If you spent any time near a radio in the 1990s, there is a good chance you are already familiar with Emily Saliers. She’s half of the Grammy Award-winning duo The Indigo Girls, along with songwriter Amy Ray. Now, over three decades into a professional music career, Saliers begins recording her very first solo album this winter, and she’s getting a hand from her fans.
The songwriter has launched a crowdfunding campaign for the recording costs of the album through the service Pledge Music. While she admits that she was at first uncomfortable with the idea of asking fans to chip in to pay for the record, Saliers acknowledges that it is "a different world now" in the music industry.
"I have given to different campaigns of musicians that I support," Saliers told "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes, "and for me as a fan, not only did it feel good to give but also to participate in that artist's record."
With the Indigo Girls, Saliers has written hit songs like "Closer to Free" and "Galileo." While recording an album of her own, she is taking the opportunity to explore a broader musical palate.
"I’m heavily influenced by R&B music, a lot of rap music and groove and world music," she said, "I love the sound of an Armenian duduk and I love medieval horns and strings and so on and so I wanted to bring all that in."
"I had to let go of what I'm used to," Saliers said of the songwriting process, "which is holding my acoustic guitar through a whole song, because this isn't going to be that. I may not even be playing guitar on some of these songs."
Info on Saliers' upcoming solo album, along with regular updates on her recording process, can be found on her Pledge Music page.