2 years on from our first ever Crypt Covers session, we’re releasing the first album’s worth of Crypt Covers. For the uninitiated, Crypt Covers is our one day challenge to record and video a fan-chosen cover version, with another artist, in one day. It’s been a challenging, interesting and worthwhile experience throughout. We wanted to do something where we could work with other artists. Something that invites fans into the studio, and lets people into our world. Something where we could show off our favourite artists and hopefully pick up a few new friends along the way. We also wanted to do something interesting with the online world, something more than making a record/album/track. We wanted (as Andrew Dubber would say) to “Make internet”. Spawned from yet another late-night conversation with the fantastic Ben Denison, it’s become such a part of what we do now that it’s increasingly hard to imagine life pre-cryptcovers.

So without further ado, here it it is. You can play the album straight from here in this lovely bandcamp player… and read on.

It’s been really interesting to work with all the amazing artists who’ve come to our Crypt for a day of music making. Better still, it’s been a whole bunch of fun too. I think the videos really show that across the sessions we had a whole bunch of laughs. We’ve been asked on numerous occasions “why can’t all studio days be like this?” – to which we reply “aren’t they?” (we lie – sometimes we want to bash each other’s heads in in the studio, but not on Crypt Covers days… mainly [grins]). Seriously though, thanks to all our guest artists, guest videographers and to all who’ve suggested a Crypt Cover, or hung out with us on twitter and via the live-blog on the days.

So in reverse order (and you can skip straight to the live blogs via these links) – Dancing Years, Merz, The Travelling Band, Duke Special, Wilful Missing, Louis Barabbas and the Bedlam Six, Chris Helme, Sam Airey, She Makes War, and Ellen and The Escapades. One thing that Crypt Covers has reinforced is that it’s good to collaborate. It forces you to be flexible and open to new ways of working. It can very easy in a band to get used to one way of working, so while we’re very used to having to make decisions quickly when we’re making our records, having to have to come up with an arrangement of a song in a matter of a couple of hours, and with a whole new bunch of people in the studio… it kinda forces your hand. You make bold sweeping decisions quickly and move on. As Ed says about the mixing process, “you only make the important changes”.

Video Wizards

Throughout Crypt Covers, we’ve also been collaborating with videographers. 8 of the ten videos are again courtesy of the fantastic Sodium, the Sam Airey one by our friends at The Blind Club, and our Simon Wainwright did the Wilful Missing/Ghostbusters one. As we’ve been pulling Crypt Covers Vol. 1 together, we had a chance to relive our 10 days of craziness by watching all the videos back to back, in the studio where they were created. The ever awesome Sodium were there to film our conversation. It runs to an hour, so we invite you to grab a glass of wine, put yer feet up, HDMI the video onto “yer big telly” and join us for an hour long review of two years work. Hope you like it!

The Economics of Crypt Covers

So, financially, how does this all work out for the artists involved in Crypt Covers. Well, it’s unlikely to be the golden ticket, there’s just so many people involved in it. Normally we set our digital downloads to zero-minimum on a Pay What You Want basis. For Crypt Covers Vol. 1 – to ensure that the original writers get paid, we’ve licensed the songs via songclearance.com, so that means that just to cover the licensing we have had to set a minimum cost of £2 for the album. We feel it’s important to ensure that the original writers get paid. It’s what we’d hope for if someone released a cover of our work. Above that, whatever you can drop the pot will go some way towards paying us and all our wonderful musical and our videographic collaborators. So if you can, dig deep and pay what you think it’s worth.

A huge thanks too to Gink for the rather beautiful and marvelous artwork, and to Jill at Spinning Bird for pulling all our guest artist info together. Bless your cotton socks!

Lastly…

Here’s the Crypt Covers Vol.1 youtube playlist of all Crypt Covers.

You can find out more about CryptCovers over here. And in true H&S stylee, we want you to get involved – tell us which your favourite track/moment is and why… Drop us a comment in the box below… send us us a tweet or bob the #cryptcovers hashtag. If you love it, please do share the link to this page. Most of all, we hope you love it as much as we’ve loved making this record.

Oh and the “Vol. 1” thing… yes, we might just do it all again.

Love youse.
xR

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