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Pop / Rock 28/12/2011

New Direction For Former Pop Princess Amy Studt

New Direction For Former Pop Princess Amy Studt

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LONDON, UK (Top40 Charts/ Amy Studt Official Website) Mercy is a collaboration between singer Mercy and Toby Kidd from art rocker sweethearts Hatcham Social. Mercy mixes her love of moody disturbed post punk like Suicide and Lizzie Mercia with an adoration of big pop singers like Annie Lennox, 70s Bowie and the Shang Ri La's and she uses her delicate but powerful voice to create a journey that leaves you wanting to listen again and again.

'I don't think that people know what a real voice sounds like anymore. There is a whole generation of young people growing up listening to this and thinking, this is what a singer should sound like. And then not understanding why they can't sing like that.'

With the monopolies in production of Melodine and Autotune - so that even supposedly 'live' performances going out on TV are autotuned - it leaves Mercy wondering where the world is going. Where is music going? Where is art going?

Debut single 'Sleep Walker' is recorded on a C1000 mic: a controversial mic choice amongst producers and music engineers. The C1000 is seen very much as a real dogsbody mic. Cheap as chips to buy and generally scoffed at with producers opting for a Rodes or Neumann mic for vocals. But this very intentional choice was not only adopted by the band but they also utilized un-orthodox recording methods on top of it.

'In almost any studio you go to, when recording vocals you are told to get as close to the mic and pop shield as possible. This giving it a very small and boxed-in sound, very intimate, being able to hear all the little clicks and saliva slaps. Easier for a producer to work with 'Melodyning' the shit out of it and perfecting the soul out of the take'

Mercy wanted to do the opposite and found with this mic particularly, that it not only worked great with her voice specifically but she got a much better sound standing far away. This way you really hear much more of the voice in a very real sense. You're collecting up the room as well as the person.

'We approached the recording with a Joe Meek style and mantra: If it sounds right, it is right' says Mercy 'We kept in any scuffles and bum notes and to me it feels much more exciting,'

'The vocals are recorded in one live take, harking back to the days of recording on a reel to reel (8 track, tape machine etc) which frames and highlights the beauty in reality. Showing all the ugly bits that when mixed with raw talent is what makes something truly magical.'

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