Ten years ago this week, my album Enabler was released on Ta-Da Records. I’d self-released The Elements of Style a few years previous, but this was my “official” debut on a label. Though the label has since gone into a coma, I will always be grateful to Patti Schmidt and Jeff Waye for believing in my music and wanting to share it with the world.
To mark the occasion, I’ve put together a digital reissue on the WP Bandcamp page including a few bonus tracks from the vaults: a couple that were on Deep Inside The World Provider, a mini-CD EP that I put out in 2003, a couple of alternate versions of Enabler tunes, and a remix.
Enabler definitely has a special place in my heart, bringing on a nostalgic feeling for a time when I was definitely more innocent about the music business, the vagaries of trends, and so on.
The album was recorded and mixed by Jace Lasek at the old Breakglass Studio in downtown Montreal. The wood panelling and low lighting of the 70s-era studio, which reminded me of my grandparents’ suburban basement, was like a comforting womb. We recorded on and off for over a year, whenever I could scrape together the funds. A bunch of friends and family dropped by to contribute their talents, including my brother Nick Fraser, Bitch Lap Lap (who still prefers to be credited by that name on this particular collaboration) and Michael Feuerstack.
I remember agonizing over whether the “rock” tunes would fit with the “lo-fi electro-pop” tunes, and I actually considered splitting the recordings off into two projects. I still occasionally wonder if that would have been better from a marketing standpoint, since putting them together condemned the WP to a grey area between genres.
I grew up in the 80s, and rock songs with synths have always seemed normal to me. But if I’m honest, then as now I was not a prolific writer, and I knew it would take me ages to come up with enough songs for one album per project. Even as is, Enabler clocks in at just under 20 minutes!
I remember that when I sent the mixes around to some friends to get feedback, Mocky suggested that I re-record any vocals that were less than perfect. I dismissed the suggestion out of hand—I couldn’t bear (or probably afford) to go back into the studio yet again—but today, the occasionally off-key and/or mumble-mouthed vocals definitely stand out as a flaw.
But I love the innocent energy of the album, and it has a number of tunes that are still audience faves to this day.
Check it out… hope you enjoy.
And forgive me this bit of wallowing in the past. I just got the mixes of the newest WP material and I’m currently scheming up the best way to get it out to the public as soon as possible… so stay tuned.