August 15th, 2020 will mark the 25th anniversary of the release of Carolyn Arends's first CD, I Can Hear You, a project which offered enduring favorites like "Seize the Day," "Reaching," and "The Power of Love." Arends is celebrating the milestone with two new recordings: A full-length album of rootsy new originals, called RECOGNITION, and an EP of acoustic worship tunes, tentatively titled OUR SONGBOOK, Volume 1. Now an indie artist, Arends has invited fans to help create the music through a Kickstarter campaign, to overwhelming response.
When Arends launched the crowd-funding campaign on June 30th, she wasn't sure what to expect. Although the thoughtful folk-pop artist has twelve previous releases under her belt, it's been six years since her last full-length release. Fans, however, let her know quickly that they were still interested in her work. The campaign's initial goal of $20,000 was funded in just over nine hours.
"The response was more encouraging than I can say," Arends confesses. The Kickstarter is still open, with an eye towards several more creative stretch goals. Fans who participate will receive the music months ahead of its public release, and they can also opt in for a variety of additional rewards, from art prints of the album's cover painting to vintage tour swag to livestream video time with Carolyn.
"I almost didn't launch this campaign," Arends reveals, "because I worried that, given everything the world is going through right now, the timing wasn't right. But one of the songs I'm recording is called 'Without Music' and it speaks to the fact that humans never stop making music, no matter what we go through. Music is a gift God has given us to comfort us, sustain us, and give us hope. So, I'm glad I decided to go ahead with these projects, and got to experience another of God's good gifts--the gift of community."