Today I want to talk about Jamie Beau’s debut EP, which I co-produced with him.

It’s released today and it’s rather brilliant.  James spent a lot of time in metal bands but broke away from that a few years ago and started playing a very original and technical kind of acoustic music as Jamie Beau.

My role in this EP was slightly different to most recordings I produce. The idea was for most of the EP to be simply Jamie and his guitar so a lot of my job was in pre-production; advising on the structure of the songs, ideas for backing vocals, how to end the songs etc.

For example, The Mill is played entirely by Jamie on percussive guitar and vocals, but I contributed what is probably the main hook of the song (backing pirate vocals on the chorus) and helped to structure it.

All Late is my favourite song from this set and really benefitted from joint production by Jamie and I. We spent a while experimenting with mic placements and then added ideas as we thought of them; so Jamie contributed the acoustic ebow in the middle section and the distant snare drum; I did all the backing vocals and the bass. It’s a lovely sounding song.

Piece By Piece is probably the track that I had the most involvement in. Jamie wasn’t initially sure whether to include it as he’d been working on it for literally year and all he had to show for it was just a couple of verses and a whole page of rejected lyrics! But I immediately saw the potential, convinced him that the lyrics were good ones and arranged with a lovely build up. So it starts quietly but by the end we’ve had electric guitar, slide guitar, ambient guitar, drums, bass, glockenspiel, piano, strings, percussion and tons of backing vocals.

We did actually record and pretty much complete another song called Shame I Met You; but the verses and choruses weren’t completely gelling and in the end Jamie pretty much completely re-wrote the song. I was impressed with the live recording of the new version and suggested he included it as a bonus track, which is what you have here.

I love this EP, and I know Jamie is hugely proud of it too.  He already sold out of the physical copies pre-release and most importantly he’s managed to find a style of music that no one else is doing and make it sound ace.

You can listen to and download it from Bandcamp here.



By Ben Haynes