First, thank you to everyone who backed my Kickstarter so far! There’s a little over 24 hours left if you still want to lend a hand (my mastering expenses went up a bit, so the extra is very helpful).
Now onto the song!
Understand Me Is My Battlecry grew out of a songwriting class, being ghosted by some of the people dearest to me, and memories of all the times I wanted to scream “Who are you actually talking to in this conversation, because I’m pretty sure it’s not me!” It is also quite possibly the first big break from my traditional style of music.
This is one of the rare songs where the title came first, as part of a challenge to come up with 10 interesting song titles in a week. The next assignment was to choose a title and write a verse and chorus for it. I was stuck there for a bit, so I put it on the back burner until I had a story to channel into it.
I want to pause here and say that being ghosted, being treated like you don’t exist is extremely damaging when it’s strangers. When it’s the people who you love and who purport to care about you… it’s utterly devastating to most people. It isn’t always intentional on someone’s part, there are things that can cause any of us to drop off the radar for a time. Sometimes it is though. And there are no words for how awful it feels when the reason behind it is because they stopped seeing you and suddenly started interpreting you through the worst google translator imaginable. No words except UNDERSTAND ME!
Writing this song helped me remind myself that no matter how much I care about someone, if they’re not willing to make an effort to see the actual me instead of the ghosts of their past traumas… that sometimes it’s better to turn my face to the sky, spread my wings, and leave it all behind.
There’s a saying about letting a caged bird go, and if it loves you it will return. To my way of thinking, letting it go is basic decency. Learning how to fly beside it… that’s love.
I wanted to see what would happen if I melded a song from my first album with The Solo Project music.
Darkwave. Apparently darkwave is what happens. I do miss Bramblethorn the Goblin, and some of the creepy sound effects of the original, but I feel like I still hit the spook factor without them.
This song is for anyone who ever learned that monsters are real, and equally for those who never believed it when they were told.
May you always have a Susan* in your life when you need them.
If you enjoy this, consider preordering your album via Kickstarter or perhaps even sponsoring the song on the album. We’re less than $90 from the top listed goal!
*Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. Death’s granddaughter, and often found facing down the monsters with a fireplace poker.
I’ve been watching the back and forth happening because of people’s reaction to Notre Dam burning.
I want to say, first off that all loss of history is worth mourning.
I also want to offer actual answers to “why do you mourn this but not that.” Not always my answers, but answers all the same.
Because I have memories that make it special.
Because I loved its beauty.
Because it helped me when I needed it.
Because I didn’t know.
Because I didn’t have the background to have emotional ties.
Because while I can mourn several things at once, I can only mourn so many things before I shut down and stop processing.
Because that was the thing I saw in front of me.
Because the first thing I saw that had me grieving blinded me to everything else.
Because I have history that overrides the grief.
Because I was grieving about that yesterday and today I am grieving something else.
Because I am too busy living through my own tragedy.
Because my news sources weren’t covering it.
Because my social circle wasn’t talking about it.
Because I never learned about it in school.
Because I didn’t know that I didn’t know.
Because I only have so much time in a day to learn about things.
But what about…?
Then don’t accuse me. Tell me about it.
Tell me about the other churches burning down. About the other places where the water is unsafe. About the other places history was destroyed. About the invisible people being wiped out unnoticed while the world pays attention to the “popular” minorites.
Tell me about all the shitty things I ought to know about, and then tell me to chose which ones are the most deserving of help, because there is not time for me to help them all.
Tell me, no matter what I chose, that I chose wrong. That there’s someone or something else I should care about more.
And then look surprised when I collapse under the weight of everything I can’t do and pick one thing to care about.
Because if I don’t put on my oxygen mask first, I can’t help anyone at all.
And then wonder why people have become so selfish.
And tell them that they’re doing it wrong.
*Jaw drops* You… you all funded me almost to the second tier of my Kickstarter project while I was sleeping! ❤️❤️❤️ Only $20 more and there will be a tiny run of physical CD’s. And I was #7 on Kickstarter’s popular music projects! You lot deserve a treat. 😊
This song was inspired by Lee Hadan’s novel Breakwater, the dangers of scuba diving into the blue holes, and mysterious impossible rescues. Breathe was also my first venture into complex vocal harmonies, something I’d never had much luck with before. I blame it entirely on the mermaids that snuck into the studio!
Last year I debuted the rough version at the Norwescon dance after Rasputin and was stunned when it held the dance floor! I was also utterly delighted by the number of lesbian couples dancing. Enough so than when I went to do the album art, I replaced the male character from the book with a woman, and decided to dedicate this one to all my amazingly wonderful queer fans.
My dearest Goblins and Gentlefey! The first Solo Project album is finally in sight! Everything is done enough for me to feel comfortable launching a Kickstarter project to see it polished and distributed. Baseline is for a digital distribution. If you want CD’s, aim for at least one tier up.
Some reminders about how Kickstarter works: this is all or nothing funding. You don’t get charged for the very end (and only on success), so if you don’t have the money now, but will have it by the end, it is safe to pledge right away (and you can cancel backing if needs must right up until you’re charged.
Second, projects that reach 25% in the first few days are much more likely to succeed. It’s common for people to wait till the last minute and the swoop in to save the day, but it is vastly more helpful to come in at the start. I’ll take it happily either way, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Third… crowdfunding campaigns live or die by word of mouth (social platforms?). Even if you can’t contribute directly, please consider sharing and talking it up to people who might be interested.
The project is set to end at midnight, pacific time on May 15th. I’m aiming for rewards being mailed out by the end of July. That gives me a bit over a month to finish the songs (which are nearly done, just vocals to redo and fiddling with the mix), another month for mastering, and most of a month for production.
REMINDER! Kickstarter goes live tonight just after midnight, Pacific time.
Music statistics as a way of judging success are interesting and less straightforward than one might think. For example, Bandcamp tracks total number of plays broken down into total completed, total past the 10% mark but before the 99% mark, and skips (before the 10% mark).
Seems basic, but it doesn’t always signal if someone likes a song. I’ll do a quick earcheck on songs I love sometimes to see if it’s the one I was thinking of, and I might listen to one I feel meh about a couple of times to find that trouble spot so I can pass that info on to the artist.
For example, In the Darkness is my most played song. It’s #1 in total completed plays. It’s #3 in the most skipped song list. It’s skip percentage is 28.5% which puts it middle of the pack. And it’s never been bought as a single. (Which is not indicative of anything much since people could have loved it enough to buy the album).
Cruel Sister on the other hand, which is my second most played song is #15 for completed plays, and ranks rock bottom for both total number of skips and skip percentage. It also has one download.
How does one define success? In purchases? In people’s willingness to press play? In whether they keep listening? Some combination thereof?
Or do you ignore the stats completely and judge the success of a song by the number of people who pounce you in excitement proclaiming its their new favorite song and the BEST THING EVER!!!
Because you know it did what it was supposed to. Connect to someone. Make them feel like there’s someone else who understands what it’s like or pulled them out of a dark place.
So without knowing the numbers, what would you pick as your favorite songs? How would you measure success? I’m curious to see how that lines up with the numbers on my brightly colored graphs.
Thank you my darlings for taking time to listen to the last song! This is currently looking to be the title track of the next album, so I’m excited to be able to share it!
The summer before last, I was in a bad place. All at the same time I was facing being graduated, homeless, jobless, my relationship was ending (as were some of my best friendships). My cats were living with my soon to be ex, and I was facing a world in which I essentially had no ties or responsibilities defining me or what I did with my time. (This was also during wildfire season, so being outside in Seattle wasn’t very safe breathing-wise.)
I was falling apart and then I opened my mouth and this song came pouring out, lifting me out of a world of hopelessness and into a world of possibility. I was looking at a tabula rasa. I could be anyone, go anywhere, do anything. I could choose. I wouldn’t have to try to fit things around the space that was already cluttered with promises, habits and responsibilities.
It was an exhilarating, terrifying sort of freedom.
As the eagle flies above me
You can hear the dragons roar
As the lost ones leave the ocean
As they race along the shore
Yes, if you were wondering, there’s a small nod to the Last Unicorn in there. But it’s not all fantasy*, I realized as I was singing it again later that my thoughts kept going to the SpaceX Dragon which became the first commercially built and operated spacecraft to be recovered successfully from orbit. Reportedly it’s name in turn was inspired by one of the earliest songs I remember, Puff the Magic Dragon.
It’s good to take the time to remind yourself to stop letting yourself be limited by what other people think is possible, because most of the greatest accomplishments of their time were thought of as impossible once. Which is why, like Alice, I try to believe in impossible things before breakfast. =^_^=
*No. I am not singing about the elder gods or Godzilla as Certain people can’t stop thinking. And now you can’t stop thinking it either. :p. UNICORNS. The lost ones are UNICORNS!