South Dakota (US) based singer-songwriter, Aaron Toronto, has recently released his latest single, Reaping What I Sow, and we’ve had the chance to take several thoroughly enjoyable listens here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.
Reaping What I Sow is a song about the pain of lost love that always lurks just beneath the surface in our unconscious mind, no matter how hard we try to push it away. It is a song about coming to terms with that pain and learning to deal with it.
Reaping What I Sow starts with some gorgeous Latin rhythms and Spanish-feeling guitar. Aaron’s voice cuts through beautifully and clearly in the mix.
As you reach the chorus, the song takes a slightly different direction with the addition of some heavily driven electric guitar. The additional vocals and harmonies give the song a positive euphoric feel.
We absolutely loved the building electric guitar solo with lead vocals intertwining and a chorus of vocals building and building until you reach another chorus.
The rise and fall and dynamic landscape of this track is spectacular. Feeling almost like an Andrew Lloyd Webber track – most similar to Jesus Christ Superstar, this song has everything needed in it to maintain the listener’s interest for many listens.
Towards the end of the track, a female, slightly operatic voice joins the mix and wails over the top of Toronto’s sublimely versatile vocals. This is a wonderful genre-crossing track that utterly captivated us, not least due to Toronto’s vocals. His voice is dynamic with a great deal of well-executed tricks and techniques that show a superb range of skills from gentle and inviting to all-out powerful rock vocals.
From a production perspective, we felt that a boost in the low mids around 150Hz would help thicken up the low end and create a fuller overall sound. This, coupled with a cut around 1kHz to reduce some slightly honky tones and a wide boost across the high mids and highs centred around 10kHz would balance out the song nicely and add some extra brightness and presence. A lot of the frequencies in the top two octaves are coming from the vocal sibilance leaving the backing to sound a bit darker in comparison. A boost in the top end of the backing track would help with the brightness. Another way would be to use a single band compressor on this area set to around 5dB of gain reduction and 5dB of make up gain. Finally, the track is a little quiet so a light compressor/limiter and around 5dB of make up gain will add warmth and punch as well as adding some extra volume, bringing it more in line with other similar releases.
Reaping What I Sow is a beautiful and heartfelt performance of an exciting track that draws influences from musical theatre to rock to Latin and everything in between. We are very much looking forward to hearing more from this superb artist.