Joss Whedon Co-Wrote A Secret Folk EP While Filming ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’

Celebrated filmmaker and storyteller Joss Whedon has devoted the better part of 2014 to his Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron, as The Inquisitr has reported. However, the 50-year-old director has also been working on another project that until recently has been kept under wraps: an as-yet untitled folk EP with singer-songwriter Shawnee Kilgore.

Whedon first became aware of the 32-year-old, Austin-based Kilgore through a Kickstarter project aimed at funding her next album, according to Buzzfeed. “I had a Kickstarter phase — I don’t want to say addiction, but there was a period when it was my only friend,” Whedon joked, describing how he discovered her page last March, just as the production for Avengers: Age of Ultron was beginning to ramp up. Whedon was struck by Kilgore’s music, and the cue cards she used to make her funding appeal.

Guys, I made a song! With @ShawneeKilgore. In “stores” now!

— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) August 8, 2014

“One of the cards just said ‘I am learning how…’ and then she flipped it: ‘…to ask for help,'” Whedon recalled of the video that convinced him to get behind the project. “And I was like, ‘OK!’ That struck such a chord with me, personally… I really loved the music and the sound of her voice.” Joss backed the project with the largest donation Kilgore had received.

Though Kilgore wasn’t a devoted fan of Whedon, she knew who he was. Her boyfriend, a game designer, was more familiar with Whedon’s work. “I got a message from my sweetie,” Kilgore said. “And he says, ‘Whoa! Backer No. 43! Holy s**t!'” For several weeks, the pair weren’t sure that the backer was really Whedon. After Kilgore’s project was fully funded though, they began to email each other.

Fun? “@ShawneeKilgore: Hey @josswhedon this is fun!” This is the cutthroat world of indie folk music! It’s Vegan Dog Eat Kale out here!

— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) August 9, 2014

Kilgore was relieved to find that it really was Whedon who helped fund her project, yet surprised at the enthusiasm he brought to it. By the time they connected, Joss had already written the lyrics to an entire song, which he sent to Kilgore, hoping it wasn’t too presumptuous. “I’d gotten her music stuck in my head,” Whedon related. “And when I sent it to her, like, the next day I woke up to a demo pretty much. It was so clear that we were speaking the same language.”

So here’s a link to the song: the first from the EP @shawneeKilgore and I are making! Because free time is a satan!

— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) August 8, 2014

The first single from the EP, “Big Giant Me,” is already available on iTunes. Kilgore originally floated the idea of including it as a bonus track on her album, but Whedon suggested they keep collaborating. Working together through the summer, Whedon provided lyrics while leaving the musical content and performances up to Kilgore. “Me singing is not something the world is dying to hear,” Whedon says.

— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) August 6, 2014

Surprisingly, the duo have only collaborated over email during the length of the project. Now that production on Age of Ultron has wrapped, as Cinema Blend reports, the pair hope that they can finish the album while working in the same room. Whedon and Kilgore still have two more songs to write, and although the director says, “It’s not like I’m fighting off all the enormous free time that’s coming at me,” he contends that he plans to meet with Kilgore in Austin.

Kilgore believes the project worked so well because she was hesitant to discuss his other work. “I think that my treating him not as ‘Joss Whedon: Incredible Super Famous Director Guy,’ but as Joss Whedon, my new friend who is really awesome and nice and appreciates my art, allowed room for this cool new thing where there might not have been otherwise.”

The director added, “To speak in her voice and to find out the things we share and the things that are universal between two people who are at radically different places in both of their lives, and on the map — it’s really exciting for me.” To Joss Whedon, “This just felt right.”

[Image via Boomstick Comics]