Shouting Out to Project 52

` Glitter and Stone

Corey Layman, the songwriter behind the project Developer, has been active in Pittsburgh since the 90’s and he’s always been one of my favorites.  Early on he fronted the band Hovland, who were one of the few local acts I really followed out of not just a sense of kinship and community but because I thought their talent could reach far beyond Pittsburgh.  Like so many acts with a lot of potential, they made a big push and then things seemed to slowly fall away.  But Corey has been plugging along since, writing and performing as Developer (both as a full band and solo) as well as playing in the legendary local act the Karl Hendriks Trio and myriad other projects.

He started Project 52 in September and it is awe inspiring.  The plan is one song a week for an entire year and so far he’s made good on it: Week 18 just went up.  He’s also managed to compile the first 13 weeks into an album, appropriately titled Project 52: Volume 1 and put it up in all the usual places.

The music itself is definitely of a mid-90’s indie rock vintage; guitar driven and emotional with vocals that are almost plain spoken until he invokes some melody and puts a soaring harmony on top of it that strike right in the heart . His best songs are nostalgic and almost mournful, with a really solitary vibe and there are no shortage of his best on Project 52: Volume 1.

Check it out and buy it, and make sure you read his blog posts about each song- each entry runs down not only how you might go about creating a song a week but the tools he uses and the limits he’s constantly got to push against.  Signs the world has changed: The majority of recording is being done on his iPhone!

Well done, sir.