Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio, we’ve been listening to Alec Berlin’s latest single, LaNoise, released January 12, 2023.
Inspired by the sounds of legendary Grammy-winning Canadian producer, Daniel Lanois, LaNoise is a song styled with Berlin’s touches that we have come to know and love here at Send Me Your Ears.
LaNoise begins as a simple Eagles-style country rock song, but as we’ve learned from Berlin’s previous tracks, things are not always what they seem with his writing and this is no simple 3-chord country song. Far from it.
Berlin has an uncanny knack for creating instrumentals with exciting progressions and unique stylings which somehow manage to remain accessible to the average listener. He does this in LaNoise with such skill that we must take off our hats to him here! LaNoise keeps you on your toes all the way through and delighted us with unexpected changes all the way through.
The electric bluegrass country tone on the guitar is spot on. Perfect for a country track, but as the song develops, further guitars are added with excellent use of panning, with the solos moving around in your soundscape and changing tones throughout. There is even a section which feels almost banjo-like in note choice. Another section has stabbed notes with a solo guitar over the top and stick clicks to keep everything held together.
This is intelligent music. Berlin is a guitarist’s guitarist. The acoustic guitar remains simple and helps maintain the rhythm throughout, while the lead guitars wander off and do their own thing, adhering to Berlin’s unwritten rule to keep the listener on their toes. This is simply excellent.
There are moments in the track that we were reminded of the Alan Parsons Project: a progressive, art rock sound (albeit with vocals) with its retro and classic art rock sound.
Ideas from our ears
A fairly large boost focussed at 75Hz would fill out the low end nicely, giving extra thump to the kick drum. A wide boost across the mids, centred around 800Hz would give the whole track a fuller sound too. To our ears, there may be a little too much character around 2.5-3kHz. A high-shelf boost set around 8kHz would increase the brightness and bring out the sizzle of the snare wires and ride cymbal. Finally, a light compressor/limiter and around 3-4dB of make-up gain would add extra warmth and thickness and raise the overall volume. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
Alec Berlin has been performing with other artists for decades and is clearly an exceptional guitarist and writer. However, we feel that in this solo instrumental project, he has truly found his destiny. An artist who is following their own path far outside the lines of the bubble-gum-pop which is churned out in today’s charts.