A lovely singer’s DIY star turn

Jill Sobule had a hit with her 1995 single “I Kissed a Girl.” Then her record label went out of business (it was the second label of hers to do so). So last year, the singer-songwriter asked her fans to fund the recording of a new album, offering premiums like $10 digital downloads, $2,500 “executive producer” credits, and a $10,000 chance to sing on the album.

California Years describes Sobule’s relocation to the West Coast and her attempts to locate herself within both the American landscape and the changing music industry. There’s a song about her love of “Ode to Billy Joe” singer Bobbie Gentry and a lovely tribute to Scott McKenzie’s 1967 hit “San Francisco.” Mega-producer Don Was lent Sobule his services, and the album’s closing track includes shoutouts to several dozen fans — each of whom contributed $500 for the privilege.

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