Sing Birds, In Your Shrinking Woods

by The Orchards

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    12" black vinyl LP featuring cover painting by Anne Danae, photographs by Elizabeth Hartsig, lyric sheet, and Apohadion label by Pat Corrigan. Proceeds from vinyl sales will benefit the family of Dave Noyes.

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    Gatefold ecopack with cover painting by Anne Danae and photos by Elizabeth Hartsig.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Sing Birds, In Your Shrinking Woods via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
Houseboat 04:08
Great wooden ship, old roof of slate Shining and sailing through the night sky Anchored on this street, ocean to both sides With light spilling out, and ash in my mouth When we had to break up the band When every shopping list would end with “and” And Forest Avenue was a river too great to cross And it's too far to town, we'll have to catch the bus Turn your eyes to the windows Are they made of glass or mirrors? When you see them are you proud? Tonight you say you're staying in But are you really looking out? Oh captain, have we lost control? Come home, come claim us Come put us in our rows To row, to row, through the wind and snow I gave you sugar for salt You gave me a seed to sow And Eddie put the butter into every nook and cranny But if you're turning on the toaster, well then keep a flashlight handy Because it's gonna flip the power if it seems there are too many Of those old space heaters on, those old space heaters on Water, wine was everywhere I drank but never got enough Now swimming ashore, swimming ashore, swimming ashore Sure is gonna be rough
2.
Our fortunes hang like fruit The running of the bulls The breaking of bad news Leaves a lasting residue Tendrils reaching out The teeth left in my mouth Light breaks on the town Streets as soft as eiderdown And the rain makes them shine And the rain makes them shine Oxen two-by-two Valleys full of feverfew Eleven bronze statues Every throat an open wound And the rain makes them shine And the rain makes them shine But you knew them in drought You knew them even in the drought Thunder, you're too slow Lightning's gone you know To the doors of the cathedral And the rain makes them shine And the rain makes them shine But you knew them in drought You knew them even in the drought Tendrils reaching out The teeth left in my mouth Light breaks on the town Streets as soft as eiderdown
3.
The hills are awaking The sky like a stone Where nothing is taken And nothing is owed Standing in place And folding back time Marking the days And holding the line Where there's a space For everything you've ever loved Where there's a trace Of every single one You've been trying so hard to Roll back the tide And decipher the difference Between what is and what's right Standing in place And folding back time Carving their names And holding the line Where there's a space For everything you've ever loved Where there's a trace Of every single one And Ricky, faith is allowed It helps you get old Without giving out And Ricky, later on tonight I'm sure you'll feel wrong But I know that you'll be right
4.
Child's Pose 08:30
On a morning so bright We'll call in the day Curtains, coffee, sunlight A reason to stay He moved out, rain came in She speaks out loud, sounds like him Remember walking, finding The bones of a bear Hanging ornamental A wreath on the door Bowing down, chests to stone Folding now in child's pose I'm unaware of anything so holy As bathing in this air of generosity Rich ripe fruit resting on our table Every breath a nesting baby bird On a morning so bright We'll call in the day Curtains, coffee, sunlight Ink on the page Bowing down, chests to stone Folding now in child's pose Folding now in child's pose
5.
When I arrived my whole body was buzzing My blood was the loudest thing in these woods It took me a while to slough off the city I thought “these mosquitoes are doing me good” I'd hitchhiked down from Lebanon Followed the river the whole way There was a woman I knew who lived on the mountain With a meal hanging there in her garden And like sheep I knew we could graze It was during that time Venus and Jupiter were aligned And I got lost walking home every goddamn night And the only thing keeping watch was the quiet And I loved you with the last of my youth When you're young you're so sure that you know what is true I loved you with the last of my youth Of love after that I have no proof The sky after the storm Good news after it's born When you say something out loud What kind of ripple does it make? And is that why we get on our knees and pray? On the mountain I dreamed clean Until I woke one night to gunshots Reached my arms around to hold you Made my lap into a cradle Grabbed the sheets so I could swaddle And then it was new to me again that you were gone Sing birds, in your shrinking woods Mourn your home right where it stood This morning is a reminder Of how the night don't last forever And if our love don't last forever You know I tried to love you well I truly tried to love you well Sing birds, in your shrinking woods For all else that is gone for good In the morning you are a reminder Of our love, how we let it linger And our love, we only let it linger Because we tried to love so well We truly tried to love so well
6.
Raincoat 06:02
Shepherd, keep singing There in the rain Cause it's never easy To understand pain You opened your mouth up There was dust on your tongue And you stood there stricken At who you'd become Your dancing a decoy Your face like a mirror Your shyness a sickness It's like you're just barely here But you're not contagious So don't sequester yourself You think we would not answer If you called for help If you called for help Front porch, backyard, beech tree, Pennsylvania Stand of sweet corn, the sands of Carolina Brick street, sidewalk, raincoat, Philadelphia Fog and ferns on the coast of California California
7.
Songbirds and cinnamon And the razor that rests by your wrist The light is a medicine Use it well, we must learn to resist Slow down, pull me back out From the garden you faithfully guard Slow down, whisper or shout Through the halls of a marriage unscarred In the warmth of your kitchen Casting spells that would float through the air You offered protection You were brave with the heart of a bear Slow down, pull me back out As you carry your grandparents' bones Slow down, drink in this drought If it's a specter it's one that we know Songbirds and cinnamon And an ocean as restless as silk You'd like to begin again Where the bottles are only for milk Slow down, pull me back out If there's blood here it won't leave a stain Slow down, unlock your house To the one who will call your true name
8.
When Pennsylvania calls my name I will greet it like an old friend And if the woods are still the same My legs will walk them again I have torn with my teeth I have knit my brow With a worry that could wound the whole world There's a song that is sung When the lights go down So I will sleep with my radio on I will sleep with my radio on I will sleep with my radio on Maybe tonight I'll reconcile What's lost with what remains The mountain sleeps just like a child The river hopes for the same The last time we spoke It was for the best That the past was just passing away We emptied out What was in our chests And the moon made us forget our names Yes the moon made us forget our names The moon made us forget our names When Pennsylvania calls my name I will greet it like an old friend The dark and the dawn meet everyday And that's just where the story begins If there are bells that will toll When I make my move Let them ring right and true on the hour If there is light from the sky That will shatter through It's nothing short of a meteor shower Nothing short of a meteor shower Nothing short of a meteor shower Nothing short of a meteor shower

credits

released September 1, 2019

Eric Schwan - guitar, vocals, drum
Jerusha Neely - cello, harmony vocals
Jeremy Robinson - electric guitar, accordion, harmony vocals
-with-
Dave Noyes - harmony vocals, trombone, keyboard
Pat Corrigan - drum kit, bells
Mike Ayotte - saxophone
Anna Amoroso-Noyes - fiddle
Caleb Mulkerin - tambourine

Recorded and engineered by Caleb Mulkerin live at the Rustic Space in Portland, ME January 2017 with some overdubs later at the Blue House in South Portland.

Mixed and mastered by Caleb Mulkerin.

All songs by Eric Schwan, with thanks to Ted Stevens on "Haycock Mountain". Arrangements by the musicians.

Cover painting by Anne Danae
Design and layout by Pat Corrigan
Photos by Elizabeth Hartsig

Dedicated in loving memory to Dave Noyes, our Captain.

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The Orchards Portland, Maine

The Orchards were the songwriting project of Pennsylvania native Eric Schwan, now based in Portland, ME and featuring a revolving cast of musicians adding orchestral and ambient textures and harmonies to his simple, folk-based songs. They released their LP, "Sing Birds, In Your Shrinking Woods" on Apohadion/Burst & Bloom Records with a final show on September 15, 2019. ... more

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