I’ve been told that Cristabelle pre-accident was quite a different person than the Cristabelle post-accident. The focus of her life has not only shifted, but her personality had been transformed by the trauma as well, as is often the case with people who’ve suffered severe brain trauma. I’d never met the “old” Cristabelle, so can’t really say anything about the girl that was lost in this process, but the “new” Cristabelle I met is a charming, enthusiastic, and talented musician and songwriter, eager to share with the world what she has to offer. If I had known nothing about her background, she’d just be another run-of-the-mill extraordinarily talented, deeply committed high school kid to me! (Like I run across those every day…)
We started in the studio by tracking her voice and guitar, and expanding from there. We experimented with different production approaches before settling down to a mix of pretty minimally produced tracks to tracks with drums, bass, keys, with some computer-based sample stuff thrown in to boot. The production keeps the focus on her voice and songs – I’ll admit I did have to be restrained to scale back the production at times. As is my wont, I threw a little too much at the songs at first, and then cut back what wasn’t needed. Like the old saw about the sculptor who carves an elephant by cutting away everything that doesn’t look like an elephant, we had to cut away everything that didn’t sound like a Cristabelle Braden song.
Cristabelle Braden’s new 7-song debut EP is now done, and we’ll get the discs back from Oasis this weekend, just in time for a show Cristabelle’s got opening up for Reilly at the Grace Bible Fellowship Church in Wallingford, PA on 5/18/11 at 7:00 PM.