Miracle Days are no stranger to the waiting game. After a serendipitous opportunity to record in Dr. Dog's personal studio, L.A.-based duo Edson Choi and Dre Babinski embraced a whirlwind recording process that changed their album. Something For The Weight wrapped at the Philadelphia studio two years ago and despite a frustrating wait, drops on October 22. Their debut album offers layered instrumentals that compliment simple, yet emotional lyrics and celebrates the day-to-day idiosyncrasies of life. Choi and Babinski gained attention in Orange County thanks to their work in the locally celebrated act Dusty Rhodes and The River Band, and though the two musicians speak fondly of their previous work, are poised for the new musical journey ahead. After two stifling years, Miracle Days are ready to be heard.
OC Weekly (Heidi Darby): How did Miracle Days branch out from Dusty Rhodes and The River Band?
Edson Choi: We were with Dusty Rhodes for a long time, and when that disbanded I was already living up in LA. Dre moved up the street from me, and we were pursing different projects. She wanted to do something new. Nothing big, but get a project going. The original idea was to put together an EP, but the songs came together so fast that pretty soon we had enough material for a full record and then some. It was pretty surprising, actually. It seemed like there was a bit of magic to it. By the time we got an album's worth, we got offered–through a friend–to go to Philly and record in Dr. Dogs studio.
That seems like a pretty amazing opportunity.
Yeah, we went from tracking demos to going into Dr. Dogs studio. We were like, “Holy shit!” They were just finishing their record at the time, and our friend was working as a manager on their tour and showed them our demo. We weren't expecting anything and then [Dr. Dog] said we could come by, and that their engineer would even be there. We had about a months notice to prepare. And then not only did they have their engineer there, they ended up playing on our record. Toby the bass player, Slick the drummer, and Scott the vocalist and guitar player were all down to play. It was crazy.
What was the recording process like?
Their studio is super vibey. It's in this industrial area in Philly, and Scott actually said we could stay at his place but I ended up staying in the studio the two weeks I was there. We had the songs mostly written, but no arrangements. And because we weren't anticipating a drummer, the songs were kind of naked. We'd track during the day, and then whatever was missing I'd work on at night. It all just fell into place. The process wasn't a labor of love; it was more than that. It was one of the most magical musical experiences I've been able to have so far. It came together so naturally. I can't say enough good things about it.
So you recorded the album back in 2011, but it's just now getting an opportunity to breathe. Why the long gap?
We just passed our two-year anniversary from wrapping the record. The gap? That's a good question. After recording, we had some things we wanted to remix. We had some friends offer their services. Long story short.. we were offered distribution but ended up opting out of it after a series of events and soul searching. Now we're just putting it out ourselves. We don't want this to stall anymore. We're so proud of it, we just want to get it out. We ponied up the money to put it on vinyl, and here it is.
It's got to be a good feeling to see your music on vinyl. Bands don't generally take that route on their first effort.
Well, I think a lot of bands don't do it because it costs a bit of money. But I think our music in particular lends itself really well to that vibe. Our mutual inspirations for this came from Harry Nilsson, The Carpenters and such. That sort of experimental folk, slightly psychedelic feel lends itself really well to vinyl. It's one thing to have it on CD but once you have that visual of the album in front of you, it's more than plastic. There's just something about it. Also when you buy our album you get a code to download the album for free, so it's kind of the best of both worlds.
The track "No Place” is very sweet, but with a melancholy feel. There are also tracks that can be strangely uplifting. Did you approach the record with a concept?
For "No Place” it's singing about sad things in a happy way. I think there's a beauty in feeling sad, and that sort of mode has a certain magical feeling to me. I think the worst thing to be, is indifferent. It's much better to embrace sadness and appreciate it for what it is than not feel anything at all. We wanted to focus on the hidden gems in life. All of the songs kind of reflect on that.