CROWDFUNDING RADAR: Scythian, Tenth Mountain Division, and The Sweet Water Warblers
The Sweet Water Warblers
It isn’t often in this column that I get a chance to look backward. With the constant flow of new campaigns, I rarely take the time to go back and see how the ventures I featured here fared. In the immortal words of Shawn Carter, I am “on to the next one.” But this week, I got three chances to take a look at past features. I got word that two recently featured campaigns, by Secret Emchy Society and Jill Andrews, had been funded and were headed into production. I also got to see the wide release of an album featured in 2019, Open Heart from Phil Madeira (ND review). It’s invigorating to get a reminder that crowdfunding has not only survived the PledgeMusic debacle but is still a viable way for many independent artists to keep ownership of their work.
This week, I’ve got three more campaigns I’m excited to share with you.
The Sweet Water Warblers – The Dream That Holds This Child (click here to view campaign)
As much as I love bringing new bands to you all, I enjoy finding new bands myself just as much. I first featured The Sweet Water Warblers in this space back in 2017 after seeing one of their members opening for Phil Madeira. The group, comprised of Lindsay Lou, Rachael Davis, and May Erlewine, has a harmony that is so airtight it risks being patented by Tupperware. As soon as I heard them, I became a backer of the project. So when I saw them pop up again with a Kickstarter campaign for their new album, The Dream That Holds This Child, I was excited. When I saw the guests they had lined up, most notably Maya de Vitry, who co-wrote the songs and contributes vocals, I knew I had my anchor campaign for this week’s Radar. Backer rewards include the album in digital, CD, and vinyl formats, all with an immediate download of the single “Turn to Stone”; a limited-edition screenprinted poster; a direct-to-vinyl recorded cover of your choice; and a house concert.
Scythian – Roots & Stones (click here to view campaign)
I have never attended MerleFest, but you can’t hang around a bunch of No Depression writers without hearing about MerleFest, like, a lot. So, while I haven’t seen them live, Scythian is a band I’m familiar with by virtue of them playing the festival for 14 straight years and garnering praise from my ND pals along the way. Now, a decade since they released their last album of all original tunes, the D.C.-based Celtic rockers are taking to Indiegogo to produce their new album, Roots & Stones. Backer rewards include the album in digital, CD, and vinyl formats (the last two signed); a signed limited-edition poster; a Scythian hoodie; and an original artwork drumhead. In addition to these rewards, Scythian has added an element of chance, putting every backer at the $75 level and up into a raffle to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Ireland with the band.
Tenth Mountain Division – Untitled Third Album (click here to view campaign)
There’s something in the air in Colorado, or maybe it’s the water, that seems to breed roots-oriented jam rockers. This is, after all, the home of Yonder Mountain String Band, String Cheese Incident, and Leftover Salmon, among others. One popular young act repping the Colorado jam scene is Tenth Mountain Division, who have taken to Kickstarter to fund their third album and to bring in a ringer in the producer’s chair, Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone. Like Scythian above, Tenth Mountain Division has a little something extra to offer in their campaign, although this one is slightly more sadistic. Every campaign pledge allows the backer to vote for one member of the band. The “winning” member will then have to eat 15 of the hottest wings available from the band’s favorite local chicken shop, of course live streamed for all backers’ enjoyment. Backer rewards include the album in digital and CD format, an archived poster, a signed band portrait, an early listening party at Silo Studios, and a chance go skiing with the band.