One man band, Memoryy is preparing to release his debut full length album, Skeletons on April 14th. The album is a culmination of a whirlwind 18 months that saw him get married, quit his full time job, and move from New York City to New Mexico. Now with his sole income being music, we talk to Memoryy about what releasing an album means in 2017 and how Chelsea Handler financed it all.
You are preparing to release your debut full length album. Did you approach writing songs any differently for a full album rather than for singles or an EP?
Not really – as with any album, I just try to write a collection of singles. The big difference with this album is I produced most of the songs myself. I wanted to write a Pop album & intended to slightly keep the piano origins of some of these songs still in tact.
Many people claim that albums are dead. What made you want to release an LP?
Albums are dead! ha. You’re talking to the guy who just released 7 of these album tracks as singles (and 9 by the time the album drops). I was trying to slowly build momentum & create a ripple effect that way. The typical album model would’ve boiled the whole 11-song LP into 3 singles & severely limited that momentum. But it had been my intention from the start to release 2 EPs followed by an LP. Mission (almost) accomplished!
You recently moved from New York City to Albuquerque. What was behind the move and how do you think it affected your song writing?
Getting married & settling down was the reason for the move, but it’s funny because I mostly write from the perspective of losing someone. This isn’t a happy honeymoon album by a long shot! I also found a lot of old demos when packing up for the move & reworked a lot of my old songs. So alot were written & edited over the past few years and the origins of one song – Not Over You – is probably 8-9 years old. There’s just something raw & universal about writing from that perspective and now it’s my default songwriting position.
What were the recording sessions for the new album like?
On-going for months & months, either at my Chelsea Handler-financed home studio (thanks girl!) or several studios in NYC. It was more a series of recording one single at a time, rather than the typical album session. Each song had it’s own story. Before the move from Brooklyn, I collaborated one last time with a lot of my music buds – my old band The Golden Pony on “Turning The Page”, Brothertiger on “Feeling Sinister” & “Out of the Dark”, (Yeasayer producer) Abe Seiferth on “All My Love, & I got Frances Cone to sing backups on “Not Over You”. Once I moved, there were a few internet-collaborations too – “I Thought You Needed My Love” with Odd Year, & finally “Turn It Up” with Brain Tan. Hands down, my favorite session was Dave Levy tracking trumpets on “Feeling Sinister” – every take of that solo was breathtaking & it gave new life to that song.
You mention the Chelsea Handler-financed studio. How did that Chelsea Handler deal come about? How has it changed your life?
When I first moved to Albuquerque, I started writing a ton of music for my Keytarred And Feathered music library. I showed off the first batch to only a few friends – including my old LA bandmate Jeff Wild, who is now a writer for Chelsea. I didn’t even know they were looking for a theme & he asked if he could pitch the one song. The next thing I knew, I was competing against some of the biggest names in music for that theme song. And I still can’t believe I got it!
It definitely helped me get a ton of new fans, elevated Memoryy, & financed my new studio and album. Without that, I probably would’ve just gone back to Graphic Designing dayjobs.
You have a signature “sound” included in many/all of your tracks. Can you describe that sound and how it was developed?
I hate albums that all sound like one song on repeat, but because I’m constantly flirting with different song genres then I’m always worried my songwriting is too “all over the place”. So I wanted to ground this album in a few consistencies & early on I decided it would be retaining the Piano origins (where they made sense), Finger Snaps with a ton of reverb (not too original right now! ha) & this specific original sample I made and use as a lead throughout. I’ve been writing & singing in every type of band for 16 years, but there’s no denying I love a strong pop melody, layering counter melodies with a big beat & 80’s analog synths. I just wanna write the best song on the 1987 mixtape your first crush gave you.