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Heroes Waking Up

by Anna Tivel

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about

Heroes Waking Up, Anna Tivel’s third full-length album, will be released on May 20, 2016. It is the result of a year spent living and writing in a friend’s garage and on the road. The eleven song recording winds through a dusky darkness of hopeful strangers, shadowed struggle, quiet love, and flying dreams. Produced by guitar magician Austin Nevins (Josh Ritter, Anais Mitchell, The Mountain Goats), Tivel’s faded-photographic songwriting swells above a soundscape meticulously crafted by Nevins on guitar, lap steel, banjo, and pump organ. He is joined by Sam Howard (Ruth Moody) on bass, Ian Krist (Blind Pilot) on vibraphone, Robin Macmillan on percussion, and Jeffrey Martin and Moorea Masa singing harmonies. Throw in some violin and octave violin from Anna herself and the final effect is a sweeping, dream-like exploration of Tivel’s raw imagery and powerful storytelling.

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released May 20, 2016

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Anna Tivel Portland, Oregon

Anna Tivel's wide-eyed celestial folk songs belong in a similar
ballpark with Anais Mitchell, Gregory Alan Isakov and Laura
Veirs, where gentle picking plucks among occasionally
unconventional sounds and a gorgeous voice tells stories of
life in a world of natural wonders. The resulting music is
incredibly honest, lyric-driven, and deeply affecting.
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Track Name: Look Away
and if you go walking, in a world made of stars
the neon reflection, of your face in the dark
and the heat of the city, in the curve of your palm
look away, my darling, look away my loved one

and god bless the terror, that brings you to bed
your lily white knuckles, your bruising, your breath
from the dark where you called out, and the things that you said
look away, my darling, look away my dear friend

you’re not alone, you’re not alone, you’re not alone

and under your eyelids, it’s quiet, it’s safe
but he stole the sun from where it lay on your face
and never a day you don’t cry out to wake
look away, my darling, look away, look away
look away, my darling, look away, look away

and how deep the water that carries you home
the warm cotton smell of the clean forest floor
and drifting in dreams, let it go, let it go
look away, my darling, look away from it all
look away, my darling, look away from it all
Track Name: Black Balloon
storm coming in, and hail the size of quarters
turn the radio down, yeah they’re always trying to warn you
with the static crying and the water rising on road
but you built this place out of lust and blood, dug the lines to feed it, fed the bones you dug
to the dogs come creeping all mange and mud, their wild eyes shining at you, starved for love
get back little doggies, i am not your man
i was never the savior of anything
just a hungry laborer, reticent, to belong to a world that so soon forgets

storm coming in, and you are no performer
but your hair stands up for the thunder of a story
and the night is howling and the hawks and owls calling your name
so you climb to the roof where you can see the town, and the cars all packed
hatches boarded down
and the trees bent back, till they kiss the ground, limbs all awry, limbs all around
snap back sweet branches i am not alone
i was never the champion of anyone
just a hungry man, all flesh and bone, dug deep inside of my sunken home

but they’ll never find me, now that i’m flying, oh how they’ll weep and moan
i’ll be a tale to tell, a page to fill and sell, the man who closed the eye of the storm

storm coming in, and people say they saw it
just a hungry man, with his arms out on the turret
like a raven’s wings, they can’t even be certain what they saw
but he took to the sky like a black balloon, rising higher and higher in the storm he flew
like a warning beacon, like the rectitude, like fire
get back little brother, close the kitchen door
there is nobody out there in the thunderstorm
just a hungry soul, rising from the floor, to the sky
but they’ll never find me, now that i’m flying, oh how they’ll weep and moan
i’ll be a tale to tell, a page to fill and sell, the man who closed the eye of the storm
Track Name: The Lines and the Tide
an old box of tools and a bible, a coffee can half full of dreams
the scar of a name carved so careful, in the side of an evergreen
the sweet smell of diesel and lumber, and leather gloves worn by the wind
my hero of hoping and hunger, my one real man

blue-eyed and out on the water, just watching the lines and the tide
but bring him home safe he’s my father, don’t go closing his blue eyes

a nickel for what you been thinking, a dollar is more than i own
a decade is too long to search for that highway back home
so maybe i’ll move to a new town, and start up a life on the edge
but then again maybe i’ll sit down and count how i’m blessed

blue-eyed and out on the water, just watching the lines and the tide
but bring him home safe he’s my father, don’t go closing his blue eyes

and the river is mighty at midnight, the canyon just layers of time
you’re brighter to me than the moonlight, wider than the night sky

i think of you when i’m out walking, or under the hood of my car
the steady belief buried deep in the gold of your heart
and someday i’ll want for the answers, to questions that i never posed
someday i’ll hold my own daughter the way you held yours

blue-eyed and out on the water, just watching the lines and the tide
but bring him home safe he’s my father, don’t go closing his blue eyes
Track Name: Dial Tone
it’s just you, at the window pane, if you breathe just right you can write your name
just a couple of lines, in a liars game
and nobody’s listening anyway

it’s just you, at the marketplace, with your basket full up of empty space
and nothing to buy, but time to waste
and nobody’s listening anyway

you do all your talking, in a one way telephone
just a lonely voice that craves the sound of its echo
you’re the dial tone

it’s just you, making all those plans, what you gonna do, who you do it with
and the roads all end up circling
and nobody’s listening anyway

it’s just you, waking up at night, with a dream so real, you were sure you died
you were falling, fighting, man you were flying
and nobody’s listening anyway

you do all your talking, in a one way telephone
just a lonely voice that craves the sound of its echo
you’re the dial tone

it’s just you, at the window pane, if you breathe just right you can breathe again
just a couple of days, in a year of rain
and nobody’s listening anyway
Track Name: Slow Motion
everything is magical in slow motion
the way you tilt your head under the sun
and maybe it’s just yearning for a deep moment
the heated kiss of heroes waking up

but no one ever told you it would be perfect
and dreaming sometimes dresses like regret
and better men have failed to get the light working
they just stumbled in the dark for years i guess

and the slow motion color of the empty interstate, like the warm light of a lover when the day begins to break, on the bluest sunday morning that the angels ever made, before they flew away

and the LA wind is hardly even blowing
you got the number dialed, but you don’t call
you don’t believe your words are worth the motion
you don’t believe your tears are worth the salt

but you better tell your loved ones that you love them
says the man beside the fence down at the park
and i drove across this country to the bottom
it’s beautiful, but man it broke my heart

it’s getting late we probably should get going
the dogs are glowing ghostly in the dusk
another perfect stranger looking lonesome
another moment slow and warm and hushed

and everything is magical in slow motion
the way you tilt your cheek against the blade
and maybe it’s just yearning for a true moment
on the bluest morning angels ever made
Track Name: Lillian & Martha
the paper sits upon the step, the messenger already gone
and lillian sits next to it, and looks across the coming dawn
the type is bold enough to read, for eyes so tired and set with time
and lillian cannot believe, the photograph and bold headline

she leaves the step and lights the stove, she heats the kettle cracks the eggs
and from the porch the paper blows, it lifts and weaves and floats away
and lillian, she smoothes her hair, she sits to rest her aching feet
and up the old and oaken stairs, martha stirs and leaves a dream

she reaches out across the bed, finds the sheets are tucked and cold
she calls aloud for lillian, her heart it beats and strains and slows
and lillian, she climbs the stairs, she hears her martha’s ragged breath
she lies beside her calms her fear, it’s alright darling you can rest
and long they lay there side by side, the breath of two becomes the one
and down the street the photo flies, of martha and of lillian

and now the town it slowly wakes, unrolls the paper, sits to read
the news it travels cross the state, of hearts that struggle to be free
and from the front in love and tears, lillian and martha wave
the courthouse after fifty years, on their long awaited wedding day

beyond the step the day begins, the heat it rises from the road
and down the stair comes lillian, a promise kept, a band of gold
Track Name: Reverie
the streetlights are diamonds, the sidewalk a bed
of boot heels and garbage and cigarettes
and only the hopeless and lonesome are left
to pin up the night and go home

and i don’t believe that a fortune is told
by the turning of cards, by the swinging of stones
but still i’m here hoping for what i can’t hold
for some kind of sign from above

so turn out the lights, let the diamonds be damned
a reverie is sweeter in the dark
and i don’t got nothing but two empty hands
and this slow burning flame of a heart

and midnight comes rolling all bottles and bags
they come to rest soft in the park
and a beautiful woman, her voice made of glass
stirs in a dream in the dark

and i don’t believe that the future is told
by the weight of a word, but by the way it’s spoke
and still i’m here holding your name in my throat
and isn’t it sweet on my tongue

and the dawn glows, and it spreads like a spill
in the shadows, someone whispers it will be alright

the streetlights are faded, the sidewalk a song
of footsteps, and papers, and telephones
and darling it’s raining, come take me back home
it seems that i’ve seen quite enough

and i don’t know which way i’m bound to believe
the story itself, or the space between
but still i’m here wiping my eyes on my sleeve
at the beautiful world waking up
Track Name: Two Pencils and a Photograph
before i left, i wasn’t anyone
a poor laborer’s lonely son
and i dreamed of women, gold and guns
but they were only dreams

then called a cause that needed me
my sleight of hand and my strong belief
for the west it reigns in a sinful beast
that threatens everything

but swing that hammer, it’s an awful shame
to watch a paper fall, from a stranger’s hand
where’s the glory in all of that
couple pencils and a photograph

the day i left, my mama cried
but i was proud to go, proud to fight
and a blood red sun rose in the sky
and i bent my body east

i found my brothers in the sand
all that artillery and promising
and we bravely faced the task at hand
to cut and kill the beast

took a plane, fulfilled my place
a crowded market and an office space
and the heat of heaven, that metallic taste
and i watched that paper fall

i came to slay, i came to serve
my weapon’s weight against the written word
and i cried out allah and he cried my lord
heaven help us all
Track Name: Rainbows and Ridges
rainbows and ridges, and rhymers and rhymes
lovers and music all have their time
someone gets started and someone resigns

interstate highways and buses and planes
but we’ll only take horses down memory lane
if everything passes, what past will remain?

some days you win, some days you lose
a chair got knocked over, i got the blues
some don't get any, some get to choose

rainbows and ridges, and rhymers and rhymes
lovers and music all have their time
someone gets started and someone resigns
Track Name: Shadow of a Son
when the buildings turn to tall grass, and the yellow lights to stars
and the flag lies down at half mast, like a thousand times before
mother don’t forget the letters, sister don’t forget to breathe
i am standing at your doorstep, you are down upon your knees

will you taste what i have tasted, would you feel what i have felt
i don’t need you to erase it, i just need a little help
father close the door behind you, i am not the man i was
i am standing at your doorstep, just a shadow of a son

will you wake me if i’m screaming, will you love me if i run
doesn’t mean i didn’t mean it, when i slipped that promise on you
and darling don’t pour out the whiskey, you are still so beautiful
i am standing at your doorstep, we will never win this war
i am standing at your doorstep, we will never win

if they call me i will be there, shine my boots and hold my breath
maybe i’ll come back a hero, laid to rest beneath the flag
but please don’t forget to tell them, everything that i have done
i am standing at your doorstep, i am handing you my gun
i am standing at your doorstep, i am handing you my gun
i’ll be standing at your doorstep, if i’m ever coming home
Track Name: Wild Blue Field
i lay down in the wild blue field of your bed
above us the peeled paint and prayers
i wanted to know what the angels said
they breathed your name i swear

and i know that you’re tired of your life on the edge
the corners and cracks of a cage
but deep in the wild blue field of your bed
only a dream remains

so take my good fortune and take my belief
you’re leaving before i wake
may beautiful dreaming and the sweetest release
follow you all through the day

i lay down in the wild blue field of your bed
above us the stars and the stains
i wanted to know what the angels said
i swear they breathed your name

and i know you’re afraid to be loved, to be left
but fences they fall and they fade
and deep in the wild blue field of your bed
only a dream remains

and take my good fortune and take my belief
you’re leaving before i wake
may beautiful dreaming and the sweetest release
follow you all through the day
and take my belongings, the salt from my skin
my body lies bent and between
a beautiful highway where lovers have been
and the wild blue field where they dream