Tag Archives: Songwriter

Confessions | Love Is A Rebellious Bird

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
ist
jesus christ, jesus christ
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?

 

Become a Patron & get all the goods first!

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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!

https://www.patreon.com/daphneleemartin?ty=h

We Won! New England Music Awards Songwriter of the Year!

12987145_505248356343587_5294003989753199345_nWow! 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!

Apr 29 | Luthiers Coop, Easthampton MA
Apr 30Meriden Daffodil Festival
May 5Dirt Floor Studio w/ Christopher Paul Stelling
May 7Firehouse 13, Providence RI w/ The Silks & Dead L.A.
May 8Atwoods Tavern, Cambridge MA w/ Gill Landry
May 9Fergie’s, Philadelphia PA
May 10Howler’s, Pittsburgh PA
May 11Al’s Bar, Lexington KY
May 12Altamont Brewing, Asheville NC
May 13Rockin’ Hard Saloon, Myrtle Beach SC
May 14The Atlantic, Gainesville FL
May 15Rain Dogs, Jacksonville FL
May 17Lulu’s, Bay Saint Louis MS
May 18Balcony Music Club, New Orleans LA
May 19 | Yellowhammer, Huntsville AL
May 20The Country, Nashville TN
May 21The Post East, Nashville TN
May 22Preservation Pub, Knoxville TN
May 24New Vintage, Louisville KY
May 25World Cafe Live, Wilmington DE
May 26Oasis Pub, New London CT w/ Silverteeth

Young Man’s Game Demo

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

Confessions | Dreamchaser


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.

Dreamchaser

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

EXCLUSIVE: “Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Head” Is Daphne Lee Martin’s Funky, Soulful New Single

elmoreGenre-bending is practically run of the mill these days, but have you ever heard an artist claim to run the gamut from “elements of hot jazz, indie folk, latin, opera, hip-hop, and cinematic pop”? Meet Daphne Lee Martin, the woman behind this ambitious catalogue of influences.

On her single “Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Head,” she sets out to show off her chops as a truly versatile lyricist and vocalist, even incorporating a rap verse by artist SuaveSki. Her sultry vocals blend jazz and soul, but the music is inflected with a funky, percussive groove.

The video juxtaposes shots of Martin performing with idyllic shots of nature and surreal glimpses of black and white film. Lyrically, the song stays true to the commitment of her latest effort to tackle the idea of storytelling in all of its facets: “fables, fairy tales, Bible stories, mythology, poetry, cautionary tales, traditional folk songs, and American popular culture of the 20th century.” She picks her title from a biblical tale, and weaves gospel elements throughout.

Her latest album, Fall On Your Sword, will be out on October 2nd. Catch her in New York City when she hits the CMJ Music Marathon in mid-October, or throughout the rest of the country on her fall tour.

 

 

The Big Takeover Song premiere: “Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Head” by Daphne Lee Martin

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Daphne Lee Martin

9 September 2015

Fall On Your Sword is the fourth full-length album from Daphne Lee Martin, and the first to be produced by the songwriter herself. According to Martin, this collection of songs was written as a whole, “encompassing memories of fables, fairy tales, Bible stories, mythology, poetry, cautionary tales, traditional folk songs, and American popular culture of the 20th century.”

The result is rich, compelling, and funky, as this track, featuring rapper SuaveSki, ably demonstrates. Turn it up!

Fall On Your Sword comes out October 2, via The Telegraph Recording Company.

 

#SkinInTheGameTour :: UPDATE

Alright guys, it has been a long long week. For those of you who were really concerned about all the dates I had to postpone- my mom had a sudden and very serious medical emergency and I am in Florida this week looking after things with my family. I know a bunch of you know my mom from the days when we used to sing together, so I want you to know she’s gonna be alright and she’s coming back to CT to live with me for the summer while she recovers. I can’t tell you how excited and happy I am to have her around and I have lots of plans for house concerts and jam sessions throughout the summer when I’m not touring.

I’m afraid that I may have jumped the gun, you know me, forever the optimist (read:stubborn) and I hoped I’d be able to salvage the midwest dates of my tour. Unfortunately, I will not be able to swing that with the after care and new living situation for the time being. I’ll hang onto my daytrip gigs, in Belmar, NJ and in Bridgeport and all the New England June dates. Hoping to reschedule all the lost dates for this fall.

While I have you, I just want to say a great big thank you to the literally hundreds of friends and fans from dozens of states across the country who have reached out in private messages, emails, phone calls, voicemails, posts and in person to express their support, love and hopes for my quick return to the road. It means THE WHOLE WORLD. This week has taught me a lot of things, not only that life is so unbelievably precious and tenuous, but that the things that really matter more than anything are the relationships and love and trust we build while we are here, and I feel like the richest and luckiest woman in the world right now.
In other good news, No Depression reviewed ‪#‎Frost‬ this week and I can honestly say (disclaimer: I did not write The Book of Love, but yes it’s a great song) that this review is the most thorough and accurate glimpse into my purpose in sewing together the past to the present and perhaps also the future into my songwriting that I have ever read. I’ve sung traditional songs since, as my grandpa would say, I was “knee-high to a grasshopper” and I’ve always tried to weave those old songs into pop music forms. I’m so grateful to see someone who can understand the dimensions of that and celebrates and shares that connection with his readers. And calling mine the “definitive female voice of this tale” in my cover of Tom Waits ‘I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You’ is beyond anything I could have ever dreamt.
I love you guys. I can’t wait to begin a new chapter in my family, get back out there on the road to see you, and get this new record rolling. Thank you so much for your love and support. -Daph

Check out the dates below and feel free to share this with anyone in these towns that you think might dig the songs! You can follow the fun at @daphneleemartin on Instagram or @damecalico onTwitter.

5/24/2015 Chicago, IL Uncommon Ground
5/25/2015 Indianapolis, IN Melody Inn
5/27/2015 Columbus, OHBernies Bagels & Deli/The Distillery
5/28/2015 Pittsburgh, PA Hambone’s
5/29/2015 Asbury Park, NJ Belmar Arts Council
5/31/2015 Bridgeport, CTAcoustic Cafe

 

Elmore Magazine Premieres ‘I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You’

elmoreEXCLUSIVE: Daphne Lee Martin Covers Tom Waits – Listen

Daphne Lee Martin, Tom Waits, You Say Trouble I Say Fun tour

As a part of her series of cover song singles, Daphne Lee Martin is releasing her version of the Tom Waits classic “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You” and Elmore has the exclusive premiere.

The song (the original of which first appeared on Waits’ debut album, Closing Time) centers on Martin’s smoky, mournful vocals, accompanied by a reverb-drenched piano and some spare synth strings. It is true to the spirit, if not the instrumentation, of the original, which is perhaps one of the most explicitly romantic songs in Waits’ large, diverse catalog.

Check out the track below, and catch Martin on her You Say Trouble I Say Fun tour through March 23.

 

Confessions | Night We Fell In Love

 

In early 2006, I’d just ended a very long relationship and was fantastically gun-shy about getting serious with anyone for a long while. I spent a good amount of time then at a little tavern called The Dutch, a neighborhood joint that only serves beer and wine, closes early, and is the hub in town where all of the artists congregate, at any given table there will be a painter, a poet, a writer, a musician or three… Eugene O’Neill even used to frequent the place.

I was hanging with my friends Liz and Rich (who was bartending and also recently single) and bemoaning the big empty house and cold existence of being single for really the first time in my life when Liz, who had apparently had enough of both Rich’s and my complaining, grabbed us each by the shoulders and smooshed us into each other. Something happened. All of a sudden, the blur came into focus. I stayed on to help Rich clean up the bar that night and then we went for a walk in the park along the river, stayed up all night talking. We were inseparable from that moment on.

Not long after, Rich found a cheap banjo at a local pawn shop and brought it home thinking he might teach himself how to play it. Like most of the things he brings home (gadgets, clothes, toys, pretty much anything) I quickly reallocated it for myself, I’m good that way.  When you pick up a new-to-you instrument the most amazing thing happens- a new tuning or way of looking at chords, even just the shapes your hand makes when you touch the fretboard, makes all kinds of cool interpretations of things come out of you- things you would have never done on your old tried-and-true guitar or keyboard.

I suppose the gun-shy part of me begged the question, “Is this going to last? Will we be able to feel this way about each other when it isn’t new and crazy anymore? Will is stand the tests?” And I’m happy to say that 8 years and a whole lot of trials later, it has.

Production notes:
The little lady singing along at the end of the song is Miss Ada Mae Florek, the daughter of one of our dear friends and Rich’s bandmate in Brazen Hussy, Sara and our friend Jared from another great New London band, Street People. I had the pleasure of being by her side when Ada was born, nearly 6 years ago. And I have to tell you, Ada is a rock star. The crazy sounds you hear at the end of the song is a reverse banjo, played by Matt Lindauer.

Night We Fell In Love
Will you remember how I smiled?
Will you remember how we walked for miles?
Will you remember that one fateful kiss?
The night we fell in love

When the rains come & people close their shutters
& the storm clouds seem to hang right above us
Will you remember when you are soaking wet?
The night we fell in love

Will you still be tender when your hands
Know me better than your own homeland?
Will you remember how you held me then?
The night we fell in love