The Salt Lick Records Share Excitement Over New Denver Recording Studio

[left to right] Jason Edelstein, Chris Voss and Shelbi, Andrea Hong

The Salt Lick Records — an all-encompassing music label based in Denver — are officially opening the doors of their new, upgraded recording studio with a private party tomorrow, April 3. It’s a big step for co-founders Jason Edelstein and Andrea Hoang, who said goodbye to their first space, The Pond, not too long ago — a location where vision manifested itself through co-working and live sessions. Like all valuable memories, sentiment remains present for Edelstein.

“It really had its own kind of charm. The space very much felt like an underground DIY studio. And there’s something really comforting about that. It was unpolished and unfinished, and that made it low pressure during recording sessions.” Hoang agreed, adding, “I definitely loved how unassuming it was. Tucked away in the middle of Denver — we’d bring bands over and tell them to walk down those small steps. That’d open up into this wide area with all of our decor and everything.”

The hardest part of letting go of the old, for Hoang, was The Pond’s cornerstone staple. On the back wall of their concrete basement box was a giant mural of their logo — it’s visible in every single iteration of “Songs From The Pond” on The Salt Lick’s YouTube channel. “I was holding off till the very end of painting over the mural,” Hoang said, “I spent so much time on it. Jason wanted to get rid of it right away and get it off our plate, but I couldn’t kill my baby like that. But I knew it had to be done.” 

Regardless of the days past, Edelstein and Hoang both know how important their new space is both sonically and spatially. It’s a sunroom-like space that juts off from just inside their front door. On one end, there’s a gazebo-style wall with full access to gleaming sunlight, backing their in-house drum kit. Natural light, Edelstein said, “is such a bonus that I didn’t know I wanted before.” Potted plants hang an equal distance from each other around the border of the room. Sound panels the color of sandstone line the walls and ceiling, and blend into Hoang’s mural-in-progress; a vital piece of The Salt Lick wherever they set up shop.

Audibly, their sound engineer, Chris Voss, worked his magic to make an untreated basement a music haven. Now, Edelstein explained, “the sound treatment along with Chris’s work takes the quality to a whole new level.” There’s more room for their software and instruments, and it’s far cozier than the former spot. Hoang spoke on the comfortability, saying, “We own it, so it feels right to continually put effort into making the space look better. There’s more freedom for us to create that cozy, welcoming vibe for bands and artists.” 

As their new Denver recording studio continues to come together, the pair look at the future of Salt Lick Records with a renewed sense of excitement. Not that it wasn’t present before, but it’s as if the sunlight that covered them during our conversation instilled a sense of inspiration. That drive comes to fruition the night of Sunday, April 3, for their invite-only kickoff.

“We invited a ton of musicians and people we know around the scene,” Edelstein said. “I want to see people collaborating with each other — making plans to play together. Making new friends. There’s going to be amazing music happening here. The best artists that we know from around the city getting together to jam all night.” 

Togetherness, Hoang explained, is a family value that mirrors what they do at The Salt Lick. “I feel very strongly about eating a lot of food together. Breaking bread with each other in a relaxed environment.” Hoang’s mother calls her every day to see what she’s eaten, she explained. “She’s never really considered it a party unless people are fed. So there will most definitely be a lot of food.” 

On the menu are the following: mushroom dumplings, vegetarian sushi rolls, a whole bunch of baked goods including lemon squares and cookies, sausages and burgers, homemade tomato pies — a Philly recipe (Edelstein’s hometown). But most important is the main course: dazzling, unfiltered music at a space brought to life by one of Denver’s true industry movers. 

You can now book studio time with The Salt Lick Records here
All photography by Roxanna Carrasco

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