Life is, on occasion, terrifying. Day Fever, an album half-jokingly named after an outdated euphemism for hysteria, embraces that. The record is indie-pop act Dear Reader’s first in four years, and accordingly, singer songwriter Cherilyn MacNeil looks back on the ten days spent recording in John Vanderslice’s San Francisco studio, Tiny Telephone, as being “psychically painful.” She laughs, but she means it.
Already far from home in Berlin, the South African musician’s trek to San Francisco meant a huge adjustment in terms of her recording style. Well-known as a producer for acts like Spoon and The Mountain Goats, and a musician in his own right, Vanderslice has made a name for himself in analog recording, something Dear Reader hadn’t explored prior to the decision to record at Tiny Telephone. On tape, digitally correcting small mistakes during production wasn’t an option: they’d keep a track or erase it - all of it - and start again.