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Heather Styka will be making a new studio album with The Sentimentals in the northwoods of Wisconsin, recorded by Beehive Productions.
Heather Styka will be making a new studio album with The Sentimentals in the northwoods of Wisconsin, recorded by Beehive Productions.
209 backers pledged $8,299 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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About Heather

I'm a Chicago-based songwriter who has been touring for the past six years. Since my first Kickstarter-funded album While This Planet Spins Beneath Our Feet (2014), it's been an incredible ride: I've played shows from Maine to California, Toronto to New Orleans. I had the honor of being a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk songwriting contest twice (2015 and 2017), and wrote and recorded The Bittersweet Tapes. I also moved back to Chicago from Maine, and wrote a ton of songs. Too many songs.

The Songs

So what to do with all these songs? Songs of travel and adaptation, songs concerning current events and our changing world... and sometimes just trying to sound like Patsy Cline. I'm so excited to hear these songs recorded live with subtle harmonies, bass, percussion, lead guitar, and other instrumentation.

"Fragile Thing"

 

"Please Be Kind" (this version recorded by Willie Stratton, lead guitar by Mike Kerr)

The Plan

Together with Beehive Productions (with whom I recorded While This Planet Spins Beneath Our Feet, and who also record sessions for Folk Alley and NPR), I'm recording over two dozen songs. Many of these will end up on my new album, North. The Sentimentals, a backing band from Denmark who have worked with artists such as Jonathan Byrd, Sam Baker, and Anna Egge, will be coming to record with me in my family's cabin in northern Wisconsin. I've been going to the Northwoods since I was a little girl, and it's a dream come true to get to record in this profoundly inspiring space, where many of the album's songs were written. We want to take you with us -- we'll be posting updates and videos from the recording sessions at the cabin.

At the lake, as a little girl.
At the lake, as a little girl.

I'll be releasing six of the best songs that don't end up on North as a bonus track EP, exclusive to Kickstarter donors. These intimate recordings will only be available with a Kickstarter pledge -- here's a sneak peak of one:

"Singing Solo"

Budget and Timeline

I recently went to Saranac Lake to record acoustic tracks and demos for the album. We'll be recording with the Sentimentals at the cabin starting August 27 and will be working on post-production through the autumn. Allowing time to handle promotion and publicity, North will be released in early 2018.

Recording, mixing, and mastering the album (and paying the musicians) will cost $9,000. Printing of physical CDs will cost an additional $3,000. Not to mention the cost of radio promotion and press campaigns. Now, I've been saving up for this album, but I'm raising $7,500 to offset some of these costs. To thank you for your support, we've got lots of fun rewards including CDs, cover songs, custom songs, and t-shirts (which I helped screen print myself!).

In the print shop, modeling the ladies' tee and holding up the unisex.
In the print shop, modeling the ladies' tee and holding up the unisex.

 

The North Star design just so happens to match my tattoo.
The North Star design just so happens to match my tattoo.

Thank you!

Every day I am grateful for the listeners who want to hear my songs, who show up at concerts across the country and listen to my albums. I whole-heartedly believe that this album is my best work yet, and I hope you enjoy listening to these songs as much as I have enjoyed writing and performing them. 

Yours always,

Heather

NORTH: A new album from Heather Styka
NORTH: A new album from Heather Styka

 

LET'S DO THIS
LET'S DO THIS

 

Risks and challenges

Recording sessions should be finished by mid-September, mixing and mastering shortly thereafter. After that, fun decisions like finalizing the track order and creating the design... and then we implement the promotion plan. So there's a lot of work to do between now and the CD release.
This ain't my first rodeo -- it's my fifth full-length album and my second Kickstarter campaign -- and it's important to me to get things done well, and by the deadline. So while most of the work on this album will be complete by mid-October, I'm allowing extra months in the timeline to make sure everything is right and ready. You should have a new Heather Styka CD in your hands by February :-)

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Heather's undying gratitude

    Heather will read your name out loud, raise high a chalice of mead, and say “I am deeply honoured by your pledge, noble patron” in her best Game of Thrones/Lord of the Rings voice

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Download

    Pre-release digital download of the full album (and the knowledge that you, dear listener, helped make this record happen).

    Includes:
    • 'North' album (digital download)
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    The Download Plus

    Pre-release digital download of the full album PLUS a 6-song acoustic EP (digital download) that's completely exclusive to Kickstarter backers.

    Includes:
    • 'North' album (digital download)
    • 6-song bonus track EP (digital download)
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    The Physical

    The brand-new album on Compact Disc, nestled in a beautiful digipak case (signed, if you like, and inscribed to you)!

    Includes:
    • 'North' on compact disc
    • 'North' album (digital download)
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Physical PLUS

    The brand-new album on Compact Disc, nestled in a beautiful digipak case (signed, if you like, and inscribed to you) PLUS a 6-song acoustic EP that's completely exclusive to Kickstarter backers.

    Includes:
    • 'North' on compact disc
    • 6-song bonus track EP (digital download)
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    The Fashionable Listener (download)

    A t-shirt designed by Pearl Junior and screen printed by hand by Heather and Beehive Productions. Tees come in unisex fit or ladies fit, grey tee with white design of the Big Dipper and North Star. PLUS a digital download of the complete new album and 6-song acoustic EP.

    Includes:
    • limited edition t-shirt
    • 'North' album (digital download)
    • 6-song bonus track EP (digital download)
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    The Fashionable Listener (CD)

    A t-shirt designed by Pearl Junior and screen printed by hand by Heather and Beehive Productions. Tees come in unisex fit or ladies fit, grey tee with white design of the Big Dipper and North Star. PLUS a compact disc of the new album and a digital download of the 6-song acoustic EP.

    Includes:
    • limited edition t-shirt
    • 'North' on compact disc
    • 6-song bonus track EP (digital download)
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Good Things Come in Pairs

    TWO copies of the new album (one for you, one for a friend!), plus a t-shirt and a digital download of the 6-song acoustic EP.

    Includes:
    • limited edition t-shirt
    • 'North' on compact disc
    • 6-song bonus track EP (digital download)
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Mix and match

    Pick four! Any CDs I've ever made, from the brand new album to the old back catalog unavailable online (that's right, you could request my first album I made in high school, even though I will cringe as I ship it to you). Or request four copies of the new album, and voila! Gifts for everyone.

    Includes:
    • mix and match any Heather Styka CDs
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You are winning at life.

    The ultimate bundle for the ultimate listener with discerning taste. Any four CDs plus a t-shirt, handwritten lyrics to the song of your choice, AND a download of the acoustic EP.

    Includes:
    • mix and match any Heather Styka CDs
    • limited edition t-shirt
    • 6-song bonus track EP (digital download)
    • handwritten lyrics sheet to a song of your choice
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Custom cover song!

    I'll record a cover of any song you choose (audio or video, your choice). Don't you all go requesting "Freebird" now. You can do better than that. Plus a CD and bonus track EP. No way! Yes way. (Cover song and digital album can be sent digitally anywhere... physical CD only available to ship to US, Canada, and EU)

    Includes:
    • cover song recording
    • 'North' on compact disc
    • limited edition t-shirt
    • 6-song bonus track EP (digital download)
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Custom Song!

    For a pledge of $300 or more, I'll write a custom song for you. A perfect gift for birthdays, celebrations, or milestones of family or friends -- or you can just have your own awesome theme song written by Heather Styka. Plus a CD and t-shirt.

    Includes:
    • custom song recording
    • 'North' on compact disc
    • limited edition t-shirt
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The Best

    The Best. You are literally the best. Want a house concert? Sure. Two custom songs? Sure! Custom paintings? My entire CD collection? Hand written letters for a year? My right kidney? (Well... actually, none of my organs are up for grabs.) I want to give you a reward that's right for you, so if you don't want to have a house concert or custom songs etc., let's chat about what your dream reward would be.

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Funding period

- (30 days)