The first full-length FaceOmeter album came out in July 2009; it was recorded in my bedroom (in a series of bedrooms, actually) and bravely mastered into something resembling listenability by the excellent John Jones. It’s still a decent listen, rather to my surprise, but in the 4.5 years since it came out – and especially the last twelve months – much has changed.
Via a few other cool projects, I’ve arrived at the shores of album #2. It’s going to be better, partly because of the things I’ve learned and the ways in which I’ve grown as an artist in the last five years, but partly because crowdfunding has allowed me to move out of the bedroom and hook up with an extremely awesome sound engineer and an amazing artist/designer. In the end, the level of support for this new record blew me away. The average contribution was nearly £24, and the project ended up going 16.3% over its £1,750 target. £2,000 isn’t a lot compared to the budget of a regular album, but for a grassroots artist like me the psychological difference alone is incalculable. The plan now is to take that money and
move quickly to a non-extradition treaty country, where
That cash is going to pay for higher quality production, for decent engineering, for great art, and for a bunch of other tiny things which will set this record aside from the others I’ve made so far. But there are a few things which won’t change: it’s still me and my tunes at the centre of it; it still depends on collaboration with amazing friends; it’s still about imagination, and belief, and the things that happen in our brains when we meet each other; and (most importantly) it will still feature the Hectic Eclectic Folk Choir, the mysterious choral enclave which everyone who contributed to the campaign is now invited to join for a magical day (so if you contributed and don’t check your e-mail very much, you need to fill in this short survey)!
I’m thrilled this is happening. Though I’ve been putting the songs for this record together for years, I was suffering from a real lack of momentum in the months leading up to the campaign. I put it online with genuine trepidation – if I hadn’t raised the money, it would have been such a public defeat, and for all my pontificating about audience size not mattering to me, I doubt I would have recovered. The first crowdfunding website I went to wouldn’t host me: they said my target wasn’t realistic, that I didn’t have enough followers on facebook, that I couldn’t raise the money. I’ve got a lot going on in the rest of my life right now, and it would have been easy to stop there; in amateur music, and I believe I’ve earned the right to say this, there’s never anything easier than quitting. But then, why take the easy road? Why not jump in with both feet just to see, owning victory or defeat rather than hanging around for the compromise? Why wait for failure?