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The Dead Languages is an indie-folk act... something like Iron & Wine meets Nick Cave with a female singer.  This is their first album.
The Dead Languages is an indie-folk act... something like Iron & Wine meets Nick Cave with a female singer. This is their first album.
70 backers pledged $6,153 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$6,153

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The Dead Languages is essentially singer Camila Ballario and songwriter Mike Ziethlow with a whole host of paid studio musicians.

UPDATE!

As of Sunday, May 15th - with 11 hours to go! - we officially hit our Kickstarter goal of $5,600! This was only due to the loving kindness of every single person who wanted to see this music happen, and to them we want to say: we are forever indebted to your generosity.

In the next few hours, pre-orders can still be made for this album. Many of the rewards we are offering are exclusive... meaning when our Kickstarter time is up, they will never again be available to the public.

Thanks again to everyone involved in this process!  We hope to keep you involved throughout the next 9 weeks with updates, videos, pictures, and music clips from the project as it progresses.

You have our love and humblest thanks.

- The Dead Languages

The Plan

We're making a 5-song debut album full of pretty melodies and seductive rhythms. We've spent $6,350.40 of our own money and have been able to finish a little over half of the record so far.  We've given our hearts and souls, but as it stands we can no longer afford to continue working on the project.

But with your help, The Dead Languages are going to raise $5,600 and finish this debut 5-song album in 9 weeks!

The Pitch

Your donation will pay for studio musicians and recording time.

If we don't meet our donor goal, your pledge won't be charged and we get none of the money pledged!  But if we meet our goal, you can be assured that the album will be finished and you'll get one of our amazing donor rewards (see right.)

Also, if you pledge any amount $25 or more and we fall short of our $5,600 goal, you will still receive the acoustic demos of the songs absolutely free (since you aren't charged if the goal isn't met) just for pledging your support!  So pledge with immunity!

We owe the success of this project to you, the donor.

Thank you.  :)

The Story

The process began with writing; on a bar napkin, on a forearm, in the car, in a bed drenched with sweat from which he awoke in a fit.  This went on for several years.

Mike took his collection of songs and held auditions at the University of Michigan. The first singer of the day was also the best.  After Camila's audition Mike thought, "Should I just cancel the rest?"

Over a period of 6 months Mike and Camila worked on the songs.  They demoed 10 songs.  They began recording 8.  The plan was to produce and release 5.

Then (for job reasons) Mike moved 2000 miles away.  He took all their recordings to North Las Vegas, NV with the intention of finishing them at his new home.  It took some time to find the right studio musicians to help on the project, but now they are working on completing the album and making some amazing music.

This is the present situation.

The Process

The process was/is:

  • Write the songs (100% done)
  • Demo the songs with Camila (100% done)
  • Record junk acoustic guitar tracks for Camila to sing to (100% done)
  • Record Camila's singing on all songs (100% done)
  • Record acoustic guitar tracks (70% done)
  • Record percussion (80% done)
  • Record bass guitar (50% done)
  • Record electric / acoustic guitar overdubs (40% done)
  • Record keyboard / vocal / percussion / effects overdubs (5% done)
  • Mix the recorded elements (0% done)
  • Master the final mixes (0% done)
  • Distribute the album online (0% done)
  • Overall = 53.75% done

What's cool about our project is that you can follow our progress on the record as it happens at http://soundcloud.com/thedeadlanguages.  There you can hear the songs in their various stages of production, read musician commentary, and even offer up your own comments or suggestions in an easy-to-read, well-laid-out format.

The Goal

The goal is not to become rich and famous.  The goal is not to make elitist, difficult art. The goal is to make music that people love and get it into the hands of the lovers.  Love on, lovers.  :)

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A Digital Single from the completed album.

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    2 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A Digital Download of the completed 5-song debut album from The Dead Languages.

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    8 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Digital Download of the 5-song album, plus acoustic versions of the 5 album songs, plus a digital album booklet with scans of handwritten notes and lyrics, photos, printed lyrics, and credits.

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    11 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Digital Download of the album, the acoustic versions of the songs, the digital booklet, PLUS 5 rare songs (some fully produced, some acoustic) not included on the album. You'll also receive an autographed CD of all these songs.

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    10 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    All of the above, plus in the booklet we'll put your name in the credits with a special thank you! It'll read something like, "This album could not have been made without the love and support of YourNameHere."

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    16 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above, plus a personal handwritten thank you letter and a description of what we did with your $100. We'll pick a random 4-hour block of recording time and tell you everything that went down. No two letters will be the same!

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    6 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    All of the above, plus a mailed physical copy of the album artwork and a making of the album booklet, autographed with a thank you message written inside.

    You also get a say in what the album will be called. You get one vote out of how ever many backers we have over the $250 donor level. Your vote will be for one of a handful of choices. But you may also suggest a title and we will list it along with the other album name choices to vote upon (providing it is not obscene or ridiculous). If the name you vote for is chosen, the album credits will read "The Dead Languages' SomeAlbumTitleHere named by YourNameHere."

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    4 backers
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    All of the above... plus a homemade framed collage of all of the post-it notes we've made during the process of recording this album. So far there are a ton of them in all sorts of scribbles and colors. They say things like, "cold world - longer pause after 'needle drops' intro" and "Put Bass in reverse in breakdown verse? (MTB)" This framed post-it note collage is a very unique way to get into our brains as we were making this record. :) And of course the back of the collage will be autographed.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    All of the above (except for the post-it note collage), plus the original handwritten lyrics to a Dead Languages song from this album, framed (with acid-free adhesive) and signed with the copyright date. These lyrics are the first instance of a song's existence, and could potentially be worth $$$ if the song or The Dead Languages is successful somewhere down the line. You'll get a personal phone call or Skype from Mike explaining the song's meaning and inspiration as well as explaining all the little mysterious scribbles and side notes that no one else in the world knows about. These are the lyrics to a song randomly selected from the album. If you'd like to select which framed original song lyrics you receive, see the next reward...

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  10. Select this reward

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

    All of the above (the non-limited rewards) plus the original framed lyrics to one of your top 3 song choices. You'll obviously make this choice after hearing the album. You will receive a release of the album before anyone else so you can make this choice. We will of course try to give you your most favorite song's original framed lyrics. Also, you'll get the personal phone call or Skype from Mike explaining the song's meaning and inspiration as well as explaining all the little mysterious scribbles and side notes that no one else in the world knows about. Perhaps you'll treasure these original lyrics forever, or perhaps they'll end up in a Hard Rock Cafe somewhere down the line. :)

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Funding period

- (32 days)