It’s been quite a year since I released Secrets I Told to a Sound Hole last March. I’ve been performing more than ever and finally made it to the Nick Alexander Stage at Lost Evenings, a big dream for me (at least for the past few years since the festival began, haha)!
I haven’t been as focused on writing and recording except in short bursts (as usual), most notably the period surrounding Frank Turner’s amazing songwriting camp last August, one of the best times of my entire life (so far). But I did end up with about 14 new songs in total, and 7 that I actually wanted to release.
Feedback has been mixed, but I like to think that this new batch of songs is musically and lyrically more interesting than what I’ve done before. I was going to wait to release until I had a larger batch of songs that I really loved, but I’ve been playing them out for so long and people keep asking when they’ll be on Spotify, so I thought I might as well get them out there sooner rather than later.
I did spend a few months agonizing over the best way to use my limited resources (classic DIY artist dilemma) – is it worth spending a chunk of cash on professional production, even if it means I might not then be able to afford to tour over the next year like I wanted to? Touring is important, but professionally recorded songs are also much more likely to win over fans and achieve something than ones that aren’t, so there would be a definite trade-off.
In the end I decided to do it myself. That would also let me take my time to get the best performance possible, which doesn’t always come easy for me. I’m still not sure I made the right decision (next time, I might work with a fellow amateur just to have an unbiased second pair of ears that I don’t have to go broke for). But part of following a dream is being decisive, committing to a course of action and then sticking to it, so that’s what I’m doing. And the good news is there will be many more batches of songs for me to throw money at if I choose to.
I learned a lot about myself and production from this recording, like I always do. I didn’t achieve perfection in the performance or production, but as in all things, I had to strike a balance between perfectionism and knowing when I’d achieved my best, not actually being a perfect person. I don’t want to bias other people’s listening by pointing out the specific flaws I can hear even after thinking I’d fixed them all. All I’ll say is that I hope I did an adequate job to allow everything I’m trying to express in these songs to shine through, and that’s all that matters right now.
I’ve got plans for this EP, including a track by track blog guide about the music and lyrics, and a Facebook Live listening party (Sat 7/20 at 12 pm ET) and virtual release show (Sun 7/21 at 2 pm ET) – if you know me, you know how much fun I have with Facebook Live! I also have a plan for finishing up a second batch of songs, which will be released in a second digital EP in November, and then I will combine the two EPs into a single physical release and maybe some cool merch to go along with it.
Finally, I’m hoping to tour the US East Coast in November (on my way to the Flogging Molly Cruise) and the UK/Western Europe in May (on my way to Lost Evenings Berlin). I’m still collecting contacts for those, so if you might have a sofa for me to crash on or a platform for me to perform (which could include your house), please fill out this form!
I’m so looking forward to the next year or so and I’m so grateful to everyone who’s been following my journey and supporting me along the way. Thank you and I hope to see you soon!