Monday, August 05, 2013

Indiegogo update - 18 July

Hi friends!

Sorry for the delay in an update - hopefully most of you are following me on Facebook or Twitter, but if not, feel free to jump on that bandwagon. (The links will open up a new window so go ahead - I'll wait here).

What a summer it has been! and poor southern-hemispherers, I feel for you. Brrr.  At least you have sun at the end of the tunnel, right?

Well my engineer got sick, then I got sick, and I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so mixing edits have taken longer than planned/cost a bit more than budgeted. I've now heard the full album and am very pleased, with just a few very minor tweaks to be made next week.

What next?
The next step after the mixes are finalised will be to have the mixes mastered.  To find out more about this process, go here for the wiki.  But basically, 99% of all music that you listen to on a regular basis (unless you're listening to a lot of indie/basement-recorded music) has been mastered, and it's basically just optimising what you hear so that it sounds as good as it possibly can and is suitable for playback on all systems and on the radio.

Then what?
Well I'm having photos taken this month - I'm working with a few photographers for various materials and I'm hoping to have a great shot for the cover very soon.  Photos will then go to my designer who will put the album art together, and I'll also use photos to create the stickers and postcards I've promised some of you lucky pledgers.  The album will be duplicated and shrink wrapped (well then unwrapped and personally signed by me for the hard copy orders!) and printed all nice, and of course added to all of your favourite digital and streaming services.  Even if you're getting a digital or hard copy from me, you'll be able to stream it on Spotify if that's how you roll.

And when do I get it?
This is the tough part - I'm still not 100% sure.  As some of the steps in the process have taken longer than expected, it probably won't be July as estimated.  I'm sorry.  But as things are looking now, it will should definitely be August!

What about the exclusive bonus video?
This is still planned and I'm still working on how exactly to deliver it exclusively to the supporters of this campaign.  I'm not bothered if it gets out to everyone, obviously, I just want you guys to get it first!

Again, my many thanks for your support.  I can't wait to share it with you! Further updates to come ASAP.


Indiegogo update - May

Hello everyone!

So recording is done. It took 21 hours of studio time altogether, and once all is sorted, something fantastic will emerge very soon!

I spent 5 hours the first day laying down piano and “guide” vocals (handy for when you need to pick up recording halfway through – vocals/lyrics give you a good idea of where you are!) but it turned out on the Saturday that the work I did playing to a “click” timer meant that the recordings sounded a bit stilted and unnatural. So only the 3 solo song recordings from the Friday were kept.

Ah well! On the Saturday we changed course and all 7 band tracks on the album were recorded “live” in 9 hours; all of us plugged in and ready to go we managed to record the piano, bass, drums together as a band, and then recorded the guitar over those recordings. Phew!

The following Saturday I returned to the studio alone to record some piano fixes and record all of the vocals in 7 hours. I can’t run a marathon, but I have stamina when it comes to music! I laid down the main vocals, backing vocals (ahhs, harmonies, etc) and also added glockenspiel and tambourine to one of the tracks. How Stevie Nicks.

Some photos from the day are here on my Facebook page:

So! Next steps: mixing, mastering, photos, design, duplication, barcode/registration, digital distribution, physical distribution… I am still aiming for a July release, but if not, it’ll be the first week or so of August for sure.

All funders £10 and over will receive their “exclusive bonus track” to download in mid-July. And it has changed slightly – it will be an exclusive video, around 2 weeks before the album is released! (aren’t you lucky)

Hopefully once the release is through I’ll also get some music videos going! I’ll let you know if I need any extras…!

Thanks again for the support and the love – it means a lot. I really hope I have made something you will play over and over and I will be proud of forever. And you made it happen.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In The Dark lyrics

Here are the lyrics to the song I wrote for Lip Service, inspired by Cat and Frankie.

Download available very soon!

So I’ll go if you ask me to
But I’ll leave part of me
‘Cause you know that I want this to be real
To be free

You’re mistaking my tears
For the loss of my love
But I can’t be afraid anymore...

I’m a fool if I stay
I’m a fool if I go
But I won’t keep my heart in the dark

There’s a ring in my pocket here
Here’s the key to my door
I’ll lay bare all my weaknesses
If you show them you care

You’re mistaking my tears
For the loss of my love
But I can’t be afraid anymore...

I’m a fool if I stay
I’m a fool if I go
But I won’t keep my heart in the dark
What you ask, I can’t give
I won’t hide who we are
Be with me
Be my life
Be my heart...

So I’ll go if you ask me to...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lip Service Fan event

Cross posted...

I struggled to think of what to name this post. I was trying to be witty and punny with "Lip Service" somehow, but I am just too damn tired for that.

I'll start at the beginning.

After running the music through, curling my hair, packing up the gear, the makeup, the dress and flyers/CDs, we were on the road.

We left a little later than planned, but still made it into Glasgow for 3pm. Google Maps had not been kind in my printed directions, but D's phone set us right and we ended up in a parking complex very close to the venue in the centre of the city.

We dropped the gear off at the venue (which was being decorated!) and were asked to return for my soundcheck at 4:30pm. After a very quick wander in Glasgow (the usual suspects: Starbucks, the Apple store) in the rain, we returned to the venue and I started getting ready. My soundcheck was delayed a few times to allow the headline act (AMiTY) to do her check, but it was fine as I needed to glue some eyelashes on (my extensions were looking a bit sad!) and get that glittery dress on!

I finally 'checked at around 5:20ish, and after trying to get my cabling to work and finding a better solution, the piano and mic were set and tested, and sounded fabulous. Like, I've never had a setup that good. It was lucky that we moved the monitors closer, too, as the room got pretty loud later on.

I was asked at around 5:50 to leave the green room and have a wander so the cast could arrive and settle in a bit. They didn't really show up until 6:40ish so we just wandered the 3-floor venue, looking at the set up and decorations, etc. The signing room had mannequins with costumes from the show and a merchandise table (on the left, just out of shot in this picture), where I managed to leave flyers and a small amount of CDs - they sold out pretty quick! I think that actually worked in my favour as people were saying to me later, "Your CD was sold out! so how can I get one?"

Some flyers came back, but not many - so that's great, hopefully new people to look at the sites and sign up to follow me!

After letting the cast settle in, I went back into the green room to fix my eyelashes and met them all, and they were all incredibly lovely and accommodating. They were already on the red wine, and sadly the white wine in the room was warm, and so was the Foster's! Anna Skellern, who is Australian and plays Lexy, thought it was hilarious that Foster's had been put in the room because "No one fucking drinks Foster's!"

I didn't get long to relax, as the cast were whisked away to start the signing, and I was then taken upstairs to the ballroom. The very funny Jen Brister was entertaining the crowd, and the room was packed - partly with people hanging about, but mostly because the signing queue went all the way up the stairs and into the ballroom!

Shortly before going on, Lee (event organiser) said I could play an extra song if I wanted to, as I had more time. I tried not to panic, as I had prepared a few extra as this sort of thing almost always happens! I didn't have any sheets with me but decided I could wing it.

I played Wellington, then Shine On, Break Your Heart and the new song written for the show, In the Dark. In-between songs I bantered a wee bit about the show (and not being able to show my scene to my mother!) as well as how popular my Twitter account had become, because of Lip Service fans. I'm currently at 455 followers, and I think I had 80 before I was on the show.

So it felt appropriate to take a picture of the audience for Twitter!

Amazing audience

The crowd were very appreciative and I had a few laughs with my stories and of course I had to pander a little by saying we need a 3rd season! I definitely feel the show deserves one.

In the Dark is recorded and nearly finished, just needs a few tweaks - so I'll be getting that out ASAP. The debut went really well, and after it, I had to quickly decide what to play. I went with Hiding, which I haven't played in quite a while (apart from a few quick rehearsals) and mentioned it was off of my EP and when I said the title, I had a wee cheer from the front! Fun!

AMiTYAll in all, the performance went off without a hitch, and I really enjoyed myself. Afterwards, I was whisked back downstairs where I was able to relax and have a drink with Dave. I also took a picture with the lovely Amy (AMiTY).

I hovered around and then went out occasionally to check the queue for the signing area and to grab a drink from the wee "Shot O Clock" bar.

The first time I went out I was immediately grabbed by two Portuguese women who explained in broken English that they were fans of my music and took a photo with me. Then another fan I'd been talking to on Twitter called out to me and I went to say hi to her as well.

We decided we'd go upstairs and watch Julia & the Doogans play.

I then tweeted out to "come say hi!" and was almost immediately accosted by two other Twitter fans, one for just a chat, the other for a photo. It's the best fan photo of the night I think! (left)

By the bar a few ladies from Newcastle grabbed me for a chat and asked me to come and play down there sometime (maybe I will!)

I then spent the rest of the night listening to the music upstairs and when it became too hot, returned to the green room. While AMiTY played, I ended up signing flyers with random peoples' markers and one with an eyebrow pencil!

Downstairs I had more photos with fans, and when the signing was finally over, took a few photos with members of the cast, Heather and Anna. We spent a lot of time in the green room with the cast and just relaxing and keeping cool. It wasn't a hot night in Glasgow, but that venue sure kept the warmth in!

Finally, after the cast had gone, when the DJ was winding down and most of the fans had left, I changed back into my jeans and tee, and chatted to more fans in the hallway. I had a lovely fan tweet to say she wanted to buy tunes, so I visited her with a flyer ("that's good service!") and then another tweeted to say she wanted to buy me a drink - but as we were hoping to leave, I was outside the front door, so told her just to come and meet me. She had surprised her girlfriend with a trip up to the event and they were just lovely people. In fact, everyone I met was just so incredibly nice and were having such a great time.

Just before midnight we collected the gear, chatted to the media crew and then headed out to the car, to pay our £10 of parking for the night (pretty good deal, I thought for nearly 9 hours!). We hit the road, stopping only for petrol, and I was in bed falling asleep at 1:30am.

To say it was a great night would be a massive understatement. I'm so thrilled to have taken part in it, to have met all of these wonderful people, and to have played to a room of fans who seem to genuinely love what I do. The outpouring of support and love has been amazing, and I honestly felt for the first time in a long time that my music was reaching people and all the work I put in was worthwhile.

I'm so proud of myself, and that is a wonderful feeling. I can't wait to write and record more and get more out there.

My wee set of photos of the event is here. Professional photos/video to be linked soon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lip Service

After I was (rather awesomely) included on the Lip Service soundtrack (track 19, bebe!), my popularity on Twitter under my music account ( skyrocketed from 88 followers to the 340+ it is today. It has been a bit nutty, but incredibly fun and exciting. I have a lesbian following!

Shortly before the show’s run was due to end, they announced that they would be holding a finale event in Glasgow, with a Q&A and meet-and-greet with the creator and actors, and then a big party that night with “musicians from the show”. I immediately messaged Harriet Braun on Twitter (show creator) about whether I could play, and she referred me to the media company hosting the gig, Wire Media.

Some tweets and emails later, I am now playing the first 25 minutes of the musical portion of the evening, and can’t can’t wait. I am planning on writing something new, but otherwise it’ll just be my usual flair, with Break Your Heart as a feature, after its popularity in the show.

At the bottom of this post is the poster for the gig (click for larger size), which I am not pushing in many places, mainly because you’d have to be a fan of the show to really appreciate it, and it’s kinda expensive at £56.

I’m not sure if anyone from the beeb will be there, but the fact that the cast and creator will be is pretty awesome, in my eyes.

I’m also mentioned in the press release which talks about me being “aptly-named”, as one of the characters in the show is (was!) Cat Mackenzie. I did bring that up at the time when I was asked to have my music included, and I do think it’s an excellent coincidence.

So me and my broken voice are rehearsing and writing, and I can’t wait to share some pictures from the event with you all.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Break Your Heart

With the new popularity of this song after it appeared on S02E06 of Lip Service, here are the lyrics to Break Your Heart:


I didn't mean to run

It's not like I didn't try

I'm still trying to work out where I'm going

It's not I didn't cry


I wanted to tell you why

I ran and fell apart

I wanted to be the one you'd love

I never meant to break your heart


I saw it before the end

I knew it was here

But instead of saying what I felt, I

I let it all go to fear


I wanted to tell you what was wrong

I wanted to tell you what was right

Instead I turned and fled

Oh in fright


You were there

Always the one

It was all I could take

Push til it breaks...


I lied


When the time came to stitch it up

There was no chance to speak my mind

I stuck to what I'd said before

I knew it wasn't very kind


I wanted to tell you what was wrong

I wanted to tell you what was right

But I waited too long

and you fled

In fright


I never meant to break your heart

I never meant to break your heart

Friday, April 20, 2012

March Playlist

Wow I'm hopeless! This went on my other blog, but I forgot to put it here.  A mix of workout and home tunes.

Noah & the Whale - Hold My Hand As I'm Lowered
Charlotte Martin - Cloudbusting
Carrie Underwood - Crazy Dreams
Michelle Branch - Everything Comes & Goes
The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow
Birdy - Fire and Rain
Spice Girls - Say You'll Be There
Taylor Swift - Mean
Flo Rida feat. Sia - Wild Ones
PJ Harvey - Good Fortune
Selena Gomez & The Scene - Love You Like A Love Song
The Civil Wars feat. Taylor Swift - Safe & Sound
Sarah Blasko - Don't U Eva
Demi Lovato - Lightweight
Scissor Sisters - Invisible Light

No gigs coming up at present but I am writing, so it won't be far away... and obviously April playlist to follow this week!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

February playlist

Not music released in February, but what I'm listening to and loving lately..

Bic Runga - Hello Hello
Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-7)
Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx - Nightcall
Jessie J - Domino
Snow Patrol - Fallen Empires
Rilo Kiley - Portions for Foxes
Jason Mraz - I Won't Give Up
Kelly Clarkson - What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)
Flo Rida - Good Feeling
Biffy Clyro - Many of Horror
David Guetta/Usher - Without You
Broken Social Scene - Hotel
Butterfly Boucher - 5,6,7,8
Carrie Underwood - Wheel of the World
Joel Plaskett - Our Place in the Sun

Tracks available on request..