Hi everyone. We are writing to apologize that it is taking us so long to finish all our Kickstarter projects. I'm sorry. Phil is sorry.
It looks like we clearly overcommitted ourselves, and that we also didn't foresee having a child so soon or have any idea how much time he would take up in our lives.
We feel really bad that some of you are still waiting on your rewards. We have every intention of sending out everyone's handmade items, as well as getting that music into your hands. It's taking much, much longer than we thought it would take, mostly because we both used to work 100 hour weeks as Bowerbirds, and that's no longer possible with our son around, and even if we were somehow able to afford to hire out all that childcare, we wouldn't want to be away from him for that long.
We actually weren't able to be away from him to hire any childcare until now, so we just took turns working vs. hanging with him, which meant we got less than half the work done than we used to be able to do. His first babysitter came only a week ago, because he only reliably drank or ate breast milk. And only from the mama (not a bottle). He got good at a straw in the last couple weeks, so he is no longer tethered to me by a short leash (metaphorically). This whole situation, along with a lot of other crazy baby things that happened that are out of the ordinary, we did not foresee happening. We really set ourselves up for only being able to finish all this on time if everything went exactly according to plan, which was us not thinking realistically, and that's our mistake.
Our whole Kickstarter plan would probably have worked out perfectly if we hadn't had the kid, but he is the best thing that's ever happened to us, and he takes up a lot of time and money, which takes us extra time to drum up. I'm really sorry you all are feeling the brunt of that. It's not that we are effing around or anything. We are still working really, really hard.
But it's not hard enough to fulfill our promises. We know how much we owe to you. You believed in us, and you backed a project we also truly believed in, and still believe in. We went into this fully thinking we could deliver what we promised, in the time frame we estimated, but now we are just super late with a lot of the prizes, and we feel terrible about it.
We've both had to find other work to pay the bills these last couple years, and it's been sort of a scramble. We have been doing design work, branding, nonprofit work, writing, editing, soundtrack writing for a documentary, songwriting for an olive oil company, illustration, plumbing. We cobble it all together. There just haven't been enough cracks to squeeze in the rest of the Kickstarter work. Hasn't been enough money to coast on for long enough to stop and only do this work. The Kickstarter money was enough to pay for supplies, fees, taxes, and shipping, not for the time to do the work. We were planning to work very part time while we finished everything, and then to start touring again. But that's not how it worked out.
We are not the types of people who commit to something and then don't work our asses off to follow through, though, so this has been making us feel very guilty.
We aren't going to abandon this Kickstarter. Things with the baby are getting easier every day, and we are working out a schedule for me to keep chipping away at the art I'm making for you all, and to finish the music. Not only because we owe it to you, but because it's what we really love to do.
We've been feeling too overwhelmed lately to even send you all an update, because we didn't know what to say, but what we are saying now is, we are sorry. We've let you down.
But we are still going to finish all the prizes. If for some reason you don't want the prize you ordered, because, like, you aren't even dating that girl anymore that you bought it for, then send us a message and maybe we can make you something different.
Now for a music update.
Have we even been writing music?
Yes. We have recorded the songs for 3/4 of the album, depending on how long the album is. Phil is finishing Island Dweller first, and then we will finish these up. We really like them. It is amazing how nice it is to record in this space. The acoustics really are magical.
We recorded Community Trees here a year and a half ago for a few weeks. They are amazing, and the recordings came out really well. You'll have to wait to hear them until they are ready to release them, but it was great to work with them and also get an idea for our album would be recorded.
Phil's Island Dweller album has become a crazy beast. He has written literally dozens of songs since we did this Kickstarter, but he was having a terrible time deciding what to do with them, which ones to use, what direction to take. He has slowly been narrowing them down, and he's figured it out finally. He has also started collaborating on the project with another person that you'll find out about soon. He is very passionate about this new project.
I really love the new Island Dweller songs a LOT, and I've been pestering him to just release them already for months now, but I understand that they are getting better and better, and he can't rush his process. He works on them all the time, late into the night and in all his spare moments right now.
I'll just say these songs are really fun, and they will make you want to dance. And sonically pretty unlike Bowerbirds. But I think if you like Bowerbirds, you will still like these songs. It's still his songwriting and voice, just with a totally different sound going on.
I'm sorry this email is so long, but I feel like we've cheated you on the updates because we were embarrassed about being so far behind, but we were just leaving you in the dark, which was a bad move on our parts.
So now I'm just going to update you on everything. If you have questions, feel free to ask, in the comments or as a message. We will write back to the messages as soon as we can.
I'll also take some pictures of the studio space and send them to you, in case you are curious.
So in conclusion, we are sorry about being so late. We are embarrassed it went down like this. We are doing our very best to complete all this work for you all, and don't worry – it does not feel like something we "have to do." It's something we really want to do, and it comes third in our lives after our top two priorities of: 1. Autry, 2. put food on the table and pay bills, 3. make art and music for Kickstarter friends.
We are still unendingly grateful to you all for enabling us to have the space to make this work. We promise that we will keep making your prizes. We've contributed to a Kickstarter project ourselves that didn't send us our prize, and where the people dropped off the face of the earth, and we know what that feels like.
As an aside, I am a little concerned that everyone's mailing address will have changed by the time we mail out the physical copies of the albums. Not sure what to do about that. We will probably have to create a new web page for people to enter your new addresses.
By the way, Autry is not walking yet at 14 months, but he can play a snare with perfect form, his fat little arms flipping at the wrist, all loose and supple. He is very social and friendly, and mischievous. You would love him if you met him. Maybe one day you will. I guess he could come on tour. We could make him run the merch table.
With immense gratitude and in hopes of forgiveness,