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Abney Park Turns to Kickstarter to Crowdfund New Studio Album

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Abney Park, for the first time in its history, is using Kickstarter to fund the release of a new studio album. Bandleader Robert Brown described the release, Ghosts, Demons and Ancient Lore, as “an opulent and chilling concept album that sends shivers down the spine. Within its haunting melodies lie tales of restless spirits, malevolent demons, and forgotten legends, each track a portal to the unknown.”

The album will be accompanied by a book, Stories of Ghosts, Demons and Ancient Lore, consisting of tales inspired by the songs.

Other music acts that cater to steampunk fans have frequently used Kickstarter to fund new albums, and Abney Park itself has used the platform to sell tickets to livestream concerts—including an option to download recordings. But this is a first for a new studio album.

In a lengthy message on Facebook and Kickstarter, Brown explained that the move was prompted by the new economic realities of the independent music business.

In its early days, the band survived largely on CD sales, earning approximately $10 per disc. Then, when MP3s came along, the band sold downloads, getting about $7 per album on iTunes or $15 if purchased from the Abney Park website. Now that many people consume music on Spotify or other streaming services, the band earns a tiny fraction of a penny per song, he observed.

“That’s not really enough to justify the years we put into creating each album,” he wrote. “The long hours, thousands of dollars on equipment - all the time and money and talent.”

With a crowdfunding campaign – if it’s successful – “we’ll get paid for our time and talents and monetary investment in equipment, and fans can feel free to listen on Spotify, or wherever,” he wrote.

Pledges begin at US$20 for an album download and $30 for an autographed CD. Pledges for the book begin at $20 for the paperback and $30 for an audio book version.

Brown estimates a July delivery for the paperback and CD and September delivery for the MP3 download.

The campaign launched on June 30 and is already well past its US$5,000 funding goal. It runs through July 29. Learn more on the Kickstarter page.

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