Making music our way. Notes of cayenne pepper, time passing, and ghosts. Your contribution will make it a reality. Get into it!
About this project
My name is Claire and I am a songwriter, instrumentalist, vocalist, and arranger based out of New York City. My band, Youth in a Roman Field, is prepping to record our second album with legendary producer Stewart Lerman (Elvis Costello, Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainright). And we’re asking for your help.
I started the band four years ago with the help of BFFs Tiffany Topol and Scott Stangland. Since the summer of 2012, we have grown from three members to six (adding Cassidy Stirtz, Katrina Lenk, and Jamie Mohamdein), moved from Chicago to New York, recorded an album and an EP, and played a bunch of shows here in our new home on the East Coast.
We’ll be recording 12-14 songs- a set of tunes very much about and influenced by wandering, searching for roots, and feeling haunted by people and places along the way.
I like to call us a bastardized string quartet-meets-folk-band; many of the songs are written on the violin, and we use two violas, upright bass, piano, accordion, guitar, ukulele, percussion, and vocals, making up the rules as we go to get the sounds we like.
Instead of going the conventional route and trying to impress a record label, we are going directly to you, our community, in hopes of creating an industry-quality album while remaining completely independent of the industry. If funded, we’ll be able to work with the one and only Grammy-Award-winning Stewart Lerman. Stewart is a rockstar of a producer, having worked with St. Vincent, Sufjan Stevens, Sharon Van Etten, Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Patti Smith, Antony + the Johnsons, Rufus Wainwright, and Nellie McKay, among others. He frequently produces for HBO as well as for directors Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, and John Carney.
What so invigorated me during my first talk with Stewart was that he instantly honed in on the fact that we could make this record happen any way we wanted, using our unusual instrumentation to its fullest. It quickly became clear that he could make the events in my mind a reality- could help guide, support, and challenge us. We want to work with Stewart because he not only understands where we’re coming from but celebrates it.
Our goal of $16,000 isn’t actually enough to make this whole album. Every day in the studio costs us $1,000, and that’s before mixing, mastering, and paying anyone in the band. The more we raise, the more complete this album will be. We care about making a fair-trade album where everyone gets paid for their time.
We can only make this album if you decide that you, our community, want to support our fair-trade, independent, no-rules approach here on kickstarter. We are so grateful and inspired by the response we’ve gotten at our shows. It makes us think that there are more of you out there that want to get behind a new project; that want to support; that want to say yes to the unknown. We want to celebrate our community, and so we’re offering a really cool package that includes not only our album but albums from other independent artists that we know and love. We’re offering live events like listening parties and concerts in non-traditional spaces. We’re offering personalized songs and videos. We want to include you, to share with you, to make this happentogether.
Risks and challenges
This a highly experimental process in the sense that we haven’t yet recorded with this particular lineup of incredible people. With our band having grown to six, we’re aiming to track a lot of the record live as well as allow time for experimentation, re-instrumentation, and new ideas. Each dollar raised above and beyond our initial goal expands the number of songs we’re able to record as well as the amount of time we’re able to spend fine-tuning them. And then there’s marketing the thing. A top priority with this record is expanding our music’s reach, and each and every one of you can help us with that, whether it’s by donating through kickstarter, sharing our campaign, or attending our shows. We are so grateful for the support we have already received and thank you in advance for participating any way you can.
Cheers to one & all!
-Claire & Youth in a Roman Field