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Magic Garden Mastering Engineer Brian Lucey Brings Final Punch To Tchad Blake’s Mixing Creativity

LOS ANGELES:  A good pedigree doesn’t guarantee success, but it certainly can’t hurt.  In 2008 when Arctic Monkeys’ lead vocalist/guitarist/principal songwriter Alex Turner, and singer/guitarist Miles Kane, joined forces with Simian composer/producer/drummer /keyboardist, James Ford, they pooled their creative superpowers to form The Last Shadow Puppets. The ‘baroque pop’ rockers scored a #1 debut album, with their Age Of The Understatement CD, a release further distinguished by string arrangements by Arcade Fire member Owen Pallett. Everything You’ve Come To Expect, releasing April 1st on Domino, is10TLSP’s first new album in eight years and lives up to its title.

Producer/artist, James Ford reports the album was recorded in Shangri-la in Malibu in October 2015.  “We had done a fair bit of pre-production and so were able to track most of the album live with me on drums, Zach Dawes on bass and Alex and Miles playing guitars. We then overdubbed vocals and keys. It was a really great place to record. Everything is painted white and it’s very relaxed. We all stayed at the studio including Owen Pallet who wrote most of the string and horn arrangements on the piano in the other room while we were overdubbing. We played Ping-Pong, went surfing and had ‘sing songs’ around the piano. It was like being at a summer camp. Or, being in a cult. We tracked the strings and horns back in LA over a couple of days.

“The album was then mixed in Wales by Tchad Blake, and mastered by Brian Lucey in LA,” Ford adds.  “Brian did a great job!  He was very passionate and dedicated.  He had a lot of great comments and thoughts about the flow of the record.”

Producer/engineer Tchad Blake, has collaborated with artists over many decades, from Crowded House and Suzanne Vega to Pearl Jam and U2.  He’d previously worked with Brian Lucey on The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, The Arcs, and alongside Tom Elmhirst mixing The Kills’ upcoming record.  Tchad knew Brian would bring a great perspective to Everything You’ve Come To Expect. “Brian has strong opinions about things and I like that,” Blake remarked.  “Without much input from me, he gets a cool punch out of the tracks while not changing the timbre too much. I like that too.”

“TLSP’s new album is a beautiful listen, combining a timely freshness with some very classic elements.  It was great to be asked to take it over the top,” Brian Lucey says. “Alex Turner, Miles Kane and James Ford have a really nice chemistry here, and Owen Pallett’s string and horn arrangements are both brave and exciting. Working with Tchad is always a joy as he’s so creative and easy going.  It’s a strong team here, and team is everything.  Fans who’ve waited eight years should be well satisfied, and I expect a new group of folks to be very excited as well,” Lucey concludes.

Magic Garden Mastering engineer Brian Lucey. Photo by Lindsey Compton

Sample LSP’s new album at: “Everything You’ve Come To Expect” (Official Video)


About Brian Lucey Magic Garden Mastering: Beginning in the East Village, at 19, Brian was a professional musician (guitar, voice, piano who moved on to become a student of Robert Fripp and Guitar Craft through the late 80s, early 90s.  A self-taught tracking engineer, mixing engineer and eventually a producer of mostly organic musics (Ampex MM1200 2” tape), mastering came last in 1999. His decades of experience in all phases of production play into a uniquely musical mastering ear. Originally from the great music city of Columbus, Ohio he now works out of Los Angeles.