family! I finished the first round of mixes for the album right before I left, so I’ve been able to check the mixes while staring out at majestic waterfalls, glacial valleys and magnificent vistas (I hear it’s what the pros do). This is the first time I’ve been able to absorb all the songs together in one place… and I gotta say, although they’re not perfect yet, it definitely feels like there’s a record in there somewhere... and I'm getting excited!

To me, mixing is about making sure a song takes you on the best emotional ride it can. Every move you make during the mixing process… whether it’s making a vocal louder, a drum hit stand out, or a violin sound darker… helps to bring home the emotional intention of the song. Listening to a song should feel like a ride from beginning to end… and when it’s over you should feel like that ride dropped you off somewhere cool.

After the mixing is finalized, the record will be mastered.  Mastering has always been sort of a dark art, even to musicians, who will often struggle to tell you exactly what it is:) Basically mastering is the final process the songs go through before they're ready for the public… where we adjust the overall impact/volume/frequencies so all the songs sound like a unified piece of music when played together… in other words, so it all sounds like an album rather than a bunch of separate tracks. I hope to master the record by late September… and then, gods willing, this album will be in the can (more pro lingo right there)!

Between now and then, I’ll be posting the rest of the songs with their accompanying ‘making of’ videos. I’d love to hear what kind of ride the songs are taking you on… and if you have any comments on anything you’ve heard thus far, I’m all ears… you might just catch something I missed!

Even though the album isn’t officially coming out until early next year, there’s no way I can wait until then to share the final product with you… so we’ll be having a Patron-only, online listening party on Oct 7 at 3 pm CST. I will stream the entire album from top to bottom in CD-quality audio (via an awesome tool called SourceLive) while I chat with all of you in real time! Anyone who is an active patron by 10/7 will be able to join us. For those of you who can’t attend the listening party, I will also have a pre-release version of the album with me on tour this Fall.  

I know I’ve said this before, but your support here has been a vital part of this creation process… not only did it allow me to pour my time and energy into these songs, but knowing you were listening really kept me focused and motivated throughout the process, even during those times I was pulling my hair out and wanting to quit music (true story). I honestly feel we made this thing together, and I can’t wait to virtually high-five all of you at the listening party!!

Much love,

Alex Wong