Long Live The Angels

Emeli Sandé

Released 11/11/16
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Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé has returned with a stunning follow up album to her 2012 debut Our Version Of Events with Long Live The Angels. We were fortunate enough to be involved in the album’s recording, hosting many of Emeli’s recording sessions and having one of our own, Jake Gordon, heavily involved in the process.

Most of the album was recorded over a six week period in January and February 2016 at one of our impressive UK residential recording studios, Angelic Studios, which has also recently hosted the likes of Skepta, Everything Everything and Hot Chip. Afterwards the recording team spent some time in Livingston 2 and The Bridge to work on overdubs and additional vocals.

Jake also mixed four of the album’s tracks (‘Every Single Little Piece’, ‘Happen’, ‘Give Me Something’ & ‘Right Now’) at Westpoint Studios.


L-R: Phil Leigh (Writer/Producer), Luke Gibbs (Assistant Engineer), Emeli Sandé, Jake Gordon (Engineer/Mixer), Matt Holmes aka Mac (Writer/Producer)

We managed to squeeze our way into Jake’s busy schedule to ask about working with Emeli on Long Live The Angels.

“For a large majority of the time it was only Emeli, Mac & Phil (two of the writers/producer), Luke Gibbs (Angelic assistant) & myself at the studio,” says Jake. “Other producers Like Naughty Boy, Chris Loco, Mojam, Jonny Coffer & TMS would come to the studio from time to time to work on the songs they were doing with Emeli.”

“Being in Angelic for six weeks meant that we had time to experiment. Almost all of the sounds used on the songs that were recorded at Angelic are played live. The fantastic thing about this session was that we had the time to try things out, and if they weren’t right, redo them. It was very much an attitude of “lets see what it sounds like if we do that.””

“We started most songs with Emeli’s Vocals and Phil accompanying her on the acoustic guitar or piano. The vocal chain was Neumann U47 to Neve 1084 to Distressor.”

“Emeli is big into vibe and we discovered very quickly into the session that the feeling of the takes were much better when she was recording with people than by herself.Both the songs ‘Hurts’ (the first single off the album) & ‘Give Me Something’ were started like this. On ‘Hurts’, Mac played the Korg MS20 and Phil played the Solina. I set them up directly outside the vocal booth and they all recorded together.”

“‘Give Me Something’ was also recorded live – Mac played drums, Phil played acoustic guitar and Emeli sang. One of the best things about Angelic is that all the rooms have line of sight, meaning you can get the live feel but maintain isolation.”

“Getting the right atmosphere and vibe played a huge part on the session, whenever I could I would try and set the guys up in the same room, or in situations that would get the most out of the performance. The day we recorded ‘Lonley’ it was cold & miserable, so I set Emeli up in the live room which has big doors that lead out onto the adjoining field, and opened them up. Phil was in the next room playing acoustic guitar and Emeli recorded the song in her coat, looking out over the field.”

“‘Happen’ was recorded outside the studio in a field at about 1am. We made a massive fire in an old industrial BBQ, and set up a bunch a headphones on extensions. Emeli was on an Shure Sm7 and I had a couple of 414’s on the fire itself, Phil had a long lead to an amp indoors and played electric guitar live with Emeli.”

IMG_1509“Many of the drum parts we recorded at Angelic were made with samples that we made ourselves. Firstly Mac would put down a basic drum track and then we would individually go though each drum (Snare, Kick, Hi hat) and record samples by finding different parts of the room and using a variation of microphones that suited that sound we wanted the best. On ‘Hurts’ we the stomps in both the live room and on the stairs and balanced them together.”

“‘Give Me Something’ on the other hand was a completely live take, in which I used three microphones on the drums, Neumann U47 as an overhead, ElectroVoice RE20 on Kick & Shure SM57 on Snare, but most of the drum sound came from the overhead.”

“Bass always went through the Ampeg B15 with ElectroVoice RE20, and electric guitar went through a variety of the Fender Twin, Fender Champ, Roland Jazz Chorus or Vox AC30, normally with a combination of an AKG 414, a Coles 4038 & sometimes a Neumann U67 or Neumann SM69 as a room mic. Acoustic Guitar was normally a Neumann U67 and a Neumann SM69.”

“For the keys, the grand piano was mic’ed with a pair of AKG 414’s close & a Royer SF-24 as a room, while the upright piano normally had a pair of Shure SM57’s and the Neumann SM69.”

“We tended to move instruments and microphones around a lot depending on the song and what we were trying to achieve.”


Click the badge in the header to buy the album on iTunes, or stream of Spotify below.

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