Strawberry Launch’s new single showcases their artistic evolution with emotive melodies and potent lyrics, dreaming about a life with the girl they see walking down the street, sitting at a bar, or dancing at a club. The infectious euphoria of SL’s summer track plunges into “long gloves”, “pink skirts” and “lipgloss shining with your words”. “Light Blue Sheets” leaves a sweet and intoxicating feeling through their bouncing beat, soaring synths, and sultry vocals.
In this guest post for A Grrrl’s Two Sound Cents, Riiza, lead singer of Strawberry Launch, looks back on her time cooking this one up and shares their recipe to create the gay pop ballad of SL’s dreams.
It hadn’t occurred to me until a few days ago that writing and recording a song is so similar to a chef creating a new dish. We’re looking for new, but familiar. Innovative, but easy to chew.
Thankfully gathering the ingredients for our “Light Blue Sheets” recipe proved easy. I wrote this song a cappella after attending a show, and we put the main chords down around the melody line I had already created. Once that was done, we could get into the nitty gritty – the spices, the flavor pairings, the consistency…there is our recipe for “Light Blue Sheets.”
Set your BPM to 114 and add 1 cup of vocals.
We decided to start with clean vocals because we had already put down a demo that had useable keys, guitar and bass lines. A clean vocal line also set the tone for the vibe of this song. I was heavily inspired by MUNA’s “Silk Chiffon” and was studying how the vocal were mixed on that track as inspo for ours. I usually break the song up by verses, choruses and bridges, and then do 2 to 8 takes per section. I tend to get a little nervous behind the mic in the studio and overanalyze my voice, so I like having at least a couple of good takes to references in case I hear something later I don’t like.
Like 10 cups of guitar
Matrianna is a wizard on guitar, so we like to layer and layer and layer. Our producer has tons of cool pedals and guitars we could use (thanks Jackson!) and wanted them to have a really distorted, kinda 80s rock sound. Matrianna also has a great pedal board of her own and its always fun to mess with each of them and carve out a new sound. Sometimes we’ll even record them and sprinkle them into a bridge or instrumental break in another song.
1 cup of keys and synths
Not only did our producer have tons of guitars, he had tons of keyboards (thanks again Jackson!). For “Light Blue Sheets” we used different looping sounds and bright chords. Taylor [our keyboardist] usually plays a Juno DS 61, but we also added a Korg Minilogue into this mix.
1 cup of live drums
When we started the band in 2018, we were playing shows for over a year before putting a single out, so we always consider how our songs will translate to live shows, and we usually play our new material well before we get in the studio. So, we typically lean towards live drums, because thats what sounds the most natural for our music and sounds familiar to our fans who have been hearing the record live long before it drops. Benjy has a killer instinct for intricate fills, and added so much movement to the track.
1 cup of bass
Sometimes I think the bass line gets lost in the sauce of a song, and a listener isn’t thinking about it, but I can confirm that our songs feel so incomplete without a groovy bass line.
A tablespoon of background vocals
Taylor and I usually split the backing vocals 50/50, so you can hear a mix of her and myself in the track, but this time we also had Matrianna and Abby step in the booth with us. At the top of the chorus, I knew I wanted a huge “YOU, YOU, YOU” and I thought it would be fun to have all of us scream-sing it in the booth together.
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