I'm nothing if not prolific! I've finished up a new album called Natural Causes. It's quite a shimmery thing, with 12-string guitars, Mellotrons and analog synths on every track. It was important to me to make as lovely a sound as I could across a whole album. I've said before that my previous record, Magic Act, could have been my first album or my last, but seeing as how we're all still here and I've not stopped making music, I've come up with something that feels like a worthy next record, part 2 in what's apparently going to be a trilogy. As with Magic Act, Natural Causes mixes up pop songs with weirdo material. There are a few choice remakes of older Ant songs, like Magazine Street, finally as jangly as it was always meant to be. Creepy Tray, on the other hand, sheds its previous bubblegum skin and presents itself as a mournful, aching ballad. Most of the songs on the album are new - Disambiguation was written to be recorded at Abbey Road (!), but when that didn't happen, Urbano and Robbie McIntosh stepped in to bring it up to worldly spec. I wrote Summer of Gold for Allyson Seconds to sing, but my version is lifted high by Nick and Ade from the Bevis Frond (Urbano on drums again!). Neck Pillow, a sadder song than the title suggests, was me in Spain wishing I'd written Behind Blue Eyes. Another song from Spain is Secretion of the Wafer, which is, dare I say, even partly inspired by the glories of crowd funding. A different recording of the song was released by the Fruits de Mer label, but the Natural Causes track is the original version. I won't give a play by play for every song, but I can say that the new songs and the remakes fit together like snakes in a warm cave. This album came together quite quickly, but only after I'd abandoned a whole other album called Applewax. Some songs from that weird mess ended up on NC, so it's not like my musical world is a series of pizzas one then the next - sometimes the kitchen is cranking out slow soup, funeral cookies and quick biscuits all at once.
Risks and challenges
This is my 6th crowd funding campaign. Yow. While I can't help admit there's always a level of anxiety and anguish involved (nothing like crowd funding to bring out the best of self-doubt!), it feels fairly safe to say I've settled into a mode of working that, well, seems to work. My costs are pretty consistent - I'm asking for money to produce 1000 CDs, plus postage, publicity and musician/video fees. I want my fans, friends and family to know about Natural Causes, but I also want to give the record a chance to reach people who don't know my music yet. I'm asking to cover approximately the same costs as I have in my previous (dare I say successful) campaigns.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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