Spring Owls, former Bloomington musician, plans album release
After seven years, $ 10,000 raised in crowdfunding, his COVID-19 stimulus checks and two moves – first to South Korea and then to Los Angeles – the former Indiana University student and musician from Bloomington Jesse Lacy, who now goes by the stage name Spring Owls, will release his new EP in November.
Hailing from Brown County, Lacy’s degree in poetry, with a minor in music and film, helped him carve out a musical career in Bloomington after graduating from IU, by booking shows at the Bishop. Bar and Player’s Pub in addition to touring.
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However, while looking for a new day job in 2017, Lacy had the opportunity to move abroad and teach English in South Korea. After years of making music and playing concerts, he decided to leave his guitar behind and take a break from music.
âI was like I could take the instrument, but I think it would be pretty cool to have this period without music,â Lacy said.
Lacy said his time in South Korea was interesting because although it is a country the size of Indiana in terms of land area, the corporate culture and influence were predominant. While there, he was able to visit the border demilitarized zone and other historic places that were left behind after the Korean War.
He said moving to South Korea and experiencing a different culture helped fuel a “renaissance” within himself, and his absence from music helped him out of a rut he found himself in. He said music is like a long-term relationship, where there are periods of passion, but also the drudgery – in this case, getting ad space or reserving venues – that takes its toll.
Leaving the Midwest helped Lacy understand why he made music. Writing songs gave Lacy the opportunity to express his feelings outside of anger. When he expressed his feelings through the music he played, no one called him “weak” for being sad over a breakup or laughed at him for expressing his love.
âI was playing a show and felt validated after the shows, and it was almost like I was on stage just to validate that I had other feelings as a man,â Lacy said.
But moving away from music a bit, and then moving in 2018 to Los Angeles, where he’s more comfortable expressing his emotions, has allowed him to make music just because he enjoys playing and connecting with it. people, rather than for some sense of validation.
âIt’s a different way of doing itâ¦ but it’s definitely a happier way of making music,â Lacy said.
Despite his eventual return to music, it was not his inspiration to return to the United States and relocate to the Los Angeles area. When he was looking to relocate he knew he wanted a big city with lots of opportunities. New York City crossed his mind, but he hated the cold there.
During the first two years he was in California, Lacy stayed in an artists co-op in Echo Park, where he lived with 30 to 40 people at a time and about 350 people in total. He said it was basically a long-term hostel, and being around other creative people helped him get inspired and start working on the album he started from. years ago in Bloomington.
Eventually, he left the co-op and found a good roommate. During the pandemic, Los Angeles studios were on lockdown and that put the album on hold a bit, but it also gave Lacy time to make a marketing plan. He worked as a publicist at Rock Paper Scissors in Bloomington, and his experience there also helped him in the long campaign.
âI was given the opportunity of a lifetime to sit in front of my computer for months working on releasing this thing,â Lacy said. “So in all honesty the pandemic helped me make this album.”
The album is finally done, thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, where he raised $ 10,000 for the album, and his COVID-19 stimulus checks. He said the newsletter he started performing in Bloomington and on tour, which had over 2,000 readers, was the reason he was able to raise the amount of money he did.
Lacy said 2,000 were not an extravagant number of supporters, but because everyone on the list was interested in his career, they played a key role in raising funds to complete the album.
âOld Jesse was looking after the future Jesse when he had his newsletter list that everyone could write their email to while I was on tour,â Lacy said.
Lacy said that the album, titled “Love Evolving”, is a breakup album in a way, but also that love is unconditional. He has a good relationship with his exes and the warmth he feels when he sees them move on with their lives is different from the passion in a relationship, but it’s still a form of love.
âIt’s love that evolves,â Lacy said. âIt’s a different kind of love. He doesn’t have to die, he can just change.
Lacy is releasing singles from the album ahead of its November 3 release later this year, two of which are already on streaming platforms. He’s also planning to release another album next year, another part of the job he did while in Bloomington, which is more about falling in love with someone and being vulnerable.
He also said that the music industry is very different from what it was seven years ago when he started working on this album. He said that with streaming services becoming more prevalent, the market has become saturated and many people are making music for the sole purpose of making money, which he believes will help his album to grow. stand out.
âMy album is unique because it was written from a ‘I want to express this’ point of view and not ‘I want this to be heard’ or ‘I want this to be covered’,” Lacy said. âThe motive was art. It wasn’t to sign, be famous, or go viral. ”
It also recently launched a line of eco-friendly products, with items made from recycled materials. A tree is planted for each sale. He said a lot of artists in his position do the cheapest thing when they start releasing goods, which often means they’re made in sweatshops or in other inhumane ways, but he didn’t want to not do that.
âI prefer to make a good product that also has a supply chain that is both environmentally friendly and human,â Lacy said.
Lacy plans to release two more singles ahead of the album’s release: âAll Hereâ on August 11 and âBirth of Dreamsâ on September 15. Then in November, after seven years and a trip around the world, Lacy’s second album will be released to be released.