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Updates on Upcoming Release

Hey friends! Much is happening with the album that's coming out soon and I wanted to give you a quick peek into some cool parts that are surfacing as part of the process!

The Camera Eye

I had the joy of recently flying out to Nashville to have a few photos taken by Alysse Gafkjen. Her unique and tasteful work caught my eye. I love how she plays with light, traditional film, and candid looks. She's worked with great artists like Keith Urban, Robert Plant, Jason Isbell, and many more.

The process was exceptional. I went in not knowing what to expect but Alysse and her team made me feel right at home. It was indeed a rare and special experience to have a groomer put makeup on me and to work with a stylist as renowned as Kim Rosen Perrett but the outcome was like nothing else and I left with around 20 images that I can use for years to come that are just stunning. I truly admire professionals who are as passionate about craftsmanship and detail while still remaining down-to-earth and kind and Alysse and Kim showcased that.

Artwork from Across the World

My blessed partnership with Zulfikri Mokoagow in Bali, Indonesia has proven to be one of a beautiful and kindred synergy. Zulfikri (or "Z") emerged in the freelance community as a detail-oriented and talented illustrator and his works were instrumental in fulfilling the vision I had for my prior album 100 Summers. In like fashion, Z has been helping me bring to life visual extensions of the songs to marry the music and lyrics when someone indulges in a CD or vinyl record. Z is at work wrapping up a few remaining images for the booklet insert that will come with the two formats and then both will be off to press.

A Bit About the Process

Usually, I'll send Z an idea – a preliminary vision of the song that I have in mind. This is a fun brainstorming process and has been particularly confounding on this project in particular since I can't put myself in the shoes of the original writers of the songs that will be appearing on this album. So, these pieces of artwork become my own interpretation of a moment to express the song and, in turn, Z has his own interpretation of my ideas. Still, the outcome is pretty rad.

Here's an example of the initial rough sketch provided for John Gorka's tune Morningside, which will be on the upcoming album.

The song itself if about finding a second wind in one's latter years, where " brings more luck than knocking on wood". I imagined John himself standing at his doorway greeting the morning sunrise as he prepares to hit the road for a string of shows.

Here's Z's near final interpretation:

I like the little easter egg of a photo of John in his younger days, hanging on the wall to remind him as he leaves. Even from the back, it looks like John standing in the doorway.

What's Next?

We'll be premiering a single in just a couple weeks that will kick off the promotion process so keep an eye out via email or social media!

Beyond that, i'll usher in the release with some more blog post newsletters like these but focused on each song with artwork, dorky photos from my youth, stories about the songs, and chances to dive in and listen.


If you haven't yet, please consider supporting my art and pre-ordering a copy of my album either via CD, vinyl, or digital format. You can do so through my Bandcamp page. I'll plan to hand-sign them before I send them your way!

Thank you again for staying tuned and supporting my craft. I look forward to sharing this stunning project with you soon.

Much love,

James Lee

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