2016 is a bumper year for solo recordings from me. By the end of the year, I’ll have released more solo work than in any other year. Shifting over to a Bandcamp subscription as my primary music outlet has meant that Soundcloud has taken a backseat, allowing me to focus more time and energy on putting out finished albums, not works-in-progress
Aside from a 3 track EP of stuff that subscribers got just so they could hear what my new bass sounded like, this year is already shaping up to be a full-on three course meal of solo work.
The starter was Referendum – a record that wasn’t planned, rather it was a document of my response to all of my emotions before and after the EU membership referendum vote here in the UK. That 6 track album is one I’m REALLY happy with – it feels very immediate, raw and unfiltered. It’s also got some killer tunes on it
The main course is The Surrender Of Time – that’s the ‘proper’ solo album, the follow up to A Crack Where The Light Gets In/The Way Home – it took months to record, mix and master, and the tracklist was chosen by Sue Edwards, from the 2.5 hours of music recorded. The main course comes with a side-order, the addition EP of Colony Collapse Disorder – that’s a single 22 minute track that will be part of the ‘deluxe digital edition’ of The Surrender Of Time, out on Sept 5th. But, in the spirit of favouritism, my Bandcamp subscribers already have Colony Collapse Disorder – they got it this week. If you’d like it, feel free to subscribe.
The dessert in this massive musical meal will be a subscriber only album called Towards A Better Question. The title track is already on YouTube. It contains a lot of my favourite music I’ve recorded this year. The process of picking the tunes for The Surrender Of Time was a narrative one, full of questions of continuity and story-telling. Sue did that brilliantly, and it leaves me room to release another hour of very special music for subscribers later in the year.
And we haven’t even touched on the very special live recording I made earlier this year that’ll be out in time for Christmas (again, probably, at this point, subscriber-only) or the various collaborations (the 2nd Ley Lines album with Phi Yaan-Zek and Andy Edwards will be out in the next month or so too, and also on the way is the live album with Gawain Hewitt from his Beneath The Waves gig in Birmingham).
So it’s a bumper time for subscribers, and I’m sure that a fair few of them will find themselves a little behind after a while on the new releases. But that’s where the beauty of the Bancamp subscription comes in – this music is theirs, for keeps. There’s no time limit, not danger of it being taken away, no point at which I get to cancel its existence, or cut off their access to it if they cancel the subscription. This isn’t some bogus rental model. For £20 a year, you get to keep everything I make in that year, for ever, downloaded at whatever resolution you desire (the FLAC version of all the new stuff is 88k/24bit) – and when you first sign up, you get 28 albums from my back catalogue included too. The idea is not to get hung up on the unit value of any one album – that’s the bit that Spotify have got right, it’s not about how much an album is ‘worth’ – but instead to invite people into the journey, to give them the music needed to catch up with the story so far, and then to stay with it as we go forward investigating the world through collaborations and solo recordings, video, discussions, concerts, meet-ups… There’s no way on earth I could make all of this music available if I was relying on CD pressing and shop sales with normal marketing lead times and mainstream press. As it is, I put out one solo thing a year as the main course, but the rest of it is a vital part of the Big Picture, and you too can join that journey.
Subscribe by clicking here – stevelawson.bandcamp.com/subscribe – and help make music’s beautiful sustainable future a reality. xxby