2010: A Review
Posted on 1.23.11 · by Zack
Happy [Belated] New Year!
(We realize this is a long email... We hope you find it an enjoyable diversion. If you don't have a copy of She Said yet, please download it for FREE and listen while you read. Thanks for your time!)
We'd like to thank you for being a friend of The Walla Recovery. Some of you have been with us for a long time, even since the first day we launched iamalden.com and gave away mp3s of the original Beautiful You. Believe us, we don't take the fact that you're still here lightly. Many of you found us more recently, and we're just as grateful that you're a part of us.
2010 was a good year for many reasons, and we are excited about 2011. It promises new songs to sing, a new story to tell, a new mystery to pursue, and for sure, we'll want you to be right in the middle of it. We want your experiences and personality to affect us. Be on the lookout for an email, a video, or a post explaining specific opportunities to become integral to the narrative. If you're interested in jumping in right here at the start, hit reply and let us know.
We've got a load of thrilling news to share with you, but we can't tell you yet... at the moment, it would be a bit like opening Pandora's box and finding nothing inside. (Read 'October' below for further vagueness...) If you're on Twitter or Facebook, find us! We would love to connect with you and make sure you're the first to know what we're talking about.
And now... 2010: A Review
January - The new year found us still riding the tide of your overwhelming support to release our first EP, With Trembling... via a successful Kickstarter project at the end of '09. Again, thanks from the bottom of our hearts. We found out that one of our favorite things in the world is to find Lion shirts in random Facebook photos. We had fun recording the With Trembling... Digital Bonus Package at our home studio and released it for pre-orderers and the rest of the world, which contain: band session commentaries, ringtones, and the original handwritten lyrics (some were nearly a decade old) for each song on With Trembling..., not to mention three new acoustic tracks.
February - We live in separate locations around Texas: Arlington, Austin, College Station, Waco. It would require up to four hours to drive from one end of our spectrum to the other. Thanks to Redeemer in Waco, we were able to start practicing on a regular basis at a central location. We spent some extra time in the car, but it was worth it to have our Saturdays together and enjoy starting in on some new material.
March - Biweekly practices continued, and we began experimenting with electric guitar sounds. This was an opportunity highly anticipated by our cellist, Jonathan, who's always looking for a good pedal to stomp. We learned a lot from some business contacts and did a few interviews. We realized yet again how much we love playing music, and art in general. We vowed to throw ourselves into a new creative work and see what happens.
April - In celebration of three-fourths of our birthdays, over 300 of you downloaded our latest EP for free, and many of you told your friends online, creating a momentum that kept us among the topmost downloads on NoiseTrade.com for 10 days. We are still full of gratitude over your efforts and encouragement. We planned a few performances in various places around the state, and I played a birthday show in Dallas.
May + June - Jonathan got a new amp and used it to find a killer live sound for the cello. We played shows in Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and College Station. We played our first gig as a six-piece (adding mandolin and piano to the standard guitar+cello+bass+drums), and found amazing friends to fill-in on some instruments when the distance kept us apart.
July - We took some restful time off, and Brandon toured with his other band (The Captive - we highly recommend their new EP). Justin moved to a new city. Jonathan moved to a new job. We moved our blog to Tumblr.
August - For a short time, we gave away every song we've ever recorded (18 in all) online. Again, 300+ turned out to download and spread the word, resulting in more people hearing our songs than we could've shared with on our own. Thanks, you.
September - I was blessed to open for one of my very favorite singer-songwriters, Andy Gullahorn. I even geekily asked him to sign a poster for me (he obliged). We found lots of new smiling faces online at Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr, Vimeo, and SoundCloud. We ran out of Lion stickers :(
October - Plans for a new full-length recording began, and it's working title "The Death Album" was established. After deciding on the particulars, we realized it was more ambitious than any project we've attempted. Cross your fingers with us, because if all goes according to plan, you'll be able to hear pre-release demos before the end of 2011, with a tentative release date in early 2012, and more surprises, downloads, and plot twists than you can probably handle will season the days between now and then. For now, the only thing I can say is that we're not restricting ourselves to audio this time. When the right moment comes, you'll do your best to tell everyone you know about it, and we'll do our best to make it worth your while... Do we have a deal?
November + December - We recorded and released A Star, a Star - Vol. 2 as a digital download, and more than 200 people grabbed it, giving us a place on the home page of NoiseTrade.com once more. Our very talented friend Hieyler Talle let us use one of her paintings for the album art. This was our second year to publish two free Christmas songs. We plan to keep up this pattern in coming years, and perhaps you'll see a compilation in print or a live Christmas show in the future. We think that would be really fun and cool.
And now, here we are, thank Goodness. For reading this far, we would like to reward you with the tying together of a theme, so it looks like we planned these words in advance. Many of you know why we do what we do, and why we'd like to do more of it: we want to encourage you. We've been through hard times and know what it's like when a friend is there, and when there's no one. We want to belong in a friendship with you. We want to listen and talk about all the difficulties of life and move forward together, toward a bigger expectation of joy. We want to watch as each of us becomes truly free. If you need some encouragement, don't be shy... contact us and say 'hello'! As a pal and fellow internet user recently pointed out to me:
"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What!? You, too? Thought I was the only one.'" - C.S. Lewis
The best of friendship to you this year...
Zack (along with Brandon, Jonathan, and Justin)