They went on to make the entire album with Dale at his home studio in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Dale’s laid-back approach to producing, which favours spontaneity over rigid structure, was perfect for the project. In addition, his own musical ability was put to good use and he shows up all over the record, contributing guitar, banjo, backup vocals, and his trademark pedal steel. The record was put together in two short sessions that were spread across several months. The touring schedules of all involved made it difficult to get everyone together, so the three didn’t waste any time when they got in the same room.
The songs were made with simple ingredients - Liam’s acoustic guitar serves as the foundation for the track, and the vocals are front and center in the mix. Kinley and Dale’s voices combine for striking harmony and the remaining space is filled by Kinley’s strings. At times jarring (‘Nobody Knows’) and in other cases layered and dramatic (‘Midnight Show’), Kinley’s versatility on both violin and viola is showcased throughout the record. Her classically-informed style proved to be an excellent complement to Liam’s rich lead vocals and the imagery in his lyrics. During the long break between sessions, Kinley approached Liam with a song of her own.
On ‘Sharpshooter’, Kinley sings softly and plucks her violin as if it was a mandolin, creating an almost eerie atmosphere. Liam loved the song immediately and told Kinley that it had to be on the record. From that point on, the Express became the vision of two unique voices and Kinley eventually contributed two more of her originals, ‘Praire Moonlight’ and ‘Dark Days in Montreal’. The result of this project is an album featuring eleven original songs that are part-pop and part-folk. The tunes describe characters in transition, entering new relationships and terrains, and that is exactly what the Express hope to do by sharing this work with the public.
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