Livin’ the “Good Life” with Of Good Nature – by Jessica Shvarts

Many of you have probably heard of Of Good Nature. If you haven’t…now is a good time to pay attention. Hailing from Charlotte, NC, this group of funky gentlemen have been making their mark on the reggae-rock scene. Their eclectic style is hard to define, and that’s part of the fun. Dropping a stream of singles leading up the release of their next, each track embodies unique and varying elements of funk, reggae, alternative rock, pop – and the list goes on – while also maintaining a familiar vibe.

Their latest single, Good Life,  quickly topped #1 on the iTunes reggae chart upon release. Of Good Nature is also dropping a music video for A Good Life on their YouTube channel, December 13th at 4pm. And the timing of this single’s release was purposeful: “It has a hometown vibe for the holidays and that’s what we were trying to encapsulate,” Cameron Brown, singer and guitarist of OGN, explained to me.

 

The enthusiasm from fans that catapulted the song to the top of the chart is a similar enthusiasm the band holds for this tune as well. Good Life was a labor of love, involving a lot of back-and-forth with OGN’s producer, Danny Kalb of White Star Sound.

As big music fans – I’m assuming that about you since you’re reading this blog – we know a lot about the bands that we love. But, there is a lot we don’t get to see. Danny and Cam both chatted with me and provided a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Good Life. Danny walked me through a little “How to Create a Song 101,” lesson, providing an overview of writing, pre-production, recording, editing/compiling, mixing, and mastering. I could go into detail, but that would have to be a whole separate blog post– which I’d be happy to write if you, our readers, want to read it. Seriously, let us know!

Anyways, let’s dive into the making of Good Life. This particular song started as just “E Major Guitar Riffs,” as an early Voice Memo Cam recorded was titled. Once it developed a little further with an established beat, he sent the demo to Danny. “It was a demo with really cool parts and ideas. It didn’t flow together, but it was so cool,” explained Danny. “The jam-y part was there, but it wasn’t a big part of the song. It was a collection of ideas that didn’t quite work yet, but I kept pushing them to work it out.”

 

What is a Voice Memo? Good question. These are short recordings that capture the writing process, enabling them to document ideas and revisit them later. During the writing of Good Life, OGN was at the cabin where they sequester themselves for up to weeks at a time to work. With that work ethic, they are a producer’s dream to work with… Danny’s words, not mine. (Side note: if you ever wondered where the Take Me Anywhere music video takes place, here’s your answer!)

During a week at the cabin, the band would jam parts of the song and see what would come out melodically. Voice Memos of these sessions would be sent to Danny, and he, in turn, would provide feedback and push them to keep working at it. This process happens over and over again. Even after all those rounds of iterations, for instance, the final horn line was actually the first one Trombonist Brandon Hucks wrote, illustrating the importance of capturing every step of the process. Take a listen to this original Voice Memo of the band working on the horn outro:

 

 

Pretty cool hearing how far it came, isn’t it? There was a lot of back and forth to establish the structure of Good Life, which is quite a leap from the basic verse-chorus-verse-chorus equation. “We kept thinking Good Life was good and done, even though we really knew it wasn’t,” recalls Cam. “Danny definitely went above and beyond to help get to the final state of the song.”

As fans can expect based on their recent singles, Of Good Nature’s upcoming album is an evolution for the band. This is the first time this team has written together (shout out to bassist Jon Reed and drummer David Hamilton Jr., whom I had yet to mention!) This four-piece consists of very close friends, and this chemistry has made them a great team. From the looks and sounds of it, seems like Danny fit right in when they brought him in to work on the album.

Due to this camaraderie, a lot of the songs seemed to fall into place throughout the recording process. It also makes their busy tour schedule a lot of fun. Coupled with the confidence allotted to them by their supportive – and growing – fan base, and their partnership with Ineffable Music, they are ready to take 2019 on by storm. Despite my best efforts, the only inside scoop on the new album I could pry out of Cam was that it’s full of “a lot of bangers.” Being quite familiar with their discography myself, I would expect nothing less from these guys. Stay tuned for the finished product, coming Spring of 2019!

 

http://ofgoodnature.com/

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