7 Years, 4 Re-writes, 3 Band Names, 2 Producers = 1 Album

Cyndi and the Drums has been a long time coming, one of my life’s dreams has always been to create original music, play drums and sing the words from my heart.
I started writing this album in 2008, when I got my first piano. I sat for hours on that piano playing colors, messing with bass lines, singing and writing. I bought an Mbox 2 Pro, a microphone and ran recordings of my piano and vocal performances straight into my mac. Invited my besties to squeeze into my 1 bedroom apartment to hear me play. I built a little confidence and entered into the Piano Room’s singer songwriter competition 2009, I didn’t place though I had a fantastic intuition that my songs had a life. I started producing in a friend’s studio, he had a Korg workstation and a MPC, I spent endless hours producing tracks I’ve never used, all to prove to myself I needed a collaborator. The third re-write of the songs was with Danny Pliner which were all piano and vocals. I wanted to hear all I’d written so far played and developed by a killer musician. We tracked all the piano parts in his lounge-room, then I took the tracks home and recorded all my vocals in the booth I’d built under my loft bed. The songs were beautiful, I was so in love with them, though I still wasn’t sure if I’d integrated all the elements I imagined could be my sound. I sold my car, piano, some drums and took off to New York to play drums and search for my sound. It was the greatest and hardest mountain I’ve climbed, I worked with crooks and gentlemen, articulating and referencing what I was trying to do. I got hip hop, crunk, jazz, african, brazilian but nothing really stuck. So I returned triumphant to Sydney in 2010, because I’d crossed so many questions and opportunities off my list, and was closer to my sound than ever. At the same time, Al Goodman (producer/ synths) returned from a 5 year stint in Berlin, with his head full of electronic music and a great sense of English Pop. I had realised that with my vocal sound, and the freedom of electronic music, I could integrate all the elements I was creating organically. Al and I put hours, days and weeks in developing tracks. We explored every idea, and came up with the foundation of my beleif in myself as an artist. By 20ll we were Cloudlands, then Al’s wife became pregnant with their second child and he had to pull back on the creative. I re-branded, called the project Kahlo and searched for the next producer to take the project over the finish line. Things slowed down, though I stayed on track. I bought a Neumann Microphone, hired a Neve pre-amp, borrowed Al’s vocal Shroud and continued recording all the vocals, harmonies, editing and reaching out to different studios without traction. I’d done all I could do. In 2012 in a chance meeting I shared my frustration with a stranger who offered to introduce me to a friend who he totally believed. I followed the lead, went to the studio and met with Daniel Denholm without any prior knowledge of who he was or what he’d done. He was one of the very few people who actually stopped and really listened to my work. It was incredibly validating to be taken so seriously. He paid me the highest compliment I’ve ever enjoyed and compared my ideas and sounds to those of David Sylvian, a hero producer from the 80’s who was a big influence for me. I offered him a c0-write on the 10th and final track for the album, he had creative ideas for other tracks, and I knew in my heart he was a finisher!