Bewitching Folk and Baroque Pop Music
NEW ALBUM 'THE RAINING DAY PARADE' OUT NOW...
'DANCE WITH THE STRANGE CONGREGATION...'
'THE SOUND OF A SKYLARK THAT SINGS IN THE DARK...'
Joe Levi is an New York based songsmith originally from the rural English countryside:
Raised in the pagan community of Cumberworth, an old Lincolnshire hamlet with a population of 50 people, and fed on a diet of the weird and wonderful, mythology and magick, Joe moved to L.A in 2015 bringing his obscure and imaginative songs to many of the cities best loved music venues, before switching coasts for New York in 2021. His sound is a blend of witchy folk, baroque pop, soaring balladry and celestial psychedelia. His magnum opus 'The Raining Day Parade' was released on February 1st 2020, followed by the lofi psych of 'Life in a Doll's House' later that year. His next album 'English Literature' is scheduled for release in Summer 2021.
'THE RAINING DAY PARADE'
New Album Released on February 1st 2020
'The Raining Day Parade' is a concept double album about loss, love, life and ritual in a small English community. At nearly 60 minutes long and recored over a 2 year period entirely at my apartment in Highland Park, Los Angeles. The album features backing vocals from 'The Strange Congregation' a raucous choir of made up of friends and wine. Other guests on the record include English experimental folk artist Chelsea Hare and Guatemalan singer-songwriter Ericka Sance. The record was produced by myself, mixed and mastered by Charles Sicouri, and released across all major streaming platforms on 1st February 2020.
'THE RAINING DAY PARADE' - COMPLETE LYRICS
THE RAINING DAY PARADE
Grieving gives wake to good mourning, we're sending our freaks to the ground. Then we can boast who's been hurting the most, quietly thinking aloud. Dance with the strange congregation who drink to a terrible year. How to behave at a funeral rave, constantly bending your ear. The people will wear his painted face, and they'll sing out the songs that made his name, how he changed us in every single way, now here's more of the same from the raining day parade. Bodies get washed up like timbre on the shores of this idiot beach, the papers will say he was one of the greats sucking at grief like a leech.
I stepped out into the garden after the raining day parade holding a box full of matches to burn all the bridges I'd made. But as I struck one I saw the most beautiful frog, who looked up at me and suddenly started to speak, and it said "knowing that somebody loves you, hearing those words in your head, knowing that somebody loved you in life and in beautiful death." I looked it in its eyes, and I suddenly started to cry as it hopped out of sight and suddenly out of my life. I stepped back in from the garden, as people returned to their homes. Taking up picture book memories of someone they wish that they'd known. Distance apart, so far away, finding things hard, picture book memories. Knowing that somebody loves you in life and in beautiful death.
JAMBOREE SAND WITCHES
Cloak of ecru and taupe that was once worth many riches, and the children will guffaw at all the jamboree sand witches who are living through a hole which is located on the ground. You can almost hear them snore above the salt meadows and sound of the girls who scatter cornflakes as the cemetery waits, and the boys tie stygian ribbon around the tiny kissing gates. The band will play the songs, which will determine its the start of the strange and sheltered harvest in which the players play the parts. And the little men in bathtubs make an awful sort of din as the clouds they part and glass peacocks shower light on everything. And if it is to be, then it is up to me. Down the local, where all the old folks go, they sit around and dream about the slaughter or Willoughby’s daughter and what that means.
Oh marionette! I know your world’s stopped turning. And it’s got as good as it’s going to get, now they’ve hung you out to dry. And the way you danced in pageants of past, now only last in photographs. They left you to rust and cover up dust, a relic left to ruin. And your painted face is fading away, your fingers are all broken. The children who were bewildered by you are now all grown up to. Though wood may chip and smiles may slip, you always be engraved with honesty and integrity of long gone better days.
THROWING STONES (THROUGH STAINED GLASS WINDOWS)
The sound of a skylark that sings in the dark is the churchyards only alarm, kids holding candles and broken door handles as parents sleep on the farm. And I’m sure that by day as the moon goes away, they will pray there’s no consequences. The people will say they were brought up that way, shaking but not shaking their fists. Never through stones through stained glass windows or they’ll call you a sinner for life. The vicar is sick with a knackered old ticker and soon to be joining his wife. But the children don’t know as they each throw their stones theres an old man who’s lying inside. And the people will say they were brought up that way, shaking but not shaking their fists. Four days have passed as they sit their in class, addressed by a man from the law. Father McGuinn, who had taught them their hymn, found dead on his own parish floor. Yesterday they ate sandwiches from silver trays, but today they are taken away. Thought the people will say they were brought up that way, shaking but not shaking their fists.
In the paddling pool, by the light of the moon, showing shadows of children misplaced. Lips stained with booze and those bulldog tattoos, gurning and burning their faces. But I’d rather remember that little taverna, across from the oat catholic sea. Father drank wine, I ate fish with their eyes in as the locals sold stories for free. Palms wet with rain, buying ice cream for change to feed to an old arcade game. Meeting the girl who had seen all the world, though I don’t think that she felt the same. But damn it was pretty, that old Spanish city, basking in gross neon light. Man, it smelt funny that strange foreign money, and the latest I’d ever seen the night.
HOUSE ON THE HILL
Please let me in to your house on the hill. I’ll suck young blood as the prince of the swill. I’ll play your game, partake in your spells. Please let me in to your house on the hill. You sent out an invite to all of the vampires. Did I lose my neck bite in the bar fights of Manchester? Please let me in to your house by the sea. Then we’ll discuss how this best works for me. I need to source some form of new energy. Please let me in to your house by the sea. Somebody should have paid you more attention. Somebody should have noticed your lack of reflection. No objection. Rejection. Please let me in, hey boy step to one side. Your evening grows stale but now I’ve arrived. Cut me a cheque. Bring me my beer. I have some things that I feel you should hear.
BIKE RIDE INTO THE SUN
As we move to and fro through all the freaks, that peruse the promenade across the beach. And it’s cool as we cut right thought the heat, but soon the setting sun will have us beat. Bike ride into the sun as Mary casts her open waves. Summer’s only begun but cruel September’s on his way. Bike ride into the sun before it swallows up the sky, and thought these days they seem done we can’t stop it from passing by. As we ride faster, faster, to the end of the tide and the time it ties and bends. As the sky and the ocean start to blend, in our minds its a sign to comprehend. Bike ride into the sun as Phoebe starts to pack away every little last one of her stray rays for the day. Bike ride into the bright before the moon lights up the night. The sky will never divide if we can find a place to hide. The cats and queers along the peer can kick and spit though sun baked fear, as soon as day the day will die unsure if one more day will rise for you and I. Sat side by side, I have to say we’re lucky in my eyes.
GROW OLD WITH YOU
Winter walks through frozen parks, stop for lunch at noon. I want to grow old with you. Stolen rhymes for valentines, kisses on the cheek. Will you grow old with me? But will we reach those twilight years? I doubt we’ll make those hazy days. Not because I don’t want us to. Its just that who will outlive who? You will mend and I will tend the garden and our home. Please never leave me alone. Until we return back to the earth as flowers in the dirt. I want to grow old with you.
THE MEDIEVAL SCENE
If you see ‘The Medieval Scene’ you know that I’ve had trouble with my sleep. If you find my footprints on the stairs you know that I’ve been dancing with despair. If you see ‘The Medieval Scene’ you know that I’ve had trouble with my dreams. If you see that book upon the couch you know that I was there in the small hours.
IF YOU CALL (AND I DON'T ANSWER)
If you call and I don’t answer, you probably caught me sleeping on the job. If you fall and I don’t catch you, its clear I couldn’t see you for the fog. In the gathering clouds I’m trying to make out the simple sound of a crackling cigarette. Up, up and away, you made me king for a day now my skies are thinning like a well worn Beaujolais. Lay me down in these familiar fields. Show me roses dipped in anger. Like a dog with a bone, I refuse to let go of this pernickety cardboard cat and mouse. I dream of lifting you up , this rabbit’s losing his foot and every single card I play I the Five of Cups.
Give a round of applause for the apple of my eye. He’s the first from the left, dancing slightly out of time. May I introduce you to a very dear old friend? He does a great impression of a man who’s coming to the end. And your victory speech gets drowned out by whispers of where you got your money and where you got those blisters and you slack-jawed sister. A is for Apple and the apple learnt to spell, take a stitch from the witch to play a game of kiss and William Tell. You a vintage Russian doll from a very good year, getting smaller and smaller until you seem to disappear. And there isn’t a prize for finishing last, you the bitch of an itch that I’m struggling to scratch under an oversized cast. You walking on eggshells wearing stilettos, pulling more strings than a wired Geppetto. You’re glass half full your the man of the hour, but the glass is holding milk and the milk is turning sour. There’s a ghost at the feast my friend and he’s pulling your leg, and your cute little cufflinks are covered in blood. Touché on the toupée, well done on the wig. Oh bless! He did the best that he could. Somebody replaced all of the sugar with salt, and all of your gold has turned into coal. Go tell the detective that it wasn’t your fault, before your jokes get to old.
ROSEHIPS AND VANILLA
I used to get my kicks from wild thyme, that I would pick from railway lines, now its all rosehips and vanilla. I used to play amongst the nettle leaves, that we would pluck and brew for tea, now its all rosehips and vanilla. The used to call me Huckleberry Finn, now they say I’ve buckled and I’m finished with my adventures down the river. I thought I’d see if I could catch a ghost, turns out all I could catch was a cold, and now I’m hooked on milk and honey. And the rain in Haight falls mainly on my dinner. I used to cast my line to sit and fish for fish that other people might have missed, now its all rosehips and vanilla.
A SEASONAL HYMN (FOUR OLD FRIENDS)
My heart it gips and flows as the seasons come and go, and the view across the city changes beautifully so. The summer will burn out like an unneeded lighthouse, and the autumn fades in smelling smokey somehow. As the leaves start to fall in the park, crackling colors explode in the dark. Dark starts to take hold as my breath comes out fresh and cold, and all the distant sights of Christmas lights for a season thats sold. All the people with gloves on their hands, bustle aimless to the sound of brass bands.
Hello mountain, what you got for me? I’ve got a couple of things I’d like to ask you, if you please? I think it’s pretty neat how your trees help us all to breathe. So hello mountain, what have you got for me? Hello sister, my you’re looking proud. “I’ve got a baby inside, but mind, I’ve no idea how! It just came down from the mountain and it made my tum tum round!” Well hello sister, my you make me proud. Hello baby, my you’re looking weird. You were born with horns and thorns and a luscious wild flower beard! The mountain would be proud to know you’ even made it here. So to you father, the mountain, well here’s three cheers: “Hip, hip hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! It’s fun to play!”
'IF YOU CALL, AND I DON'T ANSWER...'
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