Now that I've had a few weeks to reflect, 2017 was an interesting year. I didn’t hear people specifically cussing it out like they did with 2016. But was it that much better? Politically, instead of the election, we had year one of the Trump presidency. I don’t need to write any more regarding that. On the music hero death front, I’m not really sure how the count stacked up, but we lost quite a few of the greats again. For me personally though, it was quite fascinating. I travelled around the country a couple more times playing shows. I moved, again, this time to LA. But there was something I forgot to do: release new music.
I actually wrote and recorded quite a lot in 2017. But when it came to releasing those recordings, I had so many questions. How was I going to put it out? How was I going to build up the release? Who was going to make the videos, the artwork, etcetera? And you know what these questions led to? Paralysis.
In the world of music, it’s generally a good idea to have the answers to those questions fleshed out before releasing something. It's just kind of painful to spend so long creating a piece of work only for it to be swept under the rug after a week because of a half baked release plan. But I'm still operating as an independent artist. And when I released things before, I didn’t have so many shows every year. The shows have become a staple of enjoyment and livelihood for me, and I don't really have any desire to pare that down. So how was I going to release things without being so slow at it?
I started looking for inspiration. I thought back to some of the most creative times in my life and something that stuck in my head was when my old band, The Town Monster, put out an EP every month in 2011. I joined the band about halfway through that monthly series, and the whole project was spearheaded by Nathan Photos (now of Damn the Witch Siren). I had a front seat view of how much he was challenging himself creatively and how much he grew during that time period. That motivation bled out to the rest of us in the band and got the best out of us musically. Not every song was great...but there was enough great ones in there to challenge a lot of albums that came out that year twice over.
So I made this New Year’s resolution: In 2018, I'm going to release a single and b-side on the third wednesday of every month. The strength by numbers approach. 24 new songs. Almost two albums worth. On top of an exercise in creativity, my hope is that by inundating you all with so much music on a consistent basis, at some point you’re just going to have to pay attention. Maybe some songs will get swept under the rug. But some won't.
I’m an independent artist living in one of the most advanced times of technology, communication, distribution, and innovation, and I want to focus on creating and sharing music. You’re all invited on this journey with me too. Last Wednesday, I put out the first single, “Knocking Heads,” and it’s b-side, “Correcting a Fool.” You can listen to them here:
Big thanks to Ben Rohletter for his synth work on both songs, Jeff Martin, Eric Groseclose, Dennis Tanner and Mike Landolt for their work on Knocking Heads, and Noelle Campbell for the beautiful artwork. I’ll dive more into these two tracks on the blog over the next couple of weeks. But for now just enjoy the music and get ready for more next month.
You can also listen to or download the "Knocking Heads" single on all these platforms:
Apple Music/iTunes: http://hyperurl.co/nqji0r