This coming August, Accents begins tracking our sophomore album. This will be the first time we enter the studio together, as a five-piece. We’ve grown a lot over the past year since Growth and Squalor came out. TJ Foster (vocals, guitar) and Ben Hemingway (drums, vocals) have put just as much care into writing and arranging these new songs, and with the addition of Lauren Alexander (vocals, keys, trumpet), Jordan Stewart (guitar) and Matt Bent (bass, vocals) filling out the sound, the songs are bigger than they’ve ever been. We’ve played shows all over the east, had our songs featured on MTV shows like Awkward and Teen Mom 2, been guests of local radio and Ben was finally able to move 600 miles to join the band in our hometown of Albany, NY.
This Kickstarter campaign is an effort to bring you in on the recording process of our new album. The music industry has changed – and we don’t view this as a bad thing. Now more than ever, fans like you have the opportunity to become partners with their favorite musicians in order to fund future projects. We are looking for partners in order to contribute to the costs of funding our new album, while getting to be a part of a unique experience with the wide array of incentives we have gathered for you. We want to emphasize the fact that this is not to fund our entire project, but only to raise the funds that we cannot reach on our own. All of us in the band are contributing our own resources in order to record the album, yet there are so many financial demands of putting out a professional recording that we cannot raise the funds without the help of our fans. The $3,500.00 we are asking for will help with the costs of studio time and mixing. This does not include the costs of mastering, travel, lodging, merchandise or even physical distribution of the album – all of which are expenses we will also be covering on our own. We are incredibly excited to be working with Mike Kalajian, who has worked on albums by Moving Mountains, Wooly and the Mammoth, The Racer, and Ace Enders. While we are incredibly proud of our debut record, Growth and Squalor, and the fact that it was recorded entirely on our own, working with such an accomplished individual as Mike will allow us to produce what we hope will be a record that not only meets our fans’ expectations, but exceeds it.
Over the past 18 months, TJ has written between 30 and 40 songs in anticipation of a sophomore record. The goal we set for ourselves is to go into the studio with 16 of them. Though not all of these will make the final track listing, all will be released in one way or another, and as a backer of this campaign, you have the opportunity to gain access to these songs before anyone else. Lyrically, the new material continues down a similar path that Growth and Squalor started down last year, with plenty of similar questions about time and youth. Whether fiction or non-fiction (and there’s a lot of both), the songs were all written during an overwhelming time in TJ’s mid-twenties, and shed a lot of light on the first record’s overall motif. Musically, the songs are as honest as those TJ and Ben created on the debut record, but the sound is much more expansive. The five of us have worked on various records/projects together over the last decade, and we know our strengths as individuals and how to use them to our full advantage without compromising the music. TJ has always had a knack for writing melancholy words over melancholy music. This time around, the words are equally (if not more so) heartfelt and melancholy, but a majority of the music is more upbeat and suited for a live setting. That’s not to say our style has changed immensely, we’re just embracing a “sad on top of happy” approach for some of these songs that seems to work really well for us. We can’t wait to share it with you.
10-15 years ago, being in a band was relatively easy. We were all kids, living at home with schedules that were very easy to manage. We grew up playing hall shows and house shows where friends and fans were right there interacting with you, like a tight-knit community of music enthusiasts. If there’s one thing technology has hurt since then, it’s that sense of interaction, that sense of being in a tiny room with a bunch of strangers feeling equally a part of something amazing. That’s one of our hopes with this Kickstarter campaign: to get everyone involved in creating a piece of art with us. We think in the end, it will feel that much more special to everyone. We have spent a lot of time developing a long list of 24 unique incentives that we hope will add to the feeling of partnership among our fans for this creative endeavor. We appreciate your consideration and support and look forward to making a record with you!
Risks and challenges
There are certainly risks and challenges to recording a full-length album as an independent band. There can always be technological issues that arise during the recording process (as some of us have experienced before, it is very easy to lose an entire recording session). As any VH1 Behind the Music shows us, there are also creative differences that can hinder the progress of an album as well. Finally, there is also always the issue of time, and not being able to complete a project within the allotted number of days.
In order to overcome these obstacles, we have been demoing our entire album months in advance of going into the studio. This will essentially allow us to go into the studio with a “finished” album that we will be re-recording in a professional setting. By doing this, we can ensure that we will work in the most efficient way possible. This entire writing process has been a completely collaborative effort, and by working out the kinks before going into the studio, we can ensure that creative differences would not become an issue.
TJ and Ben will be handling a majority of the tracking and editing of the record, while Mike makes sure everything sounds great as we go along. This will help to keep costs down and streamline the recording process.
Finally, the last thing we would like to stress is that we have all been in bands and musical projects for the last 10-15 years. We have collectively recorded multiple albums in various settings. We have a great deal of experience in dealing with obstacles throughout the recording process, and have no doubt we would be able to overcome any roadblocks in the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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