I’m Going to Candyland

Sitting down in the studio after an evening of socializing, I was in a pretty chill mood. I had two false, though promising, starts that ended up in the sketches folder, but the third time was the charm, as I landed almost immediately on the beat that sparked the rest of the track. I made some pattern edits and then duplicated the kick twice to get the additional notes I needed, then looped that for awhile and built up the various synths.

There are pros and cons to being under the influence in the studio. On the plus side, I can completely zone out to a beat like this, and that also can lead to fake singing some pattern or melody. That’s where a lot of my songs start if I don’t necessarily have a specific topic or lyric from the beginning. On the negative side, that can go on for… well, a long time. Again, I didn’t go to bed until 3:00 am.

  1. I'm Going to Candyland Ray Toler 3:54

I don’t know if the lyrics and melody came to during the initial session or the following morning, but once I’d figured out the chorus hook, everything else got written pretty quickly. I did have to record the vocals during the daytime, so often had to stop takes when the nearby construction trucks were beeep beeep beeeping, or wait for a car to pass by in front of the house. I normally record vocals at night for exactly those reasons.

Production was pretty simple and straightforward. I did some panning, etc., but most of the work was getting the vocal effects figured out. There are a lot of possibilities with something like this, but I did pretty well committing to choices and moving on. The time was mostly spent tweaking timing on the delays or doing A/B comparisons with different reverbs.

With most of my songs this month, I’ve been trying to not pad things out too much. Past songs have occasionally suffered from too many repetitions of the chorus or having overly long intros. With this type of track, though, an extra chorus is really just a vehicle to get a little more of that head-nodding beat into your life.


Sink back in the chair, might have been here for days
Got a thousand yard stare through a mango haze
Sipping on a lemonade that came from Ray’s
I’m going to Candyland

Met a pyro princess microwaving ice cream
Heard a man on a stoop talkin’ bout a dog’s dream
Cutting up vegetables and breathing the steam
I’m going to Candyland

I’m going to Candyland
I’m going to Candyland, baby
I’m going to Candyland
You should come along and see

I’m going to Candyland
I’m going to Candyland, baby
I’m going to Candyland
Why don’t you take a trip with me

Yamizaki ’s 18 and I think I hear 
Her saying, "cash me outside, I’ll dab away your fears
Cause I’m into crossing new frontiers
And I’m going to Candyland"

Feet getting heavy every step I take
Committing assault on a battered cake
Watching the redbirds reflected in the lake
I’m going to Candyland


Look up and I see a blue moon
Smiling and singing his latest tune
That’s how I know I’m gonna get there soon
I’m going to Candyland

Almost there and I’m feeling fine
Key lime diesel to the county line
Waving to a yogurt-covered Frankenstein
I’m going to Candyland


Copyright © Ray E. Toler, Jr. All rights reserved.


Instruments & Samples

XO, BT Phobos, Omnisphere, Falcon, Hive2

Mixing & Mastering

Masterworks EQ, PanMan, Movement, bx SSL 9000 J, RVox, Butch Vig Vocals, H3000 Factory, Valhalla Delay, Gullfoss, Pro-L 2

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