After recording their debut album (Under the Cold Light of the Moon) at Abbey Road Studios last year, Sydney-based Dream Rock band Crystal Cities decided to try out an entirely different approach for their upcoming second LP, Hold Me Close Hold Me Tight. This time there was no fancy studio or producer, but just the combined effort of the three individual band members.
At the beginning of 2020, lead singer/guitarist and primary songwriter, Geoff Rana decided to take it upon himself to learn all the ins and outs of recording. With the help of free educational resources such as YouTube, Rana began putting the information he learned to good use, applying it as he tracked the band's second album at this house in Sydney. It was a 'learn on the job' type of process for Rana who's skills developed exponentially as the band worked through the entire 10 song tracklist.
"'Don't Speak Too Soon' is my first attempt at being an engineer and producer. It was a lot more involved than just showing up to the studio to record my parts! I think more hours were spent reading and watching tutorials than actually recording."
The added responsibility and learning curve almost overwhelmed Rana.
"One of the biggest mental and technical hurdles I had to overcome was losing all my vocal takes and having to re-record them all over again."
'Don't Speak Too Soon' was the first song Rana tracked for the band. It also happens to be the first single from the album.
With the helping hand of world-renowned LA-based mix engineer Paul Lani (David Bowie, Prince, Megadeath), Rana and co have dealt fans a sharper and more hard-hitting Crystal Cities sound while still maintaining the signature Dream Rock elements that they established in their 2019 debut, Under the Cold Light of the Moon.
The band saw a lot of success in 2019: a sold out show at The Newsagency in Sydney, a #14 debut on the FMQB SubModern Albums Chart in the US, and glowing album reviews from The Rockpit, KTSW 89.9, and Portland Radio Project 99.1. The album was even declared the "Best Album of 2019" by music blog Indie Pop-Ups.
Title track and lead single from their debut album, "Under the Cold of the Moon" also fared well, receiving airplay on Double j, Triple Unearthed, and Triple M as well as being credited as the 10th best track of 2019 according to Eclectic Music Lover.