In October 2017, I sat down at my laptop with an out-of-tune Sigma acoustic guitar, opened up Logic Pro, and started singing about sheep.
Today, I released it wild into the world.
Production and Development
The entire album was written and recorded in under 2 hours. I did no editing, no second takes, no mixing or mastering.
Professionals in the music and recording industry will appreciate that the first song, I Will Knit You a Sweater, was recorded while the metronome click-track played through my laptop’s speakers.
The second song, Baa, will have some familiar lyrics you should know so you can sing along if you’d like!
The third song, Dryer Balls, may actually have some commercial viability – it sounds more like a commercial jingle than a song. I mean, it’s about keeping your laundry fresh and static free.
Our fourth song, Guard Llama, is about keeping sheep safe.
The fifth song, Counting Sheep, is me literally counting sheep. Should you make it past the 7th sheep, you will quickly learn I can’t count.
The final song, Tell Me Sheep, What Do You Know? closes out the album on a philosophical note, leaving us all to forever wonder: What do sheep know?
It is the worst album ever that breaks all the recording rules. It is literally me singing, very badly, about sheep. At some points, you can actually hear me laughing at the absurdity of it all.
You can listen to it here.
The Story of The Album Cover + How I Designed the Sheep
Because the album is so bad in terms of industry standards for production, it only made sense to to make the cover of the album equally unprofessional.
If you’ve been using Photoshop for a long time, you will appreciate that it was made entirely with legacy custom shapes and the default gradient applied to make our sheep a little more “psychedelic”.
I think the sheep turned out beautiful!
Of course, when I went to create the merch for our sheep, I quickly realized the bright crazy colors were not going to show up right in print.
So, I decided to instead make the sheep a coloring book design for all of our official merch. This way, you have full creative control over how you want your sheep to look.
If you don’t have the money to buy anything from the shop, but still want to show your support for the album, you can even download your very own free sheep coloring page to print out.
I don’t know exactly what I was thinking when I made the album, but I am pretty sure I was just trying to write some actual songs. One of ye olde songwriting tricks is to write songs about the most ridiculous things you can think of – and with a little luck, maybe you’ll be able to capture a good hook or melody.
I have a terrible memory, so a lot of times while writing songs, I record them just in case I do come up with something good and can’t remember what it was 5 seconds later.
Why did I sing about sheep? I love fiber arts, spinning wool, crochet, weaving – all that good stuff. At the time of writing these songs, I was thinking about how much I would love to have a farm with actual sheep.
And then, in total synchronicity and happenstance, right after I finished recording the last song on the album, my husband came home with an Ashford traditional spinning wheel that one of his customers just happened to be getting rid of that day.
Why release a horribly produced album like this?
The recording quality of the album is so horrible it could probably become a poster child for record execs everywhere for why you shouldn’t release your own album. I know it’s bad, but there is a reason why I would put something so terrible out there in the world.
To encourage you to do Something creative
This album is a statement, a pledge, and a plea for the world: Do something creative.
Everybody needs an outlet, and a way to express themselves. When we have no creative outlet, all of our thoughts, feelings, and past hurts bottle up inside like the ingredients of a Molotov cocktail ready to explode.
You might have a nervous breakdown, you may do things you later regret, you may go through life feeling so numb that it makes you forget about the beauty of what it means to be alive.
You don’t need to be talented to do creative things and enjoy their benefits. No one is good at anything when they first start. Make the bad art, write the bad poetry, sing songs, build something – it helps not only you, but all the people in the world around you.
My horrible sheep album is a testament that you can’t do much worse than me – so go do something creative! Pick up that dusty guitar, write that poem or book, draw something, go design or build something.
Doing something creative is important for your mental health and your own well-being – I know this from experience – I do have Bipolar I Disorder after all! And when you take care of your own mental health and well-being, you also help other people in the world. You’re a happier person and in turn that will help other people be happier too.
To Get the baddest of the bad out of the way
Believe it or not, I actually have real music I want to record the right way and release.
If you look at every artist in the history of the world, their first release is usually their worst – it’s not until the second, or even the third that things start to get good.
By releasing a terrible album of badly singing about sheep, I’ve already got that bad album out of my system. By starting with low standards and the absolute worst I can do, there is only room for improvement from here on out.
To help get past that pesky self-critic and stop striving for perfection
We are our own self critics and we often feel like we’re not good enough. We might think what we created is terrible, but until you share what you have, you’ll never know that other people might like it.
People like things that are raw, vulnerable and real. They like stuff that isn’t perfect. Why? Because none of us are perfect.
When you have something that is perfect, it doesn’t have any emotion, it has no feeling, it has no realness.
Songs for Sheep is exactly like this – I think it’s terrible. 98% of the people I know would agree.
But there are 2 people in the world who like it, and so I released it for them. They wanted to listen to it on Spotify and share it with their friends. The only way to do that is through a music distributor, so here we are: I released a really terrible album into the world.
It’s embarrassing, for sure – but doing embarrassing things in public is a great way to step out of your comfort zone.
Anyways, yes, this is songs for sheep. I’d say I hope you enjoy it, but that would be awfully high expectations.
Instead, I hope it’s inspiration for you to go ahead and give yourself permission to do something creative you enjoy doing, to share whatever you’ve created with the world, no matter how terrible it is, and to move past criticism + the quest for perfection.
And of course, I’d love to hear anything you’d like to say in the comments below. Don’t worry, you can use a pen name. I don’t need to know who you really are unless you want me to.