By Heron & By Season

by Emily Millard

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1.
02:41
2.
03:06
3.
04:11
4.
5.
03:17
6.
01:43
7.
8.
05:29
9.
06:41
10.
03:46

credits

released October 7, 2016

Musicians:
Emily Millard - vocals, piano, tenor guitar, acoustic guitar, percussion (6)
Colin Nealis - upright bass, electric bass
Daniel Gaucher - drums (1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 10)
Sandro Perri - synths, harpsichord, clavinet, electric guitar, percussion (7)
Jesse Zubot - violin, viola (3, 8)
Peggy Lee - cello
Henry Lee - viola (5, 9)
Blake Howard - drums (7)
Ernie Tollar - bass flute, soprano saxophone
Jeremy Strachan - bass clarinet
Michael Davidson - vibraphone

Composer & Lyricist: Emily Millard
Producer: Sandro Perri
Engineer: John Raham at Afterlife, Vancouver BC
Additional engineering: Erik Nielsen at Afterlife; Sandro Perri at 6 Nassau, Toronto ON; Corwin Fox at Hidden Well, Cumberland BC
Mixing: Sandro Perri
Mastering: Paul Gold, Salt Mastering, Brooklyn NY
String Arrangements: Mike Smith (5), Philipp Martin (9)
String Direction: Jesse Zubot
Artwork: Jessica Fortner
Design: Michael Wandelmaier

My deepest gratitude to the following guiding lights and supporters:

Chloe Gow-Jarrett & Adam Millard; Orion Cleasby; John & Lilith Cleasby; Jan Zwicky; Corwin Fox, Kirsten Werner, Kaya & Tao; Serena & Gina Coutts; Liam Smith; John MacLean; Davide Direnzo; Aaron Davis; Michael Feuerstack; Laurel Sprengelmeyer; Rolf Hansen; Alin Coen; Philipp Martin; Martyn Heyne; Benoit Morier; Joel Kerr; Ruby Kato- Attwood; Benjamin Schuetze; Jacquelyn Mills; Shawn Kangro; Vince Nealis & Liz Hansen; Linda, Bill & Corbin Murdoch; Samantha Parton; Mike Yealland, Vasta Mukambaraga, Kevin, Herve & Shami; Meredith McEvoy & Andrew Mark; Jennifer Kingsley & Toby Meis; Hannah Epperson; Kendall Green; Peter Mynett; Montana & Steve Brockley; Joyce & Doug Millard; Thea Gow-Jarrett & Michael Millard; Maecan Campbell; Sonya Weir; Sarah & Paul Jackson; Luke Stime; Christopher Fleck; Rebecca Luce-Kapler; David Pimm; Paul Uy; Michael Boissevain; Barb Cohen; Adrienne Stos & Liam Epps; Canada Council for the Arts; FACTOR.

This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters. Ce projet est financé en partie par FACTOR, le gouvernement du Canada et les radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

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about

Emily Millard

Emily Millard, known formerly as Miss Emily Brown, is a Canadian singer-songwriter whose unique blend of art-folk combines poetry with vintage keys, steel strings and found-instruments.
In the last ten years, Emily released a series of records under the moniker Miss Emily Brown and with chamber-pop band Morlove.
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Track Name: Flashlight
if you shine your flashlight
to the palm of my hand in the night
if you hold your hand up high
to the eastern rise

you can see your veins
you can see my veins
you can see the light shine right through

did you think you were just out walking
did you think you were just out walking
out walking through an easy grove
did you think I was a monk in a robe
easy grove

falling leaves a serious tree

this is all I am
this is all I will be
Track Name: Chainbreaker
chainbreaker
it's your task
to lose this grip
this hold on fearfulness

first is first
free yourself
and then you'll free
your family
your whole lineage

bravely pick the locks
generations old
open all the doors

chainbreaker
who were you
one life
two lives
you’ve changed
the whole design

how simple
how perfect
how clear the path
you fear it
draw near it

bravely pick the locks
generations old
open all the doors
Track Name: Toxic Town
when you were born, you knew
one breath of city air
one taste of North America
you tried to slip away
before anybody guessed your name

they didn’t really know
how to care for your soul

they laid you in a cradle
by a highway sign
between a shipping lane and a railway line
on the unceded land
you inherited from a soy farmer & a native band


they didn’t really know
how to care for your soul

how can you plant a seed in a toxic town

the debt of generations weathered and worn
your grandfather was gravely misinformed
he covered all the land with chemicals
that seeped into the water table

some grew a harder shell
while the cancer spread
from the horn of plenty to the fountainhead
you caught a train to ride
to the end of all tracks
where you sunk your spade in the unturned land

they didn’t really know
how to care for your soul

how can you plant a seed in a toxic town
Track Name: Promise of Spring
I have been afraid of the truth
don't say it
I have been afraid of the truth
every moment clue after clue
every moment bells ringing
wake up you!
I just roll over

when you climbed inside this shell
you suspended all
to become a story written in the marrow
directed by stars
cued up by symbols and signs
by heron and by season
by fruit and by wine

who can name the root of this fear
don't say it
who can name the root of this fear
just watch the last leaf
quiver and cling to the tree
I am that leaf

I was 26 years old when the panic seized me
unrecognizable when she came to meet me
a lily from beyond
handed me by a stranger
a promise of spring
in the midst of deep freeze
Track Name: Eisblumen
make me the ice flower
that blooms in darkness
in minus centigrade
against the curve
of your glassy surface

make me formlessness
crystallized
iron filings polarized
singeing you
with my shattered light
Track Name: As a Cloud
as a cloud passes by the sun
testing shades of darkness
revealing light in its time
testing shades of light

shades of dark
shades of light

didn't know darkness
didn't know how dark it could get
didn't know how far
down I would descend
didn't know lightness
was a place I had to climb
minute by minute

as a cloud travels fast and far
testing new formations
pulled at once by four winds
testing shape and form

shape and form

as a cloud passes by the sun
Track Name: Snake Charmer
come on and be
my snake charmer
summon me
I don't wanna wait anymore
I want to rise

when I was young
I saw a world full of damage
desperate souls
buried beneath all their sadness
everywhere I went
I'd smell a thief and I'd vanish
I hid my light so they wouldn't
take what was mine

come on and be
my snake charmer

I have been so guarded
and so uninviting
to generous hearts
who loved me deep and abiding
all they were trying to do
was to free me from hiding
turn back the stone
where I live alone

come on and be
my snake charmer
I don’t wanna wait
anymore
Track Name: Hunter
follow with your eye the animal
moving through the trees
watch where the horizontal line forms the vertices

follow with your eye the animal
train the eye to tell
the spots on her hide from the skin of the alder
follow with your eye the animal

grey wolf howling
all the night and all the morning
build a fence of sound around the valley
bluff to bluff their voices bouncing
seems the pack is multiplying
set the deer to run

follow with your eye the animal
listen for the leaves
notice the movement of the birds
the rustling wings
follow with your eye the animal
never look away
and if a thought should cloud the mind
let it pass by
follow with your eye the animal

on the beach the eagle nesting
dives across the path we're walking
cries a piercing cry to come no farther
all the night and all the morning
grey wolf howling
set the deer to run

follow with your eye the animal

the same I hear you singing
round our patch of land
fallow for a hundred years
and turned over by your hand
Track Name: Where is God
don't put ideas in her head
her young and blessed head
she came not long ago
I suspect she may still remember
the place where secrets are kept
we should be asking her instead
why do some trees grow so tall
while the dragonfly lives but one season
ask her where is god

when she was young she said to me
this world is one big house, Emily
I do not know this world, she said
we walked below a skytrain
I wish I'd asked her, Madeline
what happens to a dead man's soul
but she was only two years old
I wish I'd asked her who and why
how and where is god

I still remember in those days
when I was very small
too small to be alone
my mother watched from the window
a ceremony in my hands
I held it in the sticks and stones
I heard it in the heaving wind
I wore it in my ancient bones

I rearranged the poles
I moved the universe
I ordered up the the stars
consoled this haggard earth

a steeple nor a cross
need have marked a holy place
a river or a mossy bank
a rock of any shape
answered
where is god
Track Name: Hourglass
what you never knew
has been haunting you
strange visitors knocking
at your dreams

what would it take
to bring back that day
without turning away

what's buried in the sands of time
swept away by winds of the mind
grain by grain collecting on
the bottom of the hourglass

if you're willing to see
would you even believe
and what would you do
with what you know