Spectral Dusk

by Evening Hymns

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about

Evening Hymns are sung from the cathedrals of tall trees. They capture the spirit of moments, of friends around a bonfire on a foggy beach, the crunching of snowshoes in the silence of a winter night and memories of tribal boys growing up with pellet guns, fishing rods, and handmade forts.

The upcoming record, Spectral Dusk, covers very personal issues, and takes Evening Hymns to the next level, musically and lyrically, from their acclaimed debut record‚ Spirit Guides (2009). A study of loss, pain, and hope and a pathway drawn out of the dark into the light, Spectral Dusk finds Jonas Bonnetta dealing, through music, with the loss of his father three years ago. This record spills its guts out on the floor, and yet so softly it leaves the listener no option but to reflect on their own mortality. An album as dense as it is spatial, Spectral Dusk moves from droning bliss (Irving Lake Access Road) into anthemic chants (Cabin In The Burn). A record to be experienced more than listened to. An environ- ment to exist in for an hour. A small retreat from the world.

Recorded in a log cabin in Northern Ontario with the band’s closest friends, it features members of The Wooden Sky, Timber Timbre, City and Colour, and more. With Spectral Dusk the band is following up on their critically acclaimed debut record Spirit Guides, successful appearances at Reeperbahn Festival, Top of the Folks, Pop Montreal, NXNE, Rolling Stone Festival, a successful European tour in spring 2011 as well as a 2 month tour of Europe with Agnes Obel and Timber Timbre in late 2011.

credits

released April 8, 2013

Musicians:

Jonas Bonnetta, Shaun Brodie, Tim Bruton, James Bunton, Michael Dugay, Dan Fortin, Gavin Gardiner, Carla Gillis, Andrew Kekewich, Mika Posen, Scott Remila, Sylvie Smith, Simon Walker

Written by Jona Bonnetta

Recorded in the words near Perth, Ontario in the winter of 2010 and at the Glen Gordon in Toronto, Ontario in 2011.

Recorded and mixed by James Bunton
Produced by James Bunton and Jonas Bonnetta
Mastered by Fedge

Album Design by Adam Medley
Art Direction by Sylvie Smith
Photography by Lane Meyers

Thanks to Diana and Jerrard Smith for use of their home in the snowy woods where we recorded most of this album.
Thanks to all of the musicians/friends who played on the record. This would've all crumbled without your delicate hands and massive hearts.
Thanks to James Bunton for continously guiding me into the light while making records.
Thanks to Mom, Jake, Josh and Rachel. This record is for us.

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Track Name: Arrows
How long must I stare into this window?
How long till I see the things I need?
Cause I've been looking now for days.
Hoping that I'd cross your gaze.
And see myself inside your weary eyes.

How long must I sing these songs of sorrow?
What's the trick to get the darkness out?
Cause I've been singing now for hours.
Hoping for some special powers.
Teach me all the things that I can do to bring you back.

I sing these hymns to call you in.
I shout these songs to let you go.
I use my voice to fill the space that I am in.
It's a space I do not know.

How deep can I dig into your past?
To hold on tight and hope that it will last.
You were drifting now you're gone.
You were weak and now you're strong.
Teach me all the words that I can say to bring you back.

Show me signs to let me know that I will be okay.
Salve for sadness, balm for this mess that I sift through everyday.
You are arrows tipped with pine, shot through chests and left behind.
On the forest floor where I will wait till you come home.

I sing these hymns to call you in.
I shout these songs to let you go.
I use my voice to fill the space that I am in.
It's a space I do not know.
Track Name: Family Tree
I'm gonna chop down the family tree.
Rake them into piles and burn all the leaves.
Cause it's a forest of cowards and a forest of thieves.
Show no mercy.

I'm gonna chop down the family tree.
Mill them into boards and build an effigy.
I'm gonna set it on fire.
It's gonna set dad free.
Show no mercy.

When evil thoughts have got you caught I have no sympathy.
Trying to shake a couple of cents out of a man who used to be.
Thinking you're gonna sink a little sense back into me.
Swingin' an axe will never split my family.
With all that digging through the dirt do you hope to see.
That all your troubling words are gonna somehow get to me.
A moneymaker I am not nor will I ever be.
So there is nothing you can take from me.

I'm gonna chop down the family tree.
Throw my axe into its side and leave it be.
And when they fall to the ground I will be the last thing they see.
Show no mercy.
Track Name: You and Jake
You hung around the bush like you were woodsmoke.
What's it like to be hardly there?
Spirits playing spoons with your bones.
And I could feel you in the air.

And every transport truck that I see.
Is carrying your weight and leaving it on top of me.
And memory's got my guts and I like that.
It's keeping you so close to me.

I can still see you and Jake.
Smoking smokes and just dreaming big.
I can still hear you and Jake.
Cracking jokes and just dreaming big.
You taught me how to be a working man, well I'm gonna work on you.
You taught me how to be a working man, well I'm gonna work on you.
Yes I'm gonna work on you.

You hung around my head like a halo.
On my mind but barely there.
Spirits playing spoons with your bones
And I could feel you in the air.

And every guitar note that I play.
Holds a spot for all the things you'll never have the chance to say.
And memory's got my guts and I hate that.
It's pushing you so far from me.

I can still see you and Jake.
Smoking smokes and just dreaming big.
I can still hear you and Jake.
Cracking jokes and just dreaming big.
You taught me how to be a working man, well I'm gonna work on you.
You taught me how to be a working man, well I'm gonna work on you.
Yes I'm gonna work on you.
Track Name: Cabin in the Burn
Your arms dangling.
Loaded with snow.
Hanging down, down, down.
Over the road.
You are the black spruce.
You are the mighty pine.
You are maybe about to break.
Till a winter wind.
Builds up steam and comes dancing across the lake.

And I'll let you lie down in my mind and there you can be anything.
And I'll let you lie down in my mind and there you can be anything.

Your four walls.
And your bear claw door.
And your wood stove is hissing and it's spitting out all its embers across this hardwood floor.
Where a rocking chair sits by a window just staring out on the moor.
You are the four walls.
You are the bear claw door.
You are the wood stove you're hissing and spitting.

And I'll let you lie down in my mind and there you can be anything.
And I'll let you lie down in my mind and there you can be anything.
Track Name: Asleep in the Pews
I put my head on a hymn book and fell asleep.
In the nosebleed pews it was too dark to speak.
There was a man spitting fire whose words were familiar to me.
He said "friends drag me outta here. Pull this feeling from me."

So I spent some time in the woods. They were dark. They were deep.
Longed to come home to you. Lay my lips down to sleep.
But I got lost, or was it found, I was running down a dream.
It was hard to explain all the pain that was running through me.

This is something I am sure will be so hard to endure.
And how that whispered breath would grow to get so loud.
I try to work as hard as you, hoping that it will cut through, to make you feel so loved and so proud.
And now I'm waiting for some strength, something remarkable to change, just like those leaves that turn to gold are then set free.
Oh it was hard to explain all the pain that was running through me.
Yes it was hard to explain all the pain that was running through me.
Yes it was hard to explain all the pain that was running through me.
On those nights in the woods, they were dark and they were deep.
Track Name: Spirit in the Sky
Good morning, good morning.
Where do your frail bones lie?
You're dust in a case.
Spirit in the sky.
Thought I lost it all.
In the blink of an eye.
Still can't believe you died.
And left us here alive.
How you left us here alive.

This afternoon, I swore I saw your body in the Burn.
It was me and my brothers, wearing navy blue blazers.
In the woods, where we'd await your return.
Saw your body as a creek.
Watched your toes push a swan dive, from an eagle's beak.
Track Name: Song to Sleep to
Here's a song for Dad to sleep to.
Rest your weary legs and fall asleep.

Go and be so strong in dreams.
Go and be so strong in dreams.

I have found the notes that heal.
I can aim them at your legs.
Go and be so strong in dreams.

Here's a song for Dad to sleep to.
Rest your weary legs and drift away.

Go and be so strong in dreams.
Go and be so strong in dreams.
Go and be so strong in dreams.
Go and be so strong in dreams.
Track Name: Moon River
Run to me, cause I've left my arms wide open.
My door is unlocked and my lights are blinking on and off.
If you said to me "darling build me up a home in the north country"
I would lift my hammer high, driving the nails that would set us free.
Thought that I, I'd take a lesson from you and die with the one that I love.

Sing to me, lover tuck me in so gracefully.
When I shake and I shiver. Darling please deliver that calm that will wash all over me.
Like a war bride I put my dukes in, I sat and waited for an answer.
Moon River was never the right song for me in the basement.
Thought that I, I'd take a lesson from you and die with the one that I love.

Well I guess I got it wrong.
I was dragged down that long dark road of grieving.
You had my thoughts tied up with things you did while leaving.
And all those things that kept me up I cannot stop believing.
You're not receiving. You are not receiving.
Track Name: Spectral Dusk
You would sit by yourself at the end of the day.
Watching spectral dusk settle in on Mazinaw Lake.
And the water turns to glass.
And the moon hangs on the bay.
And the smoke from your pipe's drifting up and away.

There's a hole in the fence where the property ends.
And I'd like to think that you're living up there.
In that place on the bend, where the river flows slow.
And your strength it comes back to you when you're breathing in the air.

Oh, please come back to me.
I need you if I'm to be a man.
Oh, I'm not doing that well.
That is just what I tell my friends.

You would sit all day long because you could not stand.
The thought of going out like that.
You had a depth in your eyes that I won't understand.
Till death's at my door, and I'm a family man.

Oh, please come back to me.
I need you if I'm to be a man.
Oh, I'm not doing that well.
That is just what I tell my friends.

I find peace, here and there, when silent snows are falling.
Like that calm before the water boils, and the kettle comes a calling