Secret Beasts

by Clara Engel

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about

“Clara Engel’s voice comes to me from that deepest of all places, imaginative space, from which she visually retrieves an inner landscape converted by breath into the rock equivalent of poetry. Rarely has a voice sounded so authoritative, so unapologetic in its disclosures, so sure of its direction in going home into song…I’d say ‘Madagascar’ beats them all, and it’s only a beginning at harnessing poetic inspiration to the resonating dynamic of voice and the lyrical ache of a great individual singer.”
-Jeremy Reed (poet)

credits

released December 3, 2009

All Songs Written By Clara Engel
except 'The Sailor's Choice' - Traditional, based on an arrangement by Jacob, aka Steven Calver

Clara Engel - Voice, Guitar, Piano
Nicolas Buligan - Horns, Percussion
Tilman Lewis - Cello, Percussion
Paul Kolinski - Drums, Percussion, Piano, Voice

Choirs of friends.

Engineered & Mastered by Mike Kuehn
Mixed by Mike Kuehn, Alex Olsen, Clara Engel
Recorded live at Sleepytown Studio on the 1st weekend of January, 2009.

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about

Clara Engel Toronto, Ontario

Guitarist, songwriter, singer, visual artist.

Based in TO.

Portrait of Clara by Yuki Komura

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Track Name: Break in the Sun
greyhound station
i feel like a ghost
rootless desire
and dirty clothes
i'm lost in the stillness
i've spoken to no one
for days

break in the sun
til the sun breaks down
i sold my eyes
to a black market clown
the earth
she is screaming
a new plague
is dreaming
of hosts

o these bonds of love
bruised body
sea of blood
bedtime stories
a mother's love
the wolves are coming
my door
doesn't shut

break in the sun
til the sun
breaks down
break in the sun
til the sun
breaks down
break in the sun
til the sun
breaks down
Track Name: Ghost Opera
cobra flower
bowl of ether
patriot birds
writhe in frigid
air

blind albino monkeys
fishing by a winter sea
they sing like ghouls
cave angel songs

cobra flower
bowl of ether
jackdaws and crows
are tangled in your hair
pulse in your pocket
your hot blood money
lets get out of these dead clothes
lets get inside

faithful lies
keep love alive
faithful lies
keep love alive

bruised place is speechless
hipless
breastless
faceless

ghost opera
ringing in my eyes

and lighting torches
down
my
spine


faithful lies keep love alive...
Track Name: The Beauty of Your Design
the beauty of your design
brilliant light extinguish the mind
sew needles through the eyes
i'll fashion you dreams
to fill up the night

all your memories are mine
like frozen bodies
of butterflies
one day i'll let them fly
into the dark

the hinges of your lovely spine
must be oiled from time to time
i promise not to leave you out in the garden
when it rains

i don't long for anything
but when i look at you i dream
of every past
i've ever invented

when time cracks this frail design
gather me up love
i'm going blind
and you can leave me out in the garden
Track Name: To Be Without
I don't want mercy to be mild
I want mercy to defile
The one that cuts my roses down
Is the one that I'm loving

I don't want mercy to be sweet
I want the sting of your deceit
The one that drags my pride on its knees
Is the one that I'm loving

I don't want mercy to be kind
I want the dregs, the bones, the rind
Sour apple, kiss of spite
I want to regret you

All I want tonight
Is to be without
Is to be let out
Track Name: Old Fashioned Love
I want to dress you up
I want to take you out
I want to show you off
O my old fashioned love
O my old fashioned love...


I want to take you on
up against that cold brick wall
I want to feel you up
O my old fashioned love
Track Name: Madagascar
an angel from madagascar
picked me up in a motorcar
we filled our bodies
up with stars
now we're iridescent in the dark
now our mothers don't know who we are
but i love my angel from madagascar

an angel from the slums of tangiers
whispered a rancid lovesong in my ears
and filled my memory up
with her tears

an angel from a dead sea dawn
lashed my skin with a branch of palm
and told me to love isn't just
to disarm

you could take me down
with one touch
of your scorn
your kiss like a whip
your caress full of thorns
desire desirous
pleasure that tears itself apart

an angel from madagascar
picked me up in a motorcar
we got drunk in the moonlight
threw knives, and bloodied the stars
it was fun, i'd do it again
but that night it rained
i caught a fever and died
night swallowed me up
and when i opened my eyes
it was all a dream
but there's a star in the palm of my eye

so take me down with one touch of your scorn
your kiss like a whip
your caress full of thorns
desire desirous
pleasure that tears itself
apart

an angel from madagascar
picked me up in a motorcar
we filled our bodies
up with stars
now we're iridescent in the dark
now our mothers don't know who we are
but i love my angel from madagascar
Track Name: I Have No Words
i cannot douse my words in flame
or fasten them with wings and chains
so i have no words for you
so i have no words
i cannot rip them at the seam
make them weaken, turn pale, and bleed
so i have no words for you
so i have no words
i can't make them archers in your sky
to pierce the marrow of your mind's eye
so i have no word for you
so i have no words

if i could douse my words in flame
i'd make a bonfire of the worlds i name
i'd make a bonfire of the stakes i claim
i'd melt down this mirror
and then i'd come clean
see how this silence is wounding me
but i have no words
i have no words

my words are stones cast into the sea
the sun beats down dispassionately
everything is still beneath
and i have no words
Track Name: Not My Child
you are not my child
i can't protect you
i know you'll run so wild
and i'll have to let you

if i burdened you
know that i never meant
to bind or tie you down
and i've cut every ribbon now

i know i'd let you drown
if i swam to meet you
the tide is rising now
and i'll have to let you go
Track Name: Lick My Fins
let the holy spirit lick my fins
i want to crawl back to the ocean
for you
lose my limbs and my lungs
my agility of tongue
for you
i want to crawl back to the ocean
for you

there are ways and ways and ways and ways
to win
but i can kill that very notion
if my losing delights you
if my losing excites you
Track Name: Angelus Bells
angelus bells hover over your eyes
tidal wash wrecks a bright city night
as your light comes in from passage dark and deep
where have you been?
where have you been?

angelus bells kiss our loved ones goodnight
as we fall through the silver sieves in the sky
there are whales and great birds
petrified in the light
bury the bones
grant us strength to stay blind
grant us strength to stay blind

angelus bells hover over your eyes
tidal wash wrecks a bright city night
but morning has come
you can open your eyes
look to the sun
all the roads s/he has cried
follow one
til you're blind
Track Name: Blind Me
blind me to what has seduced me
hold me down as long as it takes
for these shivers to subside
for these illuminations to die
for these scintillant onyx fires
to blind me

blind me to what has seduced me
numb me to what i have touched
i know that i got just what i asked for
i didn't know that i'd asked for this much

blind me to what has seduced me
bind all my joys one by one
shackle my blisses and burn them
every bright feather returning to dust

bloody echoes down the walls of these prisons
of our bodies
as wings torn
from a dove
fly on deep into the ether
o lord
how this house turns to dust

bloody echoes down the walls of these prisons
in your chest
trapped a wounded dove
always hungry for vengeance
or for mercy
always yearning
to return to dust

protect me from all my desire
numb me to the one i love
Track Name: Chorus of Murderous Bells
believe me if all your endearing young charms
should change by tomorrow and fleet in my arms
but no i can't strip the sun of its rays
or you of your charms

so let flesh dress my bones
til i'm only bone
then incinerate bone
but let flesh dress my bones
for now

a shiver of a gong
a voice shuddering apart
i was dissolved in a lake
it was bloody and it was hard and i cried

for the lady in the moon
for the monster who cut out my tongue
for my mother and my father and the sun going down

but let flesh dress my bones
til i'm only bone
then incinerate bone
but let flesh dress my bones
for now

now we're on a ship
and the machinery screams
the captain says we're really going down
i've gone deaf
or i've fallen in love
trouble begins
with water and blood
with sweat and seed
and beads of broken light
so many prisms
so many spasms in this life

we smash our bliss with hammers
godhead swells
my love is a chorus
of murderous bells
an army of unborn children
to mourn
i want to bury my teeth
in a chamber in your heart
i want it all
i want to be forsaken
i want to be set apart
i want to be set free
in a meadow of stars

my love is a chorus of murderous bells...

but the wind beats down my sails
you're in the dirt under my nails
autumn chokes summer
and brother
he does it well

my love is a chorus of murderous bells

believe me if all
your endearing young charms
should change by tomorrow
and fleet in my arms
but no i can't strip the sun of its rays
or you of your charms