It pays to have friends. Take Aly Spaltro’s best pal in New York, Shervin Lainez, a photographer who shoots artists on indie record label Mom + Pop Music. Had he not shared Spaltro’s earliest songs with Goldie, the label’s president/founder, she likely wouldn’t have signed to it late last year.
Brooklyn-based Spaltro, a.k.a. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, had given her material to Lainez in confidence. But he sent some of the songs to Goldie, who then requested a meeting with Spaltro. “I didn’t find out Shervin shared the songs with Goldie until I sat down with him. Part of me thought, ‘He betrayed me,’” the singer/songwriter confesses. “But the other part of me thought, ‘It’s okay, it needed to unravel this way.’”
“Part of me thought, ‘He betrayed me.’ But, it’s okay, it needed to unravel this way.”
Spaltro actually released her first full-length, Ripely Pine, through another New York indie label, Ba Da Bing Records. But she stayed in the good graces of Goldie, who she says understood her as an artist.
Spaltro amicably parted ways with Ba Da Bing, then financed her next album with money she saved from touring by herself and acting as her own manager. The artist took out a few loans from generous friends, as well.
After frittering away precious studio hours for her first album, Spaltro was more mindful in mapping out the follow-up. She recorded the demos to click track, also relying on Logic, a borrowed drum pad and MIDI for the horn arrangements.
Once the demos were done, Spaltro enlisted a sparse staff—just a co- producer and musicians to do drums, horns and strings. She played bass and her usual guitar.
She sent the resulting second album, After, to Goldie, then turned the tables by requesting a meeting with him. As luck would have it, Mom + Pop didn’t have any releases slated for the spring. – Kurt Orzeck