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Loyalty

by The Weather Station

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FOR ORDERS & SHIPPING OUTSIDE OF CANADA, PLEASE VISIT:
paradiseofbachelors.bandcamp.com/album/loyalty

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"The Best Folk Album Of The Year" – FADER Magazine

"She’s a singer with an unmistakable and communicative voice, able to convey hope and hurt with equal clarity" – Pitchfork

The Weather Station, the musical project of Toronto artist Tamara Lindeman, has announced a new album, entitled Loyalty. The project's first release on the Outside Music label in Canada wrestles with knotty notions of faithfulness and faithlessness to our idealism, our constructs of character, our memories, and to our family, friends, and lovers representing a bold step forward into new sonic and psychological inscapes. It's a natural progression for Lindeman's acclaimed songwriting practice.

Recorded at La Frette Studios just outside Paris in the winter of 2014, in close collaboration with Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas) and Robbie Lackritz (Feist), Loyalty crystallizes her lapidary songcraft into eleven emotionally charged vignettes and intimate portraits, redolent of fellow Canadians Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and David Wiffen, but utterly her own. Loyalty brings a freshly unflinching self-examining gaze and emotional & musical control to The Weather Station's songs. Sonically, the record is a quietly radical statement, with certain passages achieving an eerie harmonic and rhythmic tension new to The Weather Station.

An extraordinary singer and instrumentalist on Loyalty she plays guitar, banjo, keys, and vibes but Lindeman has always been a songwriter's songwriter, recognized for her intricate, carefully worded verse, filled with double meanings, ambiguities, and complex metaphors. Though more moving than ever, her writing here is almost clinical in its discipline, its deliberate wording and exacting delivery, evoking similarly idiosyncratic songsters from Linda Perhacs to Bill Callahan. Lyrically, Loyalty inverts and involutes the language of confession, of regret, of our most private and muddled mental feelings, by externalizing those anxieties through exquisite observation of the things and people we accumulate, the modest meanings accreted during even our most ostensibly mundane domestic moments.

credits

released 12 May 2015

All songs written by Tamara Lindeman, SOCAN 2014. Produced by Afie Jurvanen, Robbie Lackritz, & Tamara Lindeman. Engineered by Robbie Lackritz.

Tamara Lindeman – vocals, guitars, piano, Hammon, vibraphone, banjo
Afie Jurvanen – drums, bass, guitars, piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzer

Recorded at La Frette Studios in La Frette-sur-Seine, France, February 2014, with studio assistance from Jonathan Ratovoarisoa & Nicolas Quéré. Facilitated by Olivier Bloch Lainé.

Woodwinds & strings recorded by Tamara Lindeman, March 2014.
Jeremy Strachan – bass clarinet, clarinet, saxophone, flute. Anthony Wallace – violin. Mixed by Jeff Zeigler at Uniform Recording. Mastered by Patrick Klem.

Design & layout by Brendan Greaves, with assistance from Bridget Walsh. Cover photo by Colin Medley. Inner sleeve photography by Yuula Benivolsi. Photo retouching by Constance Mensh.

Thanks to Afie & Robbie for making it happen. Thanks to Olivier, Jo, Nico, & Elizabeth Penin for making it wonderful.

Thanks to Steven Lambke, Christopher J. Smith, Brendan Greaves, Jeff Zeigler, & Patrick Klem for seeing it through.

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The Weather Station Toronto, Ontario

I write songs about things that exist.

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Track Name: Way It Is, Way It Could Be
You looked small in your coat, one hand up on the window,
so long now you’d been lost in thought.
No snow on the road – we’d been lucky,
and it looked like we would be well past Orléans
and past Montmagny, the road giving way to river
the frozen Saint Lawrence white and blue.
We went out on the ice, and I turned back to you, a figure
distant and small in the long view.

Was it a look in your eye? I wasn’t sure.
The way it is and the way it could be – both are.
We got back in the car.

You always tell me the truth,
even when it hurts me or it hurts you.
Could you go a little easy – would it kill you?
Living out the dream, out on the road now for a couple weeks.
So intimate with all that we had wanted.
All that we hoped for and all that we dreamed –
the way it is and the way it could be.

But how long is it going to go on?
I’m gonna count on – I’m gonna hold out for nothing much.
A little kindness, a little praise some days.
I get so close, but I don’t really touch –
what I get, or what I need –
the way it is and the way it could be.

Two brown dogs came out running cross the highway,
panting and low to the ground.
And then they were gone;
for a moment, I had run them down.
I closed and opened my eyes.
They were running up the hill on the other side.
The way it is and the way it could be – both are.
Track Name: Loyalty
Well you called me – telephone ringing in the night.
And you asked me if I was alright –
like an afterthought, an oversight.
And I stood, so surprised,
trying to hold on to my pride.
So close, I could hear your low sigh.
I said I was fine. You said you were fine.

There’s a loneliness – I don’t lose sight of it.
Like a high distant satellite,
one side in shadow, one in light.
But I didn’t mind to be alone that night, in a city

I’d never seen – all these skyscrapers pooling on a prairie.
Built high and tall, as though they all compete
just to reach the darkness up above
that once here had been.

Somewhere – if there’s a beauty you had seen in me.
That I wanted somehow to believe – drift of sentiment and memory.
That I couldn’t have, I could not keep.
No, it never did belong to me; it was only ever another thing I would carry.
Still it held me, loyalty, to a feeling, to some glimpse,
of a love that was only ever a kind of distance.
That we could not cross. “Gather no moss.”
Track Name: Floodplain
All spring I was driving.
Every river swollen with rain, every stream a torrent.
Over the highway bridges that run high across the plains, flooded.
“Half of the Maritimes,” they say, “is running this way.”

I don’t expect your love to be like mine.
I trust you to know your own mind. As I know mine.

Could it really be so effortless,
all in my sight, many hillsides –
green and black and distant, and rivers serpentine, glinting.

I know there’s so much it just can’t mean – you and me.
Still caught up in heartache and grief.
Yet to come, yet to cease.

I feel like I’m seeing double, all joy and all trouble.
My friends say, “be careful,” or “be gracious,” “glad,” or “thoughtful”;
“don’t move too fast”; “don’t let it pass you by.”

But I don’t expect your love to be like mine.
I trust you to know your own mind. As I know mine.
Track Name: Shy Women
Shy women – you and I –
shy, from knowing too well.
Every time, as though it were mine,
the bitterness that you hide so well.
I say nothing at all, thinking of your pride.
And I tell you that you look well,
and you roll your eyes and laugh,
and we sit down together
by the window, talking about the weather.

I should have told you – you looked so alive,
and elegant in the low sunlight.
Shoulders wide, though in readiness to fight –
something you never even touch,
never ask for too much. No, you can get by
on almost nothing. You and I – forever bluffing.
And ever so kind, shy women, shy.

Ice on the trees since New Year’s Eve,
coming down in white sheets.
All white power lines,
swaying high and heavy.
You were staring out, your eyes real straight –
like nothing touches you these days.

Seemed to me that luxury would be
to be not so ashamed. Not to look away –
even this, heaviness, deserved no less
than to always confess every false smile.
To every loneliness, there’s a design that we witness,
you and I, shy women, shy.
Track Name: Life's Work
I listened; I always did listen to you.
Singing all the way through –
your life’s work: passion, caution, timing.

Try what you saw, and try what you knew,
it was never always true.
Your life’s work teasing you,
like a statue: so dignified, so blind.

They take and take, but they don’t seem to receive,
and you don’t sleep, and there’s no money.
Your life’s work: passion, caution, timing.

Try as you might, and try as you will, you were never truly still.
And you try what you saw, and you try what you love, it would never be enough.
Try as you might, try as you will, you were never truly still.
Track Name: Like Sisters
Some people say that we look like sisters,
somehow, something in the eyes.
And I’d say, “Well, you know I’m flattered,”
and she’d say, “Yeah, right!”

She’s always been so careful,
nobody more faithful.
I’ve always been so careful,
nobody more faithful.

When she moved out, sometimes he’d call me;
I never should have answered.
Sometimes you give, you’re giving all you have,
and sometimes you’re the taker.

Like the whole world went and slipped my way,
and yet I didn’t want nothing
so unequal. Like unearned praise,
like someone I don’t recognize
was looking back from my own eyes.

We’d sit, and we’d find ourselves talking for hours,
and sometimes she would cry,
waving her hands as though to ward off something,
telling you she’s fine.

Sometimes you have to decide
what is wrong and what could be right.
But I was too “kind”; I was on every side.
As though to try to make amends
for all the distances
there have always been between
you and I – me and the sky.
Track Name: I Mined
It started small – a simple thought.
That there was something wrong.
And if it’s caught I could set it right,
or at least, I could try.

All through the night and down in your eyes,
I mined and mined and mined.
Given time, what I looked for I would find;
I was right, I was right, I was right.

And every word I overturned like a stone rolling easy.
And all I’d see hidden underneath only served to make me lonely.
Your trouble is like a lens through which the whole world bends,
and then you can’t set it straight again.

Winter passed, and summer storms came and
flashed white in the evening.

You came in wet; you were laughing and grinning,
shook my shoulders, tried to get me smiling.

The wind had changed, and the rain was relentless,
washing everything down the street again.
My slow heart wanted only what was endless – to be helpless.
Track Name: Tapes
I found the little tapes you kept under your bed,
and I played and played and played them, over and over again.

Years ago, walking alone,
you sang “Oh.”
In your high strange voice,
your feet scuffing along the pavement.
Trying to sing what you meant,
late at night – it was too important.

I’m older now than you ever were, or ever would become.
Track Name: I Could Only Stand By
You could go for hours, months, and days,
in that half-hearted, pinched kind of way.
And you don’t get too often to the bruise-coloured lake,
to stand, hands in your pockets.

Sometimes you don’t see nothing much there:
sunken old moorings, rusted-out stairs, and white sailboats against the sky,
not really knowing what you came there to find.

Not the building’s concrete spines.
Not the bitterness you always can divine
and pull from your heart like so much twine,
ravelling, unravelling, ravelling fine.

You got pretty lost there in your own mind,
pathways to hallways to doorways blind.
All through the winter I could only stand by,
watching you wake to the hardest kind of trouble,
with no guiding line.

I stood beside you, thin as a kite, wincing in the wind’s cool bite.
Telling me you’ll never get nothing right.
Laughing as you said it, in the low sunlight –
so brief in November, and impossibly bright.
Track Name: At Full Height
If he don’t mean it, he won’t say it, and I can tell.
If I don’t mean it, I won't say it, and his face fell.
But it’s so seldom I believe it – it takes a clear kind of day.

Like air so cold it hurts to breathe it.
And the colour comes to my face.
And I don’t tell my mother, I don't tell my sister,
something so tender I’d rather not speak it,
even when I know it – that he’s mine.

Woke up thirsty, lost in memory, coming in swells.
And dreams stay with me, long into morning, strange wells.
I’ve been free, but I’ve known not freedom – like a kite.
It was a glimpse, but I did see him: at full height.

And I left it all unspoken and free;
in the coming and the going, knowing not what he means.
And I don’t even know him – but he’s mine.