Poppet, that is to say me, is all ready to get printing for The Blue Sky Is Always Blue, my first official LP offering fifteen electro-pop gemstones for your open heart!
Yes, all the recording, mixing, mastering, and colorful hand-embroidered album artwork is complete–all ready to be trucked off to the CD printer and lyric booklet printer and letterpress studio. Would you like one to keep?
Wait, so how did you make this album?
These recordings were made, among about a hundred and fifty others, on my lo-fi home set-up between 2008 and 2013. They have been hand-picked from the basketfuls of completed songs that I make constantly–most from my fledgling days, when I chose to embody the more playful nature of Poppet, which is old English for a small girl child or doll. Some of them have been released on short runs of CDRs to raise gas money for tours, but the audio levels on those CDRs were all over the place.
The Blue Sky Is Always Blue features the expertise of audio engineer Bob Schwenkler (Dub Narcotic Studio, Bicycle Records)–he and I have painstakingly gone over every track, re-recording where necessary, to tease out the clearest vision of these songs. This is some full-sounding studio-quality Poppet for your listening ears!
Who are you, then, Poppet my dear?
I'm the bold alter-ego of California-raised musician Molly Raney. Before my genesis in 2008, Molly spent many years of her child and early adulthood training in a wide variety of musical fields from western classical to jazz to choral to Hindustani (Northern Indian classical tradition) to Gamelan (Indonesian ensemble music). She studied with vocal coach Dr. Rebecca Plack of the San Francisco Conservatory, a major influence on her vocal style and elasticity. This broad musical background, plus her involvement with community freeform radio station KDVS, accounts for Poppet's own sonic diversity.
And what do you DO, then, Poppet, love?
I make fully orchestrated electro-loop pop by layering primarily sample-based instrumentals and my own voice into a dense, vibrant texture. In a live context, I prepare props, flamboyant costumes, and choreograph dances for myself and occasionally others, to bring the music to life.
$10 - Digital Sky!
I'll hook you up with a digital copy of The Blue Sky Is Always Blue and a PDF of the lyric booklet. Plus a remix by Michael RJ Saalman which won't be included with the album after this Kickstarter campaign!
$15 - A Sky You Can Touch!
In addition to the digital download of the album and PDF of the lyric booklet, you'll receive…
Your very own copy of The Blue Sky Is Always Blue on CD, with a cardstock letterpressed cover designed by Ross Cowman and myself, and paper lyrics booklet featuring photographs of the 15 embroideries that I made to illustrate the 15 songs. In addition, as a thank-you for backing my album on Kickstarter, you'll get a download of the 5-song EP The Night Sky Is Always New, which is a collection of adjacent material featuring a live recording, two alternate versions of songs, and two remixes. (One of the remixes will be the one from Digital Sky, above!)
$25 - Super Blue Sky!
In addition to the digital download of the album with lyric booklet PDF, the CD of the album with lyric booklet and letterpressed album cover, and digital download of The Night Sky Is Always New, you'll receive…
Linked direct to your inbox, a digital download an additional 5-song EP: Sea Satchel, which co-stars longtime Poppet collaborator Goomy (two of the songs are his, and the final is a collaborative effort). Sea Satchel was originally made in celebration of Poppet and Goomy providing live music to a dance-based role-playing audience participation game about anthropomorphic animal lawyers.
And a packet of postcards featuring the vivid embroideries that I created to visually represent each song on the album (a few of which are shown above)!
$50 - Master of Sound!
In addition to the digital download of the album with lyric booklet PDF, the CD of the album with lyric booklet and letterpressed album cover, digital downloads of the two additional EPs, and the postcard packet you'll receive…
Exclusive access to the "Songs With No Master" url, featuring raw recordings from the archives, some of which may appear on future albums, or may never have seen the light of day–until now! On my official website, poppet.us, there will be a link titled "Songs With No Master." Those who choose this or higher reward levels will receive a passcode to enter the Vault, which will contain zip files of five song projects for you to choose from. Download as many as you please and do what you will–remix, remaster, or turn them into something of your own! Once finished, you can upload your version(s) of the track(s) to the url, where everyone will be able to enjoy them.
$100 - Pocket Poppet!
In addition to the digital download of the album with lyric booklet PDF, the CD of the album with lyric booklet and letterpressed album cover, digital downloads of the two additional EPs, postcard packet, and access to the five "Songs with No Master" tracks, you'll receive…
A comely custom hand-sewn poppet doll, made by me! This little snugglin will be a baldy like in the video, and have a dress of fabric that you specify with your name embroidered onto the skirt!
$300 - Embroideration Elation!
In addition to the digital download of the album with lyric booklet PDF, the CD of the album with lyric booklet and letterpressed album cover, digital downloads of the two additional EPs, the postcard packet, access to the five "Songs with No Master" tracks, and a custom-attired poppet doll for you to love, you'll receive…
One of the gorgeous and colorful hand-sewn embroideries that I made to individually illustrate the songs of the album! Throughout this past Winter I spent many focused hours on these careful little pieces. Most came to life in the Dub Narcotic studio, keeping my hands busy as Bob and I mixed tracks.
Since there are 15 and they're each unique, they will be given out on a first-come first-serve basis. I'll get in touch with you in the order that you backed the campaign, but if you don't get back to me for two weeks, I'll ask the next person in line, just to be fair.
$500 - How-to Story-of Video!
In addition to the digital download of the album with lyric booklet PDF, the CD of the album with lyric booklet and letterpressed album cover, digital downloads of the two additional EPs, the postcard packet, access to the five "Songs with No Master" tracks, a custom-attired poppet doll for you to love, and one of the wonderful embroidered illustrations for the album, you'll receive…
A top-notch high definition video digging into a song from The Blue Sky Is Always Blue! The video end of it will be wrangled by my pro pal Adrian Hopffgarten and will be posted for all to enjoy on the interwebs, crediting you as inciting factor. I'll introduce all the bits of technology I use to play the song, and then show how to play it, giving a leg-up to anyone who wants to cover the song.
I'll also tell the story of why I wrote it and how it came to me, and answer five of your most burning questions about the song itself or my creative process in general. Holy wow!
So, you know a bit about me now, but let me tell you that Ross Cowman is a real joy to work with–he and Bob Schwenkler have been running Bicycle Records for over 10 years. Ross is also a touring musician himself, and his know-how has been indispensable in getting this Kickstarter together.
Bob Schwenkler lent his expertise to the mixing and mastering process, and he really transformed the sound of the album. You'll be hearing me, sure, but you'll also be hearing him. In their role as Bicycle Records, Ross and Bob have released dozens of letterpressed albums similar to mine–though most have been less grandiose in scope!
AdrianHopffgarten ran all around to create the campaign video with me, and I have her on deck to create the How To videos for the top tier. She's a wonder and a powerhouse, and is eternally a part of my dance team.
Jackson Tegu is a real gem, he also helped me get this Kickstarter campaign together, adding his excellent wordings and polling his community to suggest reward tiers, as well as dancing at my shows!
And longtime collaborator Evan Feenstra, aka Goomy, has been a great help, working with me on Sea Satchel and making wonderful music with me all along the way.
What a lucky Poppet! Those folks keep the sky blue, too! (In addition to you, dear reader!)
While you listen
I hope you DANCE, I hope you want to hug something, I hope you giggle discreetly from a well-lit corner, I hope you imagine a fleet of bald dolls in pilgrim dresses riding into the sunset. I hope it makes you want to create something else of your own!
Risks and challenges
At this point, the album has been mixed and mastered, meaning that the audio is all ready to go. The next steps in the process, however, require the time and efforts (emphasis on time) of a fair number of people. I would like to remind supporters that though the Bicycle Records team and myself have every intention to meet the deadlines we set, there may be circumstances, such as other work, that cause a delay in the process. We are a team of busy artists, most of whom also have other jobs in order to maintain financial security. We ask for your understanding should any delays occur.
That being said, myself, the Bicycle Records team, and everyone else involved along the way are very excited and proud to get you the album and all other rewards as quickly as possible!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)