Releasing new music is always a challenge for recording artists as the industry has become more splintered.
“Do you release an album or do you give away the music?” asks Blake Christiana, the vocalist-guitarist for the Grammy-nominated Americana band Yarn. “Who knows what to do?”
Well, Christiana and his Yarn bandmates are getting creative. They’ve come up with a new concept for their latest project, dubbed “Lucky 13.” The band is releasing a single with an “A” side and “B” side on the 13th of each month for the entire year for $5 a month.
“We started (in January) and the reception was good,” Christiana says. “This is a digital 45. We also include a revamped older song and an alternative version of one of our songs. Four tracks a month means 48 songs for the year. That’s a lot of music. We did what we had to do.”
The new Yarn tunes are diverse. “It all depends on our mood,” Christiana says. “Sometimes the songs are alt-country and other times they’re rock. The creative juices are flowing. You’ll have to sign up to see what we have in store over the next few months.”
Or check out Yarn when the Raleigh-based band plays a hometown show Feb. 9 at the Cat’s Cradle Back Room.
“The local shows are always fun,” Christiana says while calling from Charlotte. “I know Cat’s Cradle will be packed with family and friends. I love the familiar, and I’ve really embraced Raleigh.”
Christiana moved from Brooklyn to the Triangle a half-decade ago and has no regrets.
“Raleigh has been the perfect place for me,” Christiana says. “Not only has it been an inspiring place for a musician, it’s been great for quality of life. The first thing I did was buy patio furniture when I moved down here. I still love the fact that I have more space here and less chaos. It’s more manageable and affordable.
“It allows me to afford the finer things in life like going to get drinks at Slim’s (Downtown Bar). I love living downtown. It’s a great scene there. Everyone talks about how cool it is living in Brooklyn. It’s true. It is fun living in Brooklyn, but people should check out Raleigh. I bought a house there, and my wife and I couldn’t be happier where we’re living.”
On Friday, expect a number of songs from the band’s six albums. “We have plenty to draw from,” Christiana says. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the show at Cat’s Cradle will be a long evening.”
Yarn, which also includes bassist Rick Bugel, vocalist-guitarist Rod Hohl and drummer Bobby Bonhomme, crafts gritty, relatable material.
“What we write is about real life,” Christiana says. “We write from the heart when we’re writing about messed-up relationships. We’ve experienced it all. I think people love things that they can connect with. They like it when they might have experienced the same thing that a songwriter experienced. Everybody in this band has been through a lot. We have the material.”
And there will be at least 24 new songs in 2018 to add to the band’s vast canon.
“It’s going to be tougher to put together a set list, but that’s a good problem to have,” Christiana says. “We’re just going to keep building on this, and we’re going to build on it in Raleigh. There’s no place like it there. Moving down there was one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
Who: Yarn with John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff
When: 8 p.m. Feb. 9
Where: Cat’s Cradle, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro
Tickets: $12 in advance and $15 day of show.
Info: 919-967-9053 or catscradle.com