The Ballad of Paper Ships

by Odessa Chen

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MORE ABOUT THE BALLAD OF PAPER SHIPS
.......
This, the second record by Odessa Chen,is in keeping with her debut One Room Palace,but here the darkness is broken bymoments of light.

Using the paper ship as a metaphor forthe fragile, handmade nature of love,the songs navigate around dark memories and places of tenderness and joy.
Cello, double bass, bells, glasses and french horn lend texture to the arrangements.

credits

released January 1, 2007

Guest musicians include the incredibly gifted guitarists Nels Cline of Wilco and Nels Cline Singers, Danny Grody from Tarentel, and Craig Adams of Winfred E. Eye.

This is the first time drummer Rich Douthit appears, and although Devin Hoff was a guest on the first record, he plays bass throughout here.

Produced by Odessa the record was engineered primarily by Jay Pellicci and David Kesler with additional recording by Scott Solter, Odessa Chen and Jason Schwartz. It was mixed by Jay Pellicciand mastered by Tom Carr.

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odessa chen San Francisco, California

Cinematic and spectral, Odessa Chen’s music is a journey, intimate as a long held secret. Each song, like a tiny rowboat maneuvering in the dark, transports us to the deepest part of the lake where the stars shine brightest. Through despair towards transcendence each snapshot in time speaks of the romance of heightened experience, pivotal moments, and the rush of love. ... more

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Track Name: Kill the Lights
it’s bright white
won’t you kill the lights

retrace steps
moving right then left

blown the leaves
see the swingset swings
everyday pulled down like paper shades

damn the day
how it hurts to leave a trace
miles conspire to erase
but i still see your face

majesty, threadbare beauty
no where town
clotheslines blown down

oh!

backways by the trains
the sky spills the last grim light
shadows roll from my feet
like bolts of fine black silk

pale birds
there where the heart was
come close and they fly
Track Name: Made Up My Mind
Made Up My Mind

i watch it turn darker
and green grassbent over in prayer
another’s kiss feels heavy handed
another’s kiss is wasted on me

i’ve made up my mind
made up my mind
darlin’, there’s no one can save us
the lord hasn’t made us, after all

the wind’s violence
labors against its will and weight
and though it can blowit can’t change

i’ve made up my mind
made up my mind
darlin’, there’s no one can save us
the lord hasn’t made us, after all
Track Name: Harm
i just wanted the curve of your shoulder
pressed between the pages of a book, just once
i just wanted to sleep beneath the surface of the water,
just once

{and that’s all i swear that’s all
i didn’t mean you any harm

i just wanted to drink a cupful of your tears, just once
just wanted the drape of your body pulled between me and the world

{and that’s all i swear that’s all
i didn’t mean you any harm
i didn’t mean you any harm
Track Name: The Weight of Love
all night running
caught between stations
i’ve found, sometimes, a shimmer of love

like a locketwith us inside it
will we ever leave this town?

you are my north star
my shimmer of love
found between the pulled triggers and the sirens

the film of light on your shoulder
the weight of your body in the bed
simple as stone

you are my north star
my shimmer of love
found between the pulled triggers and the sirens
Track Name: Small Birds
sleep, oh
sleep, don’t make another sound
winter flashes on the fields like home movies

sleep, oh
sleep, bright in the sky you are
small birds thrown towards the naked moon like stones

there in the cold
there in the fields
there is a bright light shining
can you see it?

there in the cold
there in the fields
there is a black bell ringing
can you hear it?
can you hear it?

bom, bom, bom!
Track Name: The Ballad of Paper Ships
on this night
parting like oyster shells, the clouds

on this night
i see us riding through the cornfields
cradled in your arms

on this night
i lay my burdens down
to sink or to sail
wishing boats farewell

on this night
memories like bits of paper
blown around the streets at night
ghosts casting netsuntil the morning light

so, so close
so close, we rocked like boats, anchored
to go, to sail with abandon
on this night

on this night
i’ve played my last good song
so turn the record player on...
Track Name: Ave Maria
ghost light
and the street lights turn on
and the moon
reads this days last rights
and it’s you that i think of
when the girls sing...
hallelujah, maria, maria
hallelujah, maria, maria

all the blame
drives the doves away
and i saw it coming
maria, maria

and the clouds turn dark
outside your kitchen window
and the clouds sail by in the shapes of ships
to carry you away

hallelujah, maria, maria
hallelujah, maria, maria
Track Name: The 4th of July
let’s not be caught up inwards
let’s not be anything but free

ocean city on the 4th of july
to call your name with sky raining down