The Last Holy Writer

by TREMBLING BLUE STARS

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about

When the TREMBLING BLUE STARS announced that they quit playing live, some fans started being afraid of losing an important part of their lives. But there was no reason. "The last holy writer" is the prove that one of the most influential bands in indie-pop is at its most creative, daring and inspired, now more concentrated than ever in writing the most beautiful pop songs you've heard for ages.

"The last holy writer" is the sixth album by TREMBLING BLUE STARS, the second one we release worldwide through Elefant Records. A big honour for a label that has been always run by fans, who have followed and admired Bobby Wratten's career since the early times when he fronted the now mythical THE FIELD MICE. On this sixth long-player, Wratten's writing climbs to its highest peaks, free of any stylistic ties and ready to explore new territories, without leaving aside his sentitive ambient-pop, evocative melodies and the eternal reference to the sound of the early 80's afterpunk.

The album opens with an avant-country experiment ("By false lights"), which marks the way to follow: this album is dark, intimate, melancholic and cloudy, but every now and then there's rays of sunshine coming in through the clouds, riding sunny melodic breezes. SLOWDIVE and THE CURE are still good references for this music, but they are too short to describe the unique sound of TREMBLING BLUE STARS, a sound that's ready to mingle melodic, sensitive pop with many electronic sounds, distorsions, noises, static and even field recordings that envelope the songs with a nostalgic halo. On one song, percussion is provided by footsteps on dry branches and shingles, and on another song a recording of dawn on the Romney Marsh provides the backdrop.

On the song "Idyllwild" they talk about a city in California (the demos for this album were recorded in Los Angeles) with a Rickenbacker sound that makes one think of psychedelic pop bands from the 80's like THE RAIN PARADE, filtered through the ambient-pop style we have learnt to love from them. Beth Arzy's crystalline voice is also specially bright in "From a pale blue rosary", a song that could have been played by MAZZY STAR or GALAXIE 500 at their most Velvet-ish moments. Because on this album there's folk, and there's electronica and 80's influences and, of course, there's the best pop music you can hear, as in that gorgeously melodic avant-country-pop gem that is "The tenth of always".

After the avant-garde, almost gothic experimentation of "Schnee gletscher glas" (a song inspired by the painting of the same title by modernist painter Bruno Taut, introduced by the voice of Daniela Neuhauser, from the band MALORY), "November starlings" feels like a ray of light, or "a trace of sunshine in the winter", as the lyrics say. However, soon the clouds appear again in all their darkness: the title on "Darker, colder, slower" says it all.

"This once was an island" or "Say goodbye to the sea" sail over programmed, glitchy rhythms, an indietronic mattress over which they lay the sweetness of a glockenspiel or the elegance of a cello (once again, they had the help of ELO's Hugh McDowell on string arrangements, as on the previous album). McDowell is also responsible of the majestic string quartet introduction to "A statue to Wilde", a tribute to Oscar Wilde, Derek Jarman and London's Theatreland where the delicacy of a music box (bought at Universal City, California) and the pounding beat of an almost martial live drum mingle without a hint of a problem. Beth's voice, one of the most evocative and beautiful you have heard from an indie-pop band, closes this wonderful album with which, we don't have a doubt about it, you will fall in love again with Bobby Wratten's music. They have hit the target again.

credits

released May 14, 2007

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Track Name: By False Lights
The bones
Of every ship
That ever came to grief
Lie here
Lie here
Mystery begins
Mystery begins
Right here
Right here
They thought they were safe
But they weren’t safe
A watery grave
A watery grave
They thought that the rocks
Were further away
A lantern above the caves
Mystery begins
Mystery begins
Right here
Right here
Track Name: Idyllwild
A song on the radio
Makes you shiver
And want to curl into a ball
Makes you want to be
Seventeen
And forget the future’s shrinking
Life was so open then
Now it’s closing in
Life was wide open then
Now it’s closing in
One by one
We’ve watched our dreams
Disappearing
Two girls against the world
Summer nights warm and long
Sleeping all day
So many songs
The shadow cast by long ago
Puts a lump within your throat
A girl whose favourite thing is snow
Snow and being alone
The ocean between us can’t
Take away the past
The ocean between us won’t
Take away the past
There’s a place all we shared
Shines unimpaired
Time flies
Swift as an arrow
The dagger of never trodden paths
Photographs they break my heart
Ambushed by the thought-”I don’t recognize her”
I miss you! I miss her!
Life was so open then
Now it’s closing in
Life was wide open then
Now it’s closing in
One by one
We’ve watched our dreams
Disappearing
But the ocean between us can’t
Take away the past
The ocean between us won’t
Take away the past
There’s a place all we shared
Shines unimpaired
Track Name: Sacred Music
Carry me away
Sacred music
Touch and unchain
A wish to defy
Gravity
To slip away
From the mundane
Golden light
From a window high
A building for the longing
Moved by the beauty
But the need stays unattended
No balm to leave you mended
No balm to leave you mended
Sometimes I sense a secret
About to be revealed
Is it just a trick of silence
A slight of hand
A skill?
Desirous of
Something more
A prayer for something precious (something sacrosanct)
Reaching and searching
For something beyond
All that I recoil from
I sense a force at work
Is it goodness?
Is it nature?
It tugs my heart
Fills my thoughts
And never leaves an answer
And never leaves an answer
Track Name: This Once Was An Island
A coastal road at night
Leading to a Spanish Shipwreck
A constellation of lights
A flood of something so right
So right
Like stepping into a dream
And is this place here when we leave?
This once was an island
This once was an island
A pipeline under the ocean
A painted angel’s kisses
The wind outside the window
A desert under darkness
Like stepping into a dream
And is this place here when we leave?
This once was an island
This once was an island
The Snowflakes,1908
The team looks to the camera
The whistle of a train
Like a warm embrace
Shields her, makes her feel safe.
Like stepping into a dream
And is this place here when we leave?
This once was an island
This once was an island
Track Name: The Coldest Sky
Bone white
Moonlight
Pale lemon stars
Adrift in
The night sky
My only company the past
I dreamt of
Such emptiness
Such calm quiet order
Between solitude and loneliness
I’ve crossed the border
She’ll never hear me say her name again
Out of her arms and out I’ll stay
She’ll never hear me call her name again
We’ve made all the memories we’ll make
I dreamt of
Surrender
Now I’d give anything to fight
Anything
To melt
This eternal night
Waiting for the light that won’t arrive
Lonely in the coldest sky
She’ll never hear me say her name again
Out of her arms and out I’ll stay
She’ll never hear me call her name again
We’ve made all the memories we’ll make
Anything to feel her warm lips
Anything for just one more kiss
Just one more kiss Just one more kiss
Track Name: Schnee Gletscher Glas
Instrumental
Track Name: November Starlings
The world is beautiful and it’s waiting
We’re hungry for what’s on the table
Under clouds that keep on changing
Hope returns and keeps returning
That trace of sunshine in the winter
That breeze when summer’s at its highest
Part of the ride, of the adventure
You and I will journey together
Sharing whatever
We uncover
The dusk upon The Marsh
The stations of the cross
Rest your head on me and I’ll catch you
Your head on me and I’ll catch you
I’ll catch you
This life that you and I are living
It’s a scrapbook in the making
Flick to the howl of England’s garden
Save a page for November starlings
Pinning down what we are feeling
Is something we’ll never be awake to
Love does the hiding we the seeking
And there will never be a breakthrough
Undefined it will stay
A handful of snowflakes
Trying to tell you how much and how
Beyond squeezing your hand three times in a crowd
Rest your head on me and I’ll catch you
Your head on me and I’ll catch you
I’ll catch you
Track Name: Darker, Colder, Slow
The days seem darker now
This sense of winding down
The days seem colder now
This sense of slowing down
When all I knew was your presence
What to do with your absence
When all I knew was your presence
What to do?
Left alone to travel on
Left to grieve silently
I see an open door
I see an empty chair
Someone’s left the room
Still something tints the air
I see an open door
I see an empty chair
Someone’s left the room
Someone left too soon
Left alone to travel on
Left to grieve silently
Maybe not today
Maybe not tomorrow
But where you’ve gone
Someday I’ll follow
There’s never time enough
There’s no one who won’t leave
A constant slipping away
Nothing’s held in place
There’s never time enough
There’s no one who will stay
To the past each day
The future gives up space
Left alone to travel on
Left to grieve silently
Track Name: From A Pale Blue Rosary
From a pale blue rosary
From the presents I would leave
Underneath your pillow
Underneath your pillow
From there to here
From there to here
From a pale blue rosary to here
“You don’t need a reason to call”
“You don’t need a reason to call”
Could I have made it clearer
Made it any clearer
What was going on with me?
How see-through must I have been?
From the start you felt like home
I lost that sense of being alone
Through streets dark and empty
You held me in a taxi
How I needed to be held
Needed you between me and the world
I tried so hard not to give in
I tried to do the right thing
Whatever I was saying
Maybe I was hoping
We would get from there to here
From a pale blue rosary to here
Track Name: Say Goodbye To The Sea
Let her be your harbour
Say goodbye to the sea
Instead let love drown you
It gets old being free
It’s time to fall out of love
With falling in love
Time to stop this heart from wandering off
You will never find
As much as you will lose
Time to keep in mind
You can always choose
Time for a talking to
You’ve no need of a stranger
The uncharted
The new
Open your eyes
Your dreams have come true
She took such a chance
Here’s where you come through
Show her she was right for believing in you
You will never find
As much as you will lose
Time to keep in mind
You can always choose
Time for a talking to
Don’t make the same mistake again
You will never find
As much as you will lose
Time to keep in mind
You can always choose
Time for a talking to
Track Name: The Tenth Of Always
I knew I couldn’t stay
A country town
A dirt road
I always had a taste
For the glitter
For the tinsel
It’s just the way your heart beats
It’s just the way your heart beats
If you continue this way
They’re gonna make fun of you honey
For me there’s no other way
No matter how many stones are thrown at me
It’s just the way your heart beats
It’s just the way your heart beats
If you think you’ve gone too far
Just keep going
Just keep going
If you think you’ve gone too far.
When I look back I think
You’ve come a long way girl.
Someone once said to me
“You were always yourself”
The body is a canvas
The body is a canvas
It’s just the way your heart beats
It’s just the way your heart beats
Track Name: A Statue To Wilde
Anything left to
Left to achieve
Anything more?
I’d like to see
A statue to Wilde
A statue to Wilde
To say ’look how far we’ve come’
‘Look how far we’ve come’
In my lifetime I’ve seen things improve
The day will come when it won’t
Matter anymore
Who you’ve feelings for”
Adelaide Street
Adelaide Street
The edge of Theatreland
You never got to see
A statue to Wilde
A statue to Wilde
The race is still not run
There’s so much further to go
A monument to his memory
And the error of our ways
A sign of hope
A sign of change
A statue to Wilde
A statue to Wilde
A statue to Wilde