Americana Highways brings you this video premiere of Jay Nash ‘s song “Strange Illusion,” from his forthcoming EP produced by Bill Lefler. This song exudes the gentle strength that characterizes all of Nash’s creations.
I’m not sure that this song would have ever seen the light of day outside of our household had it not been for Bill Lefler. When I wrote it, I really did so for myself and for my kids. It happened quickly and I made an equally hasty recording of it and then moved on.
Bill and I were four songs in, working on a fully produced EP that will come out later this year. He asked me if I had any more songs for us to work on together with him at the production helm and so I sent him a folder full of songs, ‘Strange Illusion’ included among them.
I was a little surprised when he came back, so enthusiastically singling out ‘Strange Illusion’ as his runaway favorite. I had kind of written it off as a quiet and understated little lullaby.
Bill really helped me to appreciate the song for its simple beauty and he had a clear vision from the outset of how to bring it to life in its purest form. After we settled on the right guitar and vocal take that I recorded in my studio, Bill added subtle piano and pad layers that brought emotional weight to the track without drawing attention away from the vocal. He asked if I could think of any female vocalists that could compliment the track and I immediately thought of Amber Rubarth, who in a way, I may have been emulating in the style that I wrote the song. She came back with a beautiful harmony that lifted everything.
Last, Bill suggested that we see what virtuoso cellist Dave Eggar does with the song. Coincidentally, Amber and Dave have worked together extensively in the past, but since we were all in different cities and in the middle of a pandemic, none of the recording on this track happened in realtime or in the same room. Instead, it was pieced together, one step at a time with thousands of miles between each session.
I don’t think that you would know that from hearing it though. To me, it sounds like we are deeply connected. I’ve been making records for 23 years, but it never ceased to amaze me how music can bring people together on such a deep level.
Find more info on Jay Nash here: http://www.jaynash.com
Find more music stories, here: https://americanahighways.org/2021/01/27/key-to-the-highway-ben-nichols/