Recording Studio for Young Pals Music Productions

Friday, June 28, 2013

Independence Day Heats Up With The Release Of Dacada Summer’s Full-Length CD ‘Fourth and First’

Young Pals Music production personifies the singer/songwriter’s Midwestern roots, meshing pop-country-folk template with city smarts

Singer/songwriter Dacada Summer has traveled a good long way since growing up in the tiny town of Dacada, Wisconsin, a locale so humble that it remains unincorporated. In 2012, with bigger fish to fry, the singer/songwriter catapulted himself from the heartland into the hubbub of New York City, where he is now based—albeit maintaining a 100% organic approach to his harmonic wares.

Full-length “Fourth and First”—released on physical CD and across all digital platforms on Thursday, July 4, 2013—comprises 10 songs written throughout that transition during the summers of 2011 and 2012. It chronicles the artist’s coming of age, and the dissonance between life in the big city versus his Midwestern upbringing. In Part I of the title track, Dacada Summer sums up: “It’s a day of independence for a boy who left home, picked up and ran away. It means something different, on this fire escape ledge… the whole world laid in front of him, a new allegiance must be pledged.”

Indeed, the album—produced by Ayhan Sahin and released on his indie New York-based label Young Pals Music, bears influences of both worlds—quite literally. Dacada Summer explains, “I wrote the music and lyrics, recorded all guitars, bass, harmonica and lead vocals, then sent the music files to my friends back in Wisconsin: studio engineer Cole Bemis and drummer Luke Leavitt. There are also tracks featuring appearances by my siblings Alexia and Joe.”

The result is a roots-driven pop-country-folk collective, saturated with harmonica, jangly guitars and insistent percussion—chaperoned by the rich, warm vocals of Dacada Summer—a.k.a. Jake—with a shout-out to his musical influences The Avett Brothers, Josh Ritter, Bright Eyes, Tallest Man on Earth and Bon Iver.

Producer Sahin says, “When Jake and I met to consider collaborating, he shared his demos with me, and I was stunned by the simplistic beauty of his songwriting, which was straight to the heart. The music, his words and the feeling he put into his vocals were all in line to successfully deliver a full-length project. At first, he wasn’t sure if he had enough material, but I assured Jake he was more than ready to put together a full album that would connect with the masses.” 

As the third kid among four in his arts-driven family, Dacada Summer began guitar lessons in fourth grade, performing publicly throughout elementary and middle school. By eighth grade, he was leading local punk rock outfit Hopeless Hope, which released an indie album in 2005. Showmanship was more than a hobby; he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, focused on acting, playwriting, directing, and vocal and movement technique.

In spring 2012, his move to NYC was fueled by ambitions in music and theater.  “I’ve slowly immersed myself into the lifestyle of an artist in New York City, which includes balancing acting and auditions with busking in the subways and playing open mikes wherever and whenever I can,” Dacada Summer. “My music has become a living journal for whatever it is life has in store for me in the moment.”

Among the highlights of “Fourth and First” is “First Snow,” with its driving uptempo instrumental template, a blur of acoustic guitar strumming and an anecdotal anthem about the past’s ever-present shadow over the present. He sings, “Centuries have passed since you vacated my mind. We’ve both been out searching, think we’ve found what we could find?/Time has this strange way of running us around, of giving second chances, of unwinding what’s been wound.”

In the clever “Hunger For Thirst,” Dacada Summer offers a melancholy ode to the universal search for companionship (“Expected more than rain from the sky. I needed time to find my love, or time to find the lack thereof”); while in the epic seven-minute “He Wrote Her,” he shares the sad, sweet tale of a woman looking back on her dearly departed husband.

Album opener “Change” is an uptempo chugger that pays homage to time-honored classic country with a splash of rock, featuring a cavalcade of harmonica, acoustic guitar and pounding percussion. He delivers one of the more fervent vocals on the album, singing true to the prevailing theme of “Fourth and First”: “Those fields I called home know I’ve got skies to scrape. This place kicks you while you’re down, but I won’t run away/I won’t win them all, I know.  The more I lose, the more I grow… I’m sticking to my plan, I’ll go from boy to man.”

Hitworthy “Map of the World,” meanwhile, is a catchy love song, full of joyful harmonies (with sis Alexia accompanying on vocals) and a sing-along chorus, as Dacada Summer shares, “I don’t write happy songs, but you give me a tune/I don’t wish for things much, but I hope you’re here soon/Cause a day’s not a day, til I’ve seen you.”

And in the reflective slow-grinding “Fourth and First, Part II,” he revisits yesteryear, again recognizing its profound impact on today: “Centuries have passed since you vacated my mind. We’ve both been out searching, think we’ve found what we could find/But time has this strange way of running us around, of giving second chances, of unwinding what’s been wound.”

Throughout “Fourth and First,” Dacada Summer delivers a reverent dictum to his Midwestern roots—but make no mistake, this is no cowpoke collective. The album is abundant with self-awareness, musical mastery and lyrical lessons that offer a city smart narrative about navigating new and incalculable adventures around every corner. It personifies Everyman’s universal journey, fortified with the artist’s singular vocal prowess, with all potential to bring Dacada Summer to an audience that simply has no borders.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Timezone with Chuck Taylor

Chuck Taylor was at the studio today recording 3 weeks material for his radio show "Timezone with Chuck Taylor"

"I Promise" by Promis

Jose Promis' video for "I Promise" from his Young Pals Music album is out. Here is a link to watch it on YouTube:

The song originally recorded in the summer of 2008 is a songwriting collaboration of Promis and Ayhan Sahin which is produced by Sahin.

Michael Gastaldi’s EP ‘I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You’ Reflects On Love, Faith, Fate & Life In The Moment

Singer/Songwriter on Young Pals’ Records Release: ‘I believe in a sense of uniting, simplistic, Lennon-inspired love. Everyone can use love.’

In a music world that is often polished and glossed to the point of being manufactured into a prefabricated sonic concoction, Michael Gastaldi is the real deal, baby. In fact, while working with acclaimed New York-based producer Ayhan Sahin on debut solo EP “I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You,” the singer/songwriter insisted: “No vocal correction, what I sing is what you hear.”

Indeed, the five songs on Gastaldi’s debut solo effort offer a true-to-life snapshot of an intrepid performer, undaunted by the notion of submitting his vulnerabilities, accompanied by a lyrical template about love, faith, fate and life in the moment. He notes, “These are realizations and revelations to show how people have impacted me and my journey, and how much I care for them. Every song ends on a positive note or with hope. I hope that listeners see there is beauty in discord; sometimes you just have to find it.”

Meanwhile, the acoustic instrumentation throughout “I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You,” released by on Young Pals Records, gently chugs alongside in coordinated unison. Consider Gastaldi a millennial version of Bob Dylan meets Willie Nelson, with a dollop of John Mayer…

His mandate to “keep it real” likely has to do with Gastaldi’s Midwestern roots. He grew up in the outskirts of Kenosha, Wis., a municipality with strong ties to both the Milwaukee and Chicago metros. At age 7, he began voice lessons and was fascinated by the realization that music is a magical mechanism to tell stories with the potential to forever mark moments in time. By middle school he was singing lead in local ska/punk group Bandwich, followed by ska outfit Loser Takes All, which released an indie EP after accumulating a formidable regional following.

Soon after, Gastaldi ventured to the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts. It’s there that he developed appreciation for the organic feel of folk and roots music, especially given the school’s vicinity to a natural reserve, with some 200 acres of open land surrounding nearby Sunset Lake—not unlike his upbringing in the rural reaches of Kenosha.

But what man can truly absorb a world purview without tempting the new and unfamiliar? That quest landed the artist in America’s largest city, New York, settling in Brooklyn. And now he is flying solo with “I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You,” for which he composed the five songs, sings all vocals and contributes acoustic guitars… which he plays by ear, mind you… with his mind’s eye convinced that this methodology keeps the music honest and true.

Gastaldi says, “I write with my acoustic guitar and find a melody to complement the simplicity and rustic sound of that instrument. It reminds me of being at home in the country and in the nature reserve where I grew up and thrived.”

That organic integrity is apparent in album opener “Intro,” in which he strums with burgeoning ardor, singing, “Call me crazy but I’m in love. Momma said, ‘You gotta try it once.’/You learn it best when it’s all fucked up, you never know when your time’s gonna come”… In country-folk anthem “Right As Rain,” Gastaldi amps the tempo to a giddy gallop, featuring a layered vocal, a force field of percussion and a rip-roaring harmonica backdrop (courtesy of Jacob Horstmeier).

That same instrument charts a different course in “Keep Her Safe”—in which Gastaldi most conjures Willie Nelson—with a gentle sweep of keyboards, light percussion and, this time, a weeping, wanton harmonica… In the Americana-inspired track “Keep Her Safe,” he offers a sweet ode to Mom: “My biggest worry is finding clean socks, you already taught me how to walk, you're the reason I can talk/I know I owe you much more than this song… I love you.”

Anecdotal track “Everything I Am” soars with playful percussion and tickling, tinkling bells as he paints a dissonant lyrical portrait of longing for a rerun of yesterday: “What I wouldn’t give to be eating breakfast in bed together, to be laying beside you smiling, so I can give you everything I am/If there’s something I can’t see, take the lead, I’ll take your hand.”

And the hit-worthy “Be There Soon” is a playful invitation to accompany Gastaldi on the adventure behind life’s every corner, adorned with background “aaahs” straight from the ‘70s, mod squad electric guitars, a groovy organ and percussion that snips and snaps with precision. He declares, “I’m a wildfire with an innocent desire to live, eating every moment up, no signs of any give/I may be aiming at the ceiling, but I’m shooting for the moon.”

What Gastaldi shows us throughout “I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You” is that one can set up residence in the bucolic town of Kenosha, Wis., or the bustling borough of Brooklyn—but the heart has its own home. “I believe in a sense of uniting, simplistic, Lennon-inspired love that I hope to show and share through this album,” he says. “It is always good to give people love. Everyone can use love. It is also absolutely reflective of Wisconsin—how it feels and breathes—because that is such a major part of who I am. I don’t want to ever let that go.”

Friday, June 7, 2013

Wrapping up Promis' vocal tracks

After many hours of recording in three consecutive days, Jose Promis and I are wrapping up his vocal tracks for his new album project which is going to be his 8th studio album.

14 songs we recorded comprise both our authentic roots that will give the listener a mixture of Middle East and South American cultures.

Our new studio intern, sound engineer Jonah Pielow was there with us on the last day of recordings.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Promis and Sahin Back in the Studio Again

Young Pals Music's first artist Promis is back in New York to record his 8th studio album with Ayhan Sahin. 

Promis and Sahin first collaborated 5 years ago to make the album "Life is Grand!." Now the duo is back in the studio working on 14 new tracks for an early 2014 release.

Promis has been performing at Los Angeles' hot spot "Akbar" weekly, where he is residing.

The new songs that the duo are working on have lots of Turkish flavors and rhythms merged with contemporary dance beats.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Young Pals Music ally--Award-winning playwright/screenwriter, Ryan Sprague is currently seeking support in making his first feature film a reality. The film, Reverie Lane, tells the story of two people struggling to find hope through tragedy in a Post-Katrina New Orleans.

The film will be dedicated to those who have lost friends and family due to natural disaster, and the impact it has on those who survived. In particular, the film will be dedicated to a student who lost his life during Hurricane Sandy.

Ryan is seeking contribution via the official KickStarter page which can be found here. Special incentives are included with different levels of contribution. Please take a few minutes to view the campaign video, and consider donating today!