Starlite Radio

Americana Folk-Rock for Rascal Souls | Rockford, IL

Reunited with new songs

Last fall, we broke the band into two teams to take on weekly writing sessions through the winter. We recently finished and got the whole band together last week to celebrate and listen to the new material.

We're really excited about the new songs and will start phase two of the writing process this week, which includes working out the full-band arrangements and recording demos. If you're interested in hearing some acoustic versions of the new songs, catch one of our trio/solo performances this spring. 

The Band Splits Over Songwriting

This winter we got the crazy idea of splitting the band in two to write new songs. "Team Starlite" is being led by Jessica with David and John. "Team Radio" is being led by Nathan with Jordan and Libby. So far, Jessica is kicking Nathan's butt with three finished songs to his one. There's still several weeks to go in this endeavor, but the hope is to have enough songs in early 2015 to record a new full-length album.

Hickory Dickory Dock

This past Tuesday we were scheduled to record Libby on the piano for a couple of our new songs. After setting up and beginning sound check, I noticed Jordan making strange faces at his engineering station.

It was proceeded by getting up and going behind his desk, unplugging cords, plugging them back in, replacing cords, leaving the room, returning with more cords, switching equipment off and then on again. It was an interesting sight, and if I've learned anything from working with my brother, it's to not bother him when he's in problem-solving mode.

Eventually he explained to me that our left playback speaker was much quieter than the right one. In fact, the woofer wasn't putting out any sound at all. We concluded that an inside wire must have come unplugged, so we stopped the session to open up the speaker.

When we removed the woofer, what we found was more than a disconnected wire. It looked at first like partially-burnt, shredded paper tucked inside a hole in the woofer padding. But when we looked closer, it was used coffee filters that had been chewed up and made into a tiny bed. A mouse had found a way into the speaker and made a nest, and in the process, chewed a wire in half.

No mouse to be found though. But we did find Jordan's old friendship bracelet that used to hang on his first bass guitar. The mouse must have liked their new home so much they started decorating.

Needless to say, this episode cut the recording session short, and we had to order a new woofer. You owe us, Mickey.

What We Can Tell You Now

For the past several months during our annual creative hibernation, we've committed ourselves to writing and recording new songs together on a regular basis. It took some time to figure out the best approach for group collaboration, but we've begun something new and fresh. And their might be a couple albums in the future to show for it.

What can we tell you now? We're still weighing out some options, but what you'll see this coming spring and summer is more of a variety of songs and how they'll be performed. We're sticking with our current five members, but will be adding a few guest players here and there. We'll also be doing some acoustic performances that highlight our songwriting and storytelling.

For the new recordings, we currently have enough songs for a full album, but are branching them off in two different directions. One collection leans more towards our confessional, down-to-earth style of songwriting, and the other falls more into our fictional, character-based songwriting. Will this mean a couple EPs? Should we give it more time to develop a couple full-length albums? It hasn't been decided yet. But either way, we are excited to share the new material with our audience when the time comes.

We'd love to hear your feedback and any ideas you may have. You can post them below, or send us a message.

Creative Hibernation

We used to try booking shows in the winter. We don't anymore. We found that most venues in our area—especially distinct to the upper midwest—take a step back from heavily booking acts during the colder months. We spent a lot of wasted energy and frustration before we figured this out. Now we've learned to redirect that energy into what we call creative hibernation.

Most people consider hibernation a state of complete inactivity. This is true in one sense, but is really a different kind of activity. Animals that enter a season of hibernation do so to conserve energy when their food supply is scarce. Their bodies go into a state of "slowing down" in order to make it to the next season and handle its requirements. This is a good model for the artist.

When performance opportunities are scarce, we conserve our energy by redirecting it into other creative work. The winter months are now a time when we invest in songwriting and recording, to both improve our craft and build up new material. It's a season to slow down, because the work requires more reflection and thought: a different kind of activity, vital to the life of an artist and their work.

Creative hibernation prepares us for the busier performance seasons during the spring and summer, when we have less time to write and record. It improves our skills and gives us more artistic stock to share with our audience—making a happier, healthier artist.

Download Our New Album on NoiseTrade!

This offer is no longer available, but you can check NoiseTrade for other music offers from the band.

This past weekend we released our second full-length album, Live Life Slow. We were so happy to finally make the recording available to fans, and if you go to, you can download the entire album for FREE! That’s right. FREE! With the download you’ll also get a PDF of the 16-page album booklet with photos and lyrics, including liner notes, credits, and thank-yous.

Why NoiseTrade?

A few months ago, as we were planning the release of Live Life Slow, we decided we were in greater need of expanding our audience than making a financial profit on the new album. The way NoiseTrade works is a band can trade free music in exchange for an email address and zip code from someone who wants to download the album. This helps independent bands like us to build an email list of people outside our hometown. When we get a strong group of email addresses from an outside city, we’ll be able to book a gig in that area and send a notification to those people and have a greater chance of seeing a good turnout. We’re hoping this works out well, and we need your help!

How you can help

The biggest favor and thanks you can give us is to share the new album with as many friends as you can. NoiseTrade also allows fans to leave a tip for the band, which we greatly appreciate, but above all, we are looking for fans to share the album, share it agian, and then share it some more!

We'll end this post with some photos from our album release party at Kryptonite in Rockford, Illinois. You can see more on Facebook.


© Starlite Radio  |  Home page + event images by Lemuette; sub pages background photo by Dustin Waller