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Notes from Left of the Dial: Daphne Lee Martin

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Daphne Lee Martin. (Photo: Pola Esther)

In Notes from Left of the Dial this week, I take a look at some songs from Daphne Lee Martin, Days of Elisa, Postcards From Jeff and Rosie June. What have you been listening to this week?

Daphne Lee Martin, “I’d Take a Bullet for You”
Connecticut singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin knows that without a steadily beating heart a song is just an empty vessel for empty emotion. But over the course of a handful of records, she has given life to the music that inhabits those albums. Her voice is clear, her words distinct and her music culled from a wide assortment of influences—which makes them feel timeless but also curiously prescient in their examination of current musical trends. There will always be something wonderfully restorative about a simple song told in supreme confidence, and Martin has that inherent conviction running throughout her history.

She’s gearing up for the release of her fourth record, “Fall on Your Sword,” Oct. 2 via Martin’s own Telegraph Recording Co. And in advance of that album, she’s shared the single “I’d Take a Bullet for You,” and it’s an addicting combination of jazzy riffs, brassy horn arrangements and a voice that rings out clearly in the middle of everything. Martin has found an ebullient pop aesthetic that fits her musical tendencies perfectly. This song places a series of spoken word narratives among the music and uses them as a bridge to tell a very specific story. Still, Martin isn’t revealing everything—she’s merely tempting us with the promise of more stories to come.

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Live Stream Show Aug. 28th!

5We are gonna trio it up for you guys, with a stripped down set around my baby grand piano. There’ll be a ton of new songs, we will try and take requests and the best part is, you can watch it in your underwear from the comfort of your own home! Sign up at the link below and we’ll see ya on the 28th!

We may also have a small live audience in the living room for this, so if you’re interested in attending, drop me a line at telegraphtouring@gmail.com !

https://www.concertwindow.com/102055-daphne-lee-martin

Confessions | I’d Take A Bullet For You

Feels
It’s hard to explain something so easy. Who doesn’t want to wake up next to someone who drives them wild? Sometimes at any cost. There’s a reason we are all fascinated by the story of Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow, we all kind of want to be them just a little bit. Go crazy, take what we want, and make love on the run.

Playahs
Matt Covey on drums, Isaac Young on wurlitzer and clarinet, Sue Menhart on spoken word, Craig Edwards on button accordion, Matt Potter on vocals, Anjanine Bonet on fiddle and vocals, Danny Motta on trumpet, Gary Buttery on Tuba, Jess Brey on flute, David Dorfman on baritone sax, Brad Bensko on bass, DLM on synths, percussion, vocals, flute, piano and acoustic guitar.

Chasing the Demo
This is the earliest demo of ‘I’d Take A Bullet For You’ from June 22, 2013, with only Daphne’s backing vocals and midi parts.

Lyrical, Production & Music Notes
So if you caught yourself singing Haiti to this, you’re spot on. This is definitely my brain on Arcade Fire.

But then, I really wanted to get the feeling of this absolutely beautiful tune from The Head & The Heart, and I really can’t tell you all how excited I am about sharing this song in the live show.

The reference to the “perfect drug”, of course is the second reference to Nine Inch Nails on the album. But this was mostly about the ‘criminally’ unjust lack of publicity Bonnie Parker’s epic poetry got in the wake of her dramatic demise.

The full poem was written in Kaufman Jail in 1932 .

The Story of Suicide Sal

We each of us have a good “alibi”
For being down here in the “joint”;
But few of them really are justified
If you get right down to the point.

You’ve heard of a woman’s “glory”
Being spent on a “downright cur,”
Still you can’t always judge the story
As true, being told by her.

As long as I’ve stayed on this “island,”
And heard “confidence tales” from each “gal,”
Only one seemed interesting and truthful —
The story of “Suicide Sal.”

Now “Sal” was a gal of rare beauty,
Though her features were coarse and tough;
She never once faltered from duty
To play on the “up and up.”

“Sal” told me this tale on the evening
Before she was turned out “free,”
And I’ll do my best to relate it
Just as she told it to me:

I was born on a ranch in Wyoming;
Not treated like Helen of Troy;
I was taught that “rods were rulers”
And “ranked” as a greasy cowboy.”

Then I left my old home for the city
To play in its mad dizzy whirl,
Not knowing how little of pity
It holds for a country girl.

There I fell for “the line” of a “henchman,”
A “professional killer” from “Chi”;
I couldn’t help loving him madly;
For him even now I would die.

One year we were desperately happy;
Our “ill gotten gains” we spent free;
I was taught the ways of the “underworld”;
Jack was just like a “god” to me.

I got on the “F.B.A.” payroll
To get the “inside lay” of the “job”;
The bank was “turning big money”!
It looked like a “cinch” for the “mob.”

Eighty grand without even a “rumble” —
Jack was last with the “loot” in the door,
When the “teller” dead-aimed a revolver
From where they forced him to lie on the floor.

I knew I had only a moment —
He would surely get Jack as he ran;
So I “staged” a “big fade out” beside him
And knocked the forty-five out of his hand.

They “rapped me down big” at the station,
And informed me that I’d get the blame
For the “dramatic stunt” pulled on the “teller”
Looked to them too much like a “game.”

The “police” called it a “frame-up,”
Said it was an “inside job,”
But I steadily denied any knowledge
Or dealings with “underworld mobs.”

The “gang” hired a couple of lawyers,
The best “fixers” in any man’s town,
But it takes more than lawyers and money
When Uncle Sam starts “shaking you down.”

I was charged as a “scion of gangland”
And tried for my wages of sin;
The “dirty dozen” found me guilty —
From five to fifty years in the pen.

I took the “rap” like good people,
And never one “squawk” did I make.
Jake “dropped himself” on the promise
That we make a “sensational break.”

Well, to shorten a sad lengthy story,
Five years have gone over my head
Without even so much as a letter–
At first I thought he was dead.

But not long ago I discovered
From a gal in the joint named Lyle,
That Jack and his “moll” had “got over”
And were living in true “gangster style.”

If he had returned to me sometime,
Though he hadn’t a cent to give,
I’d forget all this hell that he’s caused me,
And love him as long as I live.

But there’s no chance of his ever coming,
For he and his moll have no fears
But that I will die in this prison,
Or “flatten” this fifty years.

Tomorrow I’ll be on the “outside”
And I’ll “drop myself” on it today;
I’ll “bump ’em” if they give me the “hotsquat”
On this island out here in the bay…

The iron doors swung wide next morning
For a gruesome woman of waste,
Who at last had a chance to “fix it,”
Murder showed in her cynical face.

Not long ago I read in the paper
That a gal on the East Side got “hot,”
And when the smoke finally retreated
Two of gangdom were found “on the spot.”

It related the colorful story
of a “jilted gangster gal.”
Two days later, a “sub-gun” ended
The story of “Suicide Sal.”
— Bonnie Parker

I’d Take A Bullet For You

wake up, I’ve had the craziest dream, we hatched the craziest scheme
and sure enough you’re here asleep beside me
the perfect drug run through both of our bloods
i’m such a sucker for a happy ending

wake up and make love to me

you are silk and cotton, i am burlap and wool
but you laugh at all my gallows humor
with all the trappings of a fallen angel
the way i look at you starts wildfire rumors

wake up and make love to me

 

Magnet Magazine on ‘I’d Take A Bullet For You’

Screen shot 2015-08-06 at 5.53.15 PMMP3 AT 3PM: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN

DaphneLeeMartin

Daphne Lee Martin’s music is lush and imaginative, her flourishing style exemplified on new track “I’d Take A Bullet For You.” The song comes from her forthcoming LP, Fall On Your Sword, and features a plethora of horns, jangly drum lines and even a spoken-word portion. Fall On Your Sword, Martin’s fourth album, will be released October 2. Download “I’d Take A Bullet For You” below.

“I’d Take A Bullet For You” (download):

PopMatters premieres ‘I’d Take A Bullet For You” from #FallOnYourSword

The forthcoming new album Fall on Your Sword by Connecticut singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin is a wonderfully eclectic collection of songs inspired by stories we’ve heard as youngsters, from fairy tales, to cautionary tales, to pop culture events from the 20th century. The lavish track “I’d Take a Bullet for You” draws its inspiration from one of the most romanticized couples of the past century.”“Who doesn’t want to wake up next to someone who drives them wild?” Martin says. “Sometimes at any cost. There’s a reason we’re fascinated by the story of Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow, we all kind of want to be them just a little bit. Go crazy, take what we want, and make love on the run.”

Surviving the Golden Age Premiere: Daphne Lee Martin & Little Ugly “People Get Ready”

Songstress Daphne Lee Martin teams up with fellow Connecticuters Little Ugly for the latest in her series of covers, a take on Curtis Mayfield’ “People Get Ready.” The cover really shows off Daphne Lee Martin’s folk-roots which are accentuated by Little Ugly who themselves employ a full-time violinist. Martin trades off vocals with both Michael Day and Kaia Pazdersky from Little Ugly making “People Get Ready” feel like a real family affair.

Pleasure Loves Company