To The Place Is Home

by Silver Sircus

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about

After four EPs over four years, Brisbane mainstay SILVER SIRCUS finds that home has been before them all along. Their first full-length album — TO THE PLACE THAT IS HOME — launches with the first rumblings of Queensland’s summer rainy season. Drawing on the resonant sounds of storms and inner-city forests, the band’s sonic quest for home — in time, in space, and amongst people — finds its answers on this record.

Silver Sircus haunts the shadows between dark cabaret, post-rock and performance art. With a sensual and highly visual aesthetic, the band carves its own niche. Co-creators Lucinda Shaw (singer-songwriter) and James Lees (composer/percussionist) stitch together each distinctive and intimate Silver Sircus show. Together, Lees and Aria award-winner Magoo co-produce To The Place That Is Home, recorded at Applewood, an old church in Fernvale, west of Brisbane.

Seven superlative musicians, along with Shaw and Lees, form the core ensemble: Mark Angel (Charles Foster Kane), bass guitarist Terry Dixon (Charles Foster Kane, Kate Bradley), violinist Sallie Cambell (Tulipan, Speed of Purple, Deep Blue), cellist Wayne Jennings (The Red Paintings, The Ragtag Band, Deep Blue), and pianist Parmis Rose (Hannah Macklin & the Maxwells, Astrid & the Asteroids). Joining them on the album are Fionn Elwood (percussion), Thomas Green (French horn), Shannon Marshall (trumpet), and special guests.

The debut LP’s collective sound — expansive, but restrained — calls down storms from Brisbane’s Mt Coot-tha, which translates to “place of honey” . The record opens to the steady minimalism of “Home”, a track that establishes spectral themes of memory and longing.

From “Home”, a trio of songs articulates deeply personal themes of flux and upheaval: “Come Back As You,” a rich, layered song of loss and love; “Don’t Look Too Long”, a river-song of tidal change; and the intimate, sad-hopeful “I Am Going To Find You”.

“We want the listener to lean in and discover the little stings and thorns inside the songs,” says Lees. “Everything on the album is truthful and from the heart.”

“Flesh Of My Flesh”, a paean to lost children, was written for and first performed in Toowong Cemetery. Its swelling choir of voices features Alison St Ledger and Yani. Following on, “What Is A Witch” grows from narrative to pure feeling: rage and passion through soaring trumpet and strings, arranged by Sallie Campbell (on wild violin). As an epilogue, “Hold Them Close, Mama” ghost-marches us into the record’s conclusion.

“Treat Yourself Gently” brings Silver Sircus full circle. Originally recorded in 1994 for ISIS, Lees’ and Shaw’s previous long-running project, “Treat Yourself Gently” brings a warm voice of hope before the final track. “Trails”, a spectral, mellifluous instrumental, sings us out into the sunrise.

To The Place That Is Home follows the 2012 release of EPs COME BACK AS YOU and I AM GOING TO FIND YOU.

credits

released October 8, 2012

Lucinda Shaw: vocals
James Lees: drums, programming & percussion
Mark Angel: guitars
Sallie Campbell: violin
Terry Dixon: bass guitar
Wayne Jennings: cello
Parmis Rose: piano, Rhodes

Guests:
Fionn Ellwood: percussion
Thomas Green: french horn
Shannon Marshall: trumpet

Recorded at Applewood Studios between March 2011 & February 2012
Track 5 recorded at Gasworks Studios, June 2012
Produced by James Lees & Magoo
Engineered & mixed by Magoo
Assisted by Sean Cook
Mastered by Matthew Gray

Artwork & layout by James Lees
All photographs were taken by James Lees during sleepwalking
episodes occurring between February - July 2011

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about

Silver Sircus Brisbane, Australia

Silver SIrcus are led by vocalist/performer Lucinda Shaw and drummer/composer/producer James Lees. They are based in Brisbane, Australia and have been making music since 2008.

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Track Name: Come Back As You
Oh my God you're beautiful, wonderful
Oh my God you're beautiful, wonderful

When I die I want to come back as you
That's a stupid thing to say, I know that's not possible
But how I wonder what may be
Because Oh God, you're beautiful

Oh my God you're beautiful, wonderful
Oh my God you're beautiful, wonderful

What if they scattered my ashes on the ground beneath your feet?
Then maybe you'd get down and you'd pick out some seed or some weed or something,
and then I would be the earth beneath your fingernails
Oh God, how beautiful

Then maybe you'd brush a lock of hair out of your eyes and you'd leave a trace of me on your face,
Then I would be the earth resting on your skin
I'd roll down you in a bead of sweat and maybe I'd make it to your mouth
Oh God, how beautiful

It'd be so hot you'd have to take a drink of water eventually and then maybe,
Maybe you'd lick your lips and you'd swallow me down,
Swallow me down, swallow me down, swallow me down

Then I would have finally come back as you
Then I would have finally, then I would have finally come back as you

Oh my God I'd be beautiful, wonderful
Oh my God I'd be beautiful, wonderful
Track Name: Don't Look Too Long
Don't look too long into me
A touch a beat a skin a touch a beat a song for thee
A human a reflection a rainbow a nothing
Don't look too long into me don't look too long into me

You flow around a stone there's movement in you
A breeze moves a tree then a nest crashes through
Things change some things change oh tell me you know it's so
So the river flows you know the river flows
So the river flows you know the river flows

I love what you do I love what you do you move with the tide I'll sing into you
I love what you do I love what you do you move in the time and I'll sing into you
You move in the time I'll sing into you, you move with the tide I'll sing into you

We meet in some place we meet not by chance
You bring amazing grace to this amazing dance
But beautiful humans do terrible things
Look, look away, I'll make you make me sing
Grasp not the water as you take what it brings

I love what you do I love what you do you move in the time I'll sing into you
I love what you do I love what you do you move in the time and I'll sing into you
You move in the time I'll sing into you, you move in the time I'll sing into you

Don't look too long into me
A touch a beat a skin a touch a beat a song for thee
A human a reflection a rainbow a nothing
Don't look too long into me don't look too long into me
Don't look too long into me
Grasp not the water...
Track Name: I Am Going To Find You
I am going to find you, my friend
My soul love, my family
Wherever you may be

Scattered in the eyes of strangers
I am going to find you
As I talk to the one who sells me the fruit
As I shake the wrinkled (rain-cold) hand of a woman on the street
Are these my sisters who also long for home?

And when I'm born I will greet you again with a wink
Like I know you already
Like your heart and mine are one

And when I die I will go to the wind with your blessing
Let your tears be brief and wish me well
For the ash goes to the soil and the soil holds the seed
I am going to find you

When you eat of the bread you will taste me again
Scattered in the eyes of strangers
And grow and belong
To the place that is home
Track Name: Flesh Of My Flesh
Phoebe hangs down, her pearls swing high
Dans le rouge et le noir, she corsets the sky
That carved twisted fig, her lovely lover now
She'll naked be, who'll tell you how? (the moon sings)
Flesh of my flesh, who are long gone, yet live within these trees, forever long
I'll tell them true of how I longed for you, and now breathe you into me, you breathe me too

From my man's love, from my own courage
Through troubled tales and deeply tangled times
The blood within we women gentle flows sobs and streams, not sentimental
Lust salted tears but bravely soldiers on to fight to feed those left amongst the carrion
To carry on, to carry on, to carry on, to carry on
Here after

And hidden in some old resume
Or on some mossy stones, somewhere may say
Some satin circus skirt, some crooked girl
Opened her chest but not breathed a word
Flesh of my flesh, who are long gone, yet live within these trees, forever long
I'll tell them true of how I longed for you, and now breathe you into me, you breathe me too

What's living still?
What threads will sustain us through troubled tales and deeply tangled times?
I'll not deny your sweet existence, but be here fierce and still persistent
In my love-embodied earth, where children's laughter
And tiny hands remain here after
Here after, here after, here after, here after …
Track Name: What Is A Witch?
The cook is in tonight they say, what a banquet there will be, there will be
He's on fire tonight...
Pumped high with arrogant lusting veins and happy cruelty
The chickens scurry, the lambs quiver in naivety
The axe the axe chops soundly down and the entire town… your town is still

What is for supper then?
When all the king’s whores and all the king's men
Lie in a drunken pool of their own decadence?
Tired with dancing girls and skirts and eager clutching
Or will it be pork tonight? I smell crackling
I hear the salted flesh's percussive pop and sizzle
Oh no! It is another...

Oh no, they've found another, yes yes, they've found another
Could it be? I heard she is a mother
They say she has the eyes of a storm, they say that she is diseased
They say she has the power, flowers turn their heads when she walks by
The men, they buckle at their knees, just to do her ease...

What is a witch?
How does she feel when the faggots pile high against her feet?
Her thighs tied to the stake
What is a witch?
How does she smell?
How can you tell?
She sings like a praying angel
She smells like crackling
Track Name: Treat Yourself Gently
Laughing about how ignorant we are
Ten percent of us is all that we know
The tip of the iceberg is burning us thus far
You're sucking my brains and I'm sucking your toe

I've got some dead friends who live on inside me
I've got some living who are dying inside
How can you lie there in love and in agony?
I want you darling to sleep well tonight

So please treat yourself gently, don't you go crazy
Wondering what's in that ninety percent
‘Cause we can be foolish, passionate, childish
Please let us let go this grieving lament

Well lover I know you are human, imperfect
The smell of our flesh is a testimony
We're blood, we are sweat, we are sweet intellect
We're living and we'll die eventually

Treat yourself gently, don't you go crazy
Wondering what's in that ninety percent
‘Cause we can be foolish, passionate, childish
Please let us let go this grieving lament
There'll be a time to grieve and to lament
There'll be a time, a time to grieve