CROWDFUNDING RADAR: Digging into Duality in Crowdfunded Projects
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about duality. Some of that has to do with the news, reflections on how seemingly ordinary people can become those who bomb buildings or attempt to overthrow the government. But it’s also because December is the “slow season” for those of us who listen to and review new albums, a time to step back and catch up on things we missed or revisit old favorites. It made me remember that duality in music is my sweet spot. I can dig a (deceptively) simple Pete Seeger folk traditional, but I find myself most drawn to groups like Ganstagrass or Abigail Washburn’s album with Wu Fei — albums that pull from different musical traditions to create something unique. So this week, I’m featuring three campaigns from artists who embrace musical duality.
Prohibition Presents: Swing Sisters (click here to view campaign)
One of the more interesting offshoots of electronic music is “electro swing.” Combining the jazz of the age of the flapper with the beats of the age of the rave, the common thread of “dance music” allows for the multigenerational cross to work. UK-based label Prohibition, the brainchild of DJ and producer Emma Clair, has long championed the style and now is preparing a collaborative album called Swing Sisters, featuring artists like Tallulah Goodtimes, Madam Misfit, and Blush Fox Trio. Backer perks for the Kickstarter campaign include a three-song single sampler, the album in digital and CD formats, a signed poster, a Zoom listening party to debut the album, and a two-hour DJ set from Clair.
Dean Owens – The Desert Trilogy (click here to view campaign)
What happens when a Scottish singer-songwriter becomes entranced by thoughts of the deserts of the American Southwest? He hops a plane to Tucson, Arizona, and teams up with the region’s best-known desert folk duo, Calexico, for an album. While the album is on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, Owens has kept in touch with Calexico, collaborating remotely on a set of three EPs, scheduled for release in March, May, and July. Owens is raising money for the EPs on UK-based site Crowdfunder. Backer perks focus primarily on the project itself, with options to obtain the EPs digitally, as individual CDs, or in a limited edition presentation package with all three EPs together. There is also a “Mega Bundle” package that adds a sticker, T-shirt, tote bag, and handwritten lyric sheet.
Say Darling – Before & After (click here to view campaign)
What better way to close out a trio of duality-themed campaigns than with an album titled Before & After, from Say Darling. If you’re not familiar with Say Darling, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with its two primary members; Celia Woodsmith of Della Mae and Chris Hersch of Girls Guns and Glory. The title Before & After is a nod to the unprecedented times, with half of the album recorded in a studio and the remainder recorded remotely. Say Darling takes the country, bluegrass, and folk roots of Woodsmith and Hersch’s primary bands and filters them through a shared love of artists like Little Feat and Tedeschi Trucks Band. Say Darling’s Kickstarter campaign has already blown past its modest $3000 goal, but there is still time to pick up some of the backer perks, which includes the album in CD and vinyl formats, a pin “for the listener who prefers to stream their music,” and a signed booklet of lyrics and information about the making of the project.