When it came time to record the new Raising the Fawn album, we were just exhausted from being on the road. This is especially true of myself as between RTF and Broken Social Scene, I spent about 13 of 16 months touring. I've not felt so personally relieved as when I said to Scott and Dylan in November, "let's just get home and make a record."
The record in question became Sleight of Hand. We recorded the meat of it in a single week and the mixing was done in four days - warp speed for a band whose previous two full-lengths required months to complete. This new brevity was partially a challenge laid to ourselves.
The recording of 2006's The Maginot Line left me pleased but exhausted. Rather than go through that again, we self-imposed a band boot camp. With so much groundwork already laid out, we wanted to push our preparation to the point where the performances were subconscious.
The biggest challenge was realizing these performances properly. In this respect, Sleight of Hand would have been impossible without the guidance of our producer, Ian Blurton (The Weakerthans, Amy Millan, Cursed). The week of recording passed with the delirium of a marathon runner on an August day. Ian's patience and expertise was crucial here. It was all there, exactly as we had hoped.
Sleight of Hand is (by design) our shortest album yet. It is also both our most varied and most accessible release. After making our previous record with focus on group writing and live performance, Sleight of Hand's blueprint was very different - a true studio album. Songs were given exactly what they needed, whether it was twelve tracks of vocals, two drumkits, synths and drum machine or just guitar and voice.
More than anything, we hope that this album reflects a natural shift for the band back to the world of melody - or maybe more accurately, an improved integration of our experimental side with the harmonies that have always been there. This is our pop album and it contains what I feel to be at least four of the best things I've ever written.
-John Crossingham, April 2007
John Crossingham guitar
Scott Remila bass
Dylan Green drums