STRATFORD, Ontario — (CANADIAN CHRISTIAN NEWS SERVICE) — It’s been years in the making, but “So Shall We Love: Songs of Worship and Faith,” the latest recording effort from Canadian singer songwriter Ali Matthews, needs help–$10,000 worth of help–to be completed. That’s why Matthews is launching an all new, crowdfunding Kickstarter campaign.
“It’s really more of a ‘Kick-finisher’ campaign,” Matthews says. “Most of the recording is done. We still have some tracking, plus mixing, mastering and packaging to do. But we need the resources to get there.”
Almost as long as there have been artists, there have been patrons who have financially supported art creation, thus making it possible. Describing crowdfunding as “the new paradigm for raising money” for such projects, Matthews says it’s her favourite way of fundraising.
“My last album was also crowdfunded,” she explains. “Not only did it bring in the funds to finish the project, but it was such an encouragement. It truly is a team effort.”
“So Shall We Love” will feature 14 tracks and include 11 original songs plus new interpretations on three old hymns: It Is Well With My Soul, Abide With Me, and Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.
The music represents something of a departure for the multi-award-winning songstress. “My writing is usually confessional and introspective. But these songs are directed at God. They’re more vertical than horizontal. They’re offerings of worship.” The album differs in another way from some of Matthews’ previous works. Rather than the folk, roots or acoustic sound for which she is known, these songs are bigger, fuller, richer and feature lush productions. Even the artwork for the album cover is different; it features a gorgeous, full-colour illustration by Canadian artist Bob Masse, known for his work on rock albums for artists such as U2, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon.
The entire album represents an offering, one whose message will resonate with anyone who knows what it is to cling to God and to a life of faith in our troubled world. “I feel like the time is right for this record, because I’ve gone through some difficult, heart-breaking struggles in the past few years,” says Matthews. “Frightening health issues and broken personal relationships. Struggles that have brought me to my knees with feelings of failure and shame. The amazing thing is that God always seems to show up most clearly when we are the most broken. His faithfulness, his grace and his presence have been more real to me lately, than at any other time in my life. I feel like these are the songs I need to sing right now.”
Choosing to do the Kickstarter campaign is not without risk. It runs until May 28, at which time it must be fully funded, or none of the pledged donations will be charged; Matthews won’t see a dime.
“I’m sitting in this balance between feeling strong and feeling fragile,” she concedes. “But being honest about being in this place really is the most effective way of building community. So as frightening as it feels, I know that when we hear someone’s story and it’s honest and real and human-and yet it’s filled with God’s story, there’s nothing more powerful.”
Since 2004, Matthews’ music has received 44 nominations for GMA Covenant Awards with 20 wins, which is a GMA Canada record for the most awards given to one artist. “So Shall We Love,” will be the eighth album for the three-time, Vocalist of the Year winner. The album is produced by GMA Producer of the Year, Andrew Horrocks.
Attention Radio Stations – Downloadable Audio Files:
Song file: I Saw Jesus
Clip #1: Ali Matthews talks about being excited about her new project, has been working on it for awhile, great team of musicians, can’t wait for us to hear this selection of songs. (26 seconds)
Clip #2: Ali says: this new project is something she wanted to do for a long time, these are songs of worship and faith, these songs are directed at God, offerings of worship, most are original but a few are traditional with her own twist on the interpretations. (30 seconds)
Clip #3: Ali says: she feels like the timing is right for this record, gone through some personal struggles. She feels like these are the songs to sing right now. (32 seconds)