You Did Everything Right

by Ellery

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about

"Ellery’s latest offering, 'You Did Everything Right' (November 2008), is something of a provisional work, a demo-cum-EP that was not originally conceived as a stand-alone product. In that sense it is less a coherent project than a collection of songs.
(Their most ambitious project to date - a new album helmed by Grammy-winning producer Malcolm Burn (Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Ryan Adams) - is due for an early 2010 release.)

"The new songs conjure an eclectic and skillful admixture of melodic pop-folk piano. There’s a little Sarah McLachlan here and Over The Rhine too; the sound is familiar but it’s undeniable there is some freshness to these songs. This is probably Ellery’s most mature work to date, which might go without saying but not all of us are graced by Time in the same dignified way. There is a grown-up sensuality here, more caress than climax, more subtlety than outright seduction. These songs come to us unfolding slowly, languid and bittersweet, like old friends. We’ve moved beyond the fresh earnestness of 'Song for Lovers' or the precocious wide-eyed wonder of 'Long Coat On,' which is not to diminish where those earlier offerings found us — or left us.

"But there is something almost approaching angst here, something more self-aware and less innocent. What we haven’t left, and never want to leave, is Ellery’s uncanny ability to conjure a whole life in a four-minute pop song, or weave a melody out of what would for others would be just an ostinato. Ellery’s songs have never been pretentious but these are more relaxed and surefooted. They have nothing to prove, and much to offer. They are generous, like lovers.

"Of course, there are things that give me pause: the curiously lo-fi toms and guitar sounds on 'After,' or the constant dangerous negotiation between distinctiveness and diction in Tasha’s vocals. Any use of chimes skirts the edge of cliche, and it’s hard not to fall on the other side.

"But there are other moments that make any liabilities utterly forgiveable. These are small touches — the delightfully jangly tambourine on 'What I Need.' And the Rhodes. Dear Lord, the Rhodes — is that real? (Don’t tell me.) The consistently artful and understated drumming. The use of ambience, of space, of delicate textures and evocative soundscapes. 'After''s plaintive harmonies (and it’s good to hear Justin’s voice). Proof that the electric guitar can sound good clean (or mostly so).

"Or this:

Darling, don’t be frightened
There are skies under your skin
In a wide array of white and gray
On wild winter winds.

"There’s a moment in the title track where the bottom drops out and Tasha is left suspended over almost nothing, vulnerable and naked, which she faces without flinching. And as the song unfolds from that moment, do we actually hear Tasha let her voice crack?

"God, that’s fetching."

credits

released November 3, 2008

Drums, percussion, loops by Joshua Seurkamp
Everything else by Ellery
Recorded by Brian Stritenberger
Additional recording by Justin Golden
Mixed by Justin golden
Mastered by Richard Dodd, richarddodd.com
Photos, design by Roman Titus, romantitus.com
All Songs by Tasha & Justin Golden ©2008 Set Adrift Music (ASCAP)
www.ellerymusic.com

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Ellery Cincinnati

Recently heard on "The Lying Game," "No Strings Attached," "One Tree Hill," and more... Join the conversation & get news, etc at www.facebook.com/ellerymusic

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Track Name: What I Need
You said we should fight how this is
Going, going nowhere
Darling, being here feels just like
Breathing, breathing cold air

Hollywood and magazine
There's one, there's one good ending
And you could give me everything
But you could never give me

What I need, I need, I need, I need

I was only trying to find
A way out, a way through this mess
You said it's as long and wide
As my own, my forgiveness

that I need, I need, I need, I need

You said years from now we'll both be
Softly, softly sleeping
And I'll have some defining dream
And wake up, wake up breathing

What I need, I need, I need, I need
Track Name: Lay Your Head Down
Lay your head down dear
There's no sorrow here
Only time for letting go
And room for landing light as snow
The gentle daylight fading slow
My murmur soft and whisper low
So lay your head down
So lay your head down

Lay your head down dear
There's no sorrow here
Only time for starry skies
And room for long and languid sighs
A gentle dream to close your eyes
A night to fall, a moon to rise
So lay your head down
So lay your head down

Lay your head down dear
There's no sorrow here
Only time for falling in
And room for shadows dark and dim
A gentle song to soft begin
Your breathing out, your breathing in
So lay your head down
So lay your head down
Track Name: You Did Everything Right
It always felt the same
Like a shadow
Like a black cold in your veins
He took the best years
In a nightmare
He was right there in everything -
The demon in your dreams

CHORUS
But you did, you did
You did everything right
Yeah, you did, you did
You did everything right

It became in him
Like a spell
Left a thin shell on his frame
He said love doesn't leave --
Is love a kind lie?
Is love a blind eye on your pain?
Cause your love won't make him change

CHORUS

What's wrong, what's right?
Will you lay down your life?
Go on, hold tight
But don't you lay down and die
This is not your fight
You can't always make things right
You already tried
You did everything right
Yeah, You did, you did

CHORUS
Track Name: Darling Don't Be Frightened
Darling, don't be frightened
There are beacons in your bones
And when they shine it's warm and light
Like summer days back home
You're worried that you might be
Left as dull and dark as stone
But if you are, then darling,
What a wonder to have shone

Darling, don't be frightened
There are skies under your skin
In a wide array of white and gray
On wild winter winds
And every still and silent night they pray
That day will come again
But if it won't then darling
Something else will soon begin

Darling, don't be frightened
There's a sea down in your soul
As deep as earth is wide,
As soft and kind as earth is old
Such an ocean, when it finds you
Well it might swallow you whole
But if it does, then darling
What a lovely way to go
If it does then darling
What a lovely way to go
Track Name: After
Say a prayer for all these stones
Maybe you'll turn them into bread
To feed the feeling you're alone
To feed the questions in your head

Leave a light on in the dark
Maybe you'll guide somebody in
Someone to tell you who you are
Someone to carry who you've been

CHORUS
Cause it's so lonely after
It's so lonely after

Hang a sign above the door
Maybe you'll answer all their fears
That you're not who you were before
That you were never really here

CHORUS

Sing a song out into space
Maybe you'll soothe yourself to sleep
And dream you've never been afraid
And dream you've finally found some peace

CHORUS