Releasing Our First Record!
This afternoon I sit in the house looking out the window as the sun illuminates the piles of week old snow on the deck. On March 1st, 2019, my husband Davey Harrison and I decided to start a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to record our first full length album. Our videographer friend Ban Ali helped us by directing our music video and our Kickstarter campaign video. For 60 days, Davey and I did live Facebook videos, emailed and called everyone we could think of, some multiple times... It wasn't easy, and it didn't go the way I expected. People really surprised me. The day before our Kickstarter campaign ended, we reached our goal. As many of you know--Kickstarter is all or nothing, so if we didn't meet our goal we would have lost all the funds. This informed the choices we made along the way. Our reason for choosing Kickstarter is because we didn't want to compromise on the quality of our art.
By May 1st, we had the funds and it was time to start really creating a detailed plan. Many of you know that my mom is Julie Amacher who works for Classical Minnesota Public Radio. As a kid, I was often admiring the radio station, and so it had been a dream to record our album in Studio M at MPR. So, we looked into availability and pricing and it ended up working out. We invited several of our friends to join us on the album because we wanted to hear our arrangements distributed among different instrument groupings and to invite in their artistic voices. Not all of our amazing musician friends were able to join us on the album, but at the end of June, we did have fiddler Isabel Dammann, guitarist Ilan Blanck, bouzouki player Yaniv Yacoby, banjo player Jon Peik, and a new friend on bass Chris Bates join us in Studio M at MPR. The amount of depth they added to our music was truly magical. Our friends, photographers Danielle and Adam Reinstein captured photos of our 2-day recording session. It was a dream come true.
We thought the most challenging part would be recording, but that was honestly the easy part! We spent over 20 hours in the studio working with our producer Cameron Wiley on mixing the album. Now, we recorded every track live and all together, so we thought there would be barely any editing. We were wrong. It turns out, in order to make a professional and clean recording, there is a LOT of behind the scenes work that goes on! I learned many words to describe sound but most notably were "wet" and "dry" which I believe refers to the amount of preferable reverb. I also learned that Davey and I hear sounds differently and also have different preferences. I prefer a more "dry" sound, whereas he enjoys a more watercolor-esque sound. Finally, we found the right words and Cameron created a mix that we liked. Then we sent it off to Bruce Templeton at Microphonic Mastering and he created the final tracks that you all get to experience.
Our artist friend Vincent Crotty did the cover artwork, which we are humbled and amazed by. We learned that created the graphic design for the rest of the album case was very challenging, very time consuming, and took many different drafts. A ginormous thanks goes out to Davey's dad David Harrison for being our graphic designer. He spent probably a hundred hours editing and re-editing the designs that I sent him until we finally got the OK from Atomic Disc (Our CD distribution company) that it was in the proper lines and of a high enough quality. Once the got the physical discs complete, we thought online distribution would be easy. We used CDBaby, which really does make it quite simple, but there are hundreds of little details we had to fill out. Then, all of the music distributor sites like Spotify and iTunes and Amazon Music and Pandora, etc. all have to review our album information (which can take WEEKS) before they decide to put it on there. Then there was creating a press release, getting quotes, reaching out to radio stations and magazines...
Finding a venue and a plan and a time where the musicians could join us for our Album Release Party was the next step. We decided to do things differently than other musicians. Instead of creating a "six month marketing plan" and choosing a large venue where we would be in charge of filling it up after the album was released, we decided to do a "Pre-Release" Concert/Party. This happened on December 7th. We chose to do it at the church where I grew up because that is where most of our Minnesota family congregates. It was also the church where we got married. It was also very fun because people were able to get "pre-release" copies of our album to give as Christmas gifts.
Sending our Kickstarter rewards out was hours of writing handwritten letters and labeling envelopes and thanking the lady at the post office profusely for personally stamping 85 padded envelopes one at a time the Friday before Christmas.
This all leads me to today...January 7th, 2020. The official release date of our first album, self-titled "The Boston Imposters." We did it. We learned a LOT in the process. It's finally available for listening and buying on all digital platforms including on our website www.TheBostonImposters.com.
Let me tell you...it was worth it. We couldn't be more proud. I want you to know that every detail about this album was intentional. Thank you to our family and support team, our Kickstarter backers, the artists who helped us out on this album. We couldn't have done it without you.
Elena See from FolkAlley (FolkAlley.com) listened to our album and described it as this: “Hearkening back to the traditional folk duos of the 1950s and 1960s, The Boston Imposters represent the genre at its most pure: two capable voices, supported by sparse-yet-effective instrumentation, working together to earnestly share stories anyone can relate to. Taking turns on lead vocals, Maire Clement and Davey Harrison are, by turns, intense, sober, and spirited as they sing about loss, grief, young love, and yearning. Stand outs on the band’s eponymous debut album include ‘Old Sea Walls’; ‘On the Bus Today’; and the prettily playful ‘Space to Grow.’”
So...buy our album: https://www.thebostonimposters.com/music-1 and let us know what you think!