Celebrating Valentine’s Day with a new, unapologetic non-love song from Connecticut songstress Daphne Lee Martin. For three years now, Daphne has traveled to Boston to play The Outlaw Roadshow radio program and unveil a new love-themed song for our audience and readers. This year, she is choosing a most unlikely cover by Bright Eyes. It’s a twist without a knife, and completely gorgeous!
“Lover I Don’t Have to Love” by Bright Eyes has been one of those go-to songs that I use when coaching my bandmates’ performances. I show them live performances that I feel capture the rage and passion and sorrow and fear and recklessness that I want the piece to convey, and Bright Eyes has several live performances of this song that just slay, so we decided to take a crack at covering it, says Martin.
Bright Eyes get the cover treatment.
“I’ve never been too technical with music theory terms when asking for what I want from my band, because it’s more about feeling than execution. This song ranges through so much emotion: it growls, it weeps, it doesn’t give a fuck, it is a bottomless hole, it is lazy and fierce, delicate and cruel. It smells like bad decisions. And though I still loathe the sound of my own voice, this song is just perfect.”
Isaac Young: Moog, Hammond
Kieran Ledwidge: Violin
Thor Jensen: Guitars
Danny Motta: Trumpet
Steve Cusano: Drums
Daphne Lee Martin: everything else
Final Mix and Master by Jim Carpenter
Feels 2014 was a heavy year for me. I lost several friends in the last months of 2013 and early in 2014. David Kleiman, who became basically my godfather/college education, took me under his wing when I had no one and nothing but an existential crisis and a guitar when I showed up in New York City at 18 years old. There will be another piece of music released soon that will go into more detail about the ways he saved my soul, so I’ll save it to that, but suffice to say here that his loss was crushing. I also lost Lou Killen, Bob Webb and David Lamb within the year. Every one of them far too young. And it made me think very hard about the relationships I spend my time on now. How much more time should I have spent with these wonderful people when I still could versus how much time I spend on people that just don’t give a fuck and probably never will. I lost my producer the day after David’s funeral, he texted me to say “I think I quit”. I could barely read it through the tears and in the midst of everything that was already crushed and bleeding, it all came into focus. Stop wasting time on the people who can’t, won’t, and dare not. Stop wasting time. There isn’t enough of it to waste, it could all end so soon.
Playahs So, the insane fireandbrimstone voice you’re in love with on this track is the great Robert Zeigler, my next door neighbor and a videographer/producer, Danny Motta on trumpet, Julio Amaro & Thor Jensen on acoustic guitars, and DLM on vocals, synth, bass, sequenced drums and percussion, piano, organ and mellotron.
Lyrical, Production & Music Notes So much of this song comes from Bizet’s opera ‘Carmen’. The title, many of the lyrics, and the melody hook. I have no idea why Habanera is not a more popular piece of music, it’s brilliant.
I wanted to make references to tattoos belonging to two people very dear to me. One bird and one reptile, represented here as Eagle & Snake because I love Central American folklore and the legend of Quetzalcoatl and the very real differences between the typical religious “struggle between good & evil” with the more human (native) beliefs of “struggles between self vs. others” and “wisdom vs. nobility”. Societies that embrace polytheism in the form of natural gods have always been fascinating to me because they don’t lay the ultimate responsibility for the way things turn out on one g-d, but largely on themselves and their relationships to each aspect (g-d) of their lives- for example, if you are diligent about appeasing/honoring the needs of an agricultural g-d, your crops will flourish. It’s a beautiful living metaphor for the sense of personal responsibility that has become my own sort of religion.
For Rob’s parts, one hot-ass summer afternoon, several Coors Lights and a translator app later, we had filled in the gaps of the story with some of the poetry of Habanera.
This is one of two very heavily latin-influenced pieces on the album, and the piano was an attempt of mine to channel my nearly-obscene love for Cuban music and in particular, this guy…
Love Is A Rebellious Bird
surely i tell you today,
you think you hold it fast, and it flees!
once you said i was an angel
how did i ever fall from grace
when the only thing between us
love is a rebellious bird that no one can tame
it’s useless to chase it if it won’t play the game
if i had been a better lover
if i had been a better friend
caught between the eagle and the snake
all i could give to you was bourbon
and a place to lay your head
there are nights i pray the lord my soul to take
and lights gone out too soon
but how much of our fate
will we give over to the moon?
And they were drunk, drunk on the venom
g-dless people, crushed beneath the heel of jesus chr
This is our first official post from Patreon. Instead of waiting another year and change to publish new songs as part of an album (although that’s coming too!), this is a way for us to share music along the way while we build up the resources to do it right. Please do join the movement as a Patron, and share and invite friends you think would love this music to do the same! Click the link below!
Wow! What an amazing time we had at the New England Music Awards. And what an incredible honor to come home with the Songwriter of the Year award. Thank you so much to everyone who voted, listened, shared the new album and came to the ceremony.
Next Up! We hit the road! #BuiltForSpeed Tour hits the midwest and east coast in May!
See you at one of the shows!
Big thanks to Rob & Vanyaland for sharing the new music video with the world! And big thanks to Casey Spectacular and Travis Lynn for making this fun, quirky art for my song!
BY: ROB DUGUAY, PHOTO BY: AJC
The seaport Connecticut city of New London has had a quaint little music scene happening for the past few years. There are intimate bars and venues that cater to the punks and the folky types, while the I Am Fest takes the city over every September featuring some of the most legendary acts in independent music. A primary fixture in the music of New London is Daphne Lee Martin, who along with being an incredible musician owns The Telegraphrecord shop and the record label of the same name associated with her store. She’s also involved in a few arts organizations in the city and is heavily involved in organizing the I Am Fest every year. Her elegant way of singing highlights the songs she writes with subtle soul and infectious melody.
Today Vanyaland premieres the video for Martin’s haunting track “A Maturity Of Proof” from her fourth album Fall On Your Sword, which came out this past October. Shot in the basement of the old punk club El ‘n’ Gee which is now becoming the community run workshop Spark Markerspace, there’s a theme of the macabre that encompasses the entire video. Burning candles on a dirty floor, a hipster huffing spray paint, deer skulls and an awfully creepy looking lady are present. Even a bit of dark magic is shown at the end when the spray paint huffing hipster becomes a skeleton. Martin’s new music video seems like one the typical horror film fan would enjoy.
It’s been a weird run. Roller coaster city.
I’m so grateful for all of the things that I have been able to accomplish, and most of all the amazing lives that I’ve touched even for a moment at a time. Lots of you already know that I’ve been nominated for Songwriter & Female Performer of the Year over at the New England Music Awards, and if you’d like to cast a vote for me, well just head on over HERE and do so and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Of course, the awards are amazing honors, but at the end of the day it’s about the songs. I have 11 finished (and maybe a few pinch hitters) for Scared Fearless, with plans to track it out in April at Dirt Floor Studios live with a stellar new bunch of players in a much more “living room” setting and no crazy over-production. Yay, peak of the coaster! Whee!
But the trough of the coaster is a thing too, I’ve run into the same troubles most independent (and, frankly, major label) artists have run into these days. Fewer and fewer people are willing to pay for music, recorded or live. And those that do still have pretty limited resources. It means the absolute world to those of us who write and perform to know that you guys are out there makin’ the world go ’round. I’ll be doing a bit less touring this year, as it’s gettin’ harder to sustain financially. But there will be some seriously EPIC shows nonetheless and the music will keep coming. I’m writing harder than ever. The weirdest part, I’m finally stepping out of character and writing as myself, and it’s scary as shit.
This song is a demo of one that will make the new album, called Young Man’s Game. Sure, it could be about a boy. Sure it could be about the industrial music complex. It’s about anything you want it to be about. It’s about you. Inspired by Bonnie Raitt.
That’s Isaac Young on Organ and Rhodes, Steve Cusano on drums, and me on everything else. Mind you, it’s not mixed or mastered or any of that craziness. It’s a demo. Enjoy, and if it moves you, the very best thing you can do is share it with everyone you think will love it!
It took a moment to learn, but a lifetime to master And every day goes by now just a little bit faster But who gives a damn about my good name You know I’ll bet it all on a young man’s game
I left room for the holy ghost But the love that it gave me was cold at most And if you’ll give me passion, I can bear the pain You know I bet it all on a young man’s game
I can dream like a child with faith in spades I always knew I’d rather burn out than fade It only takes one kiss to never be the same You know I bet it all on a young man’s game
Playing with fire keeps me warm at night It hurts like hell, but it helps me write So lights out baby, set me aflame You know I’m all in on a young man’s game
And if I’m in for a penny, I am in for a pound The queen of hearts and her crooked crown And I’ve got nobody but myself to blame If I lose it all on a young man’s game
Feels The most powerful muses can give you beautiful songs and terrifying songs all at once. This is the sister song to Eskimo Bro, and I hope that I’m able to reconcile it all one day. This song is about lucid dreaming, walking in a state of altered reality. Seeing things which are not there and being completely blind to things that are very real to those around you. The gift and curse of being an artist is seeing the world as you want it to be rather than how it is.
Playahs This one was very very simply done. David Keith on drums. Anjanine Bonet on fiddle. DLM on synths, vocals, electric guitar, piano, wurlitzer, and bass.
Lyrical, Production & Music Notes
In my forever love of all things traditional, blended with my love of all things Leslie Feist and Nina Simone, I used their recordings of Sea Lion/See-Line Woman as my starting point on this one.
The sample reading is of Robert Beverly Hale reciting ‘Ode’ by Arthur O’Shaughnessy in a lecture. Also, this is the second reference to Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka on this album.
There is also a sample of my heartbeat, recorded after a good run and then slowed way down.
The Afro-Cuban piano is one of two similar parts on the album, sister to Love Is A Rebellious Bird. (yes, i wrote all these songs together and there’s SO much incest. ha!) I was listening quite a lot to Steve Wonder and I think I must have been channeling this…
And I have to give honorable mention once again to David Amram, who is a dear and generous spirit that I’ve been honored to see perform and spend time with on several occasions now, one of the influences behind Pull My Daisy from Dig & Be Dug. David gave a concert in New London a few summers ago and in the outdoor space at Hygienic Art with motorcycles and trains and cars going by, he made a joke about the interruptions saying that he could literally take those “annoying sounds” and make music of them. That music was in everything around us. I was literally on the verge of tears listening to him talk about it that way. Here’s one of his songs that I think shows you a little taste of that.
when the night falls and the sun goes sinking to the west the light fails and all creatures go into their rest
i will find you
the night holds my secrets like I hold my skirts up around my knees and i’m climbing barefoot through your dreams
i will find you
there on each shoulder sits the night and day your silence suspends me as your eyes hold sway
i can hear music in the falling rain you’re painting me dancing in your waking dreams