Even if you don’t know the name Shawn Everett, it’s very likely that you’ve enjoyed an album that he’s produced, engineered, or mixed in the past several years. In 2015, he rose to prominence for his work on Alabama Shakes’ Sound + Color, possibly the best-sounding rock record of the decade, which garnered him two Grammys. Everett won his third Grammy earlier this year for The War On Drugs’ A Deeper Understanding, an album he helped to construct with Adam Granduciel in some of the finest studios in Los Angeles and New York City.
Everett’s resume doesn’t stop there — his recent clients run the gamut of indie rock, pop, and country, including Grizzly Bear, John Legend, Perfume Genius, Kesha, The Killers, Hinds, Mike Gordon, The Voidz, and Kacey Musgraves. But no matter who he works with, Everett applies a personal aesthetic that melds the best of traditional recording techniques with big-eared adventurousness that always feels modern.
I invited Everett on the podcast to talk about his recent experiences in the studio, and to also help clarify the mysteries of record production. Fans love to talk about how records sound, do we really know what we’re talking about? What exactly does a producer or engineer do, aside from simply pressing the “record” button and capturing what musicians perform naturally? Everett provides a lot of insight into his process, while speaking in terms that anyone can understand.