Minute Taker is set to drop his new album 'Wolf Hours' on 28 January 2022. Help him fund the album's release by pre-ordering an exclusive 'Wolf Pack' merch bundle and also grab some special one-off items!

Hello!

Ben here (aka Minute Taker) and welcome to my crowdfunding campaign for my new album ‘Wolf Hours’. The album has been a long time in the making and I’m beyond excited to finally share it with you early next year! 🤗

Wolf Hours is a collection of eleven 80s-infused synth-pop songs I’ve written and produced over the past 8 years or so in my home studio.  

Drawing retro influences from artists such as Pet Shop Boys, Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks, Cyndi Lauper, Erasure, a-ha and even Bonnie Tyler, I really wanted the album to exude the warmth and magic of simpler, more analogue times.

I had this idea as I was making the album that it was a bit like going through a box of old stuff you find in the loft; full of the comfort and mystique of childhood nostalgia, but a bit warped and degraded over time!

Recording at home

Growing up in the 80s, I had a recurring nightmare of being chased through woods by the wolf-like creature “Gmork” from the 1984 fantasy movie The NeverEnding Story (I really was terrified by that bloody thing! 🤣). 


Gmork from The NeverEnding Story in his lair!

This inspired the album’s title and, along with other films of the era such as Batteries Not Included and Labyrinth, influenced the album’s retro film-poster style artwork, which was expertly executed by The Sonnyfive from pics of me and my dog Saoirse by photographer Malc Stone.

When I was writing the songs I was thinking about all the things that pop into my head when I’m lying in bed late at night.  All of those repressed thoughts and memories that find their way into my restless dreams... 

Like suppressed urges from the depths of my subconscious in Hearts (We’ll Never Know), or childhood memories of video shops and playing the Commodore 64 in Nostalgia, or even an imagined supernatural, Gothic love story set in the 1800s but playing out as an 80s TV movie in Mirror!


Playing the Commodore 64 at my friend Stuart's house back in the 80s

The Darkest Summer, released as a single last year, is about going back in time via memories to a perfect day at the beach in 1989, but memories can be elusive...

The brand new video Lead You Home explores the dreams of a former World War 1 solider as he lies on his deathbed over 60 years later. He goes back to relive a relationship he once had with a fellow soldier that ended in tragedy...

Good question! 

Basically the album cost all-in-all about £12,000 to make, which isn’t actually too bad as albums go! I save a lot of money by doing all the writing, recording and initial production myself along with playing most of the instruments and doing a lot of the design, marketing, video editing, etc (as an indie artist you find yourself having to learn all the things that big teams of people do at record labels!).

But I also decided this time round that I really wanted to raise the quality of the music.  I decided to outsource certain tasks, like the mixing, to get the absolute best out of the songs. I hired an engineer called Matt Aslanian who did a fantastic job of making the mixes clear and punchy and just brimming with that 80s magic I was looking for! ✨✨✨

And then of course there was the manufacturing costs of the CDs, vinyl, cassettes and merch items, along with guest musicians, mastering, photography, cover design, etc, etc.... It soon adds up! 💰💰💰 😱

I borrowed a lot of this cost from the bank so basically my aim with the crowdfunding campaign is to break even by the time I release the album!

It might not sound like such a lofty goal to just break even after all of those years of working on the project, but actually, it would be amazing if, come release day, the album debts are paid off and I have my wolf baby out there in the world to share with you all! 🐺 😁

As a completely independent artist my fans are really like my record label.  You are the ones who directly support the creation of my music by buying it.  It’s as simple as that. I don’t have a label advance to pay for everything, so this campaign is my way of asking you to directly contribute to the release of the album!

If I achieve more than the £12,000 goal (which would be amazing!!) then the extra funds will go towards promoting the album in the wider world.  Artists with record labels will have marketing spend, and this extra funding would allow me a marketing budget to get 'Wolf Hours' out there and heard by more people.

I couldn’t be surviving as an independent artist in this way if I was doing this 20 odd years ago. It’s through connecting with like-minded people all over the world via the internet that I can make this happen.

After many years of working in uncreative day jobs, while doing my music on the side with any spare time I had, the fact that I can now make music full-time and share it with people who enjoy it, well… that means everything to me. 🙏 😊

But it’s not just about you supporting me of course… I want to give you things that you value, keepsakes that you can cherish. Apart from making the songs the very best they can be, I’ve also spent a lot of time carefully planning a selection of unique merchandise bundles I'm calling Wolf Packs (see what I did there!? 😆).

They feature CDs, vinyl, t-shirts, art prints and even a special ‘Smash Hits’ 80s style magazine all about the album! All things I really hope you’ll love, that will add to the experience of the album as a whole.

And a lot of items included in the Wolf Packs will only be available for those who support the crowdfunding campaign. And then they’ll be gone forever!

So if you’d like to directly contribute to the release of the album by bagging yourself an exclusive Wolf Pack then have a look below to see which one suits you best. 😁

There will also be some special one-off items released at different points over the course of the campaign, including vinyl test pressings, props from my music videos and more!

If you’d like to be amongst the first to have a chance at getting these then you can sign up  to my 'Wolf Hours Priority Mailing List' here and I’ll email you as soon as new items go on sale.

Ben xxx 

Please note that, due to global delays with vinyl manufacturing, the records are expected to be ready in March, so for any bundles containing vinyl, items can either be sent separately or later together (choose preference when you check out).

If you would like to support the album campaign with a donation click here

There are also some special one-off items being released at different points over the course of the campaign, including vinyl test pressings, props from my music videos and more!

If you’d like to be amongst the first to have a chance at getting these then you can sign up to my 'Wolf Hours Priority Mailing List' here and I’ll email you as soon as new items go on sale.