Hi, I'm Eli Conley. I'm an Americana singer/songwriter based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm ready to record my first full-length album, and I want to give you a chance to be a part of making it!
Some of my songs draw from the raw material of my life as a gay transgender man with Virginia roots. Some are inspired by other stories—everything from Greek myths to documentaries about queer youth in the South. The songs I’ve written range from love songs to political songs about the growth of the prison industry and mountaintop removal mining near where I grew up. You can hear my music and check out some videos of me playing here.
A few years ago I recorded an EP for (almost) free in a friend's basement bedroom. The All the Livelong Day EP by Eli Conley and Hip for Squares is available through CDBaby, iTunes and Bandcamp. It got a warm reception from many listeners, including acclaimed singer-songwriter Laura Love, who wrote, "Oh what gorgeous, soulful music! It knocked me off my easy chair.”
In the past year I've been writing new songs, playing with new side musicians and exploring my sound as a solo artist. Now I'm ready to release those songs to you!
Here’s the plan:
• Record a full-length record in April at Empty Sea Studios, a professional recording studio in Seattle that specializes in acoustic music
• Work with producer Michael Connolly, a member of the band Coyote Grace who has also produced for The Blackberry Bushes, and toured with Michelle Shocked, Girlyman, and the Indigo Girls
• Release the album in Summer 2013 in eco-friendly packaging with Bay Area and Virginia CD Release Shows
• Promote the album on independent radio
• Tour around the country in 2013 to play the songs for you!
Where the Money Goes
Recording this album will take about $8,900. This includes:
• $5,000 for a week of studio recording time
• $1,200 to duplicate and ship 1,000 CD's to me
• $750 to master the CD so it has a polished, professional sound for radio airplay
• $400 to pay for the producer's time at our pre-production meeting in February
• $400 for travel expenses to/from Seattle
• $400 to cover my time off from teaching during the recording process
• $300 for graphic design
• $472 in Indiegogo Fees
I'm putting in $2,200 of my own money toward this project. But I can't do this without you. I need your help to raise the remaining $6,750!
Any money raised over $6,750 will go toward helping promote the album and pay for touring expenses. If I don't reach the goal, I'll have to scale back the number of songs I'm recording, and I may not be able to do a national tour.
What do you get when you give? The great feeling of joining a big community of people who are helping make independent queer music happen, PLUS the perks listed along the right side of the page!
No longer do musicians have to wait to be picked up by a record label to release an album. When you give to this album, think of it as joining a community record label made up of every person who donates to this campaign. I want many people to be a part of making this album.
At the end of this project, you will have in your ears a full-length, professional quality Eli Conley album that you helped make possible. Your support is so deeply appreciated in helping me realize one of my lifelong dreams.
Seriously, if I can get emo for a second, when I was in fifth grade, I was in the school impromptu speaking competition, and the question was "What do you want to be when you grow up and why?" I told them I wanted to be a singer-songwriter and "record more albums than the Beatles," because they were the band with the most longevity that I could think of at that age. I want to make my fifth-grade self proud.
I believe that the more people who are able to live their artistic dreams, the more all of us live full, vibrant lives. Art matters. Though our capitalist society encourages us to feel that the number of opportunities available to artists is scarce, I believe that the more each of us has the support to grow creatively, the more we all have space to grow.
Other Ways You Can Help
- Spread the word! Share my music with your friends, and let them know I need their help to put out this album. You can use the Indiegogo tools below to help.
- Come out to a show and bring a friend -- My album recording kickoff show is Friday, March 29th at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. Check out all my upcoming shows.
- House me while I'm in Seattle, or connect me to someone who can
- Join my mailing list so I can stay in touch with you when I release the album
- Like my facebook music page (though really, the mailing list is the best way to stay in touch)
- Send me a good word and let me know you're pumped about this project too. High five!