Over the summer my friend Carter and I worked on this little 10-song project. He's a pretty talented guy and I can't wait to get a full band together for him to play with. He jams the guitar and sings, and on some tracks he plays the piano; it is quite folky. I recorded and mixed the whole project, and my friend Pat Collier over at Dallas Austin studios has mastered it. We plan to release the EP in the upcoming week, for now I released one of the songs, "Lighthouse" for everyone to get a feel for it. Give it a listen when you have a chance!
He definitely has that Justin Vernon/Bon Iver vibe going on. To me his voice is actually a bit more pleasant. I can't say I'm crazy about the Acoustic guitar sound, it feels like it could have more body to it, it's very high mid heavy at the moment. Some of the vocal delays feel strange too; like they should be a bit more "ambient". But I guess it really depends on the type of feeling you're going for.
Ok, I wasn't going to say anything, as negative comments when you're finished and need to get others excited about the result don't help much, but if you're looking for pointers on what to change (i.e. you ARE still going to change stuff....) then I'd say as mentioned up top, loose some high mids/top in everything.
Both the guitar and the vocal have to much tang. Like Rode NT1 type tang. Wants peeling back. And although I actually like the vocal fx the vocal signal itself seems to disembodied/thin and could do with a little low mid boost in the right place to put it back into "I can feel it not just hear it" land. Also the guitar, once shaved a bit of high mids/top off could do with a little more girth. The leslie hiss is too static and needs washing out with something else to make it less graspable and maybe also moving around a little more randomly with auto, maybe very slight panning. I would duck it with the guitar and also remove it gradually when it goes, not just like that. Needs to be a feeling you can't easily pin down. A few tucks in timing for things to 'land' better here and there and altogether then it would be a lot more pleasant for me. Sounds like guitar and vocal are recorded separately, i.e. it doesn't feel cohesive in timing/expression here and there. A little timing tuck and some ducking of the guitar by the vocal will help.
And yes, I agree I reckon he does have talent. The song's production arrangement and instrumentation wise is a bit unfocused, but hey ho.
Try and make it so the lyric shines out and means the words more, which will happen to some extent with the suggested changes and a little balancing. Let the belly of the vocal lean out a bit or the lyric won't mean a thing and his believability goes flying.
Hope some of that is of use, as like I said, I didn't want to come in here and rain on parades, but if you're changing stuff......
I honestly wouldn't change much here. Folk is rarely a 'polished' sound, so too much thought about the sonic quality (granted it IS ok) is probably unproductive. I'd keep things the same but if you're adamant on revision, maybe focus on the first half a bit. It's got a pretty harsh top end (even if you're going for that old tape sound), so maybe work on the finger noise when the guitarist is changing chords. Consider a tape saturation plug in the beginning if you're going for that really old sound.
Again, at this point any revisions made aren't going to be the difference between someone liking the song or disliking it. Work on this a little more then either send it off to someone else for a final mix, put it on the back burner, or just release it. It sounds fine, and spending too much time on one song is a dangerous thing.