Long Spun Thread

by Gabe Levine

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  • Buy directly from the artists -- pay what you can! All proceeds go to making & recording more music.

    New album of experimental folk / off-kilter pop -- the fruit of a year-long collaboration between songwriter Gabe Levine & producer Sandro Perri.

    Featuring Gabe Levine (vocals, guitars), Jesse Levine (organ, rhodes), Mike Smith (bass, string arrangements), Jessica Moore (banjo, vocals), Sandro Perri (synths), Jay Anderson (drums), Brandon Valdivia (drums), Julia Collins (violin), Mika Posen (viola), Nick Storring (cello) and Jeremy Strachan (flute and sax).

    Immediate download of 10-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire. Includes jpg files of cover art and liner notes.

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  • Compact Disc (CD)

    CD in beautiful reverse-board printed digipack, with original artwork by Anna Silverstein, including 6-page lyric sheet.

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about

Gabe Levine has roots in the Montreal music scene, where he led experimental-country act Sackville (1994-2002) and was a founding member of avant-Yiddish collective Black Ox Orkestar (2000-2007), both affiliated with Constellation Records. Now based in Toronto, his music continues to experiment with folk forms and traditions, blending them with creative songwriting and striking arrangements.

"Levine arranges his group like a wayward laboratory where each member adds subtle creations of sound to the ongoing flow. The result is at times starkly beautiful, but just as often icily transfixing, stalled in slow motion." (NME)

The new disc Long Spun Thread is the fruit of a year-long collaboration between singer-songwriter Gabe Levine and producer Sandro Perri (well-known for his own songwriting as well as his electro project Polmo Polpo). Levine and Perri have gathered some of Toronto's finest improvising musicians for an album of intricate, folk-inflected experimental pop. Blending Krautrock beats, woozy soul keyboards, fingerpicked guitar, fragile harmonies and soaring strings and horns, each of these ten songs creates its own sound-world to flesh out Levine’s introspective and elliptical songwriting. Inspired by artists like Curtis Mayfield, Caetano Veloso, Michael Hurley and Arthur Russell, Levine and Perri combine classic song-forms with layers of sonic inventiveness, creating a music full of circular movement, wandering melodies and infectious rhythms.

The players on Long Spun Thread are some of the most creative on the Toronto scene, comfortable in folk, jazz, experimental, improvised, and indie pop contexts, including bands like Canaille, Muskox, Charms, Timber Timbre, Steamboat, Not The Wind Not The Flag and others.

credits

released 01 October 2010
produced and mixed by Sandro Perri

featuring Gabe Levine (vocals, guitars), Jesse Levine (organ, rhodes), Mike Smith (bass, string arrangements), Jessica Moore (banjo, vocals), Sandro Perri (synths), Jay Anderson (drums), Brandon Valdivia (drums), Julia Collins (violin), Mika Posen (viola), Nick Storring (cello) and Jeremy Strachan (flute and sax)

all songs by Gabe Levine
recorded by James Anderson at 6 Nassau, Toronto
additional recording by Sandro Perri
mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market, Montreal
artwork by Anna Silverstein

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Track Name: Believe Me
How’d you get your arms sewn up
Swinging like you missed the cup?
Calling stations you can’t dream
New relations with new machines
Still alive under the crush
Still running before the rush
Hold position carefully
Oh that vision, you’ll tear yourself free
Believe me

So you show your children out
Through closing doors and a chiming sound
Catch a break, you poor providers
Carry water and scorn dividers
You will stagger back to court
Filled with the violence you support
Slowly getting up to speed
And never letting you tear yourself free
Believe me
Track Name: After and Before
Stop running
Your missed connection’s coming
And your photograph is turning white with light
It’s making day from night

Between gates
You’re heading to the States
They’ll hold you up an hour there or so
And then they’ll let you go
Stop running don’t you know

We got time for a few moments more
Got time, after darling, after and before

I stopped running
My body still is humming
And the music is still buzzing round my ears
There’s voices I can’t hear I want to hear

Lists of names
Oh nothing is the same
And they’re calling all the families on board
Some names you can’t ignore
Stop running we swore

We got time for a few moments more
Got time, after and before
Got time, after darling, after and before
Track Name: Bitter Wine (Friend of Mine)
Well like good boys they wake up early
And work in the fields
Work till they’re tired
Work till their feet are ragged and wild
They’ve done good work, you know they’re much admired
But it’s time now to rest and raise a glass
Why do they sit, a couple of ghosts
Locked in the past?

Just cause it all feels wrong
Sometimes
No thought can hide it
And none too strong
Sometimes
To mend what was divided
Friend of mine

We left our washing out on the line
And now it is raining
Bring it inside
Where it is warm and these wet rags can dry
Nothing that’s torn need be repaired
No, it’s not required
Nothing will pass except with time
Yeah, you know that
Why you moving so fast?

Just cause it all feels wrong
Sometimes
No thought can hide it
And none too strong
Sometimes
To mend what was divided
Friend of mine

Oh friend of mine
Friend of mine
There’s been bitter wine for drinking
But not this time
Track Name: Long Spun Thread
Half remembering, half forgetting
Half arising, half setting
Always ending, always beginning
Half unraveling, half spinning
The long spun thread
Oh long spun thread

Whole headed, whole hearted
Holes in your pockets from where you started
Home is what you must confide in
So much traveling, so much winding
Of the long spun thread
Oh long spun thread

Well your stories are the best
Your stories are the best
I must confess
That your stories are the best
Oh long-spun thread
That binds the living and the dead
Track Name: Honey all the Way Down
Strays on cliffs
And another pirate ship
Stony pathways
Waiting for the tidal wave
A paid seat
A place to meet
Where you’ll be found
Honey all the way down

For busy hives
There’s still a little time to drive
Through portions of the deep
Looking for a place to sleep
Floating down
A thousand miles
To settle on
The sand beside you
Where you’ll be found
Honey all the way down

The way may be dark
But oh how you smile
Start, start
Dreaming for a while
Just don’t lose your suit
You new recruit
Oh how we strayed
But any day
We will be found
Honey all the way down
Track Name: Out on the Gold Coast
Out on the gold coast
They’re burying them alive
And me I’m on a dirty wing
With my heart wrapped up inside

I’m flying at half-mast
Still they light it up in style
Flickering and floating past
Like barges on the Nile

When you’re hungry for something fancy
Try those delicate meats

We’re cruising down the alleys
Chase that dream around
Through the palm trees, the big IVs
Hope a little trickles down

Hope it trickles down to Rudy
Yeah, save a drop for me
Where the wind blows the crooked nose
Points right to the sea

When you’re hungry for something easy
Try those delicate meats
When you’re hungry for some deeper mystery
Try those...
Track Name: Nesting Bird
Well the nesting bird sings soft and shrill
Makes her nest with what she will
Sings her troubles in a solemn line
All wrapped up in wax paper and twine
Wrapped in wax paper and baling twine

Singing don’t let me go
Along that narrow road alone

Well when winter comes you must feed your chicks
And so you learn a thousand tricks
But the hedgehog famine he smiles and waits
Curled in corners of the fine estates
Curled up in corners of the fine estates

Singing don’t let me go
Along that narrow road alone

Just speak from your blushing cheeks
Your soft throat was made to speak
Your solid bones ain’t fit for wings
But you can roam round anything

I won’t let you go
Along that narrow road alone
No I won’t let you go
Along that narrow road alone
Track Name: Shake Out Your Shoes
Love’s honest truth
Can you bank on it?
Looking for the real weight and rhythm
Heading down to Florida
And I stretched myself out
In an empty space in a parking lot
Hoping to get knocked out
Or just shaken up

But oh cameras, oh cameras
You never stop

And all you residents
Are setting fires
And all you penitents
Must learn to smile
Shake out your shoes
Oh mystery, pleasure
Shake out your shoes
Oh love without measure

But oh cameras, oh cameras
You never stop
Track Name: Cruel Youth
I’ve been staring cross the water wide
At a garden gate ahead
Sweet honey on the other side
Just dig is all I did
Like a worm in a flower bed

Like a cruel youth
Lost in paradise
In paradise you call the tune
A cruel youth
Lost in paradise
Don’t leave paradise so soon

We’ve been working up an appetite
For a root that hides below
Ain’t it always worth a fight
It depends on what you grow
And how deep down you go

Deep down cruel youth
Lost in paradise
In paradise you call the tune
A cruel youth
Lost in paradise
Don’t leave paradise so soon
Track Name: Friends in Bed
Well in the next room she is waking up
In the arms of a little lion
Got held up in a squall
On the go train
Tracing lines on the windowpane

How did you get ahead
Two rows on that sewing machine
And two friends in bed

And upstairs life is just a wander
Through deep snow, and I long to go
Like lovers become them
Or like two friends
Just lying beside them

How did you ever know
Like two spools of thread
Tracking lines through the snow
Knowing where, where to go
Like two friends in bed
Two friends in bed