Melbourne, Australia – November 25, 2013 – Independent Melbourne Label, YakMusic Records is proud to announce the upcoming release in early 2014 of a new compilation album entitled “Songs for Blake – Embracing Autism”, which will be available via online stores such as iTunes, CDbaby, and Bandcamp.
“Songs for Blake” is the brainchild of Mark Davis, whose youngest son, Blake, was a given a preliminary diagnosis of Autism (or ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder) in February 2013 at 2 years and 7 months. In August 2013 Blake’s final diagnosis was that he showed “severe symptoms of ASD”.
“It’s November now and we, as a family, are still coming to terms with the shock and realisation of it all. At the same though we need to act quickly to help ensure our son has access to the therapy he so badly needs” explained Mark Davis.
Now 3 years and 5 months, and with the help of private speech therapy and a few hours a week at an early education centre, Blake has only just started saying a few words. He is still unable to form sentences, continues to struggle socially, and is incapable of following most simple instructions.
“Every day is a struggle for all of us in our family, and for Blake especially. He has come a long way in 9 months, but we want to be able to continue to build on this progress to help him further develop communication, self-help and socialisation skills.”
Living in Melbourne, Australia, there are many valuable resources for Blake to access which will significantly benefit his development through early intervention, but unfortunately, as all families with children on the spectrum would know, it is a very costly, and ongoing, process. Furthermore, because the family are New Zealanders choosing to live in Australia, there is no access to government funding or grants to help ease the financial pressure for regular speech, occupational, psychological and paediatric therapy and appointments.
“Unfortunately ‘that’s the way the cookie crumbles’, and there is no point complaining about it. There are so many Kiwis ‘in the same boat’ as us. We have investigated all the options, and we even considered going home to New Zealand, but found the resources in Australia are outstanding. If we want to stay here and utilise these fabulous services for our son we will have to try and come up with the funds ourselves. We would like to give our son the very best opportunity, like any parent would.”
So Mark began contacting bands and their managers about his fundraising project proposal and instantly began gathering interest from artists worldwide.
“Some artists were very close friends of mine who were only too willing to help out, while some I had the pleasure of working with in the past, and were also willing to offer their creativity. I also had positive responses from artists that I idolised growing up as a teenager and in my early 20s!”
For the initial announcement of artists, YakMusic Records can confirm the following artists will appear on “Songs for Blake – Embracing Autism”:
- Seattle rock/alt/soul/funk singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Shawn Smith (Brad, Satchel, Pigeonhed & All Hail the Crown);
- LA-based multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and recording engineer Matt Mahaffey of sElf;
- New Zealand (but now Norway-based) singer-songwriter and producer Adi Dick;
- LA-based singer-songwriter (and Blind Melon front man) Travis T Warren;
- Wellington’s favourite New Zealand progressive indie-rock alt-country band The Phoenix Foundation;
- Brooklyn New York Hip Hop/Punk/Funk/Metal/Reggae/Rock mashers Shinobi Ninja;
- Minneapolis, Minnesota Indie Grind Blues outfit La Madness;
- Australian 5-piece indie pop rock band Sons of Rico;
- Quebec, Canada’s sunny folk group East Road;
- Wellington, New Zealand post-punk band So So Modern;
- Brisbane’s 3-piece alternative rock band Greenthief;
- New Zealand-born vocalist Stacey Gardiner and producer/multi-instrumentalist Jono Steer of the Melbourne based dream-pop duo Haarlo;
- Sydney-based beat-fiddling Kiwi, Oscar Wuts, aka The Seaport and the Airport.
“I am overwhelmed as to how many artists have offered to be a part of this project. It means so much to my family and I,” Mark added.
“In return, we have decided to also donate some of the proceeds from the album to a few Autism organisations worldwide. We hope this means we can, in some way, offer organisations some assistance in helping other families experiencing what we are going through.” A percentage of the proceeds of the album will be donated annually to Autism Canada, US Autism & Asperger Association (USAAA), Amaze (Australia) and Autism NZ.
Later in the year, YakMusic Records plan to announce more artists set to appear on “Songs for Blake”, and then announce the final track-listing & release date in the new year.
Show your love and support by sharing and following the “Songs for Blake” project for further updates!
For more information, contact Mark Davis;
About YakMusic Records
YakMusic Records is an entirely independent record label now based in Melbourne Australia. Founded in 2003, YakMusic have released tribute albums for Shawn Smith (Brad, Satchel, Pigeonhed) and most recently alternative rock legends – Blind Melon.
Twenty Stories Below – The Blind Melon Tribute Album was released on December 6th 2006, with a digital Deluxe Edition released on July 6th 2013.