Matthew Ebel’s latest album shatters one wall after another.
His usual light-hearted writing shares the stage this time with more serious fare, but Cognitive Dissonance is anything but a drag. Topics like self-doubt, consumerism, and disenfranchisement are matched with equal levels of empowerment, hope, and even the humor his fans have come to expect.
As Ebel describes it, “we build walls because actually solving conflicts is difficult. In reality, though, those walls are just thin panes of glass. When that glass breaks and you actually have to figure out what you believe… that is cognitive dissonance.”
While Ebel may have dialed up the intensity of his arrangements for this release, the songs are still catchy and memorable as always. Some of the more relaxed tunes, like Coyote All Night and This Band Does Not Suck, harken back to his usual tongue-in-cheek style. On the other side of the wall are tumultuous songs about politicians, ambition, and self-image.
The name Cognitive Dissonance belies the cohesion of the album. Infusing piano and soaring vocals with loud, raw, 90’s-alternative-inspired guitar and drums brings out the best of both worlds.
WE DID IT IN FOUR DAYS! ON TO GOAL TWO!
Believe it or not, Cognitive Dissonance is already mostly recorded and mixed! My Officer's Club has funded the initial recording and mixing for the past year.
So why raise more funds? Well, all the drum tracks were recorded in a basement… not exactly ideal. For every rock album, the drums are probably the most crucial element. Fortunately, Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios is a master at recording and mixing drums.
I've received a high/low estimate for a full day of drum recording and the necessary mixing. I've also created a budget for the album cover and photos based on prior experience.
WE'VE GOT REAL GUITAR, BASS, AND PIANO NOW!
Sure, my keyboard-guitar and keyboard-bass are decent, but nothing made a bigger difference on the last album than bringing in professional instrumentalists. Matt Pompei will return on bass, and seasoned player Korozjin will lay down the guitar tracks (and will be performing with us in Texas)!
The budget for this includes increased studio time and session fees for the musicians.
With ten tracks recorded over an entire year, the mastering engineer's job isn't an easy one. But Andrew's one of the most respected engineers in Nashville and he never fails to make my work sound exceptional.
They're round, they're big, and they sound AMAZING. And this time, we've got exactly the right amount of music to fill a single LP. I've heard plenty of people asking for vinyl, but whether or not we get there depends entirely on YOU.
The budget is based on quotes from numerous vinyl manufacturers for 150-gram LP's.
What lies beyond the goals we envisioned? Getting the music out there. That means touring. It also means advertising, PR campaigns, and all the other horrible crap that no musician wants to do but every musician needs to do.
Whatever is left over from this campaign will be put to good use bringing Cognitive Dissonance to the world.
Risks and challenges
As always, there may be bumps. But this is neither my first album nor my first Kickstarter campaign.
For this campaign, I've limited all of the physical rewards to items that can be shipped via padded mailer or media mailer. No more shipping expensive pizza boxes overseas!
I've also utilized spreadsheets and existing Kickstarter tools to better estimate goal amounts (unlike last time).
The biggest "risk" is that we make it to the Vinyl LP goal… which is entirely new territory for me. I know that LP turnaround time can be pretty lengthy, but that's out of my control. The digital and CD versions will ship on time, followed by the big discs as soon as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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