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House of Snow

by Laurel Brauns

Released 2011
Sweet Harlots Records
Released 2011
Sweet Harlots Records
Twelve dreamy folk songs combining neo-classical, organic gothic and earth pop. Listening to this album is like a journey floating down the river and out to sea.
NOTES
"House of Snow" was produced and arranged by Douglas Jenkins, and recorded in his wife's nursery school in Portland, Oregon. Jenkins is the creative director of the Portland Cello Project "House of Snow" features many of Portland’s finest musicians including Sam Cooper (Horse Feathers), Skip vonKuske (Vagabond Opera), and Jenny Conlee (The Decemberists.)

After listening to the album, Chris Dahlen of Pitchfork and Paste Magazine wrote, “Laurel Brauns writes some of my favorite songs, …
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Swimming

by Laurel Brauns

Released 2001
Released 2001
Nostalgic ballads about coming of age in rural New England & traveling in Ireland, produced with arrangements of Irish traditional instruments, drum-set and bass.
NOTES
Laurel's voice is the most distinctive part of her first full-length album, entitled Swimming. At times it is aerial like Dar Williams with Irish inflections - other times it is smoky and rough around the edges. The subject matter is equally diverse, combining coming of age ballads set in New England and Ireland with memorable images and metaphors. The tone ranges from nostalgic: with melancholy arrangements of fiddles and uillean pipes, to upbeat and angsty, …
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Periphery

by Laurel Brauns

Released 2003
Red Trail Records
Released 2003
Red Trail Records
"Elegantly arranged modern folk-pop with a dash of 70's songwriters influence, laurel's second album is collection of stories-in-song laced with georgeous layers of violin and cello." - jeff saltzman
NOTES
Laurel Brauns

From years of busking on the streets of Galway, Ireland, to entertaining skiers in the lodges of New England, to playing at some of Boston's loudest bars, Laurel Brauns has learned the art of silencing a crowd. Performing Songwriter called Laurel's voice "heavenly and haunted . . . like a ghost off the moors" and heralded it as "an arresting, powerful force" (April 2003). Laurel's first album, Swimming, was recorded in 2001 in the basement of her college …
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Closed for the Season

by Laurel Brauns

Released 2007
Red Trail Records
Released 2007
Red Trail Records
Graveyard ghosty folk
NOTES
Laurel is from a small town in central New Hampshire. This background has instilled in her an obsessive love of the outdoors, and a healthy hatred of vinyl siding and SUVs. For a short time she was a member of the Gunstock Parish Militia, an organization formed to ward off encroaching developers and suburbanites from out of state, but the group soon abandoned monkey-wrenching for drinking, and became a loose association renamed Lovers of Schlitz, …
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laurel brauns

Lyrics

House of Snow

 

You took pictures of the sky at night

Winking eyes were streaks of light

By a northern riverside

Moonlight over river wide

Spring comes rushing through

Everytime that I’m with you

Floating down the Rogue

A world of green and gold

 

I have been seeing only winter scenes

Snow on late night TV screens

Tire tracks of our routines

Your arms around me in my dreams

Build us a house of snow

And promise not to go

Till it flies up in the breeze

Or melts into spring’s streams

 

We have sewn together lonely pasts

And finally smashed the hour glass

Sealed our lips about the war

That once was worth dying for

Won’t you lay me down

Lay with me on this cold ground

Under canvas eaves

And a thousand tiny moon beams

 

Build us a house of snow

And promise not to go.

laurel brauns

Lyrics

Doldrums

 

The sailors call it the doldrums

Cuz there’s no wind here

Just a whole new trash frontier

 

Water blue as a jem stone

Filled with colors

The sea has never known

 

Chorus

I want to take it back

All the dirty things I’ve done to you

Please let me trace my tracks

And wake up in the sapphire blue

 

North Pacific suspended in a gyre

Vast trove of treasures

We once desired

 

All our secrets are on display now

By a leviathan

We can’t throw away now

 

Chorus

I want to take it back

All those dirty things I’ve done to you

Please let me trace my tracks

And wake up in the sapphire blue

 

You have secrets and you have treasures

The size we’ll never know

We’ll never know dear.

 

laurel brauns

Lyrics

ANYWHERE

 

She walks like she’s dancing

And she talks like she’s singing along

She knows, yes she knows that there’s a very good chance

He won’t write or call

 

CHORUS

But she’s got a little white boat

With a little white sail

The wind might come and take her

…anywhere

 

She’s got a brand new red dress on

With a little white swan sewn on the right arm

She found some antique lace-up blue shoes

That go click click click on the street that she turns on to

 

CHORUS

 

She walks on the bright side now

On the west side of town in the morning sun

She’ll stay outside and play all day

till she sees him comin’ then she’ll run run run

 

CHORUS

 

laurel brauns

Lyrics

Puppy Love

 

Chorus

You’re my puppy, puppy love,

you’re my puppy love

 

Big brown eyes and sloppy toungue,

you’re my puppy love

 

Verse 1

I’ll let you follow me like you’re chasing round the moon

Turning my everyday into an endless afternoon in June

 

Chorus

 

Verse 2

And when you crash your boat, I’ll be here to lick your wounds

And when you play guitar I’ll sing all your favorite tunes

 

Chorus

 

Verse 3

We spent most of July talking about you

Sunkissed hair and empty stare, September’s coming soon, until then

 

Chorus

 

 

laurel brauns

Lyrics

Named After You

 

Verse 1

I’ll take you up to the attic this year

I’ll dress you in clothes of an old pioneer

I’ll find a boa that sparkles and shines

I’ll make you dance, then charge you a dime

 

Chorus

Draw near, draw near

So I can feel your skeleton bones

Don’t cover your ears now

This is not a place to call home

 

Verse 2

Let fall your secrets and let fall your lies

Build a house in the trees, sleep in the sky

Let fall your old books and your harsh remarks

Float down the river to place deep and dark

 

Chorus

Draw near, draw near

So I can feel your skeleton bones

Don’t cover your ears now

This is not a place to call home

 

Verse 3

I’ll write a sweet song named after you

I’ll sink into sorrow, I’ll see in blue hues

I’ll wander your old road dressed in disguise

I’ll make you mine, I’ll live in your eyes

 

Chorus

Draw near, draw near

So I can feel your skeleton bones

Don’t cover your ears now

This is not a place to call home

 

 

 

Laurel Brauns

Lyrics

I climbed to the top to take you down.

Your tracks were snowed over and the peak was in the clouds.

Gigantic landslides soon buried you.

A claymated me came to your rescue.

 

 

CHORUS:

Into the outside, the outside.

Were you waiting for the power lines to fall?

Were you waiting for the buildings to crash down wall to wall?

Into the outside. Into the outside.

 

 

Sent digital pictures of the sky to me.

Seasons change with clicks in time.

But there’s empty love inside my blue screen life.

Seasons change, carried under ocean tides.

 

 

CHORUS:

Into the outside. Into the outside.

Were you waiting for the power lines to fall?

Were you waiting for the buildings to crash down wall to wall?

Into the outside. Into the outside.

 

 

BRIDGE:

You were making angels in the snow.

In the trees and dying light your wings did grow.

Circling so high above the ones you know and love.

You were making angels. You were making angels.

 

 

Climbed to the top to take you down.

You were flying toy airplanes above the clouds.

Your hand crashed the plane that carried you.

A claymated me came to your rescue.

Laurel Brauns

Lyrics

Decades ago he found me asleep.

I fell into his blue eyes, they were all I could see.

 

A passion so violent turned quickly on me.

What started as milk soon turned to Poitín.

 

 

I cry for forgiveness, but nothing’s redeemed.

I killed my poor baby, my darling Róisín.

 

Chorus:

Róisín Dubh, Róisín Dubh.

Sings in my dreams.

 

Róisín Dubh, Róisín Dubh,

my darling won’t she rest in peace.

 

 

The lake was a mirror for the beauty she breathed,

but her sunlight was stolen as she slid beneath.

 

On a dark country road lined with gray stones,

she laughs in the rushes, we’re never alone.

 

 

I cry for forgiveness, but nothings redeemed.

I killed my poor baby, my darling Róisín.

 

Chorus:

Róisín Dubh, Róisín Dubh

sings in my dreams.

 

Róisín Dubh, Róisín Dubh

my darling won’t she rest in peace.

 

 

She’s buried in sheets by the young maple tree.

Her impossible history stirs the dry leaves, stirs the dry leaves

Laurel Brauns

Lyrics

Boarded up hotels by the seaside.

We watch the birds fan and form a line.

How nice to have a family and fly blindly, fly blindly, fly blindly.

 

 

Moonlight guides our steps down trail lines.

Wind blows through the words we’d never say.

The sign says “closed for the season,”

there’s no better reason

to go back the way we came.

 

 

BRIDGE

And so the frozen ground refused to die, so will I.

And so the frozen ground refused to die, so will I.

 

 

Until the light went changing,

captured in a painting.

The skyline might just save me.

 

 

Snowflakes fall like newborn babies.

Warm wires stretch between your house and mine.

We both prefer a life based on maybe... maybe?

Laurel Brauns

Lyrics

Driving north on the I-93,

a river of headlights streaming away from me.

Your rack on the roof has been screaming for weeks,

but you don’t say a word and play drums with your feet.

 

Cut out the lights see the sky in reverse.

Stick figures hold hands at the edge of the earth.

 

 

Chorus:

We slept on our clothes under the evergreens.

We’ve done nothing wrong, yet waking so awkwardly.

We slept on our clothes under the evergreens.

We’ve done nothing wrong, yet waking so awkwardly.

 

 

In the picture your sister is laughing out loud,

as your dad pulled the sled and you danced around.

First snow in a town a few exits from mine,

but the story it told we both knew was a lie.

 

Yes, I want into the outside,

to lay in lakes and shed all that I’m hiding from.

 

 

Chorus:

We slept on our clothes under the evergreens.

We’ve done nothing wrong, yet waking so awkwardly.

We slept on our clothes under the evergreens.

We’ve done nothing wrong, yet waking so awkwardly.

 

 

Do you still think? ya you still think the moon is following you.

 

When are you coming home to New Hampshire?

When will you be driving the North 93?

And if your so determined, I’ll be laying in lakes this year till they freeze.

Laurel Brauns

Lyrics

Down the street where all the minstrels play,

I’m your number one girl on Strawbery Banke.

Tied my corsets tight in 1842,

soliciting the sailors and howling at the moon.

 

You played the black keys.

I blew through the clarinet,

over cobblestones and buried bones,

watching the ghosts dance in pirouettes.

 

Chorus:

 

We watched the spirits rise.

The vagabonds and courtesans came to meet our eyes.

They knew the words and sang about the sea.

Their melodies still rolling over me.

 

 

In the winter the streets we filled with snow,

and I drank wine and cried and dreamed that I was old.

You drew a window so I could see the ships again.

Naked limbs and mandolins, the voices of my friends.

 

Chorus:

 

We watched the spirits rise.

The vagabonds and courtesans came to meet our eyes.

They knew the words and sang about the sea.

Their melodies still rolling over me.

 

Bridge:

 

Fog horns are blowing from boats you’ll never board.

Fog horns are blowin

Fog horns are blowing from boats you’ll never board.

Fog horns are blowing.

 

 

Leave your pieces of white ivory on the shore.

Leave the ladies digging, hoping to find more.

 

You played the black keys. I left my bottles by the sea.

laurel brauns
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Trad. (Irish)
laurel brauns
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Jeff Magnum