CROWDFUNDING RADAR: Angela Perley, Western Centuries, and Amy Speace
Angela Perley (photo by Kate Sweeney)
Crowdfunding doesn’t often find its way into the news and, when it does, it’s usually a television or technology project instead of a music one. Unfortunately, music crowdfunding’s time in the spotlight this month has not been a positive one. After months of rumbling about late payments to artists, crowdfunding site PledgeMusic finally addressed it fully on their blog, promising to take steps to rectify the problem. Hopefully they do and one of the few strictly music-based crowdfunding sites can find new footing. On a happier note, there are still plenty of new projects launching weekly on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and I’ve got a wide-ranging batch for you here.
Angela Perley – New Album
Angela Perley has been gigging nonstop with her band The Howlin’ Moons since they released their debut album in 2014, laying down an interesting mix of folk, Americana, and ’60s-tinged psychedelic rock that floats seamlessly between Bob Dylan and Procol Harum, sometimes within the same song. Now Perley is preparing to record a solo album, although Howlin’ Moons guitarist Chris Connor is co-producing and performing on the album. She has also enlisted some studio help from Deer Tick’s Robbie Crowell, Brandon Bankes from The Wayfarers on pedal, and seasoned session man Andy Carlson on strings. Perley is aiming for a May or June release for the as-yet-untitled album. Backer rewards include the album on digital, CD, and vinyl, a signed tour poster, a bundle of Polaroid snaps from the band with a handwritten note about each one, a guitar lesson with Chris Connor, and what Perley is calling the “Full Moon Poem Club,” a monthly audio share of a piece of poetry that inspires her, promising everything from Sylvia Plath to Leonard Cohen.
Western Centuries – 3rd Studio Album
My fellow No Depression columnist and all-around in-the-know music guru Amos Perrine tipped me off to the new campaign from Western Centuries, a band that I’d somehow missed until now. Listening through their catalog as a new listener is an interesting experience, as you can see all at once the band’s gradual evolution from a fairly straightforward act with heavy bluegrass and western swing leanings to a group that infuses elements of alternative, soul, and Southern rock into their sound. The band has recorded and released one song, “Barcelona Lighthouse,” as a teaser for their campaign and for what to expect from the new album, and it hints at another layer for the group. Their Indiegogo campaign has the album on digital, CD, and vinyl, as well as backer rewards that range from Western Centuries shirts and full catalog bundles to songwriting sessions or dinner with the band.
Amy Speace – Me and The Ghost of Charlemagne
It was only a couple of columns back that I featured Nashville songwriter Amy Speace’s Patreon page in this space. Now, for fans wanting a more traditional album release crowdfunding experience rather than an ongoing monthly payment, Speace has taken to Kickstarter to promote her forthcoming album Me and The Ghost of Charlemagne, which is one of the more intriguing album titles I’ve heard in a while. The album was recorded in 2018, in the days leading up to the birth of her son, and Speace is now raising funds to duplicate and promote it, as well as to begin working on videos. In addition to the album on digital, CD, and vinyl and extras like online concerts, T-shirts, and the chance to have Speace write a song personalized to someone of your choice, she’s sweetening the pot at all pledge levels by throwing in downloads of some songs that were recorded during the album sessions but didn’t make the final product.