Learning How to Stay [2018 Album]

by Gaelynn Lea

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1.
Bound bound bound By a thread Going down down Through the ages You could’ve stayed But you came here instead To fill my life’s empty pages And I I do believe We’ll see the fruits of our labor Maybe not now Maybe lifetimes ahead If only love would be our guide (INSTRUMENTAL BREAK) Bound bound bound By a thread Going down down Through the ages You could’ve stayed But you came here instead To fill my life’s empty pages And I I do believe We’ll see the fruits of our labor Maybe not now Maybe lifetimes ahead If only love would be our guide Our guide Our guide Our guide Our guide If only love would be our guide
2.
Muscles, nerves and skin and bones They carry us on our journey home Day by day they sustain us In the end they betray us But our bodies, they never fully contain us We rise above that matter which seeks to detain us From the truth, from the love From each other, from above We’re everything all at once We need not fear the end when it comes Dark to light and dark again All changing tides until it ends Take it in, don’t close your eyes And piece by piece shed your disguise ‘Til your spirit is what you have gained Burning brighter than all of your pain Silence may confine you But it does not define who you have been The love you have created When memories have faded will remain Travelin’ down this winding road The destination is not ours to know But it’s shaped by those who guide us Take us in, come beside us For no matter how much we have grown We cannot do it all on our own We cannot do it all on our own We cannot do it all on our own
3.
I See It Too 02:32
What do you see with your eyes, baby? The vision you paint is so bleak Has the world drained out all of your color, Do you find only that which you seek? ‘Cause I see it too Just different than you But I see it too What do you hear with your ears, baby? Does the universe whisper a lie? Does bird song get muffled by silence, Does your laugher come off as a cry? ‘Cause I hear it too Just different than you, But I hear it too. What do you feel in your mind, baby? Do you think you are lost and alone? Does all that you touch turn to sharpness When you sense that you don’t have a home? ‘Cause I feel it too Just different than you, But I feel it too. I pray that I meet you in heaven When both of our blinders are gone And I hope it turns out we were singing Two harmonies of the same song
4.
(INSTRUMENTAL)
5.
When you were lost in the woods You were misunderstood By everyone Everyone You were searching for words But they came out absurd And no one heard you No one heard you Speak your mind They lost the time Where's your heart? Where's your heart today? Forgive yourself But don't give yourself away And now you're out on your own Getting farther from home And everywhere Everywhere You see hurting and strife People cling to your light But no one sees you No one sees you Keep your why It's all a lie. Where's your heart? Where's your heart today? Forgive yourself But don't give yourself away Away, Away Forgive yourself But don't give yourself away
6.
You are the darkness of my heart You are the shadow of my soul You tore my peace of mind apart You are the thoughts I can’t control And I want you to know That forgiveness isn’t easy We mine for diamonds in the deep But all we’re bringing up is coal You pay me visits in my sleep Never returning what you stole And I’m trying to go Down the path that one day frees me From you The longest mile, the last three feet How do you make a heart complete After the wind has ripped your sail in two The longest mile, the last three feet Measure the distance in between It’s never as far as seems from me to you We’d like to think that we are right We want to feel that we are good We say we’re following the light We all hope to be understood But peering in the night We can sense our own delusion We’re loving mixed with spite And we draw our own conclusions It’s true The longest mile, the last three feet How do you make a heart complete After the wind has ripped your sail in two The longest mile, the last three feet Measure the distance in between It’s never as far as seems from me to you And if you wrestle with your pain When do you feel the seeds of change Finally take hold And rearrange the view?
7.
Our love's a complex vintage wine All rotted leaves and lemon rind I'd spit you out but now you're mine We bit the fruit, it seemed a lie I'll never know which way was right Now side by side we face the night And I love you And I love you And I love you We walked the pier and back again It was the most scared I've ever been You held my hand until the end And I love you And I love you And I love you Don't tell me we've got time The subtle thief of life It slips away when we pay no mind We pulled the weeds out til the dawn Nearly too tired to carry on Someday we'll linger in the sun And I love you And I love you And I love you
8.
I Wait 02:51
Can you see me Way in the back here? I've been waiting I've been waiting in line. It's been a long time Can't get no service Still I'm hoping I am hoping for a sign That one day things will change And we can finally take our place That history won't forget us Or try to minimize our pain And so I wait And so I wait Did you know that When I get angry I breathe fire I could burn this place down? You may not realize All of the small ways I am not welcome But just take a look around Still everybody knows That you need a place to go And livin' isn't easy If you incinerate your home And so I stay And so I stay I may seem angry So please forgive me But I am still not free In this society How long must we keep fighting For our right to be living? Wrongs overdue for righting We're a bit too forgiving So when you hear them Make claims of progress Take a good look And see who isn't there We need a seat now At the table So please invite us Or don't pretend to care.
9.
I don’t know the words to the song I want to sing you I don’t have a name for what I want to bring you I don’t understand what you’ve seen or all that you have done But if I could bring you peace today My battle would be won You’re weighted down with worry, you doubt what you are worth You question if you’ll ever know your place upon this earth But if you saw what I see, this perfect person standing next to me If you could kindly let yourself be Your battle would be won We don’t know the outcome, how this story will unfold We only have a moment, and it is not ours to hold A place to fall, a time to land; we grow by grace and a tender hand The beauty of this hidden plan Is our battle has been won The beauty of this hidden plan Is our battle has been won
10.
(INSTRUMENTAL)
11.
It seemed easy But it's so hard to do Feels too empty When we're facing the truth Facing the truth All we need to know Lies at the end of our grasp We won't choose to go So we just face the next task Humble at last Ever simple But we so often miss All our chaos Can be pared down to this Pared down to this Pared down to this Moment of bliss. It seemed easy But it's so hard to do Feels too empty When we're facing the truth Facing the truth All we need to know Lies at the end of our grasp We won't choose to go So we just face the next task Humble at last Ever simple But we so often miss All our chaos Can be pared down to this Pared down to this Pared down to this Moment of bliss.

about

Learning How to Stay
Gaelynn Lea

When Gaelynn Lea won NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, her two decades as a hardworking and talented musician finally crystallized in a beautiful moment of national recognition. It was also just the beginning of a grand adventure. With the wind of her award at their backs, Gaelynn and her husband Paul sold their house in Northern Minnesota, quit their jobs, bought a van, and hit the road.

Since then, Gaelynn has played over 250 shows in 42 states and seven countries, adding nearly 100,000 miles to their Ford Econoline’s odometer. The singer-songwriter and violinist has performed everywhere from coffee shops, bars, schools and festivals; she’s graced the stage of renowned venues like Nashville’s Music City Roots, The Kennedy Center, House of Blues and even BBC World News. This June she was featured at arts festivals in Iceland and Switzerland, and she’s set to appear at the Winnipeg Folk Fest in July and Travelers' Rest Fest (curated by The Decemberists) in August.

Yet somehow between this perpetual blitz of performances, Gaelynn also recorded her third full-length album set for release in September. Until this point Gaelynn Lea has presented most of her songs using only a few tools: a violin, a voice, and a looping pedal. But for her latest, Gaelynn Lea enlisted the help of some musical friends to bring her new album to life. Several of Minnesota’s heavy-hitters—including Al Church, Dave Mehling, Marty Dosh, Andrew Foreman and Alan Sparhawk—lent their creative influence and musicality to this recording. The result is a powerfully emotive effort of confidence and purpose which captures the poignancy and presence of Gaelynn Lea’s crafted repertoire.

Her forthcoming album, Learning How To Stay, is an 11-song collection that runs the gamut sonically from pensive and luscious to aggressive and intentioned, from folk to decidedly pop, and even includes a couple of traditional fiddle tunes. Undoubtedly the connecting thread of this album is Gaelynn Lea herself. With her singular voice and deeply-affecting violin, she guides the listener through a journey that explores the contrasting nature of existence: dark and light, birth and death, anger and forgiveness, sorrow and joy. Learning How to Stay encourages the listener to stay present for it all.

The album opens with a droning cascade of strings and a lone piano setting the tone on “Bound By a Thread,” then abruptly shifts to the bright country twang of guitars through a lesson of literal biology and figurative heart on “Dark to Light and Dark Again.” This contrast is indicative of the record as a complete thought, presenting the listener with an ever-widening spectrum of themes and musical moods. The sparse indie-rock vibe of “I See It Too” is then juxtaposed with the Celtic-like pastoral build of the instrumental, “Jim and Judy’s Wedding” (Larry Unger).

Mid-tempo grooves are broken down and piled back up on both “Lost in the Woods” and the backstreet rocker “Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun”. Carefully, patiently, the music unfolds with a myriad of tasteful choices: a Hammond B-3 organ harmonizing briefly with the heartbreak vocal of “The Last Three Feet;” the polyrhythmic art rock sensibility and sheets of violin coursing through “I Wait.”

Bright, bare minimalism adorns the Irish-tinged original “Grace and a Tender Hand,” while a foreboding darkness inhabits the Finnish traditional instrumental, “Metsakukkia”. This genre-defying album winds down with some welcomed serenity during the ballad “Moment of Bliss”, which is a fitting end to this emotionally satisfying listening experience.

In addition to performing and recording, Gaelynn Lea loves to do speaking engagements about disability awareness, inclusion in the arts, and leading an enriching life. Gaelynn has a disability called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bones Disease) and she is a strong voice in the disability community. Gaelynn Lea believes society must prioritize accessibility so people with disabilities can participate in their communities and use their gifts without barriers or discrimination.

Contact:

www.violinscratches.com
218-461-1785 or booking@gaelynnlea.com

credits

released September 7, 2018

Band:

Gaelynn Lea: Violin, Vocals (Whistling on Track 2)
Dave Mehling: Guitars, Keyboards, Organ & Auxiliary Percussion
Al Church: Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Piano & Auxiliary Percussion
Martin Dosh: Drums
Andrew Foreman: Electric Bass on all tracks except 3, 7 & 11

Special Guests:

Alan Sparhawk: Baritone Guitar & Vocal Harmony on Tracks 3, 7 & 11
Haley McCallum: Vocal Harmony on Tracks 5, 7 & 9
Jeremy Ylvisaker: Electric Guitar on Tracks 3, 4, 7 & 11
Michael Lewis: Saxophone on Tracks 3 & 7
Walter Gies: Violin on Track 4
Richard Carter: Theremin on Track 9
Bob Boilen: Static & Aural Effects on Track 6
Andres Crovetti: Vibraphone on Tracks 9 & 11
Taylor Donskey: Upright Bass on Tracks 3, 7 & 11
Zachary Hollander: Castanets on Track 8
Mary McDonald, Joe McDonald, Henry Koski & Paul Tressler: Hand Claps & Backup Vocals on Tracks 1, 2 & 8

Credits:

Lyrics:
Gaelynn Lea (all tracks except 4 & 10)

Music & Arrangement:
Gaelynn Lea (all tracks except 4 & 10)
Dave Mehling (all tracks except 4 & 10)
Al Church (all tracks except 4 & 10)
Martin Dosh (all tracks except 4 & 10)
Andrew Foreman (tracks 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 & 9)
Alan Sparhawk (tracks 3, 7 & 11)
George Lee Ellsworth Jr (track 5)
Lawrence S Unger (track 4)

Co-Producers: Gaelynn Lea, David Mehling & Al Church
Associate Producer: Alan Sparhawk
Executive Producers: Harrison Reiner & Douglas Steward

Recorded & Mixed by Zachary Hollander at The Pearl Recording Studio in Minneapolis, MN
Mastered by Robert Hadley at Hadley Mastering in Los Angeles, CA
Album Art by Shawn Stigsell at Stigsell Creative in Duluth, MN

Thank You's:

Thank you so much to the following people who helped make this labor of love come to life: Harrison Reiner, Douglas Steward, Terese Stauss, Lawrence Carter-Long, Sara Langbert, Nadine Terk, Steve Nash, Reid Simpson, Thomas Ward, Jon and Visha Stubbs, Kevin Marshall, Anne Gabrys & Dave Seglem, Nise Louie, Celia Rowlson-Hall, Nancy Diener, Carey Appel, and Jo-Anne Kirkman. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who contributed their time and incredible talent to this music... I had so much fun creating this album with you! I am, of course, ever thankful to my friends, family & musical accomplices for supporting me through my recording adventures and life in general. And last but certainly not least, I am humbled and blessed to be partners with my husband Paul. Thank you for your laughter, your love, your belief in me (and we!), and your willingness to drive 90,000 miles across the country in a Ford Econoline... I am a very lucky lady. Cheers!

Dedicated to Steve Rose

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Gaelynn Lea Duluth, Minnesota

Gaelynn Lea is a haunting violinist and songwriter from Northern Minnesota.

She won NPR Music's Tiny Desk Contest in 2016 and has been touring nationally & internationally ever since.

Gaelynn is also a disability rights advocate and public speaker.
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