Incantation (2009)

All songs written by Anna Madorsky, ASCAP 2009
Produced by Anna Madorsky & Matt Brown
Additional production by Erik Blood
 
Engineered by Matt Brown at the Brewery and the Track Shack in Seattle
Mixed by Erik Blood
Additional engineering by Erik Blood at Mysterious REd X in Seattle
 
Mastered by Rick Fisher at RFI
 
Artwork by Olga Zakharova
Layout by Alana Lindner
 
Additional inspiration on Rhea and Guillotine from Stephen King's The Dark Tower


Broken Artifacts

Under the floorboards
more of these memories
broken artifacts
It’s not exact science in the dissonance it creates
there is no sleep I can fall into from,
under the floorboards, vacant memories
as far as I can see
relenting is harder than me, than me
It’s a nervous world. It can guarantee that
With the perimeter set
you believe you can change anything
with your hands on electrical things
But you stay neutral for fear of swallowing glass
The vow is broken now
relenting is harder than me, than me
In a nervous world, it can guarantee that
I’m not indestructible
The terror of feeling weak
I writhe in all directions
I’m always losing sleep
To get out from under these floorboards
To get out from under this state
It’s not safe to look for love here
There is still too much at stake
I stay invisible, not sure who the enemy is
But if the piss and vinegar fits, I’ll wear it
and still relenting is harder than me
(the terror of this, the terror I’m at
A terror with no direction)

Anna: vocals, synths
Matt Brown: drum programming & loop, bass, electric guitars


Change

You ask if I’m trying to change the world
and I say just changing myself
It’s not what I don’t know that scares me
but it’s the things that I know too well
That nothing stays certain but death and taxes
is nearly too much to accept
but somehow I must have survived the detractors
if I’ve weathered the heat and have kept
So no I don’t try to change the world
It changes enough without me
The downturn of this, that, and the other
The land of the ill and the free, and of you and me
I have no expiration date
I am much more like crackers than milk
If you are finding me boring to chew
it’s cause I have nothing left to distill
I have no issue with being sincere
but it’s clearly not something you prize
something more empty, mysterious, maybe
a clay pigeon shot down to size
chorus
Dissenting, divisive, sometimes indecisive
a crisis of epic proportion
freefalling to collect enough speed
just to free myself out of contortion
I may not appeal to your certain taste
my point of view may leave you sour
but at least you won’t find me in the business of
taking all of your rights with my power
It’s you and me

Anna: vocals, hammond organ, piano
Matt Brown: bass, electric guitar
Moises Padilla: drum loop


Pictures of Hope

Trapped underneath the weight of her heart
That shipwreck is too big to tow far
The water won’t bend, I watch her descend
She’s not being brave, it’s too much to take
What was it I could really expect?
How often did she sidestep regret?
I could not change her mind, I tried every day
I brought pictures of hope, but she turned them away
And things have got to turn around is what you want to tell her
If an ounce of justice lives, you and I will find it
If it takes us leaving home, we’ll run away together
and we will know that we’re not alone
something out there will guide us, some kind of love will find us
A better world reminds us that this exists
What meaning does she try to protect?
She’s so anxious to get rid of herself
Who can be blamed? What does it weigh?
She could not be convinced that it was worth more than this
chorus
Now and then I miss hearing her laugh
And I know we can’t change what has passed
I’ve got something to say that I want her to know
In the time left to spare I’ll paint her pictures of hope
chorus

Anna: vocals, piano, synths
Matt Brown: electric guitar, bass, programming
Moises Padilla: drums, sleigh bells


Good Ideas

If I could conjure up hope like an incantation, that’s what I would do
If I could guarantee a love for all, it’s because I’d like to
“All your double thinking is just one of your phases” she said
Yes, but your accusations don’t help me to change this
Besides, this world is a graveyard for good ideas
I give myself a long hard look in the mirror, am I ready for this?
All those things that cling longer than you have expected
is nothing we can dismiss
One body is drifting untethered too close to its sun
And as for me I am dangerously close to the fire
This world is a graveyard for good ideas
The value of a good poker face is that no matter what happens
you don’t have to change your place
Keep it dry enough to float but never fly
We carved those older stories out of stone in the night
too fearful we’d be hated for our secret lives
But independent of all these things is life’s grim realities
To lapse momentarily out of this
this obsessive consciousness, there’s no doubt I can resist
I made a good argument that I missed
Is in me the ability to rise above buoyancy? A flash of brilliant white light
(If I could conjure up love oh I would)
Tonight I might believe anything or ride on a changing wind
(My incantation to conjure up love)
I’ll ask this and listen tuned in
But just this once and I will never, I’ll never ask again
If I could conjure up love, it’s because I’d like to

Anna: vocals, synths, piano, handclaps
Matt Brown: drum programming, bass, handclaps
Moises Padilla: shakers


Emerald City

I said my goodbyes
I left the emerald city behind me
I’m not gonna cry
Don’t need it to feel free or define me
That’s quite the suggestion
The temptation to follow without question
when spinning out of control
but my good deeds are not up for inspection
It is an inside job to keep your chin up
Far from a four leaf clover, but so hard to give up
An epidemic of broken hearts and each one of them mine
Swimming every which way
you only want to move freely within it
But they’re all typically vague
arranging the death of a dream
while you’re still sleeping in it
When each one of them’s mine, I say my goodbyes
And the house wasn’t built
To believe in something so completely
If you feel you’re losing yourself
Leave it quietly and do it discreetly
So say your goodbyes, you don’t need to cry
Such charm! Big ideas! I don’t like to feel manipulated
So next time I won’t be so easily persuaded

Anna: vocals, synths, rhodes, organ, noises
Matt Brown: drum programming, noises, cymbals, electric guitar


Therapist’s Office

It began with me and it will end with me
It’s nobody’s fault and you’re not making anything better
Things are getting worse and you’re not making anything better
So I am still thinking over my dead body, over my dead body
Self-worth is worth how much
Charge by the hour, a fraction of forever
And common decency is lost, it’s chaos
Free will runs everything except for in this office
Don’t want to hear about god or angels
My thoughts protect me from nothing but myself
but my Self is the least of my worries
What am I shielded from exactly when decency is gone, is gone, is gone
So calm the beast by the hour and it still screams
over my dead body, over my dead body
Self-worth is worth how much
Charge by the hour, a fraction of forever
These rules don’t apply to anyone
Failing reality, a session never-ending
when common decency is lost, it’s chaos
Free will runs everything except for in this office
Nothing’s written in the stars, they blink and we’re gone
and modern life stands in the gales of the wind
blowing out anything that burns
you can’t see mines with all the light in the world
Hang on tooth and nail
in moderation excess is acceptable
Emerging from the tank
magic’s dead but living is accessible
So I am done swaying
holding my dead body, over my dead
I’m terrified of leaving this chair but
I will only stay in it over my dead
chorus
It began with me. And it will end with me.

Anna: vocals, electric guitar
Matt Brown: electric guitar, bass, drum programming
Moises Padilla: drums


Guillotine

A little mogul with a swagger and a gun
he rips two worlds open, I fall into one
It’s the alpha, it’s the middle, it’s the end
he’s telling me where, I’m asking him when
while chasing shadows across the desert
I’m the raincoat in bad weather
he’s transfixed with his empire
while in my basement the water’s higher
And I hear my heart, their heart, our heart, oh
Her heart, his heart, all hearts are singin’
Songs of crying, your heart in a guillotine (we got)
Love in a sling, too late to save anything, anything
It’s late. Give them an explanation for me.
Though awake, it’s hard to keep track of this geography
It is as mappable as its scale is conceivable
Time will tell who’ll be leaving, what we’ll steal
that’s the currency that we deal in
chorus
Loving you is like a Chinese finger trap
compass drifting you can never turn back
so I stay haunted, you stay guarded
back to the drawing board where you started
chorus

Anna: vocals and piano
Matt Brown: electric guitar, bass
Moises Padilla: drums


Rhea

An old woman in the sun
watching her dance like twine
Splinter your fingers on her
collecting dust like furniture
My name doesn’t matter
I’m just an old woman to you
not sure I was ever a young girl
at least not one as charming as you
Well you’re such a pretty girl, you’re such a pretty thing
In my time I could have been, I was, all of those things
I was all of those things and more
I was all of those things and more
You think you’ve done it first
you think there’s been no one behind you?
Well you’ve laid in the beds that I’ve made
Soon and your history’ll find you
soon enough and your history’ll find you
Well who do you think that I am?
and who do you think that I was?
and who do you think that I’ll be, to you I am
I am the old witch that you hate
I’m not a ghost at all
You’re lost in the horror of me
and I’ll sit back and wait.
An old woman in the sun
watching her dance like twine

Anna: vocals, synth bass, electric guitar, noises
Matt Brown: programming, electric guitar, drill guitar, noises

Sandbox

Two children play in the sandbox
two children picking up their toys
one child breaks the other’s favorite one
the girl’s unwelcome introduction to boys
Her second trip into insanity
when she came out at the other end
said “love is at the whim of tricksters
I won’t jump into that ring again”
Friendly fire has left me on the brink
as my head starts to sink
so I don’t need to think, I’ve had
time enough fully to contemplate
just how these wars are waged
and I don’t need to play, I’ve done it
Abandon any thought of virtue
it’s not for the faint of heart
you better get yourself acquainted
with all the games that they talk about
chorus
It’s exhausting just for me to think about
the tenderness that we call love
getting siphoned through all these vulgarities
a bait and switch I can’t be part of
I’ve had it
(I’m on my own it’s better than you
I’m all alone it’s better than you)

Anna: vocals, synths, electric guitar, handclaps
Matt Brown: programming, bass, electric guitar, handclaps, cymbals
Moises Padilla: shakers, tambourine, cowbell

Clinic

I can’t believe it’s only Monday and I’m already this way
hoping for cancelled appointments, I’ve got nothing to say
I used to think I’d make a difference, but their lives fall apart
With or without my counsel, and I’m losing heart

I have been in this business for a very long time
believing in the justice system and fighting crime
When you’re 20 you’re proud and hopeful to put the bad guys away
Now my hope is to make it a week & not tell a mother her son’s not coming home today

I broke off plans with my good friend, I wasn’t up for being out and about
I guess I’ve watched too much news this week, another psycho took himself out
and brought along his entire family into the arms of death
Where’s the cause for celebration, when devastation is all that is left?

I split up with Lance last week, I’m still in shock that I dropped him like that
All our friends were disappointed, they liked me better than his last boyfriend Jack
How I can explain the reasons when they don’t make any sense?
I grew up wanting marriage and family, the most we get is pretense. To pretend.

I feel like I am square peg and everything is round
If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make any sound?
If my words have no one to hear them, do they even exist?
A world of seven billion people, what’s one person’s wish?

This is the existential crisis walk-in clinic
We’re not religious, magic, mythic, or into any gimmicks
Nothing makes sense and we agree, there’s rarely any justice
There is no word we need to spread and take your time to trust us
We’re not about a higher power, no plea to mystic forces
Just a place where you can take comfort in the warmth of human sources

Anna: vocals, rhodes, organ, organ bass, piano
Erik Blood: vocals
Matt Brown: drum loop, synth, electric and acoustic guitar, lap steel
Moises Padilla: shakers, tambourine


Soundbyte

I read a study about happy people
but the results slipped my mind
I started feeling like I was disappearing
between statistics that an expert would find
What happened to me? Was I ever carefree?
The story of your life will almost always seem to need
an editor to fit inside the pages of a magazine (you better believe it)
But it’s not a soundbyte, that’s not how we live our lives
A body will maintain its uniform motion
unless colliding with an outside force
Our trains move on in separate directions
It’s always outsiders we keep out, of course
You don’t dare disturb the world around you
I look at you for a wordless exchange
The moment’s gone after a three minute standstill
no less strangers than before we engaged
The world is too huge, time tested, never approved
The story of your love will almost always seem to need
If in a fortune cookie they quote you one day
that silver tongue for all to taste
Would the punishment fit the crime?
Is the power reductive in a soundbyte?
And all you want to do is make your decisions
on the multiple choice of a lifetime of tests
The critics sniveling “it’s all been done better”
and pull out a yardstick to measure your mess
Well, a Monday morning quarterback, that’s all I have to say about that
But we’re not a soundbyte, that’s not how we live our lives

Anna: vocals, electric guitar, piano, organ, organ bass
Matt Brown: lap steel
Moises Padilla: drums

Bloom 

And now the past is over
How do those endings bloom?
What did I think I’d find in a light bulb
that refused to bring light to a room?
I can’t bring back the fallen
I won’t bring back the dead
I can no longer be so nostalgic
For a time that chose to not exist instead
The obviousness hits you, a world it opens up
I don’t want to spend my energy all riled up
In a frenzy, a frenzy, a frenzy
It’s a waste of my time
And I set off all the trumpets without reason
And stay locked inside
When I’m just now in my prime
If I wanted a challenge, it is just what I got
Under a watchful eye that plays dirty
whether I’m playing fair or have had enough
I don’t know why I ever left it
I don’t know what I thought I’d find
At my expense I make everything ugly you say but
I tell you not this time, no, I’ll think twice.
chorus
Do endings end too soon? It could be partly true
Can’t please everyone, can’t please anyone or you
what a waste of my time, while I’m still in my prime

Anna: vocals, synths, drum loop, piano, organ
Matt Brown: electric guitar, cymbals, lap steel
Moises Padilla: shaker