I’m super-excited to announce that I’ve finally released my very first solo EP! It’s simply titled “Alex Sanford EP” and is available for listening and free download here. I decided to go the “pay what you want” route for this one. Any donations are, of course, greatly appreciated, but please feel free to download and listen to the EP at no cost.
In this post, I want to give you some background on how this EP came to be, and share some of the important lessons I learned along the way.
Recording for this EP started in Spring 2013, about a year and a half before it was released. Pathetic, right? Well, I was just getting back into recording after a pretty long hiatus (AKA university). I decided that I needed some help with mixing. Long story short, I found Joe Gilder at homestudiocorner.com and purchased his HSC Production Club. While going through the course, I produced two songs:
- They Weren’t Made For This
- I’ll Live For You
I was pretty happy with how those two songs turned out, and decided to shoot for an EP. I started recording You Are Faithful in the Fall of 2013, hoping to have it done in the Spring.
Then life happened.
I’ll spare you all the details, but in early 2014, I bought a house, got married, and then had the busiest summer of my life. Some major life changes going on there. But back to the point…
I finally finished You Are Faithful in Fall 2014. In the meantime, I produced a quick worship song cover from the new studio. It made it on the EP as sort of a “Bonus Track”. The song is called “Cornerstone”.
Originally, I had been planning to produce two more songs to make it a 6 song EP, but at this point decided that I should stop here and release what I had.
The biggest lesson I learned from this project was to set realistic expectations. This is true of many things in life, of course.
I expected that I would release the EP in early 2014. I also thought that I could buy a house, get married, and have a honeymoon all at the same time. Oh, and did I mention that I also work full time?
Anyway. The lesson is, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Set goals, but be realistic.
The second lesson: release stuff
I have all sorts of excuses why I shouldn’t have released this album yet:
- The songs should be remastered together
- I should have more songs
- I shouldn’t mix older productions with newer ones
- I should spend longer on the name and the album art
These things are probably true. But I released it anyway.
Sometimes, “done” is better than perfect. In this case, I needed to simply accept the fact that it’s not going to be perfect, overcome the fear of putting it out there, call it done, and move on.
That leads me to my third lesson: don’t be afraid to take some shortcuts in order to get things finished and released.
I cut corners because I felt like the EP was taking way too long. Instead of dealing with all the problems, I just released it.
And man does it feel good to be done.
I could easily have worked another several months on this project. Maybe I would have been more proud of the result, maybe not. But as it stands, it’s done, I feel good, and I’m ready to move on to the next project, which will be even better.
What are your thoughts on “perfect” vs. “finished”? Let me know in the comments!