Exclusive: Listen: Track By Track: Alessi’s Ark - The Still Life

Alessi’s Ark is back with her third album ‘The Still Life’; listen to it on DIY now.

Alessi’s Ark is back with a new album ‘The Still Life’, due for release through the always-excellent Bella Union on 15th April. The follow up to 2009’s ‘Notes From The Treehouse’ and 2011’s ‘Time Travel’, Alessi recorded her third effort in Omaha, Nebraska with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley).

‘I wanted to create a musical landscape that varied in sound,’ she says of the release, ‘but an overriding feeling of ‘stillness’ remained throughout the album. I also wanted to step back from playing acoustic guitar and immerse the songs in very different sound settings from previous recordings.’

Prior to its release next week, you can listen to the whole album below; exclusively here on DIY. We’ve also a track by track from Alessi herself, so you can learn a little more about each song: from meeting an angel to heartbreak.

Tin Smithing
Two friends of mine married in Galway, in Southern Ireland last summer and along the way I hailed a taxi and met an elderly fellow, whom I believe to be an angel or a kindred spirit at the very least, named Frank Feeney. The taxi ride to the wedding reception was a beautiful tour of his home town as he shared tales of the area, spoke of its rich history that has long been steeped with craftsmanship and a deep rooted fascination with spirituality. It is this ‘Frank’ whom I mention in the lyrics that ‘showed us the rose and the colours they chose to transcend the sunlight and bend the moonlight’ as he pointed out the beautiful rose stained glass window that was handmade by George Campbell for Galway Cathedral. Moved by Frank’s generosity and kindness of heart, I was drawn to a book I found at the hotel that afternoon about traditional Irish crafts that have been handed down from generation to generation over the years. Tinsmithing is a very old tradition of working with tin to make and bend bowls and dishes among other objects that continue to transported by travellers in Ireland to this day. I have long been fascinated by the creative possibilities that lie before us when we use our hands and I wrote the lyrics to the ‘tinsmithing’ in celebration of the beautiful things in the world we make with nothing but the love and power that can be found in our hands.

Veins Are Blue
This song is about noticing traits in one’s behaviour that can leave you depleted and feeling lost. I hope ‘Veins are Blue’ is encouraging for any listener who wants to take a positive shift of mind that at first feels impossible. Don’t give up.

The Rain
This song follows the strength and vulnerability that we live around while the seasons are changing. There is comfort in the constant movement and evolution in nature. Seeing a tiny, fragile bud pushing up through Winter’s exhausted, barren soil only to brace the chill before Spring’s sun shine can be found, is encouraging and inspiring.

The Good Song
This song is about believing in others and trying to find a similar belief in yourself. That does not always come easy to us.

Big Dipper
This song deals with a few ideas that resonate with me. The main idea is of unconditional love and of the patience that the elderly behold when they lose their best friends and loves. I imagine relationships to be like fertile gardens (if they are happy and healthy ones) that the loved ones we lose early, tend to and wait for us in until it is our time to sit and join them on the garden bench.

Afraid Of Everyone
I originally recorded a cover of The National’s song with Nic Nell (of Young Colussus and Casually Here) for an upcoming Yellow Bird Project compilation. However, after finishing recording The Still Life in Athens, GA with Andy LeMaster, I felt the album wasn’t quite long enough and decided to add a few more colours to the album’s sound palette by adding our cover.

Those Waves
I wrote this song after having read the screen play for a beautiful film by Nik Fackler named ‘Lovely,Still’ which followed the lives of an elderly couple struggling with the impact of Alzheimer’s Disease on their relationship. I couldn’t recommend Nik’s film any higher.

Whatever Makes You Happy
This song is about acceptance and accepting that it might not come easily to begin with. Try to keep at it though. Whatever makes you happy!

Sans Balance
This song is about the waves that we ride out in relationships and eventually finding peace with our own rhythms and emotions.

Mountains are one of my favourite things to read about, draw and think about. I would very much like to visit some and find them to be peaceful and comforting.

Hands In The Sink
This song deals with the idea of an older woman realising that she settled for an unfulfilling life for which she has sacrificed her own dreams and desires. She yearns for a love from her youth and daydreams about faded possibilities.

We can be rich in others way - love is key!

This song similarly deals with the comfort that nature can provide in times of solitude and heartbreak. Breathe.

Alessi’s Ark’s new album ‘The Still Life’ will be released on 15th April via Bella Union.