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Oracles

by Ana Silvera

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    180gram 33rpm LP

    Includes unlimited streaming of Oracles via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    2 x Mini LP Replica CD with foldout lyric sheet and black & white photo poster.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Oracles via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      £7 GBP  or more

     

1.
I stood under the bridge On the eve of his birthday And I watch the snow drift Past these houses and walkways How I watch the snow drift Past these hundreds of ghost days Night unclenches a fist Night breaks bread as this town sways I stood under the bridge On the eve of his birthday And I watch the snow drift From these clouds on their bright parade Day burns down to a wisp Cinders white as his bones are laid And tears of oak Fist of willow Won’t bring him back Won’t bring him back If I grow rich Or fade tomorrow It won’t him back Won’t bring him back I stood under the bridge As I sang out this sorrow And the city sang with Beating time that was borrowed And this sky turned to bliss And his hands turned to swallows
2.
Four limbs, four limbs But no flesh to cover Pull these hooks out from my limbs Start to shake and shudder And shudder… Hollow as a mandolin Weightless as a feather Shoals that pluck my eyes and skin Jewel my skull with treasure When I heard the news My voice - Rolling out like thunder White noise - When I heard the news My voice Came rolling out like thunder White noise When I heard the news I was only, The only one Wandering as a ghost rigged ship And wedded to the weather She caught me in a brace of lints And hauled me each cold measure Stubborn as the death I am I would not show my pleasure She struck a flint to warm my back And pieced my bones together She rubbed my joints with oil and rags Until they shined like leather She laboured till my blood began To murmur like a river And sang to me both night and day That no life is forever And pressed two stars into the sky And sister and brother...
3.
When the heart is a lonely hunter Travelling with a thorn in its side When the heart is a lonely hunter With no hope or succour in its sight I call for peace and I call for shelter And I call for mercy one more time As arrows rain from this dark welter How can I find peace, for this heart of mine?
4.
Went down to the river, but the river wasn’t one that you would know Drew my face to the river and I shivered that the devil’s face would show Carved your name with a silver-lipped axe and then I planted it with cherry stones Shook the staves of the trees until they whispered every secret in their bones I keep walking and walking down by the riverside When the first stems of April come to deliver, I’ll be delivered, oh I - Draw you in a circle of chalk and wait, Wait for the rise of the yellow moon Biding my time gently down to sea Like love in an old rowing boat, it’s true I wasn’t meant for this life at all But you make me want to do, to do You saw a chest made of copper, made of silver, made of every precious stone You held your hand till it ached and it quivered and declared which chest to own While others dreamt of riches, fair stitches and a casket filled with gold You knew well the only crown were my kisses, and my body that would be your throne I keep walking and walking down by the riverside When the first stems of April come to deliver, I’ll be delivered
5.
I woke up in your arms And the world was reformed Glowed like pearls in my palm We were not wearing words I’d slept lips to your brow Steeped in your dreams somehow Shadows cast off their spell They were glad to go I love you so hard I feel my heart break I love you so hard I feel my heart shake I woke up in your arms And the world was new dawned Burst its throat into song Was the sweetest balm Furies, fears in our hands Turned to shingle and sand Turned to ashes, this land Was a chain strung with charms I love you so hard I feel my heart break I love you so hard I feel my heart shake I woke up your arms And the world was reborn Unfurled wet like new fern They were glad to grow White gold chrysalis trees Bow your flame to the east Hiding flowers from the thieves That would cut you low
6.
I grew up in a room, small as a penny I was certain of love but we didn’t have money At the end of the garden, a lawn spread with honey I was soothed by the pines, it was endlessly sunny In that cool dark room, I lined up my soldiers And marched them to lands of ochre and cobalt, And read about sailors who dreamed about Jenny And Jenny had L-M-N-O pearls by the many I was certain of love but we didn’t have money Certain of love and we didn’t want for any I grew up in a house that was neat as a button With the shiniest bell and a lap made for sitting And a door well hidden by the tall green reeds That made ablutions with the dew nightly We went stealing about when the walls were asleep We were watched by the china on the mantelpiece There’s a jewel of devotion so high in the eaves I still hear it humming, oh humming on the breeze I saw spring uncombing her hair by the quays Had a hundred score sailor men weak at the knees She turned and she scattered the dandelion seeds Made time’s pulse quicken and strain at the seams I wrote: I and my child and my mother long dead Her eyes like a haunting appear on this head There are ghosts who wait in the chambers of breath I sang this song as I sat by the bed I sang this song as I sat by the bed
7.
Catherine wheels Flaming gold Never leave the earth - And though they turn Dreaming of Some more skyward love They remain Simple stars Giving fire to dark Catherine wheels Flaming gold Never leave the earth And though they burn Dreaming of Some more skyward love They remain Simple stars Giving fire to dark And roman roads Steadfast bows Never change their course And these long rows Of country stone Never cleave apart Sticks and stones Faithful bones Oh your certain heart Catherine wheels Flaming gold Never leave the earth And though they burn Dreaming of Some more skyward love They remain Simple stars Giving fire to dark

about

Praise for Oracles (2018)

On The Guardian "Critics Pick" List 2018

'Some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard...it's incredibly orchestral, it’s intelligent, lyrically complex and interesting…just absolutely wonderful' - Alex Preston, Saturday Review, Radio 4

'Such a quality voice from a great new record' - Nick Luscombe, Late Junction, Radio 3

'Ethereal and beautiful' - Katie Derham, In Tune, Radio 3

'More than worth the wait...a cathartic emotional heft' - Uncut Magazine 7/10

'A powerful work of acceptance and integrity by an extraordinary vocalist'
- We Are Cult

Since the 2012 release of her debut album, 'The Aviary', singer-songwriter Ana Silvera's work has garnered broad acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Her uniquely ethereal brand of alt-folk has seen her perform at SXSW, Iceland Airwaves Festival, Liverpool Royal Philharmonic and more, whilst recent collaborations include composing for Royal Ballet, duetting with Imogen Heap and singing original songs with early music consort Concerto Caledonia.

Now six-years after her last full-length record, Silvera is about to release her sophomore album, ‘Oracles’. Poignant, dreamlike and beautiful, and written following a period of intense grief, ‘Oracles’ was Silvera’s way to transmute her emotions into a cathartic work of art. In 2011, the song-cycle was debuted with REC, and the following year was performed as part of a sold-out concert on the Roundhouse Main Stage, earning Silvera a nomination for a British Composer Award. She then returned to the Roundhouse Theatre to make a live recording of the piece, which forms her second full-length album.

The recording features Silvera as a soloist, a choir led by Josephine Stephenson and a stellar line-up of guest musicians including pianist Bill Laurance (Snarky Puppy), double bassist Jasper Høiby (Phronesis) and drummer Jacob Smedegaard (Fiction, Du Blonde) as well as Simran Singh (violin), Anne Chauveau-Dhayan (cello) and Naomi Morris (percussion).

The result is a haunting yet life-affirming collection of songs whose lyrics explore loss, love, salvation and the journey towards acceptance, themes that are underscored by beguiling, weaving choral lines, mellifluous Debussian piano melodies, subtly off-kilter percussion and rapturous strings. All is unified by Silvera’s dynamic vocal style which evokes the delicate yet theatrical prowess of Kate Bush, combined with what the Arts Desk described as a “Björk-like spontaneity’.

credits

released July 6, 2018

All songs written and arranged by Ana Silvera
Track 1 and 7 instrumentals: co-arranged with Jon Cottle.
Track 1, 4, 5: co-arranged with Alex Curtis.

Solo voice – Ana Silvera
Piano – Bill Laurance
Double Bass – Jasper Høiby
Drums/Percussion – Jacob Smedegaard
Additional drums/percussion – Naomi Morris
Violin – Simran Singh
Cello – Anne Chauveau-Dhayan

Sopranos: Josephine Stephenson, Héloïse Werner
Altos: Rose Martin, Joel Newsome-Hubbard
Tenors: Ruairi Bowen, Kieran Brunt
Basses: William Marsey, Dan D’Souza
Choir directed by Josephine Stephenson

Additional vocals: Signe Trylle (Track 5)
Additional instruments: Harmonium - Ana Silvera (Track 2, 7)

All photos by Alice Williamson (except back sleeve from Ana’s family photos).
Engineered by Matt Parkin at The Roundhouse Theatre.
Mixed by August Wanngren at Oui Studios, Copenhagen.
Ana Silvera is supported by PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund for Music Creators

Mastered by Darrel Sheinman and
Caspar Sutton-Jones at Gearbox Records.

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Ana Silvera London, UK

'Stunning...magical storytelling' -The Guardian

Ana Silvera is a London-born singer- songwriter and composer whose folk and bluegrass-tinged tunes are lyrical, intimate and emotive, works of ‘lavish, vivid imagination’ (Metro). ... more

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