Sunday, November 22, 2015

Songs for Hymn Now Available!

"Songs for Hymn", Toxic Highway's second-ever release, has now been made available in digital formats through Gumroad and Bandcamp.  Both of those releases feature all twelve tracks, as well as digital front cover art, and retails for a mere $2.

The album will also be made available worldwide, probably by the end of the year, though due to worldwide licensing issues, it will be missing one track ("How Great Thou Art").  So by ordering at the above places, you will be getting the full album, the way it was meant to be heard, and for far less than the standard-priced music services!

I'll also be chucking up the songs on our Soundcloud page, as time permits throughout this busy holiday season, so you can listen to "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" and album-opener "Amazing Grace" as of right now.  It will also be posted to select torrent sites in the very near future.

We sincerely thank you for your support, as we start bearing down on the next project we have in store!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Update on "Songs for Hymn": Limited Release November 22nd, Wide Release TBD

We have the final word on "Songs for Hymn", and while it's not the rosy outcome we were hoping for, things certainly could have been worse.

To make a long story short, we are in the process of gaining worldwide rights to 11 of the 12 songs on the CD.  A request to gain such rights for the twelfth song (How Great Thou Art) went unanswered, and navigating the company's website is a convoluted mess of a joke.  However, we did receive U.S. rights for that song.  For an industry that complains about piracy and theft, it's hilarious to me just how difficult they make it for artists to voluntarily pay for rights to use songs; it's the perfect example of their archaic mindset and absolute refusal to catch up to the times. (I had to fax forms over and physically mail in checks...are these companies still running on free copies of America Online?)

Brief rant aside, here's the solution and what it means to all of you: barring a bizarre unforeseen circumstance, "Songs for Hymn" will be made available in the U.S. through Gumroad and Bandcamp next Sunday.  The versions made available on those two sites will feature all twelve tracks, and is the album the way it was meant to be heard.  We will then begin the submission process for iTunes and other digital e-tailers next weekend, which will make the album available worldwide by the end of the year--but the worldwide version will only have eleven tracks (with How Great Thou Art omitted).  We sincerely regret having to do this, but we don't want to tie up the music any longer; this presents the simplest solution given our circumstance, and one that can still benefit everyone (anyone, from any country or continent, can purchase from the Gumroad and Bandcamp sites to receive the "uncut" album).

So when will the album be available on iTunes and other e-tailers?  That we cannot say; the timeframe lists three weeks as the maximum, though it's usually much quicker than that.  So using that as a guideline, it should be up by mid-December at the latest.  We will be sure to provide confirmation on this blog when the album is ready for purchase.

Friday, November 6, 2015

"Songs for Hymn" Street Date in Question; Preorders Still Active

"Songs for Hymn", Toxic Highway's second release, will more than likely be postponed while international rights are secured for three songs on the album.  The process isn't expected to take much longer, though there's a good chance that the album will not be ready for its expected release next Sunday (11-15-15).
While most of the release is comprised of songs that have long been in the public domain, as it turns out, three of the songs are still under copyright.  Getting licenses to release copyrighted materials isn't a difficult process, but since these were the first songs that I have ever covered on a disc, and thus my first experience with the entire procedure, I had no idea what I was getting into, or how to go about it.  We are on the cusp of getting everything legal and ready to go, so even if any sort of postponement will happen, chances are incredibly good that it will see the light of day before the end of the month.

Preorders are still active, so you can click here to place your order.  The retail price is pay-what-you-want, with a minimum of just $2 for all the Christian music your heart can handle!

Needless to say, this is great experience for the future, should the need to license songs arise ever again.  Or it'll just make me double-check to ensure any song I ever cover in the future is already in the public domain.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Pre-Order "Songs for Hymn"; Track Order Revealed!

A pre-order has been set up for Toxic Highway Recordings' next magnum opus "Songs for Hymn", a collection of 12 traditional Christian hymns that are anything but traditional!  The album will be a digital-only release, and will be available on November 15th via Gumroad, and a mere $2 will secure your copy (though you can also give more, if you want).

Normally, we like to give the option of offering our releases for free, but since a quarter of the album required licensing (three of the tracks are still under copyright), we decided it would be in our best interest to at least require a small sum.  This will help to defray some of the costs associated with producing and licensing the disc; contrary to what some may think, good releases certainly aren't free!  You can support us by pre-ordering the album straight away!

Also, a couple of posts ago we revealed what tracks will be on the disc...but now, we have an official order:

1.) Amazing Grace
2.) I'll Fly Away
3.) A Mighty Fortress is Our God
4.) Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
5.) I Love to Tell the Story
6.) What a Friend We Have in Jesus
7.) Are You Washed in the Blood?
8.) Victory in Jesus
9.) How Great Thou Art
10.) Battle Hymn of the Republic
11.) God Be With You Till We Meet Again
12.) In the Garden

Pre-Order "Songs for Hymn"

Upon release, the album will more than likely be available on iTunes and other digital e-tailers (not 100% sure about this yet), but either way, this will be the only place that you can order it in advance.  As always, thank you very much for your ongoing support!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Songs for Hymn" Cover Art Revealed

At long last we have the cover art for "Songs for Hymn", a forthcoming collection of traditional hymns with a contemporary twist that is currently being finalized.  It can be viewed below.

"Songs for Hymn" features 12 tracks that will be familiar to those interested in Christian spirituals, yet different enough to demand repeat listens.  On top of typical instruments, such as electric guitar, bass, and strings, several of the songs have added layers featuring ethnic instruments, backwards guitar, and other unexpected additions. 

The track listing can be viewed in the last post, and one of the tracks, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God", is now available for streaming.  It will be available through digital providers (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) some time in November, so keep your eyes peeled here for more information!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

SONGS FOR HYMN: Track Listing Revealed; 4th Quarter Release Date Confirmed!

At long last, some newly-finalized details for Toxic Highway's newest release, "Songs for Hymn", a 12-track collection of hymns, are starting to pour in!  The twelve tracks are as follows, in no particular order:
  • How Great Thou Art
  • Are You Washed in the Blood?
  • A Mighty Fortress is Our God
  • God Be With You Till We Meet Again
  • I Love to Tell the Story
  • I'll Fly Away
  • In the Garden
  • What a Friend We Have in Jesus
  • Victory in Jesus
  • Amazing Grace
  • Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
  • Battle Hymn of the Republic
And while we still don't have a specific release date (there's been a slight holdup on mixing that's making it hard to pinpoint an exact date, as of now), we CAN confirm that it will be out before the end of the year.  It was on par for a release some time in October, but that plan has been slightly derailed, making November the most likely candidate. 

As a reminder, you can listen to a mixed, but unmastered, demo of "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" by clicking on the name. Expect some more information, like a finalized order, album artwork, and a guaranteed release date, coming next month!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

ANNOUNCEMENT: "Songs for Hymn", Coming 4th Quarter, 2015

At long last, the first details are starting to come out for Toxic Highway's next release, our first since hardcore punk band Leadsucker's 2013 debut, "Burn".  We promised that it would be a complete 180-degree turn from that record, and what could be a more insane followup than a...hymn CD?!

But it's not just a straight-up hymn CD.  "Songs for Hymn" will feature 12 tracks, with one unique novelty that sets it apart from the "typical" hymn collection: The instruments, and thus the feel of the song, change after each verse, meaning some songs can sound like three-or-four different hymns in one.  Sometimes it's playful, sometimes it's beautiful, and sometimes it's haunting, but it's certainly unique.

Don't let the description scare you, though: Each song on the CD remains faithful to the original source material.  This means the lyrics stay true to the original hymns (with some songs even utilizing alternate or "forgotten" verses), the music still follows the same chord progressions, and the recognizable melodies will have you singing along, no matter what the music may sound like.

We are still ironing out several details, including album artwork, release date info, and even a finalized track listing, so all that will have to wait for a little while.  But we felt like we've been leading you guys on long enough and felt this was as good a time as any to let you know what we've been doing the last couple of years.  As an added bonus, you can go ahead and listen to work-in-progress version of "A Mighty Fortress is Our God", courtesy of our SoundCloud page.

If you like what you hear, you can follow us on Twitter @ToxicHighwayRec, which is updated with all the latest news and info (for example, a link to this song was already posted there several days ago!).  We appreciate your interest, and thanks for checking us out!  We look forward to fleshing out the remaining details, which we will honestly do the moment we ourselves know for sure what's going on with this disc.  Thanks!