#53. Time for the scheduled re-cap on what I do every week: troll Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and PledgeMusic in search of music that is actually really, really good. So you don’t have to. You just get the gold, embedded below. Great. New. Music. Boom.
Michael Sam has competition in another closeted stadium-based activity: gay country singer and viral YouTube sensation Steve Grand. In just a week on Kickstarter, he’s raised nearly $200,000 from over 2500 backers for his debut album, All-American Boy. His goal was $81K and he crushed that in under a day. He and Sam should hang.
Thanks to all the artists in advance for letting me use photos and allowing me to link directly to your wonderful, original music. Let me know if credit is due for photos.
> QUICK & EASY BOYS: $20K. Done. Get on board with producer Steve Berlin.
> THE TRAVELING SUITCASE: $5264 of $12,516, 16 days. Listen and kick, I command you.
> BILLY HARVEY: $8573 of $15K 17days. Good progress, keep at it.
> SARAH REID: $3395 of $4500, 5 days. Sarah. Is. Good. Please. Kick.
CROWDFUNDED CREATIONS: JOSEPH KING
I know I’m late to this party — “Velvet Skin”, the single from King’s crowdfunded album Wanderlusting is available as a free download at RollingStone.com. But I’m not bitter. It’s validating and I still love this guy’s music.
King came from Austin and fronted New York’s Deadbeat Darlings for several years. In September, he raised $16K from 180 backers to record and release Wanderlusting.
Another Wanderlusting track to cozy up to: “Wake Up Woman” — a slow waltz with arpeggios worthy of “Here Comes the Sun” and scratchy vocals that lean heavily in the Jeff Buckley direction. And rare arrangement chops: the track builds nicely, you will like.
Wanderlusting is available on iTunes and his label web site, rockarmyrecords.com.
NEW MUSIC IN THE MAKING:
JOHANNA SAMUELS (Brooklyn, NY)
$3995 pledged of a $10K goal / 26 days to go
Another great YouTube channel with low, low prices I MEAN views and real talent bleeding through the screen and speakers. Johanna is a singer songwriter who owes a significant debt to Liz Phair and Regina Spektor but gives her own twist to the sound.
If her 2011 six-song EP Giant Fantasy Life is any indication, she’s doing the right thing jumping on Kickstarter with such a lofty goal. Her new album, Double Bind, is finished, and she’s looking to use crowdfunded money for mastering, production, and publicity. Smart move to kick at this point.
Have a listen to “Greek into a God” from Giant Fantasy Life and you’ll most likely be convinced to help her over the top. Great vocal delivery, sweet keyboard progression with perfectly timed harmonies to match, plus strings and stellar production — they all do a girl true audio justice.
AARON EMBRY (Ojai, CA)
$6732 pledged of a $3K goal / 6 days to go
This man needs no help. He’s more than doubled his original goal and is well on the way toward releasing his second solo album. But you should listen and love just the same and perhaps even add to his total.
Aaron is deserving and highly qualified to break — in fact, it’s almost happened a few times before. In the distant past, he signed a 2-year development deal at Capitol Records but before his debut could be released, relations soured. He landed in Elliott Smith’s touring band for Figure 8, a period he equates with “a graduate course in songwriting.”
Fast forward a few years and his piano gig in Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros from 2009 to 2012 furthered that grand education and saw him finally get to release a debut solo album, Tiny Prayers, in 2011. Just after getting on the bill for a few Mumford and Sons shows in 2012 and preparing to tour opening for Father John Misty, he had to put things on hold — for three years — when his 3 year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. (She’s recovering nicely!)
Now he’s back on track for a second solo album. Acoustic comfort food for the ears, subtly countrified by the occasional harmonica run. Heartfelt and genuine lyrical and vocal talent, strong stuff. Below is “Good Red Road Man” from Tiny Prayers, enjoy.
Wrap. Thanks for listening in and be sure to follow me on Twitter @radiocrowdfund for updates, kick-worthy campaigns, and discoveries between now and then.