About this project
!!!WOOHOO WE ARE FUNDED!!! STRETCH GOAL: if we surpass $26,000 I will make an acoustic EP for every backer, no matter the pledge level! the extra investment will go straight into funding tour costs + the team behind releasing the album, making next year's roll-out that much stronger, and hopefully bringing Hiker to a city near you!
Hello, Internet! I’m Anna Vogelzang. In April I made a new record with producer Todd Sickafoose, and it is the best thing I’ve ever done, and I can’t wait to share it with you. I need your help launching this album into the world; the only way I can finish it is with your support! Thank you for being here with me.
I’m a full-time-music-maker. I’ve been writing songs for a long time. I believe in songs. I spend most of my time driving those songs around the country and playing them for good people. I also make albums of those songs! Like these:
In the final months of 2013, I went on a self-imposed writing and recording retreat, and left with a gaggle of new songs. Then in 2014, I wrote 52 songs! I totaled more than 70 songs in those 15 months. (Whoa!)
Fast forward to April of 2015: I traveled to the beautiful hills of Oregon to make a new album with bassist/producer/wizard Todd Sickafoose (Anais Mitchell, Ani DiFranco, Andrew Bird) and percussionist/drummer/multi-instrumentalist Shane Leonard (Field Report). Of those 70 songs, Todd hand-picked twelve that we recorded live as a trio in one week. Together, we created a lush, full landscape - a collection entitled Hiker.
There are veins running through this album, a cohesiveness that comes from the songs being captured in a live setting, and an intimacy of a trio's performance uncluttered by superfluous players. It is a collection about the animal nature of being a human, the existence of being a human in nature, the search for home. It's about traveling onward and self-sufficiency and love and family and fear and grit. It is without a doubt the best thing I have ever made.
Hiker will have the longest gestation period of any thing I've ever released - some of the songs are from 2013 - far before Driftless, even; working with Todd producing has been in the works since 2012; it will be over a year, maybe even 15 months from when we tracked it all the way to public consumption. It is the longest I have ever let something percolate. I used to spend my babysitting money immediately on Starbucks mochas and as many CD singles as I could afford. Waiting is a very hard process for me.
It's worth it, though. I know that this is the album I've been working towards for the last 10 years. Every mile, every song, every show led to here. This album sounds most like myself, most like the thing I’ve been striving for. It is the project that makes me feel like I am stepping over a threshold. Making this album was the first time I’ve had a producer fully take the reins - a move that allowed the record to flourish beautifully. The whole session felt like an exercise in letting go, in listening for the purest form of the song, in getting out of the song’s way. It was an amazing and transformative process, and I promise it will be worth the wait.
Samples from Hiker:
I want to take every possible step I can to ensure this record is birthed into the world joyfully and fully, so I’ve decided to return to Kickstarter. I want Hiker to be released to its full potential - heard by as many people as possible, with an excited community around it. That means preparing for the final phase of the project, which is just around the corner - mastering, artwork, manufacturing, publicity, and paying my team.
This is an All or Nothing campaign. If we don't reach the goal by the deadline, no credit cards will be charged, no rewards fulfilled.
As a first wave supporter of this album, you’ll be on the ground floor to hear the songs before anyone else; you’ll also have my deep-hearted gratitude for giving this record a shot. Beyond that, there are many goodies to choose from, including but not limited to:
the BESTIES package is the best bang for your buck: it includes a signed Hiker CD & signed 7” Hiker Vinyl, a mix CD (or digital playlist for the futurists, whichever you prefer) of some of my dear friends and heroes, 4 buttons, a sticker, a THANK YOU polaroid, & a super surprise Hiker-inspired trinket! (what could it be? sunglasses? shoelaces? dirt? crystals? only time will tell!) (I promise it won't be dirt.)
for 12 kind folks, I’ll write a postcard every month in 2016 from wherever I happen to be. I’ve capped this so that I don’t wear myself out, but it is by far my favorite reward - I love writing letters, especially on the road. your first postcard will arrive before your BESTIES package - in January 2016! let’s talk astrology and weight lifting and music and coffee and car repairs, shall we?
I used these studio notes throughout the whole process of making Hiker - arrangement notes, lyric changes, notes about different takes, mixing and editing ideas, coffee stains, and doodles all appear. there is one sheet per song, 12 in total. I will send you the original page of the song of your choice, signed just for you!
A private concert, instrument lesson, songwriting workshop, or coffee date in the privacy of your own home! Not gonna lie, these Concert Window shows are a blast (Oscar made an appearance during the last one) and I would love to create an online experience just for you - and whoever you choose to invite over!
I will happily Vogelzang-ize the song of your choice. Or better yet, we can work out an original song just for you - something from your personal or family history, a song you can use as a gift to woo someone special, or a song based on the topic of your choice, 100% unique. All songs will be at least one instrument & voice, delivered to you as a WAV, Mp3 or on a disc. (These will take longer than the rest of the rewards, and will arrive separately from other packages - most likely in the spring of 2016. I promise to keep you posted.)
due to popular request: the one, the only, THE CHART! you will receive the sharpie-adorned chart I made to track our progress in the studio - plus! a cover song of your choice, the patron, and besties packages. I don't want to let it go, but I will, just for you.
The cream of the crop: I will come and play a concert for you and your friends as soon as I can within my touring schedule! I made it to both coasts & the south this year, and am planning to do the same again in 2016. House shows are amazing, and my favorite way to interact with an audience. If you have a specific date or occasion in mind, travel expenses may not be included, depending on my schedule. If I’m already heading your way, even better.
So far, this project has been possible because of my own savings, which covered travel, paying the musicians, feeding the band, studio rentals, instrument rentals, production, and mixing - that totaled a little over 16K.
Now, I’m hoping that you’ll believe in this project as much as I do - and will come on board to get it finished and out into the world.
As you can see, half of the budget covers the mechanics of finishing the album, and the other half will cover getting it launched into the world with a good shove behind it - hence the largest piece of the pie going towards a killer publicist. I can only bang on so many pots and pans by myself, and the team is just one of the things that will give this album legs.
There are other things I would love to include if we surpass the goal - this budget doesn’t include bringing the band on tour (6K!), hiring a radio agent (6K!), making a music video (5K!), new website design (2K!), making badass merch (2K!), and further expanding my team (6K!). First, I just want to get it into the hands of the people. YOU people. With your help, this record has a fighting chance.
I can’t thank you enough for being here, for believing in songs, & for supporting these songs. I am so proud of this work and I am so lucky to call this calling my job. I am beyond grateful for you, my community of friends and family and cheerleaders. I wouldn’t be here without you, and I can’t wait to share Hiker with you.
PS, any questions or suggestions? I’d love to hear from you. shoot me a note anytime at anna(at)theanna.com!
Video by Cerulean Pictures / Story photo by Leslie Rodriguez / Cover photo by David E Jackson
Risks and challenges
Even though my previous Kickstarter campaign was almost 5 years ago, I feel like I’ve brought the lessons from that project with me into this one. All of the rewards are feasible given the time allowed, and I’ve made sure that I don’t burn myself out in trying to fulfill them. Scheduling the house shows and one-on-one sessions will probably be the most challenging rewards to fulfill, simply because of logistics. The album is on its way to being done, and I have scheduled enough time for it to be finished and printed before the promised ship date of late February. I vow to keep all backers posted about any logistical challenges that arise.
Asking for such a number is daunting and I don’t take it lightly. If the funds aren’t raised, the album will linger and struggle to be released, probably around the end of 2016 or early 2017 - and most likely without a team behind it. This funding will launch Hiker out in the first half of next year with a team of pros and a community surrounding it.
The most exciting challenge is what next year is going to look like. I plan to tour, to try to get these songs in the hands of as many people as possible, and hope that they reach folks who can help me take steps towards a bigger and brighter future. Everything about this album feels like a moment of arrival, and I can’t wait to get there. & I am so honored that you’re on the road with me.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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