The Snakes You Charm & The Wolves You Tame

by Sweet Gum Tree

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    DOUBLE 12" BLACK VINYL LP - 2x180G - DELUXE GATEFOLD SLEEVE WITH LYRICS

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    Deluxe CD in gatefold digisleeve, including 16-page booklet with lyrics and exclusive pictures.

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07:15

about

"Lush and spellbinding" orchestral project by singer-songwriter Arno Sojo features Isobel Campbell, Earl Harvin (Tindersticks), Marty Willson-Piper (The Church), classical composer Eric Voegelin as well as producers Peter Deimel (Anna Calvi) and David Odlum (Gemma Hayes).
*** MOJO , 7/10 UNCUT

credits

released February 3, 2014

Performed by Arno Sojo aka Sweet Gum Tree (vocals, guitar, piano, autoharp, glockenspiel, bass, drums and percussion) with guests Virginie Levasseur (piano, keyboards, backing vocals), David Odlum (keyboards), Isobel Campbell (vocals), Romy (backing vocals), David Sojo (bass), Marty Willson-Piper (bass, additional guitar), Earl Harvin (drums), Simon Bernier (drums), Marc Dupont (drums), Igor Adveev (vibraphone, percussion), Andrei Amocov (contrabass), Helena Drako (violin), Artyom Shishkov (violin), Elizaveta Hembitskaya (violin), Helena Maximova (violin), Mario Forte (violin), Tatiana Mesniankine (violin), Vladimir Kunitsa (viola), Nicolai Anischenko (viola), Andrei Malakhov (viola), Dima Tsypkin (cello), Alexei Kicelyov (cello), Tatiana Livitskaya (harp), Alexei Yaskelshik (french horn), Alexandre Kovgan (bass clarinet), Sergei Metrashkevich (trumpet), Pierre Bernier (tenor saxophone).

Written by Arno Sojo.
Composed by Arno Sojo & Eric Voegelin except tracks 2, 5, 7 & 8 by Arno Sojo.
Orchestra arranged by Eric Voegelin, led by Dima Tsypkin.
Track 11 contains excerpts from "Homme" by Eric Voegelin.

Recorded by Peter Deimel and David Odlum (at Black Box) and Maël Bellec (at Taxila).
Additional recording by Arno Sojo, Romy and Chris Szczech.

Mixed by David Odlum (Black Box), except tracks 5 & 8 by Peter Deimel (Black Box), tracks 6 & 10 by Dare Mason (VIP Lounge), track 11 by Arno Sojo & David Odlum.

Mastered by Greg Calbi (Sterling Sound).
Edited by Alex Wharton (Abbey Road).

Cover illustration by Jean-Noël L'Harmeroult.
Design by Arno Sojo.

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about

Sweet Gum Tree Angers, France

Both a beautiful, romantic adventure and an unnerving trip through a mind crowded with troubled creatures, singer-songwriter Arno Sojo’s new LP confirms that he is amongst those who still believe that music and words can touch the soul, by way of sincerity, constant reinvention and fine craftsmanship. ... more

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Track Name: Redhead
I remember cornfields in ancient Egypt, sprinkled with my ashes
And being burned at the stake with a temptress in the Middle Ages
For coming too close to the flames of hell, held guilty as witches
It’s that provocative colour at the centre of desire which led to persecutions for centuries

Hey Ginger, beware
They’re not going to treat you right out there
Sooner or later they’ll be back again to bury your head
Bury the redhead in the playground sand

I can picture them easily, not pulling any punches
Hunting you down, setting their dogs on you as far as beaches
And after the wanton street stoning, you’ll be counting up the stitches
All of this I carry with me, as history unfolds and nothing ever really changes

Hey Ginger, beware
They’re not going to treat you right out there
Sooner or later they’ll be back again to bury your head
Bury the redhead in the playground sand
Track Name: New Rays
He had taken an endless walk
Through the fogs of nostalgia
With little more to expect than the occasional sap rise
And cheap rebirth on shaving days

She had left town and he’d blown his chance
Ensued years of utter letdown
But then one day fate’s obscure reasons
Were finally matched by its rare luminous ways

New rays from an ancient sun
Never forgotten

Divine apparition
Culminating in a white room bathed in light
In pillow conversations slowly they entwined
Her golden curls, his copper hair

New rays from an ancient sun
Never forgotten
Track Name: The Crimson Flush
Unexpected and uncalled-for
The ill-timed guilt prompt to sell my secrets once more
While her rosy cheeks could never betray
My own blushes instantly give me away

Dressed as a blatant crush
Here comes the crimson flush
Cruel implying I might crawl at her feet
Looking less like victory than defeat

Without even letting down my guard
In a second I find myself bare and disarmed
Too embarrassing a situation, so with all due respect
Will you please get off your pedestal or else swat me like an insect

Dressed as a blatant crush
Here comes the crimson flush
It’s here, it hasn’t missed a heartbeat
Cruel implying I might crawl at her feet
Looking less like victory than defeat

And yet met with a beaming smile
Yes, met with a beaming smile…
Track Name: Sweet Gum Tree & Isobel Campbell - Bird Of Passage
Grass-green
And your hair’s golden sheen
In the meadow you preen
Yourself, greeting the dawn

Goodbyes
Like escapes you devise
Witness life in full size
Mean you’re nobody’s pawn

No-one tells you where to go
And no-one needs to know
Or try to wrest your secrets
No-one tells you where to go
And no-one needs to know

Birds of passage travel light
Here now, then out of sight

Truant heart
Not too pure to act smart
Turn your life into art
Blaze in the wake of freedom’s call

The slipstream
Of a new self-esteem
Catches you and your dream
Now rid of the chain and the ball

No-one tells you where to go
And no-one needs to know
Or try to wrest your secrets
No-one tells you where to go
And no-one needs to know

Birds of passage travel light
Here now, then out of sight

Moonrise
Comes up as a poor disguise
For the loneliest eyes
That I’ll ever recall
Track Name: Last Chance Train
Pavement microflora
We grow through cracks
Streetlight microfauna
We follow the same tracks

Aeons of time watch us pass
Stretched out, stretched out
Naked souls through prisms of glass
Hold out, hold out

Sunrise Anatolia
Day in, day out
Leap up, ballerina
Point foot, in line

Winning over wildest heart
Stranger, be mine
Evening breeze hints at fresh start
Junction gives sign

Ageless Manitoba
Further we ride
I turn to kiss Virginia
To the nearest station we stride

We’re off without any second thoughts
About the last chance train
Track Name: Astray
Sir Privilege
Never reached the shore
On London Bridge
Mister Greed met the ghost of Thomas More

All he’s got is useless maps
No thoroughfare
Bottomless pitfalls, random traps
Old class warfare

Dream vessel sails
Before seizure
In search of tales
From a sweet hereafter

All we’ve got is useless maps
No thoroughfare
Bottomless pitfalls, random traps
Old class warfare

May the horizon
Hold out the promise
Of some paragon
Like a new Atlantis

We’re just left with useless maps
No thoroughfare
Bottomless pitfalls, random traps
Toy explorers led astray
Avidity’s dismay
Yields only gaps
Like some dark scheme under wraps
Track Name: Chew Up Spit Out
Set your own rules, let the game begin
All eyes on you the second you walk in
The snakes you charm and the wolves you tame
Blood red varnish on your fingernails

Paying no heed and dismissing threats
Manimals end up caught in your nets
Any creature, your disposable pet
Any gender, your potential asset

Chew up, spit out

Insatiable flesh keeps calling your name
Come help yourself, what’s the pick of the day ?
Tender surrender from your willing prey
Make up your mind, is it take-away ?

Chew up, spit out
Track Name: Grateful As Fire
I owe you
For the incandescent hours
Among the scents of all the flowers
You grew

I walk through
Every garden that you conjure
From an eden undercover
For two

Every step I take
This ravaged heart feels new
Long overdue
Laid bare to you

I praise you
For that pretty desperate venture
When the saved became the saver
Didn’t you

I saw you
Trade my days of blood and thunder
For sweet nights in technicolor
Deep hue

And as time elapses
I tend to take my cue
Only from you
It makes sense to

I owe you
For revealing all the splendor
Of that complex human nature
How true

And this lucky reprieve breath
Is due to you
I have as few
Regrets as morning dew

Grateful as fire
Track Name: The Vulnerable Almighty
Emily leaves out the strict necessary
Such is the eminent dignity
The superfluous that she keeps
Is the only remedy
For mediocrity

Semi-detached and half-wise
She’d rather get caught by surprise
Leading her life with no answer
Mere acceptance, to be
The vulnerable almighty

The princely nature of creating beauty
Must be an inner necessity
She feels genuinely
Bound to remain free
As platonic anarchy

Semi-detached and half-wise
She’d rather get caught by surprise
Leading her life with no answer
Mere acceptance, to be
The vulnerable almighty
Track Name: November Daughter
A walk down the lane strewn with dead leaves before dark
She seemed to carry out the remnants of her life into the park
That same old damp wind every birthday
The usual thick fog in her way

Until luck whispered in the air
Broke the curse and felt like fate’s hand stroke through her hair
Whatever pain years accumulate
The warmth of a chance encounter could easily alleviate

Cold-sensitive creature she had nowhere to go
It took a shivery posture and one glance for the stranger to know
He reached for her hand and suitcase
Led her to a cosmic fireplace

Somewhere the cold would not penetrate
A shelter made of trust that grief could not infiltrate
That day luck whispered in the air
Broke the curse and felt like fate’s hand stroke through her hair

November daughter
Autumn flower
Track Name: Breathtaker
Chiselled as two Grecian sculptures
With feline grace you stage a female duo tonight
Your palms meet like facing mirrors
Foreheads touch, a secret mimesis for my sight

Choreographic breathtaker don’t stop
Stir my imagination, bend, stretch and hop
The senses maze in your glamorous manner
A foreplay

Regal poise and grand composure
You draw her gaze, pull her body to yours in assumed might
She stoops down enough to conquer
Her hands enslave your slender ankles in subdued light

Choreographic breathtaker don’t stop
Stir my imagination, bend, stretch and hop
The senses maze in your glamorous manner
A foreplay

Wrists and arms belt your trim figure
Ineffably sweet, you meet her insistence with delight
The breath on your neck lets you surrender
The sumptuous swell of confidence flies you to new heights