About Me: My name is Shelby Earl. I am a Seattle-based, independent musician with a deep commitment to simple, beautiful songs, sung from the heart. I previously fronted Seattle band, The Hope, which garnered a dedicated following and substantial major-label interest before disbanding in 2007. Since that time, I have been busy re-imagining my musical path and working on new material. In the fall of 2009, I took a HUGE leap and profoundly changed up my life in order to focus solely on music-making. It was then that I began work on my first full-length solo album.
About the Project: I am now about 6 months into recording 11 original songs, and it has been an amazing journey thus far. I have grown immensely as an artist and have never felt so nourished by the creative process. I've been thrilled and humbled by the number of supremely talented musicians, producers, and engineers who have rallied around me to help make the music not just good, but GREAT. To date, collaborators on the album include members of the Long Winters, the Maldives, SHIM, Telekinesis, former members of Fleet Foxes, and many other talented folks (see the video above to meet these beautiful people and to hear a rough mix of one of the songs...please forgive the somewhat garbled audio/video quality)! The most recent, game-changing turn of events has been the addition of the brilliant John Roderick (frontman for The Long Winters), coming on board as producer. The sounds we’re making together are spectacular, the album as a whole is exceeding my wildest hopes and expectations, and I'm happy to report that WE'RE ALMOST THERE!!!
Why Kickstarter: I started this project with a modest, but helpful, little nest egg, which enabled me to get things off the ground. But making a record is an all-consuming and expensive process! To date, I have invested upwards of $8,500 in studio time, musicians’ stipends and food, equipment & instrument rentals/purchases, and so on and so forth. It is a lot of money, but relative to the kind of budgets spent making commercially released studio albums, I am doing this on a shoestring! That said, I now find myself incredibly close to finishing, but with a severely depleted nest egg. I SO deeply believe in the quality of the collective work at this stage, that I am fully committed to giving it a proper completion and release. This is where YOU come in!
It Takes a Village: I've heard it said that it "takes a village to raise an artist," well I now know it also takes a village to make a record! So I come to you, my friends, family and fans, and ask you to summon your inner “Patron of the Arts,” to help me see this project through to fruition. The fabulous folks at Kickstarter have created this amazing and easy new platform, which allows artists and music-appreciators to work TOGETHER to make art happen. What a concept! YOU get to decide if you believe in a project enough to help in its CREATION. Think of yourselves as the Medici to my Michelangelo! This new portal for collaboration is especially important in a time where people have gotten SO used to consuming music for free that they have lost touch with what it cost the artist to produce and distribute (see below for more resources on this!).
What is needed: I am now about ¾ of the way through the entire recording process. What remains to be done are some final vocals, over-dubs (the “bells and whistles,” so to speak), mixing, mastering, artwork (design and printing) and CD duplication. If I am strategic, I believe I can get most of that done on the relatively modest budget of $5,000. Anything you are able to give will help in getting me closer to that goal, and closer to finally SHARING this music!
Help Spread the Word: As you’ll read on the Kickstarter site, a project budget is only delivered to the artist if the FULL amount is raised within the specified timeframe. The point is to make it a true COMMUNITY effort. So, in order to receive your own pledge rewards, you’ll have to help the project reach it's final goal! You can do so by sending this project page out to your email lists, and by posting it to your Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and blog pages. I’m confident we can do this TOGETHER!
My Sincerest Thanks: As you'll see to the right, I’ve created some fun rewards in exchange for your various levels of support. But more importantly, I want to simply THANK YOU for believing in me and in this project enough to share your hard-earned dollars. It means more than you will ever know.
I have poured my heart into these songs and cannot WAIT to share them with you. Thank you in advance for your tremendous outpouring of love and support.
**Featured song written by Katie Freeze and Shelby Earl. **Photo by Steven Dewall.
*Here is a very enlightening, informative exchange between a songwriter and a fan, on the topic of why Kickstarter is an important new portal for artists getting their music made: http://blogs.myspace.com/daynakurtz . (I couldn’t have put it better myself!)
*A New York Times article on the state of the music industry and the topic of music funding:
**Some recent local support in the fabulous City Arts Magazine: http://www.cityartsmagazine.com/issues/seattle/2010/03/just-add-red-lips
- (35 days)