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It is with a much pride and a degree trepidation (I’m a musician, it’s standard) that I can say, after two years of work, the Pledge Music campaign for my new album, Sinombre Volume I: All Hope is Gone will be launched on 25th March 2016

Those of you who follow me on social networks will have seen my regular posts and updates as the project has progressed and, of course, once it goes live, all of the pledging options will be available for you to peruse. To avoid clutter and overkill, detailed descriptions on the pledge site will obviously be kept to a minimum, so I thought it’d be a good idea to give you a slightly more thorough overview as a prelude.

Sinombre is a two-hour long project, split into two albums, each of which features sixteen tracks. The first album is entitled All Hope is Gone, which will be the focus of the pledge campaign.

Like many journeys, Sinombre started out as a fortuitous accident. I’ve said about some previous albums, ‘this was not what I set out to make.’  B.O.A.T.S. being a prime example: that album started out as a completely different collection of songs, with a totally different feel. Then, halfway through the recording process, I had a life-changing near-death experience from which I emerged with a totally different mindset, and quickly went on to write a new collection of songs.

Sinombre was another journey I hadn’t planned. I was already at work on a new solo album, which had the working title Snow Monkey, which I will record at some point in the future. Quite a lush affair that, if it resembles anything from my previous albums, is probably more in the vein of Scary Tales with more of an edge.

I then received a brief for some TV music. Dark, western, sinister, atmospheric, demons and monster stuff. It isn’t often that I get to immerse myself so freely in a TV project - generally, there are a lot of restrictive rules of form and style applied. But on this one, I had a free hand. And I quickly realised that it was something I wanted to develop further, outside of the imposed lyrical strictures.

Writing about mythical demons and monsters just made me think about all of the real demons we are currently powerless to resist. Corporate, financial, religious, political monsters, right wing populism, corruption, greed, inequality, suffering and a general sense of prevailing hopelessness. The next logical progression in my head was, ‘What happens when it all comes tumbling down?’
And that was the starting point for the project: at the edge of, and after the fall.

Every spare moment of the next two years was dedicated to completing what few into a two-album project. If you are inclined, you can follow it as a concept album that goes full circle. But, each song stands as it’s own story. Moments of darkness, and moments of light. Because it is so stylised and nothing like anything I have done before, and because it has a life of it’s own, I gave it the Sinombre identity, Sinombre being the beast that runs throughout the two albums, with me as the agent charged with presenting the story. You can take it like that, or just listen to it as a bunch of songs about which I happen to feel supremely proud.

Getting involved as a pledger will give you access to a download of the album before it comes out on CD. The CD version will be glued together in the fashion of Transfusion - crossfades between link tracks etc. so will be a completely different listening experience. You will also receive an exclusive video of the first single that will be released ahead of the album in all the digital online stores. The single will be a ‘double A-side’ affair, and the second track will only be available as part of the single (it won’t appear on the album or anywhere else). You will also receive other exclusives, including video updates, and acoustic performances of some of the tracks from the album, teasers, trailers etc. All of the amazing videos you will see are by the irrepressible Ian Husbands, who has been involved with the project since its inception and never fails to amaze me with his skills and ingenuity.

The pledge will run as a pre-order campaign, which means there will be no visible target on the site. There are, of course, targets that I need you to help me to meet. The first will be to finance the production and distribution of the CD and all the other physical goodies, like T-shirts and posters.

Once we hopefully reach that target, more ‘physical’ options can start to appear. It is also my hope to meet a second target that enables me to finance some promotion for the album, in the form of press reviews and radio play.

From then on, we are into how-long-is-a-piece-of-string territory. Obviously, I want to give you as much as I can in return for your support and belief in what I do. From the outset, there will be the option to pledge for in-house gigs, but I would dearly love to be able to string together a bunch of live venue dates, at which there would be more unique pledge-related merch available. All of this is for later in the campaign.

With social networks being my primary means of communicating with followers, I shall inevitably be posting ad nauseam about the project over the coming weeks, and I apologise in advance for cluttering your feeds.
I thank everyone in advance who is already on board for getting involved with helping me to get Sinombre out there. You are in charge, and the more of your friends who want to become boss the better. Make sure to keep sharing the posts and pledge news, and let’s look forward to a great campaign.

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