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Gorgeous piano, lush strings, and a fearlessly intimate vocal. Recommended if you like: Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Regina Spektor
Gorgeous piano, lush strings, and a fearlessly intimate vocal. Recommended if you like: Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Regina Spektor
Gorgeous piano, lush strings, and a fearlessly intimate vocal. Recommended if you like: Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Regina Spektor
184 backers pledged $7,284 to help bring this project to life.

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IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RELEASE A DEBUT ALBUM

$7,284

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Gorgeous piano, lush strings, and a fearlessly intimate vocal. Recommended if you like: Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Regina Spektor


Hope you enjoyed our fun video! If you're new to my music, you can hear it here, read lyrics here, or see performance videos here. For a deeper look into this project, read on …

Connection, empowerment, catharsis. This is the power of honest music.

Whether it comes from my life or what I see others go through, I want to sing the unspoken. The hard stuff. The little stuff. The true beauty.

My name is Melissa Axel, and I need a village to release my debut album.

Your pledge will help fund:
* recording strings, orchestral percussion, and vocals
* professional mixing & mastering
* manufacturing CDs and a limited edition of signed vinyl LPs

We have already hired a producer and musicians, created string arrangements, and recorded piano, drums, bass, tuba, and a cute little antique toy piano.

Launching a music career is a daunting entrepreneurial challenge.

Without funding for development, recording, and promotion, how will new artists find their voices and inspire people around the world with their creative interpretations of life?

The answer is you.

With one dollar or thousands, you have the power to "kick start" my career by helping to complete and release my debut album. Now more than ever, you get to choose which records make it out into the world—and which voices deserve the chance to make a difference in it. I hope you choose me.

One career kick-started. One debut album released. One dream made reality.

No record label.

Let's change the way we do this. It takes a village.


Please make your pledge now.

(Yes, there are some very snazzy Thank You gifts for the various pledge levels on your right—including a custom "mix tape" CD personally made for you from my library of over 22,000 songs!—and yes, I will be immensely grateful to you.)


FAQ:

What's the music like? Piano-driven songs about life: love, humanity, metamorphosis. Some are jazzy, a few rock out, most are "chamber pop". Many say they're reminded of "early Tori Amos" with more straightforward lyrics and deeper vocals à la Norah Jones. Others comparisons include Regina Spektor, Ani DiFranco, and Sarah McLachlan.

Have you recorded any of your music before? Yes, I made several demo recordings while studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and I self-produced a five-song pre-release EP Transition (you can listen to it here).

How will the debut album be different from your early recordings? This will be my first fully produced, full-length album. It represents a huge leap forward for me and features a wealth of musical talent, including Justin Peacock (producer/mix engineer), Curtis Broome (drums/orchestral percussion), Ian Hutchison (upright and electric bass), James Jacoby (tuba), Bijoux Barbosa (electric bass), Mackenzie Gault (viola) of Flobots, Beth Rosbach and Leslie Dawe (cellos), Mike Fitzmaurice of Colcannon (double bass), Tom Hagerman of DeVotchKa (violin), and string arrangements by award-winning composers Kailin Yong (also featured on violin) and Matthew Nicholl.

Strings, orchestral percussion … no guitars? Who are you, Sting? Peter Gabriel? Nope, I'm Melissa Axel, but good catch. Andy White plays 12-string guitar and electric bass on "Every Place Is Home" (the song James and I co-wrote with Andy in the UK at the WOMAD summer music workshop, part of the World of Music, Arts and Dance foundation created in 1980 by Peter Gabriel—yup, there he is again).

What other songs are on the album? If you've seen me perform live, you might know some of them: The Worth Of Things, Time To Let Go, I Want Love To Win, Come & Go, Human Race, Ebb & Flow, Golden Rule (Nothing Wrong With You), and a few surprises.

Who is creating the album art? Denver painter Laurie Maves will create the album art (whoever pledges the most will receive the original painting!), and Lindsay McWilliams is our photographer (a few of her images are above and below).

Doesn't making an album cost a lot more than your $7,000 goal? Yes, it costs substantially more than that (I've already covered the costs of all that we've done so far). Our Kickstarter goal is the minimum needed to complete and release the record.

What if we beat the goal? I like the way you think. Additional funds raised here will go toward promoting the record (publicity, radio, pitching for Film & TV music placements). I'll update this with some surprise pledge gifts when we reach $7,000, at which point it'll become quite the party around here …

Speaking of parties, does BYOV* in the $1K prize = "bring your own vinyl"? Yes! Hopefully our album release tour schedule works out so I can stop by to help you enjoy your new turntable … I think some of my favorite wax will travel well, if you'll have us. ;-)

Are you really going to draw on a postcard for each person who pledges $5? Yes. And send a handwritten Thank You note to each person who pledges $15 or more? Yes. That could end up being a lot of people. Yes! My future depends on it.

When was the last time anybody got a handwritten letter in the mail? 1995.

How about some behind-the-scenes footage? Absolutely. Pledging $1 or more gets you the inside track on how a record gets made—blooper reel and all!

Did you notice that I read all the way to the end? Yes, I did. And, I love you for it.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    3-SONG DOWNLOAD + a POSTCARD with a drawing expressing my LOVE & THANKS!

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    19 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Advance DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (full album) + a handwritten personal THANK YOU

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    67 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Album COMPACT DISC + Digital Download + a handwritten personal THANK YOU

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    52 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $42 or more About $42

    Limited Edition VINYL LP + CD + Download + a handwritten personal THANK YOU

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    4 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Have your name in the ALBUM CREDITS + Limited Edition VINYL LP + CD + Download + a handwritten personal THANK YOU

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    12 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Limited Edition ALBUM ART PRINT signed by artist Laurie Maves + Album Credit + Limited Edition VINYL LP + CD + Download + a handwritten personal THANK YOU

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    8 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    I will make you a personalized "MIX TAPE" handpicked from my music library of over 22,000 songs (requests?!) + Album Credit + Limited Edition VINYL LP + CD + Download + a handwritten personal THANK YOU

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    0 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    I will WRITE A SONG FOR YOU & record it on my childhood piano! + Album Credit + Limited Edition VINYL LP + CD + Download + a handwritten personal THANK YOU

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    1 backer
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    SPONSOR A SONG – I will hand-draw you a ONE-OF-A-KIND LYRIC SHEET + a USB TURNTABLE (impress friends by hosting a BYOV* party!) + Song Sponsor Credit + Limited Edition VINYL LP + CD + Download + a handwritten personal THANK YOU

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    0 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    SPONSOR A RELEASE PERFORMANCE – I'll perform A SPECIAL CONCERT for you, your family, and friends + bring you a signed ONE-OF-A-KIND PAINTING by Laurie Maves + Release Sponsor Credit + Limited Edition VINYL LP + CD + Download + a handwritten personal THANK YOU

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    1 backer
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $7,000 or more About $7,000

    GOAL-IN-ONE! As thanks for this miracle gift, you and a guest will be whisked away to a secret destination for a 2-NIGHT STAY, GOURMET DINNER and VIP seats at an EXCLUSIVE CONCERT in your honor + the signed ORIGINAL ALBUM ART PAINTING by Laurie Maves + Album Sponsor Credit + Limited Edition VINYL LP + CD + Download + a handwritten personal THANK YOU

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (42 days)