The North Sea (Hemlock Smith + String Quartet Live)

by Hemlock Smith

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about

The tour for our fourth album "Everything has Changed" was to be a different one, as the idea was to feature a string quartet to play the new songs. We also took some time to rearrange lesser known or forgotten tracks for these instruments, to shed new light upon them. The following record captures these moments and is the first ever live recording we've made. It is not designed for release and therefore free to download. Thank you for attending these shows and thank you so much for listening.

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released December 22, 2014

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Hemlock Smith Lausanne, Switzerland

Hemlock Smith come from Lausanne (Switzerland). Since 2002, they’ve released 6 regular albums with intelligent pop, as well as 2 soundtracks for silent film and 2 collaborations with Noise duo Les Poissons Autistes. Fronted by singer-songwriter Michael Frei, Hemlock Smith's distinctive voice is complemented by the ambient guitar playing of Fred Merk and the delicate piano work of Emilie Roulet. ... more

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Track Name: Down Beat Bird (Intro) / My Musical Career (Live)
My Musical Career

My Musical Career
Steers Clear
Of any kind of success
My Musical Career
So Dear to me
You didn’t hear from me – I guess…

Dressing out for rare occasions that never go so well
Expressing what I really mean but what I can never tell
Depressing songs for lonely people who really need some fun
Wrestling with the million reasons that always block the sun

My parents told me to quit – but who’s gonna ever admit – that?

My Musical Career
Steers Clear
Of any kind of success
My Musical Career
So Dear to me
You didn’t hear from me – I guess…

This beautiful pain…
This beautiful pain…
This beautiful pain…

Some people hear the chimes of heaven-and others find the grail
those who get their act together and those who always fail
some who sing of sacred visions and who command the rain
but I’m the king of indecision-stubborn and vain…

My agent told me to quit – but the pavement’s a nice place to sit – there…

My Musical Career
Steers Clear
Of any kind of success
My Musical Career
So Dear to me
You didn’t hear from me – I guess…

This beautiful pain…
This beautiful pain…
This beautiful pain…
Track Name: The Leper Dogs of May (Live)
The Leper Dogs of May

The Leper Dogs of May
Came crawling to my doorstep
Most certainly astray
The Leper Dogs of May
Came sleeping on my sofa
And peeing in my loafers
Forever they will stay.

They said we’re bringing joy
Joy
To every girl and boy
Girl and boy

The Leprechauns of June
Came waltzing through the chimney
Chanting all the runes
The Leprechauns of June
They licked my sugar bowl
Took my remote control
They won’t be leaving soon.

They said we’re bringing joy
Joy ?
To every girl and boy
Girl and boy

And I apprehend the fall
When all things will be dying
And colors fade to grey
Yes, I apprehend the fall
On this cliff I may be leaning
Without hope ; without meaning
Let the storm take me away ; the Storm…

Because you’re gone…
Because you’re gone…
Because you’re gone…

The Leper Dogs of May
Are sleeping on my doorstep
Forever licking foam
Should they be amused to stay
Start drinking all my wine
Let them be so inclined
They’re the guardians of my bones.
Track Name: The North Sea (Live)
The North Sea

The wind has chilled all of our bones
Or is it just the fright ?
Our voices all devoured by the sky
We pull the ropes and search the foam but
You’re nowhere in sight
Your melodies surprised us but
The North Sea’s always right

Far away from home
Far away from home
Here comes the night.

Did you ever tire to explore
Those valleys black and white -
To navigate the corners of our minds ?
You’d wander through our every storm-
A chalice full of light
Your melodies advised us but
The North Sea’s always right

So very close to home
So very close to home
Here comes the night.

Who’d ever think that you might lose
- that you might lose a fight ?
The North Sea may despise us –
You proved it to be trite –

Far away from home
There you may roam
Into the light.

For Esbjörn Svensson
Track Name: Let it Rain (Live)
Let it Rain

Roaming dogs always run backwards
Searching for knowledge, or for time they owned
Travelling fools always turn awkward
Seeds always die on a highway road

Let it Rain
Let it Rain

Hopeless eyes always turn inward
When there’s nothing at all but our own jokes to quote
Sailing on, through my own backyard
Mare Silentium – and mine’s the only boat

Let it Rain
Let it Rain
Let it Rain down on me oh my, oh my Lord

Let it Rain
Let it Rain
Let it Rain down on me, oh why … ?

Silent skies never turn crowded
Seems I’ve been waiting on the wrong side of dawn
I try not to cry but I can’t fight it
See all those rockets crash on my starless lawn

Let it Rain
Let it Rain
Let it Rain
Let it Rain
Let it Rain down on me oh my, oh my Lord

Let it Rain
Rain down on me
Let it Rain
Let it Rain
Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain
Down on me…
Let it Rain
Track Name: Everything has Changed (Live)
Everything has Changed


I guess the fog will soon be lifting, finally
And clear the streets, our common maze
But my soul, it keeps on drifting
Out through the windshield, into the day

And as I turn, there, at the streetlight
I notice everything has changed
Everything has changed

I guess that poetry’s uplifting, actually
It frees our hearts, our common gaze
But my soul, it keeps on shifting
Forever different, in a haze

And as I turn, there, at the crossroads
I notice everything has changed -

Oh when she closed the door
I felt sad in a way I’d never been before
Sad in a way like never before

‘Cos everything had changed.

I guess the town will soon be roaring, endlessly
And shroud my silence, like a grave
My body’s cold, and still, it’s soaring
Has it been our last embrace ?

And as I turn, there, at the corner
I notice everything has changed
Everything has changed

Everything has changed
Track Name: Distant Sun (Live)
Distant Sun

The road goes southbound
Oh Heaven, Help me !
For I may die before the day is done
The beggar’s cartwheels
Are never mending
On this lane of sorrow, towards the distant sun

The road goes southbound
Far and farther
And I may die before the day is done
(Done…Done…)
That’s how our life is
Like day – descending
A realm of shadows and the distant sun

(Done…Done…)

A realm of shadows and the distant sun
A bag of sorrow for the lonely ones
A realm of shadows and the distant sun
A realm of shadows - A realm of shadows

The road goes southbound
Oh Heaven, Help me !

The road goes southbound
Oh Heaven, Help me !
For I may die before the day is done
(Done…Done…)
A poor man’s plight is
Comprehending
The constant mockery of the distant sun
That’s how our life is
Like day – descending
A realm of shadows and the distant sun

(Done…Done…)
Track Name: Death ain't got no Mercy (Live)
Death ain’t got no Mercy

Death ain’t got no Mercy in this land
Death ain’t got the Heart to understand
And I don’t know what the Truth is but it sure lies close at hand
Death ain’t got no Mercy in this land

Surely our Trials will be in vain
Surely our Trials will cause us pain
We’ll carry the Load and for certain we’ll carry the blame, yeah
Surely our Trials will be in vain

Life has only Misery to bestow
Life has only Heartache in its tow
And I’ll shoulder my Burden till my Lord says it’s time to go, go, go
Life has only Misery to bestow

Death ain’t got no Mercy in this land
Death ain’t got the Heart to understand
And I sure know the outcome when it comes to leave its Brand, yeah, yeah
Death ain’t got no Mercy, Mercy, Mercy in this land

Death ain’t got no Mercy in this land
Death ain’t got no Mercy in this land
Death ain’t got no Mercy in this land
Death ain’t got no Mercy in this land
(Mercy, Mercy…)
Track Name: Yesterday's Here (Live)
Yesterday Is Here
(Written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan)

If you want money in your pocket
and a top hat on your head
a hot meal on your table
and a blanket on your bed
well today is grey skies
tomorrow is tears
you'll have to wait til yesterday ‘s here

Well I'm going to New York City
and I'm leaving on a train
and if you want to stay behind and
wait til I come back again
well today is grey skies
tomorrow is tears
you'll have to wait til yesterday ‘s here

If you want to go
where the rainbows end
you'll have to say goodbye
all our dreams come true
baby up ahead
and it's out where your memories lie

Well the road is out before me
and the moon is shining bright
what I want you to remember
as I disappear tonight
Well today is grey skies
tomorrow is tears
you'll have to wait til yesterday ‘s here

Well today is grey skies
tomorrow is tears
you'll have to wait til yesterday ‘s here

you'll have to wait til yesterday ‘s here
you'll have to wait til yesterday ‘s here
Track Name: Spring is Mine (Live)
Spring is Mine

I don’t know why
The birds went late this year
I don’t know why
The snow didn’t show
I wonder why
On earth
You’re still here
Your breath is calm
So tornadoes don’t know where to go-

CH 1
And I
I Feel contented
I feel fine
‘Cos, I’m not dead yet
And spring is mine
Oh I
I Feel contented
I feel inclined to tingling spine
And Spring is mine

I wonder why
July just never came
I wonder why
The sun wouldn’t glow
But if I fall into
Your sweet embrace
Old foe November will be laying low- (told you so)

CH 1

CH 2
Oh I
I Feel contented
I feel fine
‘Cos, I’m not dead yet
And spring is mine
Oh I
I feel demented
Cos’ you’re sublime, my song and rhyme
And you are mine…

And I don’t care
What the seasons do
I couldn’t bear
To live just one without you…
Track Name: Heaven Knows (Live)
HEAVEN KNOWS

ON A SORRY INTERSTATE
A LIES IMPLIES TRUE LOVE CAN WAIT
AND I NEVER WANNA BE IN LOVE AGAIN
HAD MY SAY BUT I LOST MY NERVE
I SEE YOUR FACE IN EVERY CURVE
AND I NEVER WANNA BE IN LOVE AGAIN

ALWAYS DRIVING IN MY CAR
NEVER CLOSE BUT NEVER FAR
AND I NEVER WANNA BE IN LOVE AGAIN
A MILLION TIMES I HIT THE WALL
A MILLION TIMES I ALMOST CALLED
AND I NEVER WANNA BE IN LOVE AGAIN

HEAVEN KNOWS
HEAVEN KNOWS
THE WAY IT GOES
HEAVEN KNOWS

THERE’S A CLOUD CAN’T SEE THE STARS
WISH I KNEW JUST WHERE YOU ARE
BUT I NEVER WANNA BE IN LOVE AGAIN
I CAN BE THE POISON IN MY VEIN - YET
I’LL NEVER BE IN LUCK – THAT’S PLAIN
BUT THE SIGN THERE ON THE ROAD SAYS –
COME AGAIN…

HEAVEN KNOWS
HEAVEN KNOWS
THE WAY IT GOES
HEAVEN KNOWS
Track Name: Train Song (Live)
Train Song

I guess the train’s a-coming
I guess the train’s a-coming
I see the smoke there in the sky but I hear no sound
Although I press my ear right down, down to the ground

I feel the train a-coming
I feel the train a-coming
Will my lover be on time, will she be there ?
Or is it over and my days bound to despair ?

Oh – I’m waiting for the 9 :55…
Oh – I’m waiting for the 9 :55…

I hear the train a-coming
I hear the train a-coming
The shuffle of its beat works like a charm
I know she races towards me, into my arms

I see the train a-coming
I see the engine running
But all windows of the wagon remain closed
I guess it must not be the right train, I suppose…

Oh – I’m waiting for the 9 :55…
Oh – I’m waiting for the 9 :55…

As I wait another day, the cold wind blows
As I wait another day, the cold wind blows
Track Name: Drone (Live)
Drone

Here it is ; the road less travelled by
Cowardice, and no passers-by

Led me to believe that I was wrong
Led me to be scared and run – run along

Here it was ; and such a masterplan
Blown to dust, like castles in the sand

Had my firm belief that I could hum
There is no relief – or song – just a drone

Is this the past, or was this never true?
Nothing lasts, and seldom leaves a clue

Led me to deceive and hide my shame
Led me to believe that I, could stay
Stay the same…

There is no relief – or song – just a drone
There is no relief – or song – just a drone
There is no relief – or song – just a drone

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