From the Ground

by Flora Greysteel

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theretrovalentine
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theretrovalentine Really enjoying listening to this album. Witness, in particular, is one of my favourites; not just on the album but it's one of my favourite songs. Very haunting, I love it!! Favorite track: Witness.
djitch
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djitch Vonnegut was Right made me cry over my breakfast. You make some of the most beautiful music ever. Favorite track: Vonnegut Was Right (with The Vonnegut Ensemble).
Jack McCarrion
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Jack McCarrion This album is absurdly good and overflowing with emotion. Half of the tracks have made me cry. Favorite track: Vonnegut Was Right (with The Vonnegut Ensemble).
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03:04
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00:51
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05:14
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01:14
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8.
05:12
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11.

credits

released April 5, 2019

Flora Greysteel are:
Emily Rowan - vocals, piano, ukulele, loop pedal, glockenspiel, singing bowl
Simon Frances Bolley - drums, vocals, orchestral and small percussion, glockenspiel, singing bowl, double bass

Additional musical contributions by:
Victoria Hatt - vocals (track 10)
Murphy McCaleb - bass trombone, accordion (tracks 8, 9 & 11)
Alice Nicholls - viola, cello, additional vocals (tracks 7, 8, 9 & 11)
Stuart Priest - violin (tracks 7, 9 & 11)

The Vonnegut Ensemble (track 5):
Colin Cutler - banjo, harmonica, vocals
Ella Field - flute, vocals
Victoria Hatt - violin, vocals
Emily Howell - trumpet, vocals
Dave Lynch - cajon, percussion
Ewan Margrave - double bass
Murphy McCaleb - bass trombone, accordion
Jaz Millar - bazouki, vocals
Alice Nicholls - cello, vocals
Stuart Priest - violin

All songs written by Emily Rowan
All arrangements by Emily Rowan & Simon Frances Bolley, except tracks 7, 8, 9 & 11 viola & cello by SFB & Alice Nicholls, tracks 8, 9 & 11 bass trombone & accordion by SFB & Murphy McCaleb, tracks 9, 10 & 11 violin by SFB & Stuart Priest, track 5 all instruments by ER, SFB & The Vonnegut Ensemble.
Engineered and mixed by Simon Frances Bolley
Drum recording engineer (except tracks 5 & 11): Nelson Autefault
Recording engineer for track 5: Andy Precious
Mastered by Carl Rosenberg (RRS Music & Media)
Album cover art by Alane Grace (@aleikats on Twitter)

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all rights reserved

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about

Flora Greysteel York, UK

Emily Rowan is a singer, piano basher, uke toter and glitter addict. Simon Bolley is a singer-songwriter who plays drums like the lead guitarist he is. Together they make music that has been described as "beautifully strange", "ecstatic melancholy" and "an emotional candy bar". ... more

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Track Name: Lady Of The Cold
“Here comes The Great Cold” Too-ticky warned
“And you’d better not look in her eyes
She may be beautiful, but she is frozen inside.”

“Did you hear what I told you before?
Silly squirrel stay safe, find a way to keep warm.
Take your nuts to your nest, because winter’s no place for you.
The Great Lady’s come and the woods will be frozen soon.”

Here, here comes The Great Cold
But is it her fault that she’s so cold?

Because winters are hard where she’s from
And she’s been alone for so long
Who can know if she cares her stare kills –
Even great frozen ladies like petting soft squirrels.

Here, here comes The Great Cold
But is it her fault that she’s so cold?
Track Name: Introvert
STOP! Not another word. You have to go now.
I have reached my capacity for taking you in.
My eyes glaze over, not cause you’re boring.
I’m just highly sensitive to dopamine.

I need quiet cause the sparks in my head are firing.

There are too many people in this house
Just because I can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there.
Can you please just, your music is too loud.
I’m trying to sleep here
And my brain will not turn off
Take a message: breathe in, breathe out.

I wrap myself in familiar places,
Cause I’ve hit my limit and I’ve run out of spoons
It may seem like rude or awkward behaviour
To the extroverts filling up this room.

You’re home early. No, it’s fine, it’s just
A little warning would have been nice.
You’ve derailed my aim to play videogames on my own, knowing
There are no people in this house
Just because I can’t see you, well, I know you’re right there
This open plan living room looks great on paper
But, darling, it’s draining my creativity

Give me four walls I can touch and a door to slam shut
Cause I need quiet when the sparks in my head are firing
I need quiet when the sparks in my head are firing
I need quiet cause the sparks in my head are firing

I wrap myself in familiar places,
Cause I’ve hit my limit and I’ve run out of spoons
It may seem like rude or antisocial behaviour
To the extrovert who designed this room.
But I wrap myself in familiar places,
Cause I’ve hit my limit and what else can I do
To avoid this awkward, antisocial behaviour
But it doesn’t mean that I don’t still like you.
Track Name: Bunny Song
Hop, hop, hop through the grass
This roundabout you drive past
We watch you go round each morning
Wondering where you come from.
We don’t really care where you’re going
We forget you as soon as you’re gone
And we NOMNOMNOMNOM on our grass
That you pass
Rather fast
We like grass
Track Name: Roots
The day that he came the daffodils danced in greeting
Their sunlit faces promised that fortunes would change
Tell me: how do you hope to afford
What they say that you should?
Trust us, the soil’s good. You can put down roots.

The cobbles wait and the rivers race
There’s magic here in these crooked streets
Ghosts in the cellars and God in the bell towers
Music here weaves its crooked dreams

The young are drawn in and the curious fill
The alleys and snickleways – won’t you stay, won’t you stay?
The magpies and squirrels make nests in the trees
Those nut-thieves come closer than you would believe
But the river is rising, the river is rising

The stones pile up til we’re walking on walls
Lightning strikes twice, but the stones still won’t fall
But they still don’t pile quick enough, don’t pile quick enough
Who can afford?

Now I can sell time or just give it away
Or hoard it like chocolate til the air blows the right way
But which is worth more: these stones or a view of the sky?
I can’t afford to put down roots
Track Name: Vonnegut Was Right (with The Vonnegut Ensemble)
This isn’t OK
Feels like the end of days has just begun
Wake up in a mess, in a state of undress
With your body telling you what he’s done
And the boy who’d be king's quick to say it's not him,
But the drink and the culture he lives in
So he drags you through hell, pushes it to a trial
Even when he's convicted won't give in
How can he be let free if he still can't conceive
That it isn't just one life he's ruined?
His damage is concrete: stripped of titles, degrees
But yours is internal and unseen

This isn't OK
Feels like the end of days has just begun
Invading a space that's supposed to be safe
While brandishing your gun
And the man who’d be king’s quick to call it a win
For the terror that's spreading like wildfire
And if he made the call he would build a big wall
And keep everyone else on the outside
But you can't take this from us, we will love who we love
No, it isn't about “us” against “them”
And who are you to judge? If you’re not spreading love
Then you are part of the problem

SO GO AHEAD
Block up your borders until it's all over, we’ll hope that whoever survives
Has left hatred and racism, queerphobia, sexism
There in the bloodbath behind
And has learned to be kind
Cause, God Damn It, you've got to be kind

And as for us are we any better when things do not go our way
Do we let the scaremongering build up our barriers, give in to anger and pain?
Or do we stand and fight it, let love unite us when fear tries to tell us it’s won?
Don't payback, pay it forward, stop blaming our mothers, no, we should be teaching our sons
That you've got to be kind
Dammit, children, you've got to be kind
Track Name: Mic Voice
Everyone that I know who performs regularly with a microphone
Adjusts how they sound when they take to the spotlight on stage,
But they don't change what they mean and they mean what they say.
Do I have a mic voice? Of course I do.
A little slower, a little lower than what you might be used to from me,
But that doesn't mean I don't mean everything that I sing.
Track Name: Use Your Words
Is it me, did I cross the line? Did I misread your body?
Did we miss the signs that it drew when we got carried away
You’re too slow to answer, too quick to reassure me
I’ve done nothing wrong, but you can not tell me you’re fine

Now I’m at the end of the bed and the distance between us
As hard, as impatient as seconds between words
If you won’t talk to me how will I know that you’re not indifferent, not indifferent
Silence is golden: it’s heavy and drags you down,
fills up your head with things you don’t want to talk about
I’m scared to leave just in case you won’t follow me

Now I’m in the dark but I can’t get to sleep
All the words that I didn’t use are questioning why I don’t speak
And I’d use them now but you won’t be awake
I shut the door and the silence is deafening
It’s heavy and drags you down, it’s heavy and it’s heavy and

Your reticence to use your words, my stubbornness to not be the first
To open up and break the bubble of silence you’ve been sitting in
When you curl up inside your shell should I keep myself to myself
Cause I can’t always be the first to coax you out to use your words

I’m scared to leave just in case you won’t follow me
I’m scared to leave just in case you won’t follow me
Lie here awake wondering why you won’t come to me
I’m scared to leave just in case you won’t follow me
If I open the door will you please come to me
Track Name: Witness
Put me in your box and I’ll tell you what I know
You ask me what happened when I was 13 years old
I solemnly sincerely truly declare
It’s been 16 years, I don’t come with a guarantee
‘I can’t say for certain’ is as valid an answer as any
I solemnly sincerely truly declare

I’ll stand and declare my most shameful memories
In front of 12 strangers whose faces I’ve no way to read
You’re here to judge him but it feels like you’re judging me
I solemnly sincerely truly declare

Pick pick pick me apart, dust off every box
That I’ve mentally filed so I don’t flash back every day
Take possession of what I have lived through
Label and tag it ‘Exhibit A’
Wield your words like a scalpel to cut to the core
I’ll clear up after, I’ve done it before
Yes I’ll clear my mind after, I’ve done it before

[ooh]
You can put it to me any way that you want
But I’m under oath; did you hope that I was lying to you?

Make your statement, cause yours is the burden of proof
Don’t forget the defendant is here and listening to you
We need the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth
I solemnly sincerely truly declare

You put it to me…
You put it to me…

You can put it to me any way that you want
But I’m under oath; did you hope that I was lying to you?

My memories are malleable in timing and chronology
I can’t say it all for certain, but of some things I am sure
And you can keep on chipping until I am just a child
But there are facts that I can cling to and I won’t let go

You can put it to me any way that you want
But I’m under oath; did you hope that I was lying to you?

My memories are malleable, they’re placed upon your pedestal
Oh God, if I say something wrong the case will collapse
Track Name: This Is A Thing (ft. Victoria Hatt)
I don’t know quite where this is going to
So I’ll just wait until the situation takes its toll
We’ll take it in turns to have panic attacks
About what we are doing
Because we’re both new to the thought that
This is a thing that might really happen

I’ll pick apart every thought in my head
And you’re keeping quite quiet about what I said
But I guess what it comes to: I think I might like you
You’re waiting for me to say that it’s ok

A harmless flirtation that didn’t lead to nothing
I kissed you because there was no reason not to
Well, we can have arguments about who started it
But it won’t change that we’re both actually fine with it
More than that, possibly, we could be happy
And maybe that means that this will all be okay
Track Name: The Matchgirl
The little matchgirl sells her matchsticks to blind men with technicolour dreams
When her world’s filled with cowardice, who’s she to say that the blind man’s the one who can’t see
And the foxes and kittens lost touch long ago, but they keep chasing tails in hopes that they’ll grow
With 3 strikes you are OUT and your dreams will die out
With the sulphurous lies that the Orange Man told

Heave away, Heave away: Bundle her up and ship her on out of here
Heave away, Heave away: Off to a place where no one will miss her
Heave away, Heave away: Here they’re all blind and don’t know what they’re looking for
Heave away, Heave away

The Matchgirl is sweet and the blind men can taste it
They worship her wares as she dances out of their grasp
When her name becomes blasphemy she escapes pedantry in Floydian slippage and saggy cloth cats

Heave away, Heave away: Bundle her up and ship her on out of here
Heave away, Heave away: Off to a place where no one will miss her
Heave away, Heave away: Here you’re all blind and don’t know what you’re looking for
Heave away, Heave away

So
Batten the hatches with matches and silver spoons,
Break out the gin, there’s no way that we’re getting caught
Now in the downpour that’s bound to ensue
When he finds out she’s missing. Who’s missing? Never heard of her
The matchgirl is striking her matches impatiently
Scrubbing her hands as the man pleads insanity
If it’s Chrissie you’re missing, you might as well know
You can look for as long as you like; she left years ago

So
Heave away, Heave away: Bundle her up and ship her on out of here
Heave away, Heave away: Off to a place where you’ll never miss her
Heave away, Heave away: You can replace her with younger and foreigner
Heave away, Heave away: Here they’re all blind and don’t know what they’re looking for
Heave away, Heave away

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