Mirrors Album Recording Blogs (2013/14) News

Mirrors Album Credits

For those interested, here are the credits for my brand new album, Mirrors. Listen to the album here:

My third solo album, this is a real labour of love. For a long time I wasn’t going to make another album, and then all these songs started pouring out. Then we convened a great bunch of people across the Atlantic Ocean over the best part of a year and made this, Mirrors, a collection of songs that says a lot about who and where I am as I enter a new season in life.


released 04 August 2014

Produced, Recorded and Engineered by Kevin Bruchert for Viking Productions
Additional Recording and Engineering by Harun Kotch
Drums Recorded by Brian Moore at Redbooth Recording, New York
Piano Recorded by Rob Quickenden at Ford Lane Studios, Arundel
Vocals and Bass Recorded at Knuci Studios, Southampton, UK
Guitars and Other Instruments Recorded in Various Houses in the UK and USA
Mixed by J.Hall
Mastered by Brad Blackwood at Euphonic Mastering

Haydon Spenceley: Lead Vocals, Piano and Keys
Kevin Bruchert: Guitars and Backing Vocals
Thom Daugherty: Guitars
Erick LeFevre: Drums
Ben Lewis: Bass
Anna-Lynne Williams: Guest Vocal on Beyond the End of the World
Angel Delgado: Cello on Interlude

Artwork and Photography by Christian Steinmetz

All Songs by Haydon Spenceley, Published and Copyright Amos3 Music 2014 except Interlude by Kevin Bruchert, Published and Copyright ASCAP 2014 and Come Undone and Beyond the End of the World, by Haydon Spenceley and Kevin Bruchert, Published and Copyright Amos3Music/ASCAP 2014

Thanks to so many people for their help in making this record. To our families, especially our wives, girlfriends, partners etc who have sacrificed a lot so that we can do this. Thanks to Kevin for being Kevin. Thanks Brian, Rob, J and Brad for invaluable help and wisdom at various stages with the audio side of things. Thanks to Jim and Nat Rogers and Sharon Lewis for putting up with us staying in your houses for weeks. To Jenny Kotch for letting us invade your house to record in and being such a generous host. To Erin and family for letting Kevin travel across the ocean. To Christian, thanks for holding Kevin’s hand across the ocean, designing a great cover and being great fun.
Thanks to the loads of people who keep encouraging me to write songs and record them. I hope you enjoy this.
Thanks to Jo, my amazing wife, for letting me make this record and believing in me so much
Thanks to God for knitting it all together and knowing and loving us better tha we ever could ourselves.

Mirrors Album Recording Blogs (2013/14) News

First Review For Mirrors

The first review for Mirrors is in, thanks to my friends at Louder Than the Music for their kindness. Here’s the review:

Haydon Spenceley has done it again. He has bounced back with another stunning, haunting, electro rock inspired magical piece of music in ‘Mirrors‘. Nobody creates music like Haydon, he really does have his own style and sound, and that is a very rare thing these days.

‘Come Undone’ is a mixture of electro bleeps mixed with a strong drum beat that is infused with the distinctive vocals of Haydon. A wonderful opening number. If you ever thought modern rock songs had to use big synths and dance loops then you might want to take a look at this track, this song strips rock music back to where it belongs.

As already said, Haydon has a very distinctive voice, and this comes over brilliantly in the song ‘Friends For Life‘. This foot tapping song is an instant hit with distorted guitars adding a great edgy sound to it.

Rise‘ takes the level of the album down to the ballad arena. This anthemic pop rock song has a great melody flowing through the chorus that is not just catchy but also powerful. ‘Beyond The End‘ has a brilliant guitar solo and epic drum beat in the middle, it could have easily have been on the Radiohead album ‘OK Computer‘, it has that same style and intensity.

Title track ‘Mirrors‘ is a little punk/rock, without being the mainstream punk/pop you sometime get in the charts. This in-your-face power track has some hard hitting lyrics that are well worth getting your teeth into.

Interlude‘ is what it says on the tin, but this isn’t a wasted instrumental track on the album, this is a wonderful piece of music, so beautiful to listen to as the sun is setting.

One of my favourite tracks has to be the eccentric ‘Gloria‘. There is something very Beatles, Muse, Radiohead, or Delirious about this song that really speaks to me. It may not come across as great for radio, but it’s a great track with some fantastic sounds.

LTTM have always been a fan of the work of Haydon, he seems to know how to put together a great song and then put it on a record with loads of other great songs. He is a creative songwriter who sticks to what he wants to do, and will not change his sound and the way he writes music for fast moving trends. 

My first thought about this collection was that it sounded like it didn’t fit what was out there at the moment, but isn’t that the whole point? This is pushing the boundaries. Haydon could have made these songs much more dance inspired rock, but what he has done here is taken the model of good rock music and added a modern Haydon twist to it. It takes guts to do something you really believe in, and Haydon must be applauded. The songs speak for themselves, the production is of top top quality, and there isn’t much I didn’t love about this record! I hope you feel the same too.

Review by Jono Davies

Standout Tracks
Beyond The End
Come Undone

Read the original review here 

Mirrors Album Recording Blogs (2013/14)

The Final Countdown (Mirrors Blog 4)

Mirrors Recording Blog –  The Final Countdown

Greetings everyone

It’s quite a while since I’ve written any kind of update for LTTM about my new record. Since I last checked in a lot has happened. Here’s a rundown of the highlights:

  1. The recording, mixing and mastering phases of the project are finished. This project has seen me be extremely fortunate to work with all kinds of people. I’ve written before about the bevvy of guest musicians and friends who have played a huge part in this record. When it was time to mix the album, a new friend, J.Hall, came on board and really produced the goods for me, with some brave and edgy mixes. I also made a new friend, and I’d urge you to check out the Enormodome, Of Archers, Everything in Slow Motion, Delta saints and House of Heroes records he’s worked on recently. As a result of his input, and the extraordinary mastering skills of Brad Blackwood, I’ve ended up with a seven track record which I think is by far the best and most exciting collection of songs I’ve ever put out. They all feel like my babies. I’m so happy and proud of them all, not least because I think we made a God-honouring record which is quite a long way away from being a “Christian” record. It’s aggressive, often unhappy, very very loud in places, has killer guitar solos (when did that last happen?) and is genuinely a little bit different. I think it might be the last record I ever do, although you can never say never, and if it is I will be more than happy to end on a record which so clearly articulates what I think God called me to be, do and say many years ago now. I hope you love it when you get to hear it.
  2. I got married, moved house, finished theological college, and am currently 9 days away from being ordained as a deacon in the Church of England (on June 29th). I’m about to start a job in a new Church, getting used to being married to the amazing Jo, generally loving living in one place and lots more besides. I remember writing about the Ghostree record a few years ago when I’d just moved to Nottingham to train to be a minister; well those three years have flown by and a whole lot has changed. It’s been a tough but brilliant few years, marked with a lot of joy, but a lot of struggle too. Where I once felt like success as a musician was the only way I would ever be considered, or be able to consider myself, worthwhile, the last few years have taught me that love, identity and purpose come from God alone. I confess that in the past, in my weakness, I have used music as something of a crutch, not facing up to the tough stuff, because I’d rather write tortured, artistic songs. This, and an ongoing battle with depression, are well-covered in the songs on Mirrors. The record is me closing a chapter of my life and setting my face towards whatever is to come next.

All that said, I’m really, really excited about this album. I think it says something. I think it is important, and I hope that you will love it. Soon there’ll be a release date, all the info that you need if you want to hear it (think Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters) and all the rest of the stuff that comes with putting a record out. In  the meantime, keep up with what I’m doing on or follow me on Twitter @haydonspenceley

Thanks so much for your support and prayers for me while we’ve been making this album. I promise you it is absolutely the best that we could have possibly made. I can’t wait to share it with you all soon.



Read the original post on Louder Than the Music here

Mirrors Album Recording Blogs (2013/14) News

Mixing Almost Complete

Just a quick update to let you know that mixing for the new record, undertaken by the rather splendid J. Hall in Nashville, is almost complete. I’ll write more when I have more to say, except that the songs sound just like I hoped. Happy days!

Mirrors Album Recording Blogs (2013/14)

Global Collaborative Recording Process (Mirrors Blog 3)

In the next part of our guest blog series from singer/songwriter Haydon Spenceley, we hear how his global collaborative recording process is progressing, and Haydon reflects on the collaboration between God and people.

Greetings everyone

Thanks for sticking with these blogs, even as they’re spread out by vast expanses of time. It gives you an insight in to the length of time it can take to make an album if nothing else!*

A quick update on what’s happened since we last spoke to kick things off. Keyboards have been recorded in Northampton. Guitars put down in Indianapolis, Nashville and Southampton vocals in South Carolina and Seattle. Sadly there doesn’t seem to be a place for cowbell on this record, but there’s still time! We’re (the “we” I refer to here is an ever-increasing group of wonderful people) coming up to the mixing phase of the project, which is always exciting, as it’s the moment when I hear mixes for the first time that I can first sense the end in sight and the final realising of the vision I set out with just around the corner.

Because I’m not (by any means) a full time musician, the process of making this record has been long, perhaps even slow, but at each stage it seems to me that just the right thing has happened at the right time. From initial tracking in the summer with some of my closest friends, who are also hyper-talented, through to making wonderful new acquaintances this autumn, this process has been my favourite album making experience. I’ve been able to have Thom Daugherty (Agitproper, The Elms, as well as a tonne of other cool stuff) lend his signature style to the guitar parts. They’re awesome. I’ve achieved a long-held fanboyish ambition and had Anna-Lynne Williams (Trespassers William, Lotte Kestner, Ormonde) sing on a song. She is wonderful. I met Erick, who I blogged about last time, virtually, in New York, and had him lay down some incredible drum parts. Ben Lewis, who is a stupendous bloke, played bass like only a stupendous bloke can. Harun Kotch blew my mind with his special Harun Kotchness (you’ll know what I mean if you know him) and then there’s Kevin Bruchert. Kevin is a great producer and a great musician. He’s an even better friend.

There’re loads of other people who’ve been involved too. This has been the most collaborative recording process I’ve ever been involved in. Before this turns in to some kind of pretentious awards acceptance speech though I want to get to the point. It isn’t showing off, honest.

No, the point is this: as we come towards the home strait and I’m thinking over the experience of making this record, I’ve been struck by a couple of things. Namely the sheer privilege it is to have people from all over the world, who are stuffed full of talent, want to work with me on something that is so personal to me. It really is something to behold to think that these songs and thoughts that I’ve composed in the (mostly) darkest parts of the last couple of years, on my own, in my house, have been brought to life by such a wildly diverse bunch of people. Music has a wonderful way of forming communities. I’m fortunate to say that I’ve made a lot of friends, and deepened a lot of friendships I already had, in the process of making this album. This building and deepening of relationships makes the whole project worthwhile as far as I’m concerned.

Which leads me to the second point. Something I’m exploring is the wonder of collaboration between God and people. In a similar way to being blown away by how many people have wanted to work with me on this project, I’ve been increasingly caused to wonder at how God wants to relate to me, transform me, bless me, affirm me, challenge me. Really it’s all of it. We are made to live together, with God, together with other people, to love ourselves, not to be isolated from God or from one another, and certainly not to focus our anger inwards towards self-hatred. I’ve been prone to this in the past, and still struggle with it quite a bit. I justify it by thinking and saying things like “well, if you really knew what I was like, what I’d done, who I’d been, then you’d think the same”. The thing is though that God does see, know, even feel the consequences of all of that and yet the seemingly outrageous move He makes towards me, towards us, is one of transforming, of drawing together, towards living and being together, to bring in the kind of life and hope which has always been the plan. 

It’s quite a thought, the process of making an album as a sign of the eschatological hope of humanity. Have some of that!

*For those of you who just want to know when the record’ll be out, I hope it will be the end of January!

Haydon Spenceley

Read the original post on Louder Than the Music here

Mirrors Album Recording Blogs (2013/14)

Studio Skyping and Learning God IS Love (Mirrors Blog 2)

In the second part of the Haydon Spenceley guest blog series on the journey of recording his new album, he updates us on the recording process – and how the band are connected despite being on opposite sides of the world. Haydon also explains how he is learning from God the importance of loving yourself.
Hope everyone out there in internet world is doing well. Dave and Jono from LTTM have been telling me that the response to my last post here was really strong so thanks for your encouragement. Feel free to translate that into listening to/buying the new record when it’s done!I wrote the first post for this about 12 days ago, the day before we started, in the midst of a heatwave. Now as I think about what to share with everyone today and it is pouring with rain outside, I’m really struck just how much has happened in a relatively short space of time. We’ve certainly packed a lot in. Here are some edited highlights:

    • We spent some time in writing and pre-production, out of which came an extra, brand new song, Mirrors. Mirrors is almost certainly the most aggressive song I’ve ever written. I’m just about to sing the vocal for it when I’ve finished this, which will be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it!
    • Kevin (who has an awesome record of his own, check it out) led worship with Ben and I, plus a couple of awesome friends, at Lee Community Church last week. It was an intensely powerful and moving time.
    • We spent two nights Skyping in to a studio in New York on a phone whilst the drums for the record were recorded by a dude named Eric, and Brian, the engineer, entertained us by dancing with action figures (this really did happen). It is crazy to me that we’ve reached the point where you can connect to a studio via Skype and interact and work on parts for songs. Crazy. What’s even crazier is how good the drums sound. Eric is the man.
    • Ben, our resident bass maestro and master of gyrations, nailed his bass parts for the whole record in a day. He, too, is the man.
    • We spent a great day at Ford Lane in Arundel recording a rather splendid sounding upright piano. There is a lot of piano on this record.
  • I’ve sung 5 out of 7 vocal performances. 2 more to go…

Much more important than all this, we have introduced Kevin and Christian, our visitors from the States, to the correct way to speak the English language. Kevin calls the toilet “the loo” now. Our work is done. We’ve eaten a lot of premium biscuits. In fact we’ve just eaten a lot.

We’ve also received generosity from loads and loads of people, and spend a lot of time hanging out with friends, new and old. It’s been a real eye-opener to me to see how many people have got behind this project in a variety of ways. Really humbling.

Much more important, even than all those things, is that we’ve spent a whole tonne of time talking about life, faith, hope and family. It’s been one of the key characteristics of this process and this project. God made us for relationship with Him, ourselves and one another. At various points in my life, I’ve been pretty rubbish at all three of those, with no real sign of improvement. However, these last two weeks have reinforced to me that we’re only really doing life anywhere near right when we get the concept of loving God, loving our neighbour and loving ourselves in to balance.

I’ve experienced much love from God, and my neighbours, whilst making this record, and it’s been fantastic to see the community around these songs grow and involve people all over the world. More than that though, I’m having to learn the discipline of loving myself, something I find pretty hard for a variety of reasons. Without love for myself it’s not possible to love God. Without love for God I can’t love others. Without love for others I can’t love anything or anyone. It’s a huge deal. As God is love (it’s not just an emotion He has, but a state of being) He can’t not love me. He can’t not love you. He wants to give you a new identity, a new name. Son or daughter of God. Cherished, beloved, adored, set free to be who He made you to be.

All the other identities we give ourselves, or have given to us, even the important ones like husband/wife, friend, brother/sister, parent or whatever, these come second, a distant second, to that of child of God. It’s bonkers that it’s ours for the taking. Seeing the working out of this in action, as we all, individually and collectively, try to learn what is to live and work, walk and love, as children of God, is a real privilege, as well as being a little scary. It’s a privilege because I get to marvel as I watch God at work in a whole bunch of other people (including some who don’t know Him yet, or even think He exists). It’s scary because when it’s all said and done, it’s easier for me to retreat behind the identity of being a musician, or even of calling myself a failure or a disappointment, a disabled person. These things don’t define me though. God does. I wish we were part of a community of faith who really got hold of this.

We have two more days here to finish the vocals and do some guitars and a few other bits and bobs, before we disperse around the country and the world to finish the record, and get back to our (long-suffering) families. As we get back to some semblance of normality I’m pretty hopeful that some of the spark of hope, of identity, of freedom and joy, will go with us. Wouldn’t that be something.

It’s unlikely that I’ll be remembered in history for my songs (although that would be nice) but wouldn’t it be great if we, this generation, were remembered in history as people who knew, as far as they could, that we were loved, so that we could love, that we’d heard the call of God to shine His light, love and hope into the lives of those who are around us. If the songs on this record go any distance to helping you to do that in your life, in your family, in your workplace, then it’ll be a job well done.

Haydon Spenceley

Mirrors Album Recording Blogs (2013/14) Uncategorized

Not Giving Up When Your Album Doesn’t Sell (Mirrors Blog 1)

Two years ago British singer/songwriter Haydon Spenceley wrote a series of guest blogs for LTTM about his band Ghostree going to Nashville to make an album. In this honest and revealing first blog of a new series, Haydon starts the process again with a fresh set of ideas.

Around two years ago, I blogged a few times describing the experiences of recording the Ghostree EP with Kevin Bruchert and Brandon Perdue in Nashville, TN. The times and experiences those blogs chronicled were some of the most enjoyable and exciting, challenging and stretching experiences of my life. I loved the whole experience, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Reading the first blog back this morning, I remembered some of how I felt as I wrote. We were excited, we thought something was going to happen.

GhostreeWell, something did happen. The EP we made is, I think, pretty flipping good (I still like it, unusual for me!). We got some of the best reviews you could ever hope for, from all over the world. We’ve had opportunities to play and talk to a whole bunch of people, particularly at the wonderful Big Church Day Out this year (you probably didn’t see us, Rend Collective Experiment were playing at the same time, but we loved it anyway, and so did the discerning hordes who spent the afternoon with us). A lot of musicians from bands I have had fanboyisms about have told me they love our record. A lot of other people have too. But here’s the rub, pretty much no-one bought it. This isn’t a complaint. I’m not whining or muttering or anything else. We made a record, no-one bought it. Happens all the time. There are bands and artists massively more talented than me who will tell you a similar story. My point is that the something I was hoping for when Ghostree started, which was to build enough to have a following and make enough money to make another record, to do something that the Christian “scene” here hadn’t seen for quite some time, just never happened. It probably wasn’t ever going to happen.

Fast-forward two years, and I sit at the beginning of another recording process. Where there was drive and focus on the last record, this time I’m relaxed to the point of not even having written all the songs yet (we start tomorrow). This isn’t a Ghostree record. This is something else. Something new. Something that I’m very excited about. Friends from my musical past are joining together just to make a record and see what comes out. It’ll probably end up coming out as a solo record, but I really have no idea. There’s no plan. We’re actually making the music because we like making music. What a revolutionary idea.

There’s a tendency in my thinking as a kind of lapsed conservative evangelical to think that it’s only ok to do something if there’s a clear vision, or if God has confirmed the plan in triplicate. I don’t say this to be facetious. This is actually how I’ve lived and thought in the past, and I could happily proof-text you into the middle of next week with regard to why this is a good way of doing things. The thing is, the last two years have taught me (amongst a whole lot, I’d recommend a spell at theological college if you want your life turned upside down) that sometimes it’s ok to do things because we enjoy them too. I’m excited about this record. We have some really good songs. I’m more excited to hang out with my friend Kevin, and a bunch of other awesome dudes and their families for two weeks and to see what God is going to do.

I don’t get everything right. I get quite a lot wrong actually, but so much has happened over the last couple of years and I’m looking forward to sharing some new songs about all those experiences with you.

All of this might sound a bit serious. Sorry about that. It’s what training to be a vicar, getting engaged and realising you’re not as cool as you thought you were over the course of a two year period will do to someone. I hope that the record we’re embarking on will be something that people will enjoy listening to. I hope I’ll like it too (!) and most of all I hope that it honours God. It’s such a privilege to be given the gift of writing songs and the opportunity to sing them. It’s so much more of a privilege to have so many people who want to stand with me and make something from my ideas. When I started in bands back when I was 18 I would never have thought I would have had all the experiences I have had, and I’m profoundly grateful for them. If this is the last record I get to make, I hope it makes a difference somehow, preferably an eternal one, but I’ll leave how that happens to God.

So, I’m making a new record. Kevin Bruchert is producing. We’ve got a cast of thousands primed all over the world ready to be involved, and no idea what to do with it when it’s done. What could possibly go wrong?

Haydon Spenceley

Read the original post on Louder Than the Music