In my five years of full-time musicianeering, I’ve released two EPs, a mini-album and one full-length album. All ultimately well-received and all picking up momentum now, as much as three-and-a-half years after their initial release (apart from the first EP, now deleted). In amongst all that I’ve also dabbled in soundtrack work, produced and appeared on other folk’s stuff and released a demo EP with the band Dog Moon Howl. Not a bad work-rate but there’s no getting past the fact that full-length album # 2 is due. So …
The studio, 16 Ohm, is booked for sessions in May. I’ve been writing, arranging and demoing new material this past few weeks and I currently have ten songs ready to go, three nearly there and plans for an instrumental as yet un-started. The album’s going to be a mix – very roughly: one-third solo acoustic, one-third mostly-acoustic with percussion-and-that, one-third full band. Ish. I’ll be working on this one, as with Pissed Off, Bitter and Willing to Share and the recent Hard Times: Volume 1 EP, with Tommy Duffin. Other guest muso-types to be confirmed.
As with the Hard Times EP, I’m planning on getting a lot of the artwork, design etc. seen to in advance of the sessions, so that the album release can be turned around quite quickly off the back of the recording sessions. I’m hopeful for a June release – certainly no later than July.
In the meantime, I’ll be writing regular blogs about the process. Now, I know there’s a school of thought/marketing/whatever that has the creation of an album as a completely open book. Tracks streamed in demo and rough-mix form, track-lists and running orders released far in advance, that sort of thing. However, as much as that approach can be very effective, as a punter I prefer to hear an album “fresh” – as a result, I’ll not be posting much, or possibly any music in advance of the initial “single” release (no, not really releasing a single but there’ll be a lead-off track with a video). Having said that, there might be a few wee “mini-doc” clips that show some limited work-in-progress and the occasional live clip (see below).
Rather than just a dry recording diary (there’ll be some of that, mind), I’ll use this series of blog entries to look at my other releases and at what issues and choices re: different releasing options, packaging and so on there are for an independent musician running a micro-label. Interspersed throughout will be pieces on my band Dog Moon Howl. I’ve been threatening to blog on more than just our occasional YouTube appearance for a while and, as we’re looking at recording our first album in September, it’s about time.
So, look out for regular updates here from now on. In the meantime, here’s a video of the first ever live performance of Happy Man Cries (filmed, incidentally, by my Dog Moon Howl bandmates Ally Tennick and Bryan Campbell) – minus its last verse which was still to be written at the time. A compete version will be on album # 2.