So here we are friends. Thanks so much for taking a moment to hear a bit of my story and get a sense of why this album means so much to me. Here are the intimate details...
Howdy! My name is Aaron and I play upbeat, reflective, somewhat melancholy, hopefully inspiring folk music. I've been playing singer/songwriter/folk music since around 2005.
I enjoy spending time in nature, eating a good meal, traveling, having fun with my family and hearing people's stories. I have an extraordinary wife, a vivacious 9 year old daughter, and a bouncing baby (boy or girl?) on the way, due in July.
One of the greatest joys in my life is experiencing the tangible raw energy that occurs between the listener and performer/s at a show or even translated through a recording. I've always found it easier to experience that connection and translate it through live performance, opposed to the albums I've recorded. With previous recordings, it proved to be a challenge to capture the same passion and intensity that one may feel at one of my live shows. Then a few years back I teamed up with my friend Danny.
Segue into album details.
Three and a half years ago I traveled down to the North Georgia woods and recorded a 7 track album with my extremely talented, singer-songwriter friend Danny Brewer (aka Besides Daniel). Who also co-produced and mixed the album. We recorded in an off-the-grid cabin that he and his dad built and it had a solitary solar panel to provide our power for recording. Once we ran out of daylight for the solar panel, we'd charge our laptops on a generator and record for about 3-4 more hours before calling it a day. It made the recording process challenging, but incredibly rewarding.
This forced us to slow down and submit to the environment around us. If it was an overcast or rainy day, we just had to wait it out before we could start tracking again. It was the most fun I've ever had recording and the most inspiring setting as well. I felt with this album, we'd finally captured the raw energy that I experience at live shows. Danny and I both felt proud of what we had accomplished in 2 weeks time there. Let's put a pin in this and I'll share some thoughts on the album itself.
So, if I've failed to mention, the album is titled Learned Behavior and the title more or less embodies the album and it's themes to me. Learned Behavior tends to ask more questions than it provides answers. Each song lyrically (whether the music is upbeat or melancholy) deals with battles of self, fear, broken relationships, heartache, and the loose thread of hope that ties them all together. It's a vulnerable collection of songs that are pulled from my life experience. The song "Learned Behavior" points to the expectations we have in life and how to cope when they're not fulfilled.
Tracklist - Learned Behavior
1. The Beast - 3:58
2. Something Beautiful - 3:52
3. The Lonely One - 4:27
4. Best Laid Plans - 4:45
5. Bloody Murder - 3:53
6. Seven - 4:44
7. Learned Behavior - 6:27
Ok, let's remove that pin now. Once I got back to Kansas, I had every intention to finish recording (adding strings, background vocals, etc.) and release the album as soon as possible, but as you may have seen in the video above, life happened. Throw in some major life events, hard drives crashing, losing files for the recordings, financial woes, blah blah blah...these things combined kept the project on the back burner.
WHY RELEASE NOW?
The short answer, life is short. There will always be a "better" or "more convenient" time to pursue your passion. Logistically, this may be the worst time to try and release an album (right before having a baby in July), but the timing has never felt more poignant to me. Plus, after 3 and a half years, I still believe in this album and I'm excited to be able to share it with you!
Presale seems to be the quickest and most practical method to get these songs into people's hands sooner, rather than later.
This project has 2 parts to it. Along with the album presale, I'm scheduled to go to a songwriting retreat at the end of May to hone my skills and to hopefully add some more tools to my songwriting toolbox. The retreat is hosted by a longtime folk-storyteller hero of mine, John Mccutcheon. I'm thrilled to learn from one of the greats and to be able to refine my lyrical voice and my overall songwriting process.
BREAK IT DOWN
I've poured a lot of time, resources, and love into this album and I still have a ways to go before it's release. Should you choose to support this project, your money will go towards helping me pay:
- Production Cost for CD
- Album Design
- Reimbursing Musicians
- Promotion Cost for Release
- Songwriting Retreat
Besides the sheer joy of knowing that you helped me make this album become a reality, you also have options for other rad stuff!
For fear of being redundant, I'll let you scroll through the options to your right to see which reward best suits your needs. But here are some of the exclusive designs that will only be available through this Kickstarter campaign.
Though I'm mostly a solo performer, I wouldn't dare lead you to believe that I'm doing all of this on my own. I have an amazing support group of friends and without them walking alongside me throughout the process, this album wouldn't even be a possibility. Here's a list of people I couldn't do this without:
Danny Brewer - co-producer, engineer, played various instruments and provided the recording experience of a lifetime.
Jessica Noelle Martin - my strength, my confidant, provider of harmony vocals, and photography for album artwork.
Jared Parson - tour manager, true renaissance man, friend to all, dear friend to me.
Torin Andersen - recorded misc. parts & finishing touches at Track House in Wichita, KS, provider of endless wit.
David Lord - helped me fine tune some of the mixes and prep them for mastering at Air House in Wichita, KS, wielder of wonder.
Arleigh McCormick - wrote incredibly soulful and sorrowful cello and string arrangements, raised the songs to greater heights.
Jenny Bowen - provided tear inducing violin parts on the album.
Taylor Pool - gave me constant encouragement and nudged me to get outside of my comfort zone and step out in faith with this project.
Hannah Scott - provided killer artwork for t-shirt design.
Andrew Stephens - designing the album layout, and provided killer screen print poster artwork.
Kevin Wildt - videographer, creative counselor, even a life coach of sorts, couldn't have made this Kickstarter without him.
Risks and challenges
Any time you put yourself or your art out there, there is risk involved. And if you're like me, fear of rejection or fear of failure always comes into play.
Seeing things happen in the proper timeline is key to accomplish this release before July.
But I believe in the friends and family I have around me and hope that some are just as eager to get this album in their hands as I am to get it there.
If for some reason I don't meet my goal via Kickstarter, then I'll just prolong the release and potentially push it back another 3 and a half years...which wouldn't be fun for anyone, really.
So let's make this album release happen together!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)