GHOST PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Margot Lester: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fox Vernon: email@example.com
Fox Vernon Releases Debut EP, Ghost
Solo recording from Washington, DC–area singer-songwriter and psychotherapist
available on September 18
ALEXANDRIA, VA — September 4, 2018 — Fox Vernon, a therapist and singer-songwriter, will release his five-track debut EP, Ghost, on September 18. Vernon is joined on the recording by Los Angeles–based drummer Mike Smirnoff; Dave Mallen, a D.C.-area multi-instrumentalist; and others. Mallen — who also owns the Innovation Station Music recording and production studio and is a voting member of the Producers & Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy (the GRAMMYs) — produced the EP. Vernon will mark the release with a performance at the Evening Star Cafe in Alexandria, Va., on September 20 at 8:00 p.m.
“The primary motivation for recording Ghost was to get my songs out into the world — this is my first album,” Vernon explains. “It centers on questions about God and the point of life, motivated by a series of recent personal losses: family, longtime friends, my dog. It’s about the struggles and grief that arise from the death of someone you love.”
Underneath that was a desire to grow, to establish himself as a musician, and to develop a network of musicians. “I knew I had a lot to learn, and that on my own I wouldn’t be able to realize my vision,” Vernon admits. “When I finally met my producer, Dave, who seemed like someone who could take my songs to the next level, I jumped on the opportunity. Working with him helped me refine both music and lyrics — and, perhaps most important, he got me to finish these songs. That’s probably the hardest thing to do: finish the song. Releasing Ghost has forced me to stand in the pain of sharing my music with others, absorb the reactions — whether positive or negative — learn from them, and move on.”
Ghost will be available on September 18 via all digital music delivery platforms, including Amazon, iTunes and GooglePlay. A preview of the album for reviewers only is available at https://s.disco.ac/thvraivjbamy. For more information, visit foxvernonmusic.com. To request a physical review copy, contact the artist directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advance Praise for Ghost
“This vulnerable and courageous album is filled with honest, heartfelt lyrics as Fox effortlessly conveys universal needs and longing. The entire collection of songs resonated with me on many levels, and I appreciated that the band created a lush musical bed that entwined, rather than overpowered, their message.” -- Dave Birckelbaw
Fox Vernon is a gifted multi-instrumentalist with a knack for crafting strong melodies and creating atmosphere. He is also a bit of a riffmeister who excels at song construction. The Ghost EP lives in a good space production-wise, but also maybe literally--in space. He is searching for something, and he often looks above. Check out "We Need the Stars". -- Dave Ihmels
This is a smart album that I'll refer to in times of trouble and joy, much like a good book.
Disclaimer: Fox and I have been friends for more years than either of us will admit. This fact does not color my opinion of the record. I really like it. If you like music with heart, soul and fun, you'll like Ghost. -- Chuck Denson
Background on Fox Vernon
Like many musical artists, Vernon starting playing at a young age. A percussionist, he focused mostly on orchestral music and competed in all-state bands, attended music camps, and took innumerable lessons. As a student at the summer-long North Carolina Governor’s School, he learned that breaking through in one difficult area of knowledge (what is a 16th note, and how do you sight-read it?) carried over into other areas. Though he attended the school as a percussionist, classes in psychology and philosophy piqued his academic interest. “I’d fallen in love with both disciplines,” says Vernon.
Thus began a years-long back-and-forth between vocation and avocation. ”I’ve stopped and started with music for most of my life,” he laughs. “So there is the story of how I first got started, and then there are all the stories about how I got restarted.”
During his freshman year at Stanford University, Vernon set aside music to pursue other interests, then picked it back up sophomore year, when he began jamming with friends between sociology studies. After graduation, he moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer. He frequently played with friends, and then made a decision to prioritize music and started a band, took composition and theory classes at a local college, and started the Chicago Music Co-op, a coalition of singer-songwriters.
He ultimately left the Windy City to test his musical mettle in Los Angeles, where his musician brother, Patrick (The Zookeepers), was living. Vernon got a day job, played in his own band, and worked on songwriting for a couple of years. “My band eventually broke up, and I realized I just wasn't excited about the music industry,” he notes. Vernon decided to go to graduate school in counseling psychology: “I love to empower people. I’ve really benefited from being empowered by others, and from unlocking myself from my fears. Part of that included unlocking my passion to do what I want to do.” He took a break from serious music and earned his Ph.D. in counseling from the University of Southern California in 2003.
“In graduate school, when I was practicing counseling techniques with peers, I started to understand that it was much like learning how to write and perform a song,” Vernon recalls. “After we’d finished trying out a certain counseling skill, we’d get in a circle and give each other feedback, and this reminded me of songwriting circles. I realized that counseling skills were performance skills. I also had a sense of how fluid and subjective these skills were, how much they depended on my authenticity. Counseling wasn’t a purely scientific thing for me, nor a rote skill; instead, it was about embodying and performing the skill as a genuine person, and how improvisation lets the real you shine. And this is true for musical performance. It’s not just playing the correct notes and getting the lyrics right, it’s doing it all with an authenticity that engages and moves the listener.”
Vernon’s career led to teaching stints at Capella University and Rutgers University, and eventually to private practice in the metro DC area. Gradually, he found the time and commitment to give professional and artistic pursuits equal weight. Today he makes music and counsels clients in Alexandria, Va.