Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Project Spotlight: 'Love & Fear' by We Shot the Moon

Fresh starts are always welcome, and sometimes necessary.  Such is the case with pop-rock band We Shot the Moon.  It started after Jonathan Jones' band Waking Ashland split, with some members of Sherwood.  The group was more or less on hiatus as Jones did solo work and Sherwood continued making music.  After several years, though, and the subsequent breakup of Sherwood, We Shot the Moon is at it again, this time on Kickstarter to fund their new album, Love & Fear.

If you've never listened to the part of the sum of We Shot the Moon - primarily Waking Ashland and Sherwood - they have released quality albums that are certainly worth a listen.  If you are familiar with them, you know what you're getting into with WSTM, namely solid vocals, catchy tunes, and straightforward but honest and relatable lyrics.  Their Kickstarter page has an entire song posted for streaming so you can even take a listen and see if it suits your tastes; if you do contribute, three songs are available for immediate download so you're able to jump right in.

The rewards for pledging are really great.  There's basic digital downloads, physical discs, t-shirts, and so on, but a few things really stand out.  You can get a 12-song "retrospective compilation" from Jones with his favorite songs of his career, complete with commentary; his entire music catalog; handwritten lyrics; phone chats; a song written especially for you; private acoustic shows; a listening party; and finally the $5k "Super Hero Package" that intriguingly says simply, "Let's talk. We are at your mercy."  Interesting indeed.

Perhaps the most compelling part of the Kickstarter campaign is the breakdown that's giving to show exactly where the funds will go.  One of the criticism of Kickstarter projects is the occasional lack of transparency in regards to where your money is going.  It's all laid out for Love & Fear and really goes along with the whole feel of the project - honesty.  There's a certain earnestness around the whole thing, that the guys really just want to give the best project they can and are determined to do it on their own, label-free, with only their hard work and talent to see them through.  And the talent is important as well; it isn't just a matter of them being hard-headed and seeing something through to the end, it's also knowing that something great will come as a result.

Waking Ashland and Sherwood had dedicated, hardcore followings.  The Classic Crime have plugged the WSTM Kickstarter campaign.  There's good reason these individuals, and collectively this group, are getting well-deserved praise.  If that's not reason enough to support them, helping them to strike out on their own should be.

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