TO BE RELEASED IN SEPTEMBER 2019
All tracks composed, arranged, performed (vocals, guitar, keyboard strings), and produced by Esbe.
Recorded and engineered by Esbe
Mastered by Ian Jones at Abbey Road Studios.
Artwork and album cover design by Esbe.
My first love was the guitar, and this first album is me, my beloved guitar, and the melancholy thoughts that drift, trying to settle as sad but necessary contemplations. The allusion to Stevie Smith's 'Not waving but drowning' hints at a little of what's going on inside 'Far Away'. As if by coincidence, water, and the sea in particular, is a recurrent theme.
The album was recorded very simply, no overdubs, edits, or sophisticated gizmos – one or two guitars, and one or two vocals, recorded in one take. And for those multi-taskers, I can't play and sing at the same time, so the guitar was recorded first whilst hearing the vocal in my head, which was then sung, 'karaoke' style afterwards.
The lyrics are poems written from the heart and focus on some of the issues current at the time. Of course, love features - in many guises - but some of the other subjects make for slightly uncomfortable reading – a sense of separation (1), future grief (2), suicide (3), depression (4), my early divorce (6), and cruelty (9). But despite the topics, I somehow feel the music itself is reflective, intense and gentle. Melody is what the ear is drawn to and I hope that this is lyrical and positive regardless of the lyrics.
The cover design features 'The Scream', from a series of three images with unusual elongations – in this case the neck. I wanted to exaggerate the pose to highlight the main expression. Although it was inspired by Edvard Munch, I hope there is an ambiguity as to whether she is screaming, crying, or singing. The original paintings are also produced as a series of HD glass prints.
Far away, far away, grey the birds, crouched on the island sand,
They look like death to me, can you see?
They can sense the fear. Hold me near.
Far away, far away, take me there, far from their evil stare,
Waiting to take my soul, devour it whole,
Eyes that pierce the skin. Don’t let them in.
I'VE WOKEN TO YOUR SMILE
I’ve woken to your smile each day, each morning. I’ve woken to your smile, my love.
I’ve woken to your smile.
I’ve woken to your frown, so pained, with frustration on your brow, clear to read.
But, I’ve woken to your smile.
And for that smile, I’ll stay, to comfort and soothe all I can. But though I’m here now to hold you,
I’m holding a shell, a shell of a man.
I’ve been woken by your sighs of grieving, ‘cause even in your sleep you remember.
But, I’ve woken to your smile.
I’ve woken to your tears as they fall on me, and how I know they barely show what cries inside.
But, I’ve woken to your smile.
She lies so still, life is passing by, why has she lost her will?
Mirror, reflecting her breath,
Remember, sleep is the image of death.
How long could dreams wait? Song, inspiration to give, with so much to live for.
Night turns to day, has she lost consciousness, or will she find a reason to stay?
So cold, minus ten, and a bottle of gin will help her begin again.
Out of my heart steps the shadow, it takes to the long dusty road,
And with worries, it scurries, not knowing yet which way to go.
Out of my heart steps the shadow, but the dusty road’s ruinous aim,
Unrelenting, cruel tormenting, is to force it home, withered and lame.
Out of my heart stepped the shadow, on the road that is dusted with fear,
And now ragged, and haggard, it staggers persistently near.
Out of my heart fell the shadow, and the road, ever dusty, contrived
To be trying, conspiring, hurling searing dry sparks in my eyes.
Freeze my heart, like snow and frost,
Chill my blood with love that’s lost.
Icicle dawn, icicle dawn, rain never falls where Arctic ice rules.
Snow-flake tears, like crystal ice, cold as quartz they pierce my eyes.
Deep ravines from old ice-floes, hard the soul that sleeps in snow.
The papers signed, so there’s no reason left to stay here with you.
The papers signed, and there is nothing left to say, so there’s no reason left to stay.
Remembered tears, remembered kiss, until the sun forgot to shine, Oh, jealous moon.
But pain remains, to haunt the emptiness inside, to tear the wounds that try to hide as they heal.
The memory dulls each time we fought until we cried, in vain we thought that love survives through despair, ‘til the end,
Were we wrong, Were we right?
The papers signed, and there is so much left to say. But reasons deeper not to stay.
I know he’ll see that he’s for me. I now he’s seeing and he’s learning.
He’ll realise that hidden vibes are being sent, through love and yearning.
And yes, I’ll wait, ‘cause this is fate, there’s no escape from what’s intended.
And it’s not strange to feel this way, though obsession maybe rules my day,
I just have to get him soon, And make him stay.
And when I do, he’ll love me too, just knowing this is my incentive.
It may be so, I hardly know. am I deranged, or just inventive?
But it’s not strange to feel this way, though obsession maybe rules my very day,
I just have to get him soon, and make him stay.
TEMPTING THE SEAS
She wakes in his arms, with night more than a dream.
The sun is liquid gold, melting the dawn.
Love with a breeze, tempting the seas.
Deck sways, caravel sails bleached, quiver with life.
Morning is breathing too, drinking the mist.
Thrill me slowly, east wind, sultry, it’s pure enchantment – as
He pours coconut milk and sings smoother than silk.
They know that love should be rousing the wind and the sea.
There’s the worm, there’s the snail, there’s the sting in the tail of the scorpion heart.
Scorn the free, mock the just, freeze the laugh, tease with lust and the scorpion heart.
Seize the earth, bleed the gale, bite the snow, drive the nail to the scorpion heart.
Twist the stake, pierce the crust, spill the corpse, dust to dust of the scorpion heart.
Spew the blood, chew the brain, drag the spleen, nag the pain of the scorpion heart.
CHA NO YOU
Make me green tea with ceremonial grace.
Bamboo spoon, now it’s noon, stir, then be ready to taste.
Cha no yu – water, spirit of life.
Tea green, now seen by the inscrutable eyes,
Blend with care, calm their stare, soon you’ll be almost as wise.
Every move, still to prove Zen of truth and green tea.
Cha no yu – wakaru Seimei no gensoku,
Cha no yu, wakaru Seimei no yakusoku.
(Hot water of tea – to understand the source of life. Hot water of tea – to understand the promise of life.)