Genre-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.
Sigh. This song.
What if everything had gone differently? What if I’d made another decision at just that one moment of time? What path would I have been on if I’d just…?
Regret is a strange bedfellow. The veil of our history, filtering forever how we see the world ahead of us. I read once somewhere that if you haven’t seen someone in the last five minutes, you can never make the assumption that you truly know them as they are now- life changing moments happen all the time and can shift our direction in an instant. Everyone seems so driven toward goals, ends, destinations, accomplishments, finality- even with the knowledge that the good stuff happens along the way, we seldom stop to appreciate when we have right this very now. The creation of memories that will fill us when we no longer have the strength, energy, and time to enjoy life the way we do when we are young.
So take the long way home. Try and forgive him for not calling you back, you had an amazing time together while it lasted and your heart isn’t so broken after all. Hug your friends and spend time with your kids and your parents. Be unafraid. Dance in the rain, and get soaking wet. Be ridiculous and don’t apologize for it. Admit your shortcomings and learn to live with yourself. Make it rain.
You pull up in a long black car Saying we could fall heavy and we could fall hard But I have heard your songs, what a mess you are You’re gonna make it rain on me You spread like fire through my weeds And it is only what I’m wanting that makes me weak But it is your sweet bourbon burning in my cheeks So make it rain on me Won’t you make it rain
Let’s take the long way home and whatever it brings Yes I hear the thunder roll but I am not afraid to get caught in the rain So make it rain
I guess that I must seem pretty tough When I ask you not to call it love But really I am softer than your touch So make it rain on me It’s what you think you cannot have that you are sure you need And it’s the honey you keep talking will be the death of me But maybe you are exactly what I need So make it rain on me
Lyrical cues I borrowed for this song come from a few places, the long black car features in a Jim Carpenter song, Hole In My Heart. Jim mastered Frost and I just adore him and everything he does. I also borrowed from Woody Guthrie again, a passage where he describes a girl dancing and setting his weeds on fire. And of course, the best songwriter in the world, Mr. Tom Waits, although the namesake song is a far cry from the theme, I actually borrowed more from Take the Long Way Home.
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.
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