How the Dead Live

by Jordan Reyne

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Digital download of How the Dead Live.

New Zealand's pioneer history has many tales left untold. How the Dead Live explores the life of Susannah Hawes, one of New Zealand's first settlers, and her struggle with the character "History". Susannah left her hometown of Gravesend (England) and arrived in the experimental settlement of Karamea in 1874. The album is a tale told through the sounds and instruments of 19th century New Zealand. Featuring steamships, the clank of iron, voice and folk instruments. In teh album, History has been sent to track Susannahs 'ordinary' life and is irritated with the lack of battles and adventure in the lonely west coast town of Karamea. Susannah suggests, however, that maybe it is those who are overlooked by History who are really 'the Brave'.
New Zealand's pioneer history has many tales left untold. How the Dead Live explores the life of Susannah Hawes, one of New Zealand's first settlers, and her struggle with the character "History". Susannah left her hometown of Gravesend (England) and arrived in the experimental settlement of Karamea in 1874. The album is a tale told through the sounds and instruments of 19th century New Zealand. Featuring steamships, the clank of iron, voice and folk instruments. In teh album, History has been sent to track Susannahs 'ordinary' life and is irritated with the lack of battles and adventure in the lonely west coast town of Karamea. Susannah suggests, however, that maybe it is those who are overlooked by History who are really 'the Brave'.

"How the Dead Live" is associated with the book "Remembering the Dead" which explores many more pioneer tales, and is a coming together of folklore, fact and fantasy, and set in one of Karamea's forests, where the undead are said to walk at night, desperate to tell their tales to the living.

Reviews:

"...original, dark, and very, very powerful" - Brass Goggles (UK)

"Astounding; you can hear Susannah heartache and hear her tormented breathing... her lyrics are powerful.. the instrumentation excellent.. This album is nothing short of remarkable" Rip it Up (New Zealand)

“One of this country's most gifted, probing and intelligent writers. A dark, emotionally intense and musically arresting concept album... delivered in lean poetry and electrifying folk-noir. An impressive achievement” - Graham Reid, Elsewhere (New Zealand)

„Ein Juwel des Industrial Folk… verstörend schön. Man muss es einfach haben – nicht nur als Liebhaber von Dark und Industrial Folk sondern auch einfach so.“ Unser Lübeck (Deutschland)

“One can hear the centuries of tradition in her banshee-like vocals. One can literally hear the sounds of machines that were used at the time of the Industrial Revolution. Not only is this music hip, it is really very good.” - Dig this Real (USA)

credits

released 03 January 2009

all songs written and performed by Jordan Reyne, with live drums by Nick Clarke.

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Jordan Reyne UK

Described by New Zealand's National Radio as the pioneer of a new sound, Jordan's music is a blend of irish/ celtic rock, steam-era machine noise, and Grimms fairytale-eske lyrics. Imagine PJ Harvey trapped in the workhouses of Industrial Revolution era England, with only Nine Inch Nails for company. ... more

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Track Name: From Gravesend
In a town so small it barely had a name
The Fates weighed quiet anchor on the shore.
While ancient trees stood darkly in our way:
the tide went out.

Even History is surprised that she should be here
And her footprints look like questions in the sand.
She looks at Death and wonders what he'll give her
and the tide goes out.

And Duty takes my hand and wears me grey
while clouds make weightless exit over sea.
With all the letters never sent, yours never came
And the tide goes out.
The tide goes out again.

Here, the smell of winter
Isn't one I used to know.
And all these trees retain their colour
Though the endless rain
Should wash them through.
Track Name: The Michaelangelo
This song has no lyrics
Track Name: The Witness
Your eyes shine wet in the dark
And I'm
murderous.
The southern wind fills this mast and
Takes this cargo safely to
a nowhere town
To make nothing of them

They make me watch you and ask
I am
Murderous.
The ocean chews at the earth
Will they pull you down under crashing waves
and violent sea?
I'd make a story for you:
Murder.

You'll find ways
Of dragging seconds out
Into days.
Don't let it come to that
You heard:
Don't let it come to that

3 faces that whisper at me:
"murderess murderess"
so where is Death when I ask to be
over you?
Please ask him
please ask him to
bear you out down in steady hands
with no requiem.
What would I say?
Murder

You'll ask for home
Till every little echo of her is
thin and worn.
I only wait here
and Say: "it is so".
Say: "it is so".
Track Name: The Brave
There's a black dog from the Fenian Rd
He follows everywhere I ever go.
When the earth is bare and nothing grows
He is company and we, will turn the stones.

When the men are gone and the women speak
O her pretty eyes turn blind to me.
Though we mark the earth as we mark the time
Still she'll look at us, look at us as if we're nothing.

But maybe, we are the Brave.
Though I know she'll never say.
Maybe we are the Brave
but she'll leave here, all the same

Theres a dark man on Umere Rd
He speaks the native tongue none of us knows.
And of all her men, and all their deeds
She never speaks a word of his to me

But Maybe we are the Brave
Though I know she'll never say.
Maybe we are the Brave
She will leave here, all the same
Track Name: The Dead
I'd pay the wind to turn it off
You make an ice age from a dry dock.
I'll sit here and
wait
for the steamers to sail.

The quiet earth turns in its sleep
And mountains fall into the sea.
There is nothing else but
waiting.
Waiting.


As History shook her tired head
I spoke with a man who was already dead
Through yellow clouds of nicotine
He waved dismissive hands at me
He said:
You don't know that you're nothing.
I don't like words that talk of pain
And I'm really only waiting.
But it feels like
something.
Track Name: The Proximity of Death (Blue Eyed Boy)
There's only 6 miles of bad road between you and I.
Only 6 miles of Bad Road and blue sky
If he gets there fast, you won't feel his breath
You won't catch my eye
But I count the time and I watch the days
Till he helps you fly.

There's only 3 feet of shallow water between you and I.
So it isn't deep – but its just enough to make sure that I..
O if you swam to the edge of things,
Where the earth meets the sky.
He will meet you there in the setting sun
With his empty eyes.

It's a short, sharp drop, past 3 flights of stairs between you and I.
So it isn't far, but you'd get there fast cos you're so fragile
Will he see me smile, as you taste his tongue?
As you vanish by
You will feel his hands, and they're cold like bone
But they're gone with time

How do you like your blue eyed boy?
How do you like your blue eyed boy?
Track Name: Ghosts (Lest we Forget)
In autumn you left with the evening
Cold hands held
Shivering.
Time runs slow, imagining
Warms arms round me in the rain.
While the sea keeps burying your name
The tide will bare its teeth to you
Sirens call the lonely.
Stars don't keep their promises and
God couldn't follow
all this way.
I
asked him to bring you here again.
But there's noone in the sky.
There's noone in the fog.
There is
noone in the sky.
There is
Noone at all.
Today the breezes sent for me.
They brushed my face with kisses.
If I close my eyes would you
be there.
When I open them
Again.
I will
sing your name into the wind
But there's noone in the sky
Noone in the fog.
Noone in the sky
Noone at all.
Track Name: Blood
This is where the waiting stops and I
get to move again.
Like the ribs of wrecks worn bare by sea, you will
be forgotten.

This is where the smell of blood on the air runs like music through me
And a thousand men will meet their deaths
when I take them down
to Boer with me

I wish you wouldn't wait susannh, cos
the ships don't ever come.
Hope is something that will drive you twisted
in the end.

Now I get to take the broken stories
of Kitcheners dead.
And mix them with the graves and names of lives
so bravely wasted.

This is where I laugh at gestures that I never understood
How could you have let the quiet sink so deeply into you?
I don't have to wave susannah, but ill smile instead.
Then Ill throw away your name and the names
of all your kindred.
Track Name: Remembering the Dead
You wouldn't wait for me
You wouldn't wait for me.
Time can only
bury me.
In a borrowed grave
Under nameless trees.
While the empty face of your certainty, is
Clothed in sky, and dressed to leave
For the bloodstained tales
Of victory.

And if I were your jailor
I'd have carried your freed to you
So you'd always remember
All the glory
It won't allow you.