The Nautical Theme: The ‘Lows & Highs’ of home recording
Tesia Mallory and Matt Shetler of the Nautical Theme release its enthralling sophomore album, “Lows & Highs,” on all major streaming services on Friday, March 20.
By Don Thrasher
Contributing Writer
The Nautical Theme was prepared to celebrate the release of its enthralling sophomore album, “Lows & Highs,” this weekend with a performance at Tipp Roller Mill. However, like countless live events throughout the world, the local folk-pop act cancelled its gig in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the absence of a proper release show, the album will be made available as planned on all major streaming services on Friday, March 20.

Matt Shetler (vocals, guitar) and Tesia Mallory (vocals, keyboards) recorded their 2018 debut album, “Float,” with Micah Carli at Popside Recording Studio in Troy but took a different approach for “Lows & Highs.” The material was recorded in Shetler’s home in Clayton and then the finished tracks were passed on to Carli for mixing. The songs were mastered in Montgomery, New York, by John Naclerio, whose credits include My Chemical Romance and Imagine Dragons.

Shetler and Mallory recently shared their thoughts on home recording.

Shetler: “We started recording in February of last year and we wrapped the album up this February. We get together weekly to work on songs and we recorded as often as we could.”

Mallory: “Sometimes it would be three times in a week and other times it was three times a month.”

Shetler: “Having a space we could just drop into and do whatever made it super convenient. We recorded at night after she put her kids to bed and my kids went to bed. Sometimes we were super productive and got a lot of stuff done and sometimes it seemed like it took forever.”

Mallory: “It cost money to make a studio in Matt’s house, but recording was free.”

Shetler: “Yeah, and it was comfortable recording at home. When you’re somewhere else, paying by the hour, you can stress about screwing up a take. I’m real pleased with the quality of the album but if we had the budget and tracked it on somebody’s high-end gear, would it be a better product? I don’t know — but it definitely came out different doing it late at night at my house over a long period rather than doing it in a few sessions with Micah.”

Mallory: “The fun of recording yourself is you have time to try different things. The world is your oyster.

Sometimes we’d record, like, six takes of vocals on a track and then have to decide which part we’d use. We’d have to sit there and listen over and over — so it did take longer than the last album but it all came together.”

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