Seth Godin’s Favorite New Album

Seth Godin’s favorite new album is remarkable. An album that stands out amongst the plethora of new music being offered. Something with an independent spirit that raises the bar for future music offerings. Songs written with intelligent lyrics causing one to think and ponder. Unforgettable melodies that linger long after a single listen. An album that allowed the producer freedom to create outside the rules of the normal radio establishment. Seth Godin’s Favorite New Album is impossible to ignore. Its an epic experience that begs for a complete listen. His favorite new album is significant.

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The Gray Havens have recorded a new album, Ghost Of A King. The new album holds many of the traits Seth’s new favorite album would most likely hold. The Gray Havens have been intentional about making music that stands out among the rest. Scribing lyrics that attract those who enjoy reading and weaving them into infectious melodies that can’t be forgotten. The husband/wife duo have created something quite remarkable with their new album Ghost Of A King. The Gray Havens’ devoted tribe of music loving book readers will not be disappointed with this new collection of songs.

When significant albums comes down the pike, readers of this blog generally want to be in the know. You will want to experience The Gray Havens Ghost Of A King .

The Gray Havens Return With Ghost Of A King

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The Gray Havens Return With Ghost Of A King April 8

 

The Gray Havens finalNASHVILLE, Tenn.—Critically acclaimed Artist Garden Entertainment husband/wife duo The Gray Havens are set to bow their highly anticipated full-length sophomore set, Ghost of a King, April 8. Featuring 10 of the couple’s most personal and prolific songs to date, the project is currently available for pre-order on iTunes with two instant-grat tracks.

Exploring the overarching theme of longing, Ghost of a King was produced by Ben Shive (Colony House, Rend Collective), with “At Last, The King” produced by singer/songwriter Ryan Corn.

“The opener, ‘Ghost In The Valley,’ sets up the record as the fulfillment of the deepest longing one can have,” explains The Gray Havens’ David Radford. “The subsequent songs are sub-stories of different longings we have had or have currently, whether that be a longing to do something important with my life, or love my spouse well, or not be caught up in chasing money, or to spend eternity with my friends and family.”

Additional highlights of the album—which features Colony House’s Will Chapman on drums—include the title track, a Shakespearean-esque narrative chronicling new birth; “Take This Slowly,” a reflective reminder of the grace we are given each day; the buoyant, acoustic love song “Band Of Gold”; and the tender, yet epic piano-based closer “Go,” depicting a place where “golden shores with lights more radiant than the sun” await.

Picnic B&W “We tried to give ourselves permission on this project to reach outside our pop/folk roots when exploring the potential of any given song, which ended up being a ton of fun and made for a record we love,” Radford continues. “These songs are all new, just recently written, so they feel very current and representative of where we are in life.”

The Gray Havens are slated to showcase selections from Ghost of a King at various college campuses, conferences and other venues around the country this spring, including performances at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa; College of the Ozarks in Hollister, Missouri; and The Gospel Coalition’s National Women’s Conference in Indianapolis. Tomorrow, the duo will open for acclaimed folk/rockers The Oh Hellos at Pennsylvania’s Grove City College.

David—a Top 20 “American Idol” finalist from Season 5—and Licia Radford are The Gray Havens. Since the release of their 2013 debut EP, Where Eyes Don’t Go, and last year’s critically lauded full-length Fire And Stone, the duo has established a loyal following, known for their unique blend of narrative folk/pop encompassing fantasy story, lyric poetry and theology. They have performed alongside such artists as Andrew Peterson, Drew Holcomb, Jenny & Tyler, Sara Groves and Cindy Morgan, among others.

For further information, visit thegrayhavensmusic.com or turningpointpr.com.

Spotify Encounters Major Hurdle

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Spotify announced yesterday that they are encountering a major hurdle due to their digital music inventory running dangerously low. Industry analyst predict the digital provider could run out of music as early as this evening. Apparently, record listener traffic generated during spring break depleted inventory to a critical level. Spotify chairman and co-founder, Daniel Ek, stated they are willing to pay above the normal wholesale cost to any music companies willing to partner by overnighting digital inventory.

At press time, Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine was the only company who had addressed the issue by overnighting twenty million digital Taylor Swift songs to Spotify. Company insiders report that the pop superstar and Spotify had patched up differences and Swift was paid $2 for every song delivered netting the artist a quick $40 million. Universal Music Group is expected to be the first of the Big Four majors to send relief today. Warner Music Group, Sony Music and Artist Garden Entertainment are all expected to announce deals soon. Ironically, the April 1 deadline has fooled much of the industry into believing that the streaming music giant may be imploding.

 

Introducing The Album Trailer

New Music Marketing Ideas

Could an album trailer have similar impact on a music release as a movie trailer has on films? That is a marketing question I have been pondering over the last year.

I joined a meet-up group consisting of those who spend their time making films. The group includes, writers, directors, marketers, and actors. My desire is to glean marketing wisdom from the group in addition to finding film homes for some of the music we represent. While the music industry struggles with bringing the masses of the past and excitement to release week for new records, the film industry continues to deliver big box office numbers for release week of films. As I began to study the film industry, I noticed one thing that has remained constant since I can remember. The movie trailer is the key marketing tool for every single film. Where they place the trailers in the marketplace may vary, but they always use a trailer. The movie trailer builds excitement and anticipation for whats to come. Often times the trailer proves to be better than the movie. How many times have you seen a movie trailer and instantly made the decision to make plans see the movie during release week?

While working on marketing plans this year, I decided to try creating song and album trailers as a test. We hear from analytic experts how video content is king and people are more apt to click on a video than anything else marketers present so it seems like an obvious avenue to test. Of course, we don’t have the big film budgets, but video technology has advanced so rapidly that one can edit video fairly easily and cheap. The response to the the trailers has been quite nice compared to other ads we post. Its a bit early to determine how much of an impact the song and album trailers will have on street week, but they are definitely creating a buzz.

Below is a trailer we created for The Gray Havens upcoming April 8 release “Ghost of A King.” We decided to keep the trailer at 30 seconds to coincide with the public’s short attention span. Its a simple quick way to tease the viewer while leaving them the desire for more.

After you view it, leave your comments and how it stirred your interest for the release?

Hauntingly Glorious!

An Easter Song

This week, the world celebrates Easter. Some celebrate with chocolate bunnies and little yellow marshmallow chickens. Some celebrate with a nice new outfit. Some celebrate with family around a table full of wonderful food. Many pick this one day out of the year to attend church. For me, it’s a time to celebrate the most important event in the history of the world. God’s son Jesus was crucified on a cross but then overcame death and rose from his tomb. An event that makes it possible for us to live eternity in heaven with God. There is more to this life on earth!

Below is a video trailer for the beautiful song My Savior Lives written by Noah Cleveland and Tony Wood. I describe the song as Hauntingly Glorious and it feels me with incredible emotion every time I hear it.

The song is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and most other digital outlets.

The Grammy Awards In Thirty Seconds

2016 Grammy Awards

 

Every February, many in the world gather around their television sets in hopes of catching a glimpse of something spectacular at the Grammy Awards. A music moment that leaves it’s mark in history giving us new “water cooler” discussion material to usher in spring. The Grammy Awards celebrate and close out a year of music signaling the end of the yearly race for the coveted  trophies.

My take on The 2016 Grammy Awards in thirty seconds.

Taylor Swift, the new boss of the music industry, delivers a glamorous opening that ends with a soaring vocal letting any remaining haters know she can sing.

Tori Kelly and James Bay duet together giving us a glimpse of music’s future. And I must say the future looks and sounds swell.

Kendrick Lamar gives the obligatory angry “black lives matter” performance that falls right in formation with Beyonce’s Super Bowl statement. He did use some cool glow-in-the-dark paint.

Alabama Shakes front woman, Brittany Howard, gives one of the most grateful acceptance speeches I’ve heard inspiring all those young kids jamming in their garage.

Adele showed how even the golden voice of the music industry can have a poor performance when left in the hands of a faulty sound engineer. The boring song choice didn’t help matters.

Our bad kid turned good kid, Justin Bieber, opened with an acoustic guitar performance showing the world that it is possible to Learn How to Play Guitar in a few days and play nervously on the Grammy stage. But smashing that acoustic guitar when not in a serious rock moment left the audience a bit confused about his new maturity? But he does have two new friends with weird names, Skrillex & Diplo, who make some pretty cool music.

Meghan Trainer accepted her “New Artist” Grammy Award leaving me wondering how voters missed James Bay, Sam Hunt and Tori Kelly?

Lady Gaga then took the stage for a David Bowie tribute. Very creepy!

And then, that moment tv viewers were hanging on the edge of their seats for. (Or at least I was) Chris Stapleton, Gary Clark Jr and Bonnie Raitt delivered a B.B. King tribute performance that will go down as one of the best all-time Grammy moments!

The Grammy Award night ended with Taylor Swift’s Album of The Year acceptance speech delivering a classy coded message for Kanye West who thankfully we didn’t see all evening.

 

 

 

 

A Night At The Local Show

Andrew Peterson, Drew Holcomb, The Gray Havens, Christopher Williams

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A night at The Local Show turned out to be a real treat this month as show host, Andrew Peterson, welcomed guests Drew Holcomb, The Gray Havens and Christopher Williams to the stage at The Well Coffeehouse in Brentwood, TN. Ellie Holcomb was originally scheduled to join the line-up but opted to send her husband Drew Holcomb after loosing her voice earlier in day recording vocals for her new album. 

This was my first time to experience The Local Show which was birthed by Andrew Peterson in 2014. The show features artists in Nashville’s “writer’s in the round” fashion as they share stories and song. Highlights last night include Drew Holcomb’s touching story behind his song “Live Forever” and his song “American Beauty” made famous with the Dick’s Sporting Goods commercial. The Gray Havens shared new songs from their upcoming album showcasing their powerful blend of harmonies and storytelling. Andrew Peterson shared a few of his gems while weaving in personal stories of family and friends. Last night was my first exposure to Christopher Williams and boy does he have a soulful voice. The evening ended with Peterson’s daughter joining the stage to help lead a group hymn sing.

Be sure and connect with The Local Show’s Facebook page HERE for updates on the monthly shows.

 

The Tail That Wags The Dove – Part 1

The Sound of Christian Radio

Something I often hear in Christian circles, is a common distaste for the overall sound of Christian radio. Many in the industry listen to Christian radio in short stints as a necessity for work but their personal preference is found in mainstream music. The complaints I hear are generated from college/young adult Christians, artists, producers, songwriters, record label employees and even some who work in radio. Reasons heard from those complaining include 1) the music sounds the same as what was being played ten years ago 2) every song sounds similar 3) radio plays the same handful of artists on repeat 4) the production isn’t relevant to what is being made in the mainstream. While some of those reasons may ring true, who is serving up solutions? Who feeds the music to radio?

I would argue that the radio playlists lie in the hands of the creators. If the artists, songwriters, producers and record company A&R teams refuse to feed radio the same formulaic music, wouldn’t radio be forced to change? When something new begins to work, what if creators resisted the urge to jump on the copycat bandwagon and instead chose to lead with even newer sounds? What if record companies refused to put so much stock into what radio research is asking for and instead fed radio with nothing but innovative music?   Imagine radio playlists chocked full of innovative artists like Switchfoot, For King & Country, Lecrae, Future of Forestry, John Mark McMillan, Social Club and The Brilliance. Radio might just sound a bit different.

Join the conversation, share your thoughts and stay tuned for Part 2 as we explore even more.

 

 

 

The Gray Havens 2015 Album Favorites

CCM Magazine, JesusFreakHideout, NewReleaseTuesday

The Gray Havens End 2015 On High Note

CCM Magazine, JesusFreakHideout and NewReleaseToday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. January 4, 2016 —Artist Garden Entertainment artist, The Gray Havens, end 2015 on a high note with top rankings on multiple industry Top 2015 album lists. The independent, Chicago-based husband/wife duo found their way into the hearts of top Christian media with Fire & Stone, produced by GRAMMY®  Award-winning Mitch Dane (Brandon Heath, JJ Heller)  

CCM Magazine’s Andy Argyrakis ranked The Gray Havens Fire & Stone #6 on his Top 10 Albums list for 2015 stating “this full-length debut is an enthralling and enlightening start to what’s sure to be a fruitful career.”

Fire and Stone ranked #6 on JesusFreakHideout’s Overall Staff Picks for 2015 making The Gray Havens the first independent artist to ever appear on the chart. In addition, the duo ranked #1 on several individual staff picks charts.

Christian music discovery site UnderTheRadar ranked the record #4 on their 2015 Top Gourmet Album Picks.

The husband/wife duo released a new song, At Last, The King, in December which became NewReleaseTuesday’s top downloaded Christmas song of 2015.

The Gray Havens enter the studio this week with producer Ben Shive ( Colony House, Andrew Peterson) to begin recording their next record currently scheduled for a spring release.