The Fourth Son released its debut album The Fourth Son EP on January 1st, 2014. Although it's titled as an EP, the album consists of ten tracks. I hadn't exactly set out to make an album. It was kind of just a compilation of songs I had been working on while writing for another project I was involved with. I was listening to quite a bit of Folk, Americana, Blues, Reggae, and Alternative Rock. My hope was that there was a little something for everybody on this album. I tracked a lot of vocals and did most of the mixing in my car. I definitely miss those times when I didn't analyze things so hard. If it sounded like a full song, I pretty much considered it done. It's got some imperfections but I'm very proud of it nonetheless.
The Fourth Son releases its sophomore album Lavenia in 2016. My production skills improved ever so slightly while making my second album Lavenia. It still sounds like an album that was recorded in a bedroom, probably because it was, haha. Some of the songs still haunt me, mostly because of production flaws. I won't tell you which track, but I had the microphone pointed backwards while tracking acoustic guitar on one of them.
I did feel my songwriting skills were improving, which I hoped would counteract some of the lo-fi qualities in the recordings.
The momentum continued, and intensified in 2017. The Fourth Son officially hit the stage, and I began working to develop a live presence. I started playing gigs in the Bay Area as much as I could. This was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I was really slammed with the contrast between recording and performing. I realized how much performing in front of people influenced my songwriting. Certain things that worked well in a studio, just didn't work on a stage. So this quickly became the biggest developmental stage of my music career thus far.
I realized pretty early on that I was not good enough to hold the attention of an audience with just a guitar and my voice. So I thought back to a time I was in a practice studio and I jokingly sat at the drum set with an acoustic guitar in hand. I played the kick, hi-hat, guitar, and sang simultaneously and much to my surprise, it sounded pretty cool.
As I incorporated the one-man band setup into my live shows I immediately saw an improved response. It's definitely a way of grabbing audience's attention, which at the time was a big step. Now my focus is keeping their attention, which I think comes from great song-writing.
The Fourth Son releases its third album, Castles in the Trees, at the start of 2018. I spent about three years on this album. I really wanted to make something interesting. I did a lot of trial and error, expanding my comfort zone, and risk taking, so I guess you could call the album experimental. It's funny how making this album was equal parts cathartic and torturous. The cathartic part was finding a pathway between the lyrics and the music. I'm a "music first" writer, meaning I make instrumentals which I later add lyrics/vocals to. I was really able to channel some inner "stuff" into the music because I was so moved by it. The torturous part was recording/mixing the album. I'm not complaining about it, and it's very common that singer/songwriters struggle with this part. I just really push myself to improve as an audio engineer and producer, and sometimes I hit walls with the process. Some songs were easier to be at peace with than others. The songs I finish quickly are typically the ones I feel better about in the long run. This was also my first concept album. I didn't set out for it to go that way, it just sort of happened. I think I'll leave you, the listener, to decide what that concept is.
The Fourth Son releases its debut single "Wicker" in late 2018. I took a slightly different approach to this song. Mainly, I only worked on this one track. This was the first time I really set my focus on one song. Coming off of a full-length album I think it's what I needed. Wicker has done well on Spotify and Youtube, which is a great confidence booster. I am definitely taking a slower approach these days, and have the patience I need as a songwriter to bring the best out of my work. I look forward to bringing new songs into the world.
"Like" The Fourth Son's Facebook page to get updates on releases, shows, etc. And for the moment, enjoy the summer even if it's winter.