By: Peter Gaston
There are many reasons why an artist chooses to record an album in his/her bedroom. Most often, it’s a matter of space and finances; bedroom recording can be conducted in small amounts of square footage, especially in these days of cost-effective computer recording, and without bothering all hell out of any nearby roommates or neighbors. But it’s also safe to say that the bedroom is where we express our deepest secrets and unravel our most personal problems.
Chad Hanson, the solitary soul behind Field Notes, didn’t record all of Color of Sunshine in his Brooklyn flat, but it sure sounds like a prototypical bedroom pop album. On “Full Circle,” Hanson constructs a four-minute, multi-layered build-up, slathering on track after track of acoustic, then electric guitars for a milder sort of shoegazer head-trip. Later, on the heavier-handed “Who’s Fooling Who,” Hanson buries his deceptively deep, plaintive verses underneath heavy strumming, almost like a more somber voiced Belle & Sebastian.
There are sporadic trips out into the living room, though, and even to the dance floor. With a skippy dance beat and piercing guitar, “Sister Says” is a dance song in a solitary way: not hard enough for the pub crawl but perfectly vigorous for a stolen moment alone. “Strangest Things” has that mid-tempo movie soundtrack feel, something Natalie Portman might hype to strangers in a doctor’s office waiting room. But it would still sound best in the comfort of her bedroom, with that security blanket in tow and the rain pouring down outside.