Local songstress extraordinaire Tristen informed the world yesterday that the wait is nearly over for CAVES, the follow-up to her highly-praised 2011 record Charlatans at the Garden Gate. After nearly 18 months of work, the record is finished, but what epic ends with a single battle scene? Like our very own Princess Leia lost in the depths of the Internet, she’s calling out to you, dear reader, for help. Tristen has started a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $20,000 to defray the costs already incurred, and to give the record a proper release through her own label, Pupsnake.
If you’ve seen Tristen play around town recently, you may have noticed that some of the new songs have a strong electronic element. This is no accident, as she explains in the project’s briefing: She was inspired by her experiences with a drum machine to make “a hybrid pop record, half machine and half human.” As shown in the video, some of the humans include guitarist/harmonist/engineer/husband Buddy Hughen, members of Hanzelle, and Matt Moody of By Lightning! and Hands Down Eugene, as well as master Battle Taper Jeremy Ferguson, Mike Mogis (whose credits include Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley and Jenny Lewis’ solo projects and M. Ward, to name a few), and Stephen Hague (who’s worked with Pet Shop Boys, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, New Order and many more). Besides their own home studio, Tristen & Co. worked at Alex the Great (Yo La Tengo, Ghostfinger, etc.) and Sound Emporium in Nashville (R.E.M.’s Document and the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack), as well as Sunset Sound in L.A. (The Doors).
Those familiar with past Kickstarter projects from Tristen may remember her penchant for personalized incentives, and the CAVES project follows suit. In addition to pre-ordering the CD, vinyl or digital download, you can also pledge for things like a special hand-quilted album cover, signed posters and test pressings, and even one of 11 handmade quilts, each of which is inspired by a song on the record. Within 24 hours, the campaign has already received over 80 backers and over 15 percent of its funding.