Plants and Bodies

by Trevor Wilson

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about

Plants and Bodies is a collection of two song cycles, released in March 2008. At their heart, the songs are written for piano and voice, but are accompanied in the Plant cycle by piano, bass, additional vocals, strings, accordion, and harp. Now that this album has spent some time being absorbed by its audience, we've been hearing feedback- this has now been folded into our initial take on the album.

At first listen, Plants could seem unnecessarily multi-layered, its simple cover perhaps a clever joke. Hopefully there is an 'in' for even the casual listener. If five songs filled with plant metaphors seems a bit too heavy-handed, then perhaps the pulsing bass lines and soulful melodies can provide some good old-fashioned satisfaction.

Try to imagine that Plants, as compositions and recordings, can be represented as the high school hallway during break. Some predictable groupings coming your way, an age-old conflict between boys in love with the same girl, a disatisfied teacher... varying shades of transparency. And then, there are some particularly hard to understand cases. Maybe a guy who's dressed goth, but you don't really 'get it'. Maybe he seems confused himself. Whatever's in the hallway, it's all there at the same time. This contrast between complexity and simplicity runs rampant throughout all aspects of the album- freedom and construction together.

And if Plants hides simple ideas underneath its busy production, Bodies houses the most complex ideas under a seemingly simple hood. A formal investigation into the harmonic passages of 'Astronaut', for example, would make Trevor's own head spin. But, the production includes simple piano and voice, and the simplest message of all- he loves.

credits

released March 21, 2008

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Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.

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TWVE Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn-based, experimental pop music, centered around heavy vocal harmonies.

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Track Name: One Mile
If sorrow had a name, I wouldn't know it,
But I could tell of the places he's been.
And if this fence could talk, what would it say,
After I finish my job for the day?

'You destroy the shelter of the vine,
That has grown along my spine!
It took the edge off of the sun,
Now remains as scattered segments!'*

What if I save the weeds and leave them to grow?
They'll spread themselves all over the yard.
But if I share my plea with the rusty fence,
I'll hear it's echoed sorry refrain.

*repeat.
'Faithful till the end- I watch you destroy its roots.
I send you off scraped and bleeding!'

Oh! I destroy the last clinging pieces.
Oh! With my hands, cut and wounded. Oh!

And if you move that house a mile down the road,
You wouldn't know the sorrow it sows.
You rented out that house to people I know,
And they were uprooted with nowhere to go.
Track Name: Mighty Spruce
Correct me if I'm wrong- but that tree's a mighty sight!
Thirsting for winter's dawns, surviving through its nights.
Well I think that branch will be alright,
If we just leave it and remove the smaller branch that's growing downward,
To take some weight off, make some space, and keep it out of traffic.

And that spruce is growing up- taller than you and I!
It looks like fireworks blooming above our heads.
Someday that wood will rot and die,
But it don't look like we'll be round to see it when it goes away,
But that's what I would hope- for it to see us through our days.
Track Name: Little Princess
n the garden show, my beauty sits,
Waiting to be bought and taken home,
And hoping she will be regularly watered.

And how they pruned her,
And made her to look like the ideal shrub.
She lost some limbs to make her symmetric.

Well, some day they’ll grow back, I hope.
And she won’t be at a show.
She will have rooted herself by the patio in front of a house.
Trying hard just to blend in,
So she can grow as she wants to grow out.

That’s what I thought of,
On the day when we gathered around the boob tube again.

On the halftime show on CBS
They were looking a little wet.
Their faces were saturated with the colors.

Flags were flying! Fireworks were shooting up,
Collecting smoke in the closed stadium.

Somewhere among them, I know,
She’ll be there at the show!
Yes, my little shrub is in there,
In the audience waving her limbs,
Trying hard just to look like an American Idol princess.

Which little princess are you?
Which little princess are you turning into?
Track Name: Bitter Passage
Years ago, I bought a plant
To make up for the absence of another.
Though these new leaves were green and crisp,
They weren't as much as the ones I could remember,
But I swore that I would take good care and grow to love her.

Looking now at the second plant,
It withers away like the first plant.
Now I see how the seed of love must be present at the start,
Cause love won't grow from dirt.

I know I barely watered, and never thought to transplant.
Never thought to trim the dying leaves and flowers.
Well here comes a bitter passage for confession.
I never loved it and I'm sorry for that!
Track Name: Patient Eyes
There's a home for the plants that die.
With patient eyes, they wait for the sky,
Covered by their neighbors' limbs.

They might never live to see the hands
Taking the pots to be used again.
The pots will hold another plant.

Here's the gardener. Ok.
There's a chance the plants will be ok.
He gives them water,
And trims the trees around them.

Neglected seedlings carry on,
skeletons of shrubs tower above.
The sprouts will never live that long.

Even those that once were given care
will fade away, left with branches bare.
They will know the past much more
Than the hands that cared for them before.

Here's the gardener. Ok.
There's a chance the plants will be ok.
He gives them water,
and trims surrounding trees.
Track Name: Astronaut
Well, I think that you could be an astronaut,
Floating above the rest of us.
If you collide with a satellite,
You'll pepper the sky with stars!

Well, I think that you move like a falling leaf,
Circling down from the dormant tree.
As you make your way to the ground,
The wind sends you floating around.

Where will you go when you’re thrown from your nest?
Will you lay under the snow, or will you never rest?

Time is a lover you cannot uncover.
She’ll never go to sleep with you, or anyone.
So, you look for a way to capture today, and hold her,
But time’s already been the places you look for her.

After a while, you give up and pile
Your hands on your face.
Because time won't wait for your satisfaction,
In any one place.

Death is a father who couldn’t be bothered
to tell you the places you’ll go.
He sits in the corner, gripping the paper.
He waits to catch you in a moment of error.

Well, I think that you look like an astronaut,
Knee deep in snow and taunting us,
When you form the snow you want to throw
At my face, with your hand in the glove, cold and damp.
Track Name: Your Spine
You don't know your face enough
To tell me about it on the phone.
There's a line that you smile creates,
That tells a tale of its own.

Though it's mute, it silently shouts,
'I'll be true to you!'
And some part of my face
Tries to do that too.

But you were talking about
The words on your spine
That I read with my hand,
All those times.

Words are scattered around us,
Where we go to sleep.
Some will have to stay silent,
And some we sing.

There's a line in your fingertips,
A phrase I receive on my arm.
It says - 'One of these days you'll come around,
And we'll wash this dusty old town.'

That line waits for some time to be done,
Though against our will,
And it rests in our veins,
Remaining ever still.

But you were talking about
The words on your spine
That I read with my hand,
All those times.
Track Name: Syrinx
That’s the thrush's syrinx,
That expresses his feelings,
It asserts that he can wait,
For his is quite a mate.

They lie together at night time
And fly apart in the day time.
Regard his feathers bright.
His heart must be in flight!

One day they might drift apart,
Never to be joined again.
Or they might both live to see
Babies hatch and clumsily fly away!

Now he waits and recollects
The colors of the feathers of her tail.
They might be the last of hers
That he will ever see again.

Note the thrush's syrinx
Laced with a bitter insistence.
He claims that she'll return,
After several nights.

He will break no more snail shell
To share the bitter muscle.
No, he would not partake
If it would be alone.

How has he been clinging there
On the treetop through the night?
What is it that gives him hope
And makes his claws grip tight?
Track Name: Want
On the turnpike traveling home,
I feel the roar of the air through the window,
But I can't hear any sound??.

When I notice your empty seat,
The sun casts a purple shade all around
As it sets below Baltimore.

Well, there’s no love without want,
And there’s no want without time. Yes, time.
And time never goes where you want it to go.

There’s been few times when I’ve felt this strong.
Maybe the times when I sang ‘na na na na na’ songs.
I hold onto these smiles that grow from inside,
Fertilized by the light in your eyes.

As it grows, the smile you sow weaves its vines around me
It loops around my neck and runs along my spine.

But there’s no love without want,
And there’s no want without time.
Yes, time, and time never moves where you want it to go.
And I watch as the minute hand thickens and slows,
Reluctant to move where I want it to go.
Track Name: No
‘No’ is a sound I make with my mouth.
I can’t keep it in when it wants to come out!
Everyone has strength- a power in the jaw.
The tongue is a muscle, ruddy and raw.
I exercise my lungs, let that word ring out.
Watch it emerge, sturdy and tall.

Oh! There was a boy who lived by the words of his peers.
Oh! If he could show he was as bold, they would cheer.
He betrayed a fearful friend when an older boy drew near.
For every delivered fist, he attached a whispered broken,

‘I’m so sorry.’ No!
‘I’m so sorry.’ No, no, no!
‘I’m so sorry! ‘Don’t let them…’ No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Yesterday was the same, but I stretched my arm to stop him.
That was all I did.
‘No’ was a move I made with my arm,
It grew from my chest and bloomed at my palm.

No! That’s what we heard, it rang through the floor and the walls.
Yes! It was a sound that found itself sturdy and tall.
We all stood still for a while, and my friend let out a smile.
His teeth exposed to air, I bathed in the glow.
Track Name: Ankles
wrote this note to give to my friend
Before he left here.
Though I never showed it to him,
I'll place it on your ear.

‘My friend – you are the axe
that splits my heart in two.
As your legs carry you on,
I pull at your feet.
Fingers ring your ankles to stop you,
But they can't compete.

But I know that the ankle I hold
is not yours, but rather my own.
Please do not save my pleading,
only keep this good bidding-
Fare thee well!’

Now he's been gone for a year,
And still some part of me wishes I had stopped him.