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Throughout 2018, I'm going to record and release a series of monthly singles, working with dream collaborators. Join me!
Throughout 2018, I'm going to record and release a series of monthly singles, working with dream collaborators. Join me!
Throughout 2018, I'm going to record and release a series of monthly singles, working with dream collaborators. Join me!
368 backers pledged NZ$ 23,710 to help bring this project to life.

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Lawrence Arabia's 2018 Singles Club

NZ$ 23,710

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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.

Lawrence Arabia sporting "Legend of Song" tea towel.
Lawrence Arabia sporting "Legend of Song" tea towel.

 

Singles Club T-Shirt Design
Singles Club T-Shirt Design

There's also a few Hail Mary options there in case any of you are in the homeowning or oligarch classes.

Lawrence who?

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 BrunettesConnan Mockasin, Bic RungaNeil 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!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 3 or more About $2

    First Song

    You're kind of curious about this whole thing but you want to check whether my new direction sucks or not? Grab the first single. It'll be available to you pretty soon.
    (Ignore the delivery date below, it'll be available late January)

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 20 or more About $13

    Singles Club Membership

    Thank you for your advance purchase! You're a mensch.
    You will become a fully sworn in member of Lawrence Arabia's 2018 Singles Club.
    You will receive each monthly digital single as early as they become available – 12 in all throughout 2018 – well in advance of their availability to the general public – accompanied by one of my typically verbose emails describing what the hell I was thinking when I was making it, plus photos and all sorts of things. Welcome.
    (Ignore the delivery date below, first monthly single will be available late January)

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 20 or more About $13

    "Legend Of Song" Tea Towel

    These fine white tea towels, brilliantly designed by one Mr Andrew Thompson, depicting the heroic exploits of yours truly, were flying out the door on my last tour. Grab one here, help a guy out!... I'll chuck in song numero uno for your troubles.

    Shipping included in New Zealand – a little more elsewhere.

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    Pledge NZ$ 30 or more About $20

    Club Membership and Iron-On Patch

    As well as being a member of the Singles Club (i.e. receiving a digital single a month throughout 2018 and my undying gratitude) you can declare your credentials to anyone within 2 to 3 metres with this iron-on embroidered patch, featuring a logo designed by the Tui award winning designer of "Absolute Truth," Anns Taylor.

    Shipping free worldwide.

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    Pledge NZ$ 40 or more About $27

    Club Membership and CD Pre-order

    At the end of this whole process, there'll be an album. Think of it as more a compilation than an album – if everything goes according to plan, the whole thing should scarcely hang together for the broadness of its ambition. But who knows! Anyway, there'll be a physical embodiment of this process and you can have it – on compact disc. I'll sign it for you too. (if you want) The makers of the compact disc thank you as well for your loyalty to the format.

    You'll also receive the monthly digital singles in your inbox throughout 2018 along with the aura of invincibility that Singles Club membership will grant you.

    Shipping's included in that price in NZ, it's a little extra for elsewhere.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 40 or more About $27

    Club Membership and Tea Towel

    Membership of Lawrence Arabia's 2018 Singles Club, plus the Andrew Thompson designed "Legend Of Song" tea towel.

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    21 backers
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    Pledge NZ$ 50 or more About $33

    Club Membership and T-shirt

    Declare your membership of Lawrence Arabia's 2018 Singles Club to all people within a ten to twenty metre radius with this 100% cotton AS Colour t-shirt.

    Includes the monthly digital singles. Postage included in New Zealand.

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    Pledge NZ$ 55 or more About $36

    Club Membership and LP Pre-order

    If, like me, you are a lover of beautiful, pretentious, impractical, non-sustainable vinyl LP records, then this is the option for you. As well as receiving the digital singles as soon as they're available, you'll receive the first numbered pressing of the compiled singles on LP when it becomes available, signed by moi. The exact date of delivery is highly dependent on the state of the world's overworked vinyl pressing plants but it'll be sometime in the first half of 2019.

    Shipping's included in that price in NZ, it's a little extra for elsewhere.

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    Pledge NZ$ 100 or more About $66

    Super Singles Club Membership

    You are a mega fan and philanthropist and I love you. For your enormously generous contribution, you'll receive :
    – Singles Club Membership (= 12 exclusive monthly singles delivered direct to you before the public can hear them)
    – Singles Club patch
    – Singles Club t-shirt
    – "Legend Of Song" teatowel
    – pre-order of the eventual album on your choice of LP or CD (shipping early 2019)
    – your name or amusing pseudonym inscribed in the thank yous section of the physical album artwork, in much the same way that the Koch Brothers' names are inscribed in the foyers of Lincoln Center.

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    Pledge NZ$ 200 or more About $133

    Wind Beneath My Wings

    You'll receive all the benefits of the Super Record Club Membership, plus I'll contact you direct to arrange a time to video call you and serenade you with a totally sincere cover of Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings," dedicated to YOU. If "Wind Beneath My Wings" doesn't float your boat (what are you crazy?!) then I can do one of mine, I guess...

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    Pledge NZ$ 500 or more About $330

    Certified Legend of Singles Club

    Ok, this is next level.
    If I could, I'd throw a gala in your honour and name a wing of the building after you. There isn't a building so I can't do that, but what I can do is provide you with the myriad perks that come with the Super Singles Club membership (i.e. digital singles, email updates, embroidered patch, t-shirt, tea towel LP/CD etc) PLUS
    – call you/Skype/FaceTime you to personally thank you for your incredible gesture. If you'd like, I'll sing you a song. No pressure though.
    – give you lifetime doorlist privileges for any Lawrence Arabia headline show, anywhere in the world (excepting festivals and support slots), for the rest of your life or my life, whichever ends first. Just let me know you're around and you're in, free, no questions asked.
    – inscribe your name in a special über-swanky "Legends Of Singles Club" section of the album artwork, which will make immortal the sheer scope of your generosity
    – write, record and send you a "Legends Of Singles Club" song in which your name and those of the other Legends are sung in full Lawrence Arabia harmony with my typical kitchen sink production thrown at it.
    – personally email you additional ongoing updates and monthly musical tidbits, demos & failed experiments, throughout the process of recording this year.
    – send you an extremely limited test pressing of the record (i.e. only pressed for me and the Legends of Singles Club – est. shipping January 2019)
    – I won't charge you shipping for any of this carry on
    You are magnificent!

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    Pledge NZ$ 2,000 or more About $1,327

    Private Solo Concert (NZ Only)

    Sure it'll be a little awkward at first as we all get to know each other, but a couple of wines down and you and a cohort of your urbane friends will soon be chuckling at my trade mark cynical bon mots in the comfort of your sitting room/library/swimming pool. Truly it will be a night to remember, which you will recall fondly until the ravages of dementia take hold.

    I'll look after my accommodation and any transportation costs within NZ.

    (If you're considering this, please email me to discuss the details before going ahead)

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    Pledge NZ$ 2,500 or more About $1,659

    Private Solo Concert (Australia Only)

    This will be very similar to the New Zealand private solo concert, except my quiet songs will occasionally be interrupted by the loud cawing of crows, my entire set will be comprised of a start to finish rendering of John Farnham's indelible multi-platinum masterpiece "Whispering Jack" and someone will have to be rushed to hospital after being bitten by a taipan while popping outside for a Winnie Blue.

    I'll look after accommodation and transportation to the metropolitan areas of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Gold Coast – elsewhere we'll need to discuss additional transport costs.

    (If you're considering this, please email me to discuss the details before going ahead)

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    Pledge NZ$ 4,000 or more About $2,654

    Private Solo Concert (Other Places)

    You are the bold Lawrence A. patron I've always dreamed of. Parade me in front of your friends like some kind of personal trophy. I'll be charming and on my best behaviour all night, and when the smiling guests recede into the darkness, we'll enjoy a nightcap of (your) 25 year old single malt and talk about our plans for the future. "Why yes, I'd be happy to be a private songwriting tutor to your toddler. Oh, a $100k retainer and use of your holiday home in Sicily would be more than ample!" Just picture it! I certainly am.

    (If you're considering this, please email me to discuss the details before going ahead)

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Funding period

- (29 days)