Nebraska Singer-Songwriter Assembles Local Talent For Ambitious Follow-Up Album
For a long time, when fans would ask Daniel Christian if the new CD was almost finished, the response was often “Well, don’t hold your breath; we have a lot of work left to do.” Now, more than three years since the release of his Nashville debut, I Am Merely Sand, the wait for a followup is over.
Hold Your Breath is a collection of folk/rock/country tunes, in the style of Tom Petty, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, and the Byrds. On the new project, Christian is joined by nearly 30 guest musicians, including Kris Lager (Indigenous) and Steve Hanson (C. W. McCall), but the new undertaking would not be without its challenges.
Because the building was scheduled for demolition to make room for city development, it was unclear whether or not the album would ever be completed.
Fuse Studios, built in Lincoln, Nebraska by the Mogis Brothers (founders of Saddle Creek Records), birthed some of the Midwest’s most successful records from the past decade, including albums by Bright Eyes and Azure Ray. Hold Your Breath is the last album recorded at Fuse, finished only days before the studio moved into storage.
“We’d be mixing with headphones on,” laughs Christian, “then look up to see two guys carrying a desk out the door.”
According to engineer Rob Liliedahl, the artist’s final day at Fuse was spent working at a computer monitor in an otherwise vacant space, as Nebraska’s chilly winter air carried in the exhaust fumes from moving trucks backed against the front door.
“We literally worked until the last minute,” says Liliedahl.
Once the mix was completed, though, the album received mastering treatment by Grammy-nominated Doug Van Sloun (She & Him, Rhonda Vincent) of Focus Studio in Omaha, Nebraska. Hold Your Breath will finally see the light of day when it is released to the public in April.
“It’s a different type of project for me,” Christian explains, “because three years ago I was sort of positioning myself to be a pop artist, but I listen to a variety of music, so hopefully someone will hear something they like in this new batch, too.”
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