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Heath McNease To Release "Thrift Store Jesus" February 28




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NEWS SOURCE: Heath McNease
January 18, 2012

He just doesn't quit. Rapper and singer/songwriter Heath McNease is at it again with yet another new release on the way. After three projects released last year, Heath is set to release his first for 2012, titled Thrift Store Jesus. Dubbing it his "most mature" work to date, McNease had the following to say about the project...

2011 was quite a prolific year for me as an artist. I was fortunate enough to churn out “The House Always Wins” in February, “Straight Outta Console: The Nintendo Thumb Mixtape” in July, and “Wed, White, and Wu” with Playdough in November. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been given the opportunity to call music my full time job…which offers me the chance to focus on crafting songs at a higher quantity than a lot of artists. I also feel blessed and humbled that the quality keeps getting better and maturing with every release. Balancing all that with a 300 day touring schedule each year is nothing short of a challenge, but I’m so happy to call this my livelihood. My chances to continue to broaden my territory and share a vital art form that communicates love, compassion, humor, truth, and even salvation get better and better with every year. And I think this year will be the best yet.

I’m looking forward to all 2012 has to offer. Between incessant talk of the Mayan calendar and the first installment of The Hobbit…I’d say it’s going to be a banner year. Which brings me to my next endeavor. On Tuesday, February 28th I will be releasing yet another album. The album is called “Thrift Store Jesus”, and is by far my most mature work to date. It will have 14 tracks. With every release I’ve tried to take another step in my evolution as an artist. I’ve never been interested in “changing my style” or “reinventing” what it is I do, because for a vast majority of my audience…it’s tough to pinpoint exactly what it is I’m doing in the first place. It’s tough for me sometimes too. But what truly makes this album stand apart is that, for all intents and purposes, it will be the first predominantly hip hop record I’ve ever created that is almost completely joke free. There are just a few moments of levity on this album.

Now that wasn’t a deliberate choice. I wasn’t sitting around thinking, “ok…NOW is the time to be serious.” Quite the contrary. Almost all of these songs snuck up on me and created themselves in about a 6 week span with the exception of 3 which had been written over a year ago. Putting out an acoustic in February satisfied a lot of fans, but tons of people wanted a rap album immediately. As soon as the Nintendo mixtape was out, people were asking for another album. So Playdough and I gave them what they wanted. It is no mystery that the only reason most people ever heard of me was because of my fun, tongue in cheek songs and live show. But what kept a lot of them coming back was the 3 or 4 songs that deliberately contained the type of artistic depth that earnest reflection can bring. I’ve always enjoyed doing it all. But making an album started to feel like I needed to break my song choices down into fractions. “Ok…I need ¼ of this to be fun, I need ¼ of it to be bangers, I need ¼ to be catchy non hip hop, and I need ¼ to be serious so that people know I’m seeking important truths, so they know I’m not an idiot.” That’s why I made those mixtapes. It was so much fun to just let whatever came to my head fly. I’ve never had more fun writing than I did with those two mixtapes, because I was completely unfettered. This new album is quite the same but exactly the opposite all at the same time.

I felt free to write whatever I wanted, because the things that were on my mind and heart were pressing, urgent, and complex spiritual, social, and personal issues that couldn’t be communicated by just doing ¼of an album that way. This will be, by all accounts, my LEAST alluring album. It won’t have the acquiescent nature that “The Gun Show” did. It won’t be poppy like “The House Always Wins”, it won’t be buck wild fun like the mixtapes. But it will be the most important to me personally. It’s just unrestrained lyricism. I touch on everything that matters to me at this point in my life. There’s a ton of observational storytelling, a bit of biography, and a lot of scenarios where I felt like I was playing Devil’s advocate just as much as I was speaking my own conscience. There are so many questions on this album. It covers everything that swirls around the heart of the human condition. I try to tackle topics that are rarely unflinchingly tackled in the musical realm of the religious…and hardly ever given a spiritual perspective in the musical realm of the secular. With no judgments passed or real agendas…I talk about isolation, anxiety, fear, sex, money, loss, grief, doubt, loneliness, dishonesty, selfishness, selflessness, death, the afterlife, redemption, and the general sense of impending doom that we all feel when it’s quiet and there’s no one around to impress. I didn’t want to make a concept album. But I did want to make an album that conceptually sounded like it could’ve been written by the same person on one incredibly cold day. I think it’s my most lyrically honest and daring album. And I feel it’s musically mature without letting the music overshadow the intent.

I’ve said all that to say this. I’m excited about this album, because I feel that it’s the next step for me. I’m so honored to have fans and friends who are listening intently as I continue to find myself as an artist and just as a guy. I will be giving this album away for free…yet again. But I did want to offer myself an opportunity to earn a little more money off of this project.

The amount of traffic and free downloads given away with the two mixtapes has been unreal. It truly has. They both were #1 on bandcamp when they debuted, and I owe that to nobody else but you guys. Through the higher visibility and greater attention from blog sites, venues, radio stations, etc…it’s allowed a higher volume of listeners to become acquainted with me. And at the end of the day…that’s what it’s all about.

However…hahaha….the money made off of these free works of the heart isn’t staggering. The people that have decided to “pay” for the albums by donating have essentially allowed me to keep giving things away for free. If it wasn’t for them…the rest of you broke jokes wouldn’t be able to hear it. : )

So I want to do something a little bit different this time. I’ve expressed my hesitation with campaigns like “Kickstarter”. I absolutely see their worth, and I understand why artists use them. I truly do. For me…I just don’t feel comfortable with that type of operation at this point with my music. Maybe I’ll change my mind one day. But for now I don’t have to. So here’s the deal.

This album has already been recorded. It’s being mixed and mastered as I speak. It’s already been paid for. It cost me 2,500 dollars. That’s not a lot of money at all. When I was with the record label…I couldn’t even get it mixed for less than 2 grand. So it’s much easier to personally front that kind of money. What I want to do is make back what I spent AND (for once) make an actual profit. So I’m doing some things that are quite similar to Kickstarter except for the fact that 1) my album has already been made and releases on February 28th and 2) your contribution will solely serve to cover the cost and allow me to profit towards recording the next album or buying more merch. Again…remember the album will be free. And you can continue to donate 50 cents or 1 dollar or 5 dollars if that’s all you have to spare. So here are the levels of contribution you can think about.

For more information on how to support Heath and donate for this project (with some sweet incentives), visit http://heathmcneasemusic.com/2012/01/17/thrift-store-jesus-announcement/

For more info on Heath McNease visit the JFH Artists Database.

 

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