You, Me and the Velvet Sea

by Emily Davis

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about

Emily Davis has always found solace in the sea. Her earliest childhood memory of being knee deep in the shallows, watching the swell grow as a thunderstorm rolled in to the shore, hints at her fascination with the cinematic spectacle of the ocean. ‘There’s something utterly compelling about the sea. In every dream I have at night, the sea is usually the star of the show. It’s the thing I feel most in tune with.’

Despite leaving the Eyre Peninsula as a small child, her connection with the sea remains unbroken. So, it’s no surprise that the endless sea, and the drama it conjures is a symbolic feature of most songs on Davis’ third studio album, ‘You, Me & the Velvet Sea.’ ‘It’s not a concept album,’ says Davis. ‘But, nearly every track features the symbolism of the sea. In a way, the sea becomes the metaphor for love, in all its incarnations, which is the driver behind every song.’

Davis is a much-loved singer-songwriter, whose music explores the very essence of human connection through love, the universal truths we all know but are often too afraid to admit, and her enduring belief in the transformative power of love. She has lived a life with her heart on her sleeve, and despite the (sometimes) dire consequences, remains steadfast in her devotion to love.

‘After a long songwriting drought, my life took a dramatic turn, and I was suddenly overwhelmed with new songs. It was like a flood. Day or night I’d have to stop whatever I was doing and scratch down a melody or chord progression. They all felt honest, even if the lyrics were a little sassy, or written in a narrative voice that was stylised. I was newly single, living alone for the first time ever, and reassessing everything I’d ever loved, trying to make sense of it all.’ Davis confirms that despite some sadness, the underlying tone of the album is one of hope. ‘It’s not all dark! In those times, I realised how loved I was, and ended up writing odes to friends and family who saw me through the dark times.’

The album was recorded Chapel Lane Studios, at a leisurely pace over three months. It was also lovingly co-produced with Davis’ band of female players. A somewhat motley crew, Davis is convinced their deep emotional connection is what makes it all stick.

‘It’s surprising that we managed to make a cohesive, folk-rock album given the different styles everyone masters. Annie (Bass) and Holly (Drums) are superb Jazz musicians, Tori is a virtuosic classical violinist, and Emily Smith is a highly sought-after country guitarist; but despite their differences, everyone left their ego at the door, worked super collaboratively and lovingly to make the record shine.’

The album, featuring 10 tracks, departs from her gentle pop-folk style of albums past and has a rockier feel, with more dramatic notions and textured electric and acoustic guitar layers. Inspired by the work of The Dirty Three, and storytellers such as Brandi Carlile, Davis creates a bed of washy and sometimes gritty guitars, epic floor toms and thudding bass, offset by fiddle and sweet four-part harmonies. Davis’ evocative lyrics are delivered front and centre with her syrupy voice, which despite being a little older, and wiser, resonate with honesty and warmth.

Davis will launch ‘You, Me and the Velvet Sea’ at Jive on April 14th, with her full band and follow this up with a National Tour in May.

credits

released April 13, 2018

This album was lovingly co-produced with my sublime bandmates Holly Thomas (Drums), Annie Siegmann (Bass, Backing Vocals), Tori Phillips (Fiddle, Backing Vocals) and Emily A Smith (Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Backing Vocals)… (PS thanks Aaron Thomas for the tambourine!). Eternal thanks and big love. Recorded at Chapel Lane Studios, Adelaide South Australia. Engineered by Simon Kither (Assistant Engineer Bethan Maddison). Mixed by Michael Carver. Emotional Support by Emily Bettison. Mastered by Neville Clark at Disk Edits. Thank you for your care and attention to bring these songs to life. Art direction, graphic design and photography for the album produced, shot and edited by Brent Leideritz. Costume and set styling by Angelique Joy. Special thanks to Mum, Nikki, Kre, Ada, Alex and my extended family and friends for their unconditional love. Finally, to everyone who has supported my music ventures I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you, none of this would be possible. For full album lyrics & more head to www.emilydavis.com.au

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Track Name: Bled For You
Stars they all burn here like embers tonight, this winter has set in my bones
Strangers for seconds trading the lessons of battle scars blood sticks and stones

I am still standing with roses manhandled at the graveyard you built for your heart
I’ve come to make offerings pray for safe passage, and weep by the stones in the dark


Chorus
I waited for you, didn’t know what else I should do.
I bled for you, didn’t know what else I should do

You have seen storms that I can’t imagine, the tempests have rattled your bones
But rather than fight it, you take it in silence and pray to sink soft like a stone
When all of the layers have fallen away, to reveal your untouchable heart
Such a luminous entity fails not on purity, but on fear that drives two loves apart


Chorus
I waited for you, didn’t know what else I should do.
I bled for you, didn’t know what else I should do
Track Name: Lighthouse
I had a dream I was running through a thicket in the darkest night
There were wolves gaining ground and buzzards blowing up ahead in full blown flight
I was scared, I was scared but the moon shone bright.
‘til you threw me a light you threw me a line.

So come on, throw your hands up, I’ll follow where you go
My heart swells like the sea for you, darling don’t you know
You’ll always be the first in line when it all goes up in smoke
Yeah ‘cause you will be the lighthouse honey and I’ll be the boat.

I had a dream we were sailing out along amidst a violent sea
I was windswept and restless and hard pressed and helpless and woozy
I was overboard and under-towed, I was floating with the debris
On the horizon I see my devotee has rowed out to get me.

So come on, throw your hands up, I’ll follow where you go
My heart swells like the sea for you, darling don’t you know
You’ll always be the first in line when it all goes up in smoke
Yeah ‘cause you will be the lighthouse honey and I’ll be the boat.


I had a dream we were standing there together at the end of days
The city was crumbling and I was choking in a smoke-filled haze
I was blood-caked and breathless I was ashen-faced
But I did not care because you were there.
Strong as a lion; tall as a titan; my private island.

So come on, throw your hands up, I’ll follow where you go
My heart swells like the sea for you, darling don’t you know
You’ll always be the first in line when it all goes up in smoke
Yeah ‘cause you will be the lighthouse honey and I’ll be the boat.
Track Name: Moonlight Voodoo
Darkness ain’t no stranger, whiskey ain’t no cure
Blood is thick and water’s thin of that I can be sure.
You and I have hummed this tune a thousand times before but honey dripping off the tongue just makes you long for more

Chorus
When you pull me to your chest to stop me falling
I know one kiss would sure ignite the spark
Your misbehaving whispers ringing in my ears
Your moonlight voodoo curse upon my heart

Drunken as a sailor you crash upon my shore
Hearts that break and bleed themselves are not entirely pure
If I was to throw myself beneath the undertow
Would you pluck me our or just submerge me deep below?

Chorus
When you pull me to your chest to stop me falling
I know one kiss would sure ignite the spark
Your misbehaving whispers ringing in my ears
Your moonlight voodoo curse upon my heart

I’m on fire, I’m on fire, I’m on fire tonight
I’m on fire, I’m on fire, I’m fire tonight


Darkness ain’t no stranger, loving you is a chore
If I know what’s good for me I’ll walk right out the door
You and I have hummed this tune a thousand times before
But baby we won’t sing this love song, no not anymore
Track Name: Stars Grow Cold
Picture shows and midnight cards, sunny days and moonlit stars
City skyline oh so quiet, see you in the moonlight
I write to you to tell you so, still so much I have to know about you,
You know I’ll walk two steps behind, because my love I never could outshine you


Chorus
You know I loved you from the start, with my whole heart
You are mine to have and hold, I’ll love you ‘til the stars grow cold.

Late night trains and curtain calls, please release me, let me fall, catch me.
Laughing from the bedroom floor, picture frames in sunlit halls.
I want to feel you near to me I’ll cover you, I’ll let you be.
Know I’ll walk to two steps ahead, I’ll clear a path for us, that’s what I said.

Chorus
You know I loved you from the start, with my whole heart
You are mine to have and hold, I’ll love you ‘til the stars grow cold.
Track Name: Oh Lord
I was born into a town of landlocked mountain hills
My mama nursed me on her breast my pappy ploughed the fields
But as the snow fell lily-white upon the stony ground
‘Twas stained with red of mama’s blood my pappy he was drowned.

‘Run my little darling girl’ were her final words to me
head south bound where there’s safety, run south down to the sea
with empty hearted sorrow I did wander through them pines
growing wilder with each sunset, taste of mourning on my mind

Oh Lord Oh Lord I’m yearning for the sea
Oh Lord Oh Lord what will become of me
Oh Lord Oh Lord I’m yearning for the sea
Oh Lord Oh Lord what will become of me

I came upon a clearing there, a river’s edge of stone
there two brothers spied me and circled me up close
My heart did fly up in the sky on raven’s wings released
For a ship they both were building fashioned whole from these dead trees

Dancing by the fireside one brother took my hand
He promised me safe passage far from these here slaughter lands
He wiped away my weeping as I sat upon his knee
I held him close against my chest and kisses gave him three

Oh Lord Oh Lord I’m yearning for the sea
Oh Lord Oh Lord what will become of me
Oh Lord Oh Lord I’m yearning for the sea
Oh Lord Oh Lord what will become of me

Sailing out on river tides we drew our vessel south,
Whiskey for the winter and his kisses for my mouth
I thought back to my mama and her parting words to me
I’m on my way my mama dear I’m south bound for the sea

Oh Lord Oh Lord I’m yearning for the sea
Oh Lord Oh Lord what will become of me
Oh Lord Oh Lord I’m yearning for the sea
Oh Lord Oh Lord what will become of me

The river she was churning fast towards the sea we sailed
‘Til scent of salty air was nigh and waters hulled were bailed
The ship was rolling high on waves and I was on my knees
Until my lover’s brother took with the devil’s own diseaseHe stood there on the starboard side his pistol glistened bright
Two shots for my lover’s chest and two shots for the night
My heart was sinking like a stone until he turned the gun on me
Before his trigger finger pulled that gun I leapt into the sea


Oh Lord Oh Lord Oh Lord Oh Lord
Oh Lord Oh Lord Oh Lord Oh Lord

Oh Lord Oh Lord I’m drowning in the sea
Oh Lord Oh Lord what will become of me
Oh Lord Oh Lord I’m drowning in the sea
Oh Lord Oh Lord what will become of me

Oh Lord Oh Lord I’m drowning in the sea
Oh Lord Oh Lord what will become of me
Oh Lord Oh Lord I’m drowning in the sea
Oh Lord Oh Lord what will become of me
Track Name: Bring Forth The Queen Of Mexico
Bring forth the Queen of Mexico, she’s the prettiest girl you’ll ever know
Got a hard heart made of stone beating strong in her chest when she’s all alone

Hair’s raven black with a battle-scar, drawn in tattoo ink in her daddy’s car
She’s got a hard heart made of stone beating strong in her chest when she’s all alone

Chorus
She’s got a hard, hard, hard, hard, hard old heart.
She’s got a hard, hard, hard, hard, hard old heart.
She’s got a hard, hard, hard, hard, hard old heart, made of stone.


Well the postman’s love came in spoken word, soon took flight like a blackbird
Left her hard heart dented like chrome beating sad in her chest when she’s all alone
Then a dark ship sailed in the middle of the night, big old moon shone her silver light on the velvet sea where the tempest broke left her old heart sinking like a stone

Chorus
She’s got a hard, hard, hard, hard, hard old heart.
She’s got a hard, hard, hard, hard, hard old heart.
She’s got a hard, hard, hard, hard, hard old heart, made of stone.


With her tattoo ink and a lemon tree, and five silver bullets in her rosary beads
On a Godless earth with an ageless face, thinking weary old thoughts of Sunday’s grace
So, she turned over earth with her hands in the ground and with a small one pressed to her back she found
she had a hard heart, made of stone, beating strong in her chest, now she’s all alone, yeah

Chorus
She’s got a hard, hard, hard, hard, hard old heart.
She’s got a hard, hard, hard, hard, hard old heart.
She’s got a hard, hard, hard, hard, hard old heart, made of stone.
Track Name: Hold On
I can remember, we made our surrender when we were lying right there in the dark.
You shone like the sun you shone like the sun.
Running for cover, followed each other, riding bareback through a hurricane.
I know who you are, I know who you are.


My heart is on fire, and I’d be a liar, if I said it burned for any other than you
We built a temple, we built an empire.
I’d raise an army if you would let me, you know I’d catch you here if you fall
You don’t have to worry, you don’t have to worry

Chorus
Hold on, to the promises I swore, when I held you in my arms my love
Hold on, for my love grows ever strong, and I need you to belong here with me.


Even if I was broken, words left unspoken, they would be written there all over your skin
For you to read when we’re apart
If I ever lost you, I’d come and find you, I’d navigate a way using only the stars
Back to your heart, back to your heart, back to your heart


Chorus
Hold on, to the promises I swore, when I held you in my arms my love
Hold on, for my love grows ever strong, and I need you to belong here with me.
Track Name: You Bury Me
Bury me in wasteland graveyards, weigh me down with stone
Kiss me slowly like you need it, baby call me home.

Worship me in moonlit temples, mark me with a scar
Walk me naked through the garden, pin me to the stars

Carry me on silver waters, hold me in the dark
Float me out on the lakes of Hades, keep me in your heart


And in these catacombs that our calls home, you and I will go there
I’ll call the fates as you shake my gates, you know our love will grow there.
I’ll say the words so the Gods have heard they will call me over first because I’d rather fade away,

I would not last a day without you.
Track Name: Eve's Blues
When you look at me with sidelong eyes
Plates begin to shift to choir sighs
I’ve got an itch to scratch, bone to pick, one finger snap makes my honey drip


When I feel you breathing down my neck
I must choose whether to bend or to break
I’ve got a gift horse lot, mouth to sing, got a heaving chest but no wedding ring.

Loving you makes me feel just like Eve did,
I did not just bite that Apple, I ate the whole damn thing


When your fingers run along my hips
I see nightshade turn apocalypse
With your whiskey tongue, words obscene, your hands starting a fire in me like gasoline
I tried, I tried I tried to stop myself.
Hail Mary, the Angels and everyone else.
You still shove me up to the gates of Hell, I step up with my cup and drink my fill but

Loving you makes me feel just like Eve did,
I did not just bite that Apple, I ate the whole damn thing

Loving you makes me feel just like Eve did,
I did not just bite that Apple, I ate the whole damn thing
Loving you makes me feel just like Eve did,
I did not just bite that Apple, I ate the whole damn thing, then I shook that tree.
Track Name: Heartache
Love came before us and love will outlast,
When our flesh turns to dust and our bones turn to ash
When I wake here with you, held in your arms
Something inside of me burns like the stars

But if I ever had to let you let go
I would plead with the ground to swallow me whole
Because sometimes you’re guessing and sometimes you know
That your love is too big for you both to outgrow


And I’ve got this heartache, and it’s too late
For either of us to look back
And I miss you, and I need you to understand
Every word that I say


Dreamlessly sleeping beside you my love, tethered together with threads from above us
And ropes that have anchored so deep in my chest
that nothing you do could reduce them to less
Than a steel-bound collection of beautiful truths
And how grateful I am that I have found you
The colours burn brighter old roads feel new, not death now forgetting will ever undo them


But if you ever had to let me go
I would ask you to find me in places we know
In the sea and in pages and in promises sworn
In your heart and in the eyes of our children unborn

And I’ve got this heartache, and it’s too late
For either of us to look back
And I miss you, and I need you to understand
Every word that I say
I will love you ‘til the end of my days

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