It's been an age since I last recorded a solo album, but I've still been writing in the interim and since 2020 I've been on Patreon where my dear patrons allow me a lot of leeway to write and record anything I want which has been wonderful and given me a huge feeling of freedom as an artist.
Having the freedom to put out music on a very regular basis - most weeks - takes away that crippling feeling of music having to be perfect. Of course in the real world, or at least in mine, perfect never happens and so I used to find it almost impossible to release a record as I'd tie myself up in knots at all the imperfections in it and it would remain on the tape or hard drive and not in the hands of the listener. Patreon has meant that I have been freed from these ties and knots and have learned the wisdom of the old adage of not allowing perfection to be the enemy of the good. Or at least the enemy of doing and getting something out!
The songs I've been writing on Patreon have mounted up over the past three years and so in 2023 I'm releasing not one but two records. The first from my band with Brian Hughes, Secret Sky is just out and starting to be played on radio - so if you have a favourite radio show we'd really appreciate it if you'd drop them a quick line asking for them to play a song from Opium. And then my solo album The Raven is coming out in July with three singles dropping first in June and July.
I always share everything first on Patreon and so in the coming weeks I'll have some snippets of songs and the videos about which I'm so excited. The video for the song The Raven was made by the incredible New York cut paper artist Andrew Benincasa. I was hoping for a gorgeous video but he's gone even further than I could have hoped. The first single will be a song called The Fool and the Genius with a wonderful video by Lennart Miketta and Stephan Hauptmann which was filmed in Dortmund and supported by Storylab KiU.
I'd love to see you on Patreon but in any case, stay tuned and there'll be lots of interesting new things out here.