With Isolation Drills, MAGNET has been checking in with Philadelphia-area musicians during the pandemic, while Where We Belong shines a light on our beloved local venues. Now that our city is opening again, MAGNET has launched Philadelphia Freedom to explore what happens next with our music scene, post-quarantine. Photos by Chris Sikich.
Lucas Naylor (vocals, guitar): We were in the studio recording Carly Cosgrove’s debut LP. While we’re not sure when the project will be released, we’re presently anticipating a release in early 2022.
Surprisingly, the pandemic did not change the process of preparation and writing too much. Early on, we did not see each other at all, so we had to share ideas over the phone and on FaceTime. The writing process stayed more or less the same: We like to start with one idea, be it a strong chord progression, hook or singular phrase, then elaborate on it until it becomes a complete song. We’d make the decisions democratically, and if one or more bandmates did not like an idea, we would workshop it until we did or abandon it if it really wasn’t working.
Toward the beginning, it was difficult to imagine the songs in their final stages, as we couldn’t play or practice together. I think this allowed us to more or less imagine our own interpretations of the final project. I think this time of contemplation allowed us to cultivate more ideas on our own so that when we finally could practice together, we had plenty of options and interpretations to shop until we could figure out the best one.
We probably finished the writing process about two months before we went in to record, which we used to prepare and fine tune the looser demos of the songs as they existed before.
More than anything, we look forward to performing for people again. We have missed playing shows and can’t wait to share all the art we have worked so hard on in the past year.