We’ve spent three years recording 16 songs with 50 musicians — and the result is over 100 minutes of music. Now we’re asking you to help us move forward with the physical production by pre-ordering BRIGHT HOPES!
BRIGHT HOPES! is the third release from Mike Crawford & his Secret Siblings.
The secret of the Secret Siblings is that we aren’t really a band. We don’t tour, we don’t play shows. We play in various iterations each Sunday, leading worship for our church community, Jacob’s Well, in Kansas City. Every few years, over 50 musicians from our community head into the basement and make recordings to carry the music beyond Jacob’s Well.
From the start BRIGHT HOPES! has been a gigantic community art project. The 16 songs that fill these three LPs and the accompanying triple-gatefold artwork are a snapshot of our collective worshipping lives. The magic of recording with so many different musicians is that each track on the record has a unique flavor. I love the fact that I get to distill the creativity and ideas of so many artists down into a cohesive record, synthesizing the many influences of our crew of musicians into the Secret Sibling sound.
The BRIGHT HOPES! Triple Vinyl Package is our attempt at creating art that points to the depth, density, and mystery of the God we worship. These songs are intricate and layered—filled with scripture and theologically rich imagery. Each song on this record has helped our community honestly sing our hopes and our laments, our doubts and our praises. We’re excited to share them with you.
- Grace and Peace
- The Balm of Gilead
- Bright Hopes!
- Glory To God
- You Are The Lover of Our Souls
- How Long How Long How Long O Lord
- The Road To Emmaus
- Come Show Us Our Saviour
- Be Still (Psalm 46)
- Psalm 27 (Wait For The Lord)
- Kenosis Hymn
- Wherever You Go
- Holy Spirit Lead Us Deeper
- The Lord Who Goes Before Makes All Things Right
- The Song of the Vineyard
- Sing Yer Love
- Grace and Peace (Organ Donors Mix)
We can't give away too much before the official release date, but here are some song previews to give you a little taste...(maybe just enough if your name is Michael Scott...)
Bright Hopes! (preview)
Be Still (preview)
Glory To God (preview)
You Are The Lover of Our Souls (Preview)
How Long How Long How Long O Lord? (preview)
Wherever You Go (preview)
TRIPLE LP — BRIGHT HOPES! Triple gatefold LP album art, 3xLPs, Secret Sibling Headshot Sleeves, and Handwritten 12-Page Lyric Booklet with Photographs
DOUBLE CD — BRIGHT HOPES! Triple gatefold CD album art
DIGITAL — BRIGHT HOPES! Download MP3 or wav files
GIMME SOME FRIES WITH THAT SHAKE!
T-Shirt — BRIGHT HOPES! The Lennon Stroller (from ARTDJG's album art) — S/M/L/XL — women's or men's fit available— Royal Blue with white imprint...keep on strollin' little buddy!
SIBLING DEMOS — Mike Crawford's Bright Hopes! Demo Collection - Download MP3 or wav files
APPROACH TO RECORDING
This is my first time recording a band together with no metronome. A friend of mine calls this method “the automatic emotion injector.” When people play together, the collective energy is so much different than the single tracking I’m used to. The songs breathe.
Many of the records I love most in my collection were recorded this way: tracking the rhythm section together, off-the-click. Some of these albums now have great books and documentary films about their recording process. I read and watched many of these books and films as I prepared to make Bright Hopes! In that exploration I learned a ton, and that learning influenced not only the sound of Bright Hopes!, but even the methods we used when recording.
In the documentary Runnin’ Down A Dream, Tom Petty talks about recording over 150 takes of “Refugee” to get the perfect take! From the doc Wings for Wheels, Bruce Springsteen recollects spending over six months working on his song “Born To Run”. Those two nuggets alone gave me enough strength to keep on keepin' on, looking for the magic, even when the process was tedious.
Here's a small snapshot of the influences I was leaning on and listening to as I approached making our third record. These are some of the records that shaped the work ethic and sonic approach for BRIGHT HOPES!:
- Tom Petty – Damn The Torpedoes
- REM – Murmur
- Pavement – Crooked Rain Crooked Rain
- Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
- Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
- Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
- Rush – Moving Pictures
- The Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed
- David Bowie – Low
- The Eagles – Hotel California
- Al Green – Let’s Stay Together
- Nile Rodgers/Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
- M83 – Hurry Up We’re Dreaming
- Gillian Welch/Dave Rawlings – Time The Revelator
DESIGN — ARTDJG is one of my favorite artists in Kansas City. Over the past few years, he’s shied away from design work and focused strictly on his Art with a capital-A. But somehow he agreed to take on our new album cover. It’s been in process almost as long as the recording.
Most of ARTDJG’s process is cutting letters from books, creating his own font out of string and tape, using a scanner to load up his handmade images into an ancient computer that then regurgitates to an equally ancient inkjet printer that doesn’t produce colors quite like you think it should. The original piece that developed into the base of our record’s cover is enormous. To see it expanded out into full size album art is one of my dreams for this record.
PHOTOGRAPHY — While documenting this three-year project, Stacey Schmitz took thousands of photographs. He shot everything on film, developed it all in his own dark room, and somehow managed to shoot video as well. When we press the vinyl, we'll include many of Stacey’s photos along with my handwritten lyrics in a 12-page booklet.
I also asked Stacey to take a headshot of each musician after they recorded. He used a dead-stock film called Chocolate. Polaroid Chocolate 100 is one of the very last films ever made by Polaroid before it ceased production. These headshots will only be printed on the three LP sleeves—another reason we're hoping you’ll help us make BRIGHT HOPES! on vinyl happen!
Hey! You made it to the end! Thanks for being such a good reader and for taking the time! We hope you'll help the Bright Hopes! vinyl become a reality. Remember to help us spread the word about this project with your friends! Every share or conversation helps!
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges of this project are fairly small! We've already got the album recorded, mixed and mastered. All the artwork is finished. We are simply trying to get an accurate picture of how many of you want a physical copy of Bright Hopes! As long as we hit our funding goal, then we are good to go to press up the vinyl! We don't foresee any major setbacks if the project is funded - there could be minor production delays, but we'll stay in touch with our supporters and keep you in the loop about any delays!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)