A Sassy Pop Summer Session

Today, I went to the Vault for a ten-hour session. After taking a few months to write new music and decide which songs to record, it felt great being back at the studio. I’m officially in my sassy pop era, and we finished two new songs and started a third. I had a blast as always, so I’m excited to share what I worked on in my session.

Kicking off the Day with “Make Time”

I started my session with “Make Time.” This is a contemporary-pop song I wrote last year. While I’ve been recording other songs for my next album, I kept going back to this one. “Make Time” has been rewritten many times. From the first draft to the final version I recorded, I changed some lyrics, the melody in places, and the key. I knew this was a great one when I wrote it, but back then, I needed to make changes to polish it. I’m glad I took the time to get it how I wanted before taking it to the studio.

This is a very fun pop song with lots of sass. It’s about not making time for someone who doesn’t make time for me. The message alone is important to me because I feel like I invest a lot into any relationship. The way I see it, if you really care about someone, you’ll make time for them. When someone I make time for is too busy for me, it hurts. So, I put my feelings into a song.

Bob and I had a ton of fun producing this song. It has all digital production, so it was a blast choosing instruments and sounds. Going into the session, I had a clear vision for this song. I loved hearing what I had in my head come to life, and Bob had so many great ideas, too. He took the foundation and elements I laid down and made the song shine.

Recording vocals for “Make Time” was a great experience since I’ve had this song in my head since last year. I loved singing the melody I settled on, and recording the background vocals really brought out my style. I feel like I’ve developed my own approach to background vocals, so the way I sing them has contributed to my artistry. From the production to the vocals, I’m so happy with how this one turned out.

“Make Time” will be on my next album. It fits the concept of the project and has a fresh vibe. While I’m picking songs for a project, something I always keep in mind is variety. After I have several songs recorded, I look at what’s missing. Before this session, I had four songs for the album. One is a piano ballad, another is a mid-tempo pop song with acoustic guitar, and two are darker in a minor key. I noticed I didn’t have any uptempo songs in a major key, and “Make Time” fits that description. I’m glad this song found a home on my next album, and I can’t wait for you to hear it. I hope this one is relatable and reminds people to make time for the ones they care about.

Watch Out World, “Passive Aggressive” Slaps

“Passive Aggressive” is my new favorite song of mine. It’s a pop-rock bop that’s edgy, sassy, and one of my most direct songs. I get excited about all my music, but every once in a while, a song like “Passive Aggressive” comes along and makes my elite list of favorites. Yes, songwriters pick favorites.

I wrote “Passive Aggressive” at the end of May ridiculously fast. The song poured out of me. The lyrics, melody, chords, and vibe came all at once. It’s been a while since I wrote a song this quickly. After writing it, I only made a few changes to the lyrics and chords. I was in a mood at the time, so I wanted to keep the song’s authenticity as much as possible.

The title pretty much reveals what the song is about. I’m sure we’ve all experienced someone’s passive aggressive behavior before. I’ve dealt with my share of this kind of toxicity, so I felt compelled to write a song. No one should have to put up with someone who’s passive aggressive, so aside from bringing all the pop-rock vibes, I hope this song empowers you to walk away from toxic situations and not let negativity get you down.

As soon as I finished tweaking the song, I decided to record it. If I’m honest, I kind of lost my chill and wished I could run to the studio that day. Still, this is an edgy pop song with rock flavors. I knew it needed an electric guitar and bass. So, I texted Luke and asked him if he could record them for me before my session. Lucky me, he worked his magic and totally slayed. I can’t get over how amazing the guitar and bass sound. Huge shoutout to Luke for being the best ever.

When the time finally came for me to record “Passive Aggressive” in the studio, Bob and I started by choosing sounds for the different guitar parts. Again, I can’t get over how amazing Luke did with this one. The groove is so catchy. The vibes are totally on point. I will never stop talking about how perfect the guitar and bass are.

Next, Bob and I added all the percussion and some other instruments to full out the song and add more layers. With every instrument we recorded, the song got more and more incredible. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it did. It’s definitely pop but has an edgy rock feel. I’m obsessed.

I had the time of my life recording vocals. Before I started doing takes, I sang through the whole song first to get in the right headspace. I only had to wait a few weeks to sing this one in the studio, but it felt like years. The wait was totally worth it.

Recording background vocals was a blast. I had so many ideas, and Bob had great ones, too. There are a ton of doubles, harmonies, and ad-libs. All the vocal layers take the song to the next level and strengthen the message. Again, I’m obsessed.

I could go on forever about “Passive Aggressive.” I think it’s safe to say that this one will be a single at some point. It has major single energy, and it deserves its own time to shine. For now, I’ll play the rough recording from the session over and over again, until Bob mixes it.

Demi wearing headphones standing in the booth by the mic and smiling at the June session

The Kazoo Story

Okay, I have quite the story. I’ve had a ton of funny moments in the studio, but this kazoo story is definitely one of the funniest.

So, during “Passive Aggressive,” I sing, “‘Cause, ooh,” in the second pre-chorus. When we were comping the lead vocal, which is when we go through all the takes and choose the best one for each phrase, Bob played this over and over. Then, he looked at my lead sheet with the lyrics and played it again. He was like, “I thought you were singing, ‘kazoo.’” I literally couldn’t stop laughing. He kept teasing me the rest of the time we were working on the song, and this is going to be an inside joke until the end of time.

I listened to my demo a bunch of times, especially once Luke sent me the guitar and bass before my session. After all those listens, I’ve never heard, “kazoo.” Now, I can’t unhear it.

So, that’s the kazoo story. I might have to do something funny for this when the song comes out as a joke. This is too good.

“I’m Introverted, So What?”

After Bob and I finished “Make Time” and “Passive Aggressive,” we had an hour left. This turned out to be the right amount of time to start “I’m Introverted, So What?” From the title, I’m sure you can figure out this is another sassy pop song. I’m an introvert, always have been. The song is about being an introvert and not apologizing for it.

Bob and I programmed drums and other percussion as a foundation. Along with these, bass will be a driving instrument. We decided to have Luke record bass live, and possibly guitar, too. So, I’m going to talk to Luke and have him record what the song needs before I go back to the studio.

This is a super fun song, and I can’t wait to keep working on it. It will be on my next album, too. Like “Make Time,” it’s uptempo and in a major key but has a different feel. So, it’ll fit nicely on the project to add more variety. This one is going to be the unofficial theme song for all the introverts out there.

As always, I got so much done in my session. Bob and I work extremely well together, and it feels amazing to be recording pop music again. I’m super happy we finished “Make Time” and “Passive Aggressive,” and I’m excited to keep working on “I’m Introverted, So What?”

What’s Next

My top priority for my next session is my Christmas song. I still have to write it. Yes, I’m fully aware the elves might put me on the naughty list because I’m running out of time. I’ll pull it off. I have a whole melody idea but have to write the lyrics. So, I started it… sort of.

I’ll also finish “I’m Introverted, So What?” Once this one is done, I’ll have seven tracks recorded for the album. I’m still deciding if that’ll be all the songs or if I’ll add one more. I have to have these seven finished before I make my decision.

So, this is my plan for my next session. In order to have my Christmas one ready for a November release, I’ll have to record it in August, September at the latest. Looks like I have some songwriting to do.

I’m grateful for my session today. Nothing makes me happier than ten-hour studio days. I love being a multi-genre artist, but it’s been incredible to return to my pop roots for this album with some other genre flavors. After working so hard on writing the album, I’m approaching the end of the recording process. This means mixing will come after, and then, I’ll begin sorting out my release plan. I already know 2024 is going to be a fabulous year for my music.

I love writing about my sessions. If you’d like to read more, head over to my studio stories and enjoy!