Hello! Thank you so much for being here with us.
We are Greenness, an independent music duo based in Brighton. Together we make songs, artwork and videos that celebrate a deeper connection with nature and each other. Since we met 10 years ago, we have performed hundreds of gigs, written many original songs and released two 4-track EPs – ‘Bicephaly’ (2016) and ‘Cyclicity’ (2018) – both of which are available here for free.
SUNROOMS - The Album
Our dream has always been to create a full-length album together, release it into the world and go on a big tour!
In the wake of Covid-19, all our gigs got cancelled, so we had to stop performing live. As a consequence, we decided to focus our time and energy on writing, arranging, recording and mixing/mastering our 12-track debut album Sunrooms entirely independently in our home studio, using an eclectic collection of instruments (guitars, synths, bass, kalimba, lap harp, ocarina, drums, percussion...), electronic beats, household objects, field recordings, sound effects and our voices to create a truly unique, bold and inventive musical experience.
This is our most ambitious work to date and we are over the moon to bring it to you!
GREENNESS - The Band
Cess: "I’ve always had a creative mindset. As I child, writing songs, stories and poems was my favourite thing to do, as well as drawing, reading, and a lot of daydreaming! In primary school, I had piano lessons and sang in the choir, then in college I started singing in bands and learning guitar and bass. When I was 20, I left my home in France to study English at a university near Manchester, where I met Graham... and the rest is history! Spending the last decade growing this project together has been incredible, and I am so excited to begin the next chapter of our story. Music is my therapy, it has carried me through thick and thin, and Greenness is the most important creative project of my life. Graham and I have put our hearts and souls into this record, infusing each and every song with a much-needed sense of hope, inspiration, honest emotion and humanity."
Graham: "As a teenager, I taught myself guitar and music production simultaneously. I also tried singing and creating harmonies, but got on much better with layering instrumental tracks, so I thought I would need to collaborate with a great lead vocalist and moved to Manchester to look for one. I played in a few bands there, but couldn't keep one together very long... until Cess arrived on the scene. As soon as I heard her voice, I knew! We had very different musical styles to begin with, so we started slowly, getting to know each other and experimenting a lot before the Greenness sound emerged. We have spent the past 2 years meticulously arranging, crafting and producing our debut album 'Sunrooms' from our home studio. This record is very much a labour of love, and even though most of the songs were written recently, it is, in a sense, a lifetime's work condensed into 40 minutes!"
ONE FERN - The Label
We have also decided to use this album release as a pilot project for the launch of our brand new independent record label!
Cess: "I am passionate about empowering grassroots artists to do what they love, especially those who are currently underrepresented on the music scene. That's why in 2015, I created a collective called FemFriday to bridge the gender gap in the arts and entertainment industry. FemFriday’s mission was to create a safe space where women & non-binary folk could express themselves on stage during carefully curated events, organised on Friday nights at local independent venues. FemFriday also ran an annual 2-day music festival on International Women’s Day (‘FemFest’) to celebrate creative women, raise awareness about gender inequality and collect donations for local women’s charities, such as Rise Sussex and Brighton's Women Center. FemFriday has been featured in contemporary UK feminist magazine The F-Word and listed in the top tens of women-led music nights by several indie music blogs, including Louder Than War, The Girls Are and God Is In The TV.
Fast-forward to 2020 - organising live music events has now been put on a hiatus, so I've had to take a break from FemFriday and invent new ways of supporting and promoting local artists. The idea of creating a new, women-led independent record label naturally emerged, and I will use Greenness' debut album campaign as a pilot project to create an effective release strategy that can be implemented by other artists to boost the potential of their future launches. My vision for One Fern Records is an inclusive, all-in-one space offering creative consultancy, practical advice and emotional support alongside more traditional label services. I have put together a team of incredible creatives whose skills range from music production and filmmaking to graphic design and photography, and we look forward to putting our passion and experience at work to launch the Greenness album, and to create a roadmap that will help other artists in the future."
Click here to learn more about One Fern Records.
What We’re Fundraising For
We are raising £2,500 to cover the costs of releasing our album independently on the new label. This is how the money will be spent:
Why It Matters
As a band, we have been fully committed to create mindful, sustainable art from day 1 – that’s also why we chose the name ‘Greenness’! We value quality over quantity, and we believe in the creation of unique, carefully crafted art that is designed to last.
Unfortunately, the mainstream music industry is set up in a way that doesn't embrace these values. To do well on streaming platforms, songs have to be calibrated to a certain format that is designed to capture short-attention spans (eg tracks of less than 3 minutes long, no intros, placing the hook right at the beginning with little to no build up, etc.).
We think that this cookie-cutter approach to music hampers creativity, inspiration and innovation. It also puts enormous pressure on artists to release songs and content more and more often, generating a bulk of 'throwaway' songs that are designed to compete in a consumerist race rather than making a true artistic statement.
Creating meaningful art takes time, and we have been working on our album for two years. This used to be the norm! Because that's how long it takes to write, arrange, record, mix and master a solid collection of songs, as well as planning the release, creating visual assets and, in our case, organising regular shows, performing live and handling all bookings and promotion ourselves, as well as working side-jobs to earn a living and invest in our home studio. This album launch will help us kickstart our music career, so that we can dedicate more time to the creation of songs, artwork, videos and events independently, and set up a programme that will help other artists do the same through the new label. Our goal is to create a system that enables the sustainable creation of independent art, and we feel immensely grateful to have your support on this journey!
Frequently Asked Questions
- When are you releasing the album?
From January 2021, we will drop one song every month on Youtube for one year (=12 songs in 12 months), with a music video for each track, meaning that the album will be fully out online by December 2021 for the general public... but for anyone supporting this campaign, all 12 tracks of Sunrooms will be given as a reward (in digital, CD and/or vinyl form, depending on your chosen pledge) ahead of the official release, so you will be the first to hear it! This crowdfunder also gives you access to exclusive perks that aren't available anywhere else, such as signed CDs/vinyl, unique merch and your name displayed on the album's liner notes.
- Will there be a launch party gig?
Yes! We are planning to organise a big release show as soon as live music events can resume fully & safely, and hopefully a European tour as well. Advance tickets are included in the top-tier pledges.
- Why are you focusing on physical records & merchandising?
Currently, there are three main avenues for performing & recording artists to make a living from their songs: touring, streaming, and selling merch. As touring has been haltered by the global pandemic, this isn't a viable option at the moment (although we hope it will return soon!). As for streaming, it's incredibly hard to make a living from those royalties alone. An unsigned, solo singer-songwriter would need to generate close to half a million streams every month on Spotify to earn the equivalent of the UK minimum wage!
Selling physical merchandise is therefore the best remaining option.
That's why we have decided to focus this crowdfunding campaign on creating high quality, eco-friendly limited edition records and merch that truly reflect our creative vision (and make lovely rewards for you!).
We have partnered with the greenest manufacturers we could find to create beautiful and durable rewards: eco-friendly stickers, wooden badges sourced from responsibly managed European forests, organic apparel printed in the UK and CDs & vinyl in recycled card sleeves. This is part of our commitment towards a greener future for the music industry, as outlined by the 'Music Declares Emergency' initiative that we joined last year. Feel free to take a look at the full organic collection designed by Cess here and watch the Rewards video below:
Additional reviews are available on our official website.
Thank you so much for believing in our project!
We can't wait to share it with you! <3
Lots of love,
Cess & Graham
Photo credits: Ian Bourn / Tiia Kukkonen