My name is Olivia Awbrey. I'm a songwriter from Portland, Oregon and I'm recording my next album.
In March I am stepping away from a full-time social work job in order to pursue music on a more professional scale. I am flying to England to tour the UK, finish the record, and am spending the rest of the year touring the US and preparing for the bands' album release. I realized, if my day job was about supporting people in reaching for their dreams, I could take some time to go for mine.
I've been writing songs for twenty years, first as an 8-year-old on the piano and later as a teenager on the guitar. Throughout my twenties, whenever I've had free time from a day job, I’ve invested my time, love, and money into writing, playing, recording, booking, collaborating and touring music. I've played (and organized) hundreds of shows on my own and in various bands over the last 8 years. The first band I led won contests and made a fuss in Eugene. Since then I've collaborated on three albums with different groups, and put out my first solo EP in 2017. With my solo project I've been able to tour across US and the UK, sell out shows along the West Coast and England, and continue to build an incredible and supportive community. This project has grown so much since its first release, I've moved my life around to release this next album with the right kind of care and attention it deserves. Pursuing music is a huge privilege. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to do this.
Last winter I wrote a collection of songs that I really believe in and I know are my best yet. It's a story-driven album set in Portland, and the plot follows two friends who plan a feminist revolution inside a bugged Portland Art Museum. The narrative moves through the city as they confront political and environmental pressures. The story is inspired by women in my life, my friends and fellow musicians, my involvement in local activism, books or music where I've found solidarity, and the sounds and sights of Portland. Each word, chord and melody in this album has been carefully chosen and crafted to create an anthem of camaraderie. If you know me a little, you know that camaraderie is my favorite thing. :)
Releasing an album properly requires time, energy, experience, and a clear vision, all of which I have. The other (and perhaps most important) thing it needs is financial support. I am here to ask for your support in helping this project come to life.
Thank you for believing in me! I can't wait to share these songs with everyone.
My band and I have already recorded our main parts at Destination:Universe, a favored Portland recording studio. It’s important to me that my band is on the album and that half of it has been recorded in Portland - hometown pride! In March I am flying to London to tour the UK and finish recording the album. I'll be working with a cohort of musicians who I have a great deal of respect for and who have years of experience.
I’ve drawn a lot of musical inspiration from both Portland and London’s punk-rock and folk scenes over the years and it's a dream come true to combine these influences on this album. I want to make a record that combines the rain-soaked psych/folk sounds of the Pacific Northwest with London’s rich underground rock influence. Ultimately, the group and I will deliver an album that is both precise and raw, a collaborative effort with a clear musical goal.
The Music Makers
Noah Merrill (Electric Bass) - Noah lives in the depths of live audio engineering and Portland's heavy metal scene. He runs Front of House at Alberta Street Pub and also plays bass in Edwørd.
Dan Klee (Drums) - Dan and I have been collaborating on each others' musical projects for a decade. A talented multi-instrumentalist and rock songwriter, Dan is also an excellent drummer.
Margaret Wehr (Violin) - Margaret is a staple of Portland's music scene and has supported several groups over the years, including her own. She has been collaborating with me for the last two years and I'm lucky to have her incredible ear for melody infusing parts of this project.
Pete Abraham (Electric Guitar) - One of the most creative guitar players I know and a talented songwriter for his band Fir, Pete played lead guitar for three of the tracks on the album.
Chris Thorpe-Tracy (Co-Producer, Piano) - Chris is an English singer/songwriter based in Brighton. Chris recently retired his project Chris T-T. In a 20-year career he released 10 studio albums, two live collections and a number of collaborations. He is now a speaker, piano accompanist, activist and radio presenter, and he has written for a range of publications. Even though we met face-to-face only recently, I've been listening to his socially critical, genre-defying, story-driven music for years and am thrilled that he's agreed to co-produce this project!
Jon Clayton (Engineer) - Jon is a talented multi-instrumentalist who runs OneCat Studio in London. He is a highly experienced recording engineer and has co-produced a number of albums at OneCat. He mixed my single "Don't Be Alarmed" and I enjoyed it so much that I've asked him to stay on to finish the record.
Jen Macro (Electric Guitar) - Jen is a staple of the London alt-rock scene and a guitar & keys hero. She currently plays guitar & keys in My Bloody Valentine and guitar in her own band Hurtling (also with Jon).
I know that $10,000 is a lot of money, and that's actually on the lower-end of making an album properly. I’m setting the budget at the bare minimum that I need to cover my most basic costs. Every cent raised will go towards:
- Recording Engineer and Studio Time
- Co-Producer Fees
- Paying the Musicians
- Post Production: Mixing and Mastering
- Artwork, Graphic Design, Videography
- Ordering Physicals (CD & Vinyl)
- Travel Expenses to Studio
- Modest PR Campaign: Album and Tour Promotion
- Kickstarter Associated Fees + Shipping
Any additional funds will go towards a national/international press campaign and to touring funds.
Album Release Plan
I will be working with a professional PR company to spread the news about the album more than I could on my own. I will also be working with professional show promoters in the US and the UK to bring the live show to you upon release!
Risks and challenges
Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform. If we don't reach the goal, then the project won't be funded. I have never worked with a label or had any major financial backing, and have learned the ins-and-outs of DIY/independent music making by always being a boon to local music scenes and turning to my community for support. Being an independent musician takes hours of hard work behind an instrument, microphone, car wheel and a computer to stay afloat. We do the hours of the driving and administrative work because making music makes us happy and we know it's worth it. And it wouldn't be possible if we didn’t have your support. We've already recorded some of this album, and I've booked studio time with the musicians in London. The biggest hurdle is funding this album, but I know we can do it! These songs are honest and I really feel they will speak to people. Let's have some fun and make some music!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)