Twelve Moons

by Erica Bramham

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    Beautifully packaged in a gatefold card case with photographs by Jiří Špiegl and artwork by Erica Bramham. Includes detailed liner notes explaining the Twelve Moons project and the inspiration behind the music.

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about

When I began working on the music for this album the only concrete thing I had in mind was that I wanted to write a song cycle. The final idea for this project came from my Czech language studies, something I have been pursuing slowly alongside music. Czech is a difficult language to learn, as it is full of idiosyncrasies and embedded meanings that are difficult to truly grasp as a native English speaker. The names for the Czech months are an example of this character, with their etymology relating directly to their season, and they became the starting point for all the compositions on this album.

The names for each month have multiple possible translations, some quite abstract, so I had to bring my own interpretations to the creative process. Many of the lyrical ideas on the album come from research into European folklore, but I couldn't ignore that I have grown up on the other side of the world with a very different culture and landscape. I have drawn just as much from my own experience of language and location as from European art, literature and travel. This resulted in songs with a kind of universal sense of place, and an emphasis on the human experience that remains constant regardless of language, culture or location.

Twelve Moons was written to be performed in full from start to finish, with each composition giving way to the next, and I chose to record it in the same way. While each track can be enjoyed alone the experience is definitely richer on listening to the whole album from beginning to end.

-- Erica Bramham, July 2016

credits

released July 16, 2016

Erica Bramham - voice
Nathan Liow - piano
Adam Spiegl - bass
Justin Olsson - drums

Recorded and mixed by Callum Barter at Newmarket Studios
Mastered by Isaac Barter
All compositions by Erica Bramham
Photography by Jiří Špiegl
Artwork by Erica Bramham

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about

Erica Bramham Melbourne, Australia

"An irresistible songstress, owing more to Joni Mitchell than Nina Simone" - Australianjazz.net

Erica Bramham is a vocalist, guitarist and composer from Melbourne, Australia. Her music is lyrically driven with a strong sense of character and narrative, weaving the sounds of European chanson, Middle Eastern music, Celtic ballads and jazz into a striking blend of song, spoken word and improvisation.
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Track Name: A Low Heavy Sun
A low heavy sun is melting into a golden horizon
a breeze tries to undress us
and all of the birds that pepper the air with sirens
are watching our hands
as we find the spaces between our bodies and fill them
with questions that ripen the skin on our bare shoulders
and echo our hearts.
Track Name: Bohemian Heatwave
The night is so sticky
the neighbours all finish our jokes
but it's not the heat that melts
all the skin from my bones.
And I hope that our children are born with your eyes
like your mother she hoped you'd inherit her nose
but I love what your father gave you just the same.

The daylight saved for us
now melts like the ice in our drinks
but the air is so heavy
and we've thrown off our clothes.
And if I could just save I would buy you a house
somewhere cool where the neighbours don't keep us awake
but I'll love you in our little flat just the same.
Track Name: High Above The City
High above the city
the sky is flat and grey
and I can see so far below.
A fine sheet of water
it falls so slowly down
caressing all the traffic lights.

Keyboards click and staplers crunch and printers hum
and my heart sings a melody
that tickles minutes right along
a waiting song 'til my lunch hour, and love
I miss you
all day long.

A field of black umbrellas
unfolds to greet the sky
and my feet take me through the crowd.
Past all the windows
of antique jewellery stores
nestled in the alleyways.

And around my finger winds your heart
a band of gold that whispers your name softly
as the lift ascends and takes me back up to my desk
to sleepwalk through the hours
I miss you
all day long.
Track Name: Únor of the Heart
Your tongue lashes little sharp words that start
the feathery cracks creeping across the surface of my heart.
A hairline deepens as each
I Love You
separates to lonely islands in a sea of time
until we've come so far from the last one that we're in open water.
I expect it
but it's still a surprise when it comes
a light little blow that builds inside me until it reaches those fractures and suddenly
crash
a piece is gone.
Plunging down through my feet and into the earth where I can't ever reclaim it.

Rushing blood is warm and pools through the remaining cracks
widening them with its passage.
A slow throbbing in my chest
until
crash
another piece falls away.
This heart inside my chest now incomplete
treacherous and unpredictable.

Days can pass with no movement then
a warm memory bubbling up from an old summer begins to melt my icy defences
until
crash
another piece drops
tears through my stomach
tears through the soles of my feet
another piece of me swallowed by the earth.
Track Name: Two Acorns / Červen
I asked my love did he love me
he couldn't tell me
so I asked my love to the forest
and under an oak tree
where the air was quiet
I asked my love for his pocket knife.

I asked my love for his pocket knife
and I carved our names on two acorns
I tossed them into the river
they danced across the water
and I willed them toward each other.

I asked my love did he love me: his arms unfolded.