This year, I'm inviting you to support the recording of my new work and join Lawrence Arabia's 2018 Singles Club.
As a member of Lawrence Arabia's 2018 Singles Club you'll receive a new digital single, every month this year, direct from me, exclusive to you, the moment it's ready to go, before radio stations, streaming services or anyone else has it.
At the end of the year those singles will then be compiled into physical formats – kind of a Now That's What I Call Lawrence Arabia 2018 – and lo! – that will be my new record. Via this Kickstarter you can ensure you're first in the queue for the first numbered pressings. If you're the sort of person who'd almost certainly buy the vinyl or CD when it comes out, head down to the CD or LP reward options – your pre-order at this point would be hugely helpful to me!
Why, Lawrence, why?
After releasing four solo albums in a fairly traditional fashion over the past 12 years – i.e. write it all, record it all, then release it all in one fell swoop – I've found myself craving a change in the way it's all done.
The most exciting part of releasing an album in my experience is the promising just-before bit, when you're gathering your energy and resources, concocting all kinds of bizarre touring ideas and promotional schemes. So – why not drag that exciting bit out for an entire year?! Instead of teasing a couple of singles and then praying that the Fates and playlist programmers at Spotify collaborate on making my album a glorious success, why not tease the entire album?
And so, with your help, this is what I intend to do!
Since "Absolute Truth" came out in 2016, I've written about thirty pieces of music that range from abstract noises to tuneful mumbles to pretty much complete songs.
What I need from you is the means to take those sketches and turn them into twelve splendid and totally diverse singles, (and then probably write and record a whole bunch more).
Lawrence Arabia's 2018 Singles Club is a chance for you to support the creation of my new music AND receive my very latest work as close as possible to its creation without having to wait for the long process of the pressing and pre-release publicity of a record.
The Singles Club is a chance for me to think of my new body of work as a collection of totally discrete singles with all of their own styles and approaches without having to consider the overarching framework of an album.
Without going deep into the gory details, the costs I'm hoping to cover with your help will basically help me to indulge most of my sudden whims to employ a cellist, an alpenhornist, a turntablist or the NZ Army Band + generally being able to fairly pay a selection of arrangers, session musicians, engineers and other collaborators for their contributions. If and when we achieve the goal, any cream on the top will allow me to indulge more outrageous whims – upgrade from a string quartet to an octet, say – plus be able to devote more time and attention myself to concentrating extra furiously on making the most ambitious music possible throughout the year.
To entice you to contribute to this cause, I've devised a varied rewards package, all centred around membership of the Singles Club. Essentially you're purchasing my next "album" in advance.
There's also a few Hail Mary options there in case any of you are in the homeowning or oligarch classes.
Lawrence Arabia is the pseudonym of New Zealand born singer-songwriter James Milne (i.e. me!)
As Lawrence, I've released four solo albums since 2006, alongside more collaborative albums by The Reduction Agents, Fabulous/Arabia and Barb.
I've also played, written and sung on records by The Brunettes, Connan Mockasin, Bic Runga, Neil Finn and The Phoenix Foundation, written songs for Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement's film "What We Do In The Shadows," and co-created, acted in and scored the psychedelic comedy podcast sensation "The Mysterious Secrets Of Uncle Bertie's Botanarium."
I'm probably most well known for the song "Apple Pie Bed," which won the APRA Silver Scroll in 2009, has featured on mega Spotify playlists, supermarket commercials and a YouTube video of a skier being towed around the streets of Raleigh, North Carolina.
For more listening, head to my bandcamp page.
For occasional opinions about cricket, follow me on Twitter.
I have one of the most civil Facebook pages on the internet.
Or visit my website!
Risks and challenges
The creative process is still a bit of a mystery to me. Inspiration comes in a mad rush, floors you with its brilliance and then disappears for months, leaving you a weeping husk superglued to the couch watching Jeremy Kyle and eating chip sandwiches.
Despite all this sheer terror, I have somehow managed over the past 12 years to produce five albums of all original music, collaborate extensively on another couple, and complete another 100 or so commissioned pieces for film, TV, radio, podcast and advertising. So – I truly believe I can leap into the abyss and manage to come out with twelve songs. I've already got at least twelve fairly passable works in progress, so even if I have the breakdown to end all breakdowns you'll still get some music. Fingers crossed though eh?!
I've already designed or commissioned work for the various garments that are included in the packages so fulfilment on these items should be pretty prompt and unproblematic.
The major potential holdup will be the delivery of the physical album versions at the end.
The current surge in vinyl record production is causing delays in pressing times – "Absolute Truth" took about five months from delivery of master to delivery of stock. In order to have an early 2019 release, I'll need to get all the songs complete and mastered by around August. If there's any little holdup with this process, either at my end, or the pressing plant, we all could be waiting till mid-2019. Just know that you'll be first in line to receive your copy.
Basically, I just need to emphasise the need for peace, love and understanding on this. I'm an independent artist without management or a "street team" – it's just me on the other end of the email, filling packages, walking up to the post office. A huge part of this project is about personally connecting to people. There's a small chance that some of that communication might be to say "sorry, the record pressing's been delayed by a month." Just remember it's me sharing that bad news and not a faceless corporation and we'll all get on great!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)