Just a little…4/20/2016
Ira Grace & The Bible Belt Prophets — the Des Moines duo consisting of Marc Bailey and Sara Williams — has been a busy act. But for the past year, the pair has been making a deliberate effort to be more deliberate in its approach. That effort was crystallized earlier this year with the release of its newest album, “The Heartsleeves EP.”
“We started recording back in May of last year,” Bailey said. “And we really took our time with it.”
The EP was finished in October, but the band and the album’s label, Nova Labs, agreed that waiting to drop it until after the holidays was the best course of action. “Patience” seems to be the pair’s new mantra.
“Those first two alums were super rushed,” Williams said. “We were really like a couple of kids. We just had all this material that we just wanted to get out there and show to people, so it was like, ‘Hurry up!’
“The second one, we were playing our asses off and kind of burning ourselves out. That album, I think, really captures the feel of where we were at that moment. We were kind of just playing a lot, drinking a lot. So it was all rushed. The songs were great, but they just weren’t executed right.”
So the pair scaled back the number of shows and went into the studio and workshopped each track until it was exactly how they wanted it. After varying degrees of dissatisfaction with the first two releases, the duo was determined to make this one great.
“When I listen to the first two albums, the music doesn’t sound like it sounds when I’m actually playing,” Williams said. “But this EP, I feel, is as close to Marc and I playing live in a room as you can get. The confidence in our songwriting has always been there. The confidence in how we were going to record something has been a struggle.”
But after nearly a year of meticulous work, Bailey and Williams are finally satisfied that even people who have never seen them live can get a genuine feel for how the pair sounds. Patience wins out.
“With the last one, we had a weekend to record 14 songs,” Bailey said. “On this one, it was like, ‘Well, let’s just redo it.’ And it paid off.” CV