TO LOVE TO LEAVE TO LIVE

by Her Crooked Heart

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    i got in a wild and decadent mood the other day and decided my world needed colored vinyl. if you, too, need more color in your life, HCH offers you an option. you can choose between transparent ruby red or transparent marigold. all pressed by the fine folks at Burlington Record Plant.
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  • Want to gather up all the new still life merch into one pretty package and grab To Love To Leave To Live while you're at it? This discounted bundle gets you TLTLTL, the eleven postcard bundle, the fashionable racerback tank and the new TLTLTL tote to tote around (both with the 5 layer screenprint of Sheri Manson's impeccable photography). Perfect for giving. (Or keeping).
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1.
Letters 03:45
I’ve got this letter for you I was writing it somewhere on the road lonesome below some motel sign in a bed I made of memories and wine I’ve got his letter from you I carry it still in a pocket of my coat the edges that show are worn soft with time and your words, they still echo in kind I think we’re doing just fine distance is only a state of mind when I feel you close it’s truer than most of the flesh and blood men I’ve gotten to hold sure I’m the loneliest one and on paper my options are narrowing to none but I know what I like and I like to know I can run so you and me, stationary, is enough I’ll send this letter to you it’ll find you in England and it’ll know what to do it’ll show you I’m here if not near at hand and knowing you I know you’ll understand
2.
Courthouse 03:48
i was lost in the courthouse trying not to cry you were right there beside me thick on my mind what am i doing? what have i done? i put one foot in front and i carry on when i woke up this evening i didn’t have a thought –– –– i was a babe in a field (an idea that we dropped) then it all came back flooded up my bones i was washed out to sea i’ve given up my home what am i doing? what have i done? what have i become? won’t somebody help me? somebody please –– i am on my knees if i’m a sinner then i was a saint but really i’m just a lady taking back her name if you’ll forgive me maybe i’ll forgive me too but until then i’m gonna see this through so i’ll tell you what i’m doing i’ll tell you what i’ve done i have finally become nobody can help me climb on out of here so i’ll be living where i’m fallen heaven help us all
3.
Enough 03:24
I’ve been foolish thinking you’d change into the man I want, the man I know I could love again and let back in and keep you at my beck and call you to my side and then I’d hurt you because I know you but what do I know? I know too much. so what do I say when I always say too much? and what I dream? I dream that one day my darling you’ll find me and not find me too much you’ve been foolish thinking you could keep me as your lady in waiting stage right in sightline just biding time until the show is over and you’re lonelier than you have ever known but what do you know? you know enough. so what do you say? are you finally gonna say enough? and what do you dream? you dream that one day your darling will find you and you’ll find you’re enough so maybe I don’t want your company it’s beginning to feel more like sympathy maybe I don’t want your company I’m beginning to know what is better for me so what do I know? I know enough to know what to say and finally say, “Enough.” and what do I dream? I dream that one day my darling I’ll find you and we’ll know we’re enough.
4.
if i drive down this road i'll get to pleasant valley reservoir it sounds a lush, rested place but in truth it's a sewage plant a roiling pit of shit of man maybe it's time i turn back? maybe it's time i turn back. when i kissed you goodbye it took everything not to cry knowing full well it could be the last time but neither of us like a lady who won't hold her body proud and one of us really likes clean goodbyes and one of us only likes clearcut goodbyes so i'll go down to the city i'll make all my social calls a divorcé smiling for the camera poised and proud if you don't know by now if you want me around then you will never no you will never so you’ve gotta tell me now if i’m gonna lose you now or may i never may i never but if i keep driving down this road out past pleasant valley reservoir maybe i'll find that lush, rested place and i will lay my body down on the green green grass am i lost it's where i choose to be? am i lost if i'm where i choose to be?
5.
when the sun of the summer burns your neck and the freckles rise and fall in formation i glean information from your flesh one ear pressed against your hot chest as i hear your words rattle the cage in your breast and i feel your breath pass your lips young love is like nothing young love is like nothing young love is like nothing we should rise before the tide takes hold if we make it close to maidstone we’ve nearly made it home but we’ve so so so very far to go young love is like nothing young love is like nothing young love is like nothing with my dreaming edge sharp and your hopeful heart smarting my eyes we know that the world will open her arms if i squint just right in the fading light i can see who you’ll be in another 20 so i open wide and i find i’m fine with all the rushing of time young love is like nothing young love is like nothing young love is like nothing when we get in we’ll make some tea for you – all sweet just milk for me and we’ll drink it down let’s drink this all down down down like it’s nothing
6.
Windswept 03:35
the wind died down, it’s time to rest pull o’er to the shoulder, get out; windswept gaze upon the strange terrain take a breath let it out again again again if you look backward you’re likely to trip but if you look forward you’re gonna forget so what do you do? What do you do with all you get? is it enough? It’s enough to let it go again and again find out what you’re doing here before the lights go out on another year you know what you’re doing here and all the spinning wheels are just a panacea i know you can hear you only you can heal you (let it all go and come back to you) the wind died down, it’s time to rest pull o’er to the shoulder, get out; windswept gaze upon the strange terrain take a breath let it out again again again
7.
I fell in love with the thought that I could change Given time, given all my aging They came along and I thought we had it made But in time I alone remained So I fell in love with the darkness from the deep The longest hours with no relief How could I, how i could I even know to breathe Oh my god, I need to find some peace Then I fell in love with a lady bathed in song By her side nothing is wrong From the dark comes the light and I am satisfied That in this life the song will carry on
8.
you’ve got my heart right where i wanted it to be from the start i knew it’d be safe over the sea and now i see the good you are for me what do you see, my sweet? when we began i couldn’t feel my reprieve but you’re a good man and your hands broke down my disbelief now i believe the good you are for me do you believe? midnight has fallen and you are sound asleep over the ocean you’ll see me in your dreams and when your day is dawning and i am sound asleep over the ocean i’ll see you in my dreams where we’ll keep safe in the arms of unreal until we finally face what we fear because i do fear the good you are for me but i see, i can see the good you are for me but i believe – yes, i believe the good you are for me do you believe, my sweet?
9.
Loving You 04:11
it took some time but finally i think i’m ready to love someone new but before i do i’m gonna catalog the truth of what it was like loving you loving you was a tiptoe down the hallway always hoping not to wake up the storm loving you was giving you more chances and battening the hatches til dawn but i know i wanna love again loving you was an ache in the morning when the party had lasted too long and loving you was sour on my lips from your kiss that was three parts whiskey but i know i wanna love again loving you was a house on fire and both of us were never gonna survive her loving you was walking out that door my hair smelling of smoke and your cologne i know i wanna burn again i know i wanna love again
10.
For a Song 03:53
i’m just trying to build a house where music lives where i can live a long, long time for a song i’ve just gotta believe that a house where music lives is worth a damn and worth all the wandering that preceded i’ll never be long gone no i’ll never be long gone but if i should be long gone i’ll be home soon i’m just trying to build a house where music lives where two can live in sincere care for a song i’ve just gotta believe that a house where music lives is worth a damn and worth all the lonely years that preceded we’ll never be long gone no we’ll never be long gone but if we should be long gone we’ll be home soon i’m just trying to build a house where music lives where the muse can come and go always knowing she’s got a home i’ve just gotta believe that a house where music lives is worth a damn and worth all the loneliness and all of the wondering if i’ve earned a life i love. and worth a damn and worth all the quiet years the preceded she’ll never be long gone may she never be long gone but if she should be long gone she’ll be home soon
11.
Lamentation 03:30
i wake before dawn, don the boots and move on out the door to the fog and the chill imaginary friends everywhere that i turn where have all the good ones gone? i long to sing a lamentation for you but at last you’re not all that gone i finally find you inside my dreams – strange that it’s only now only now only now only now only now i turn to the mist and the rising sun with my hands in my pockets, warm and i leave you at the door i don’t look back i know that you’re already gone you are gone you are gone i know you are gone so i leave you at the door – i don’t look back i know that we’re already gone

about

With To Love To Leave To Live, Minneapolis-based Her Crooked Heart presents a debut record unique in form, made up of cyclical narratives and intertwining histories, each informing the next. The result is a transformative song cycle, led by a charismatic personality, wholly indifferent to expectations of genre and instrumentation. Rachel Ries, the writer, multi-instrumentalist and producer behind Her Crooked Heart, demonstrates immense vulnerability and multifaceted musical craftsmanship to deliver a personal and profound musical soliloquy on love, leaving and the life that follows after burning it all down.

In 2013, after two and a half years of marriage, Ries found herself touring a record around the world, accompanied by a stack of divorce papers in a pocket of her suitcase. She had left her marriage and a good man in New York City and leapt into the untethered unknown. What transpired was in turns euphoria and despondence; old lessons learned in new ways. The songs on To Love To Leave To Live are a compassionate and at times wry catalogue of those tumultuous years.

credits

released May 31, 2019

Production by Shane Leonard & Rachel Ries
Recorded by Brian Joseph at Pinehollow and hive.
(Thank you Evan Middlesworth!)
Mixed by Brian at hive.
Mastered by Zach Hanson and Brian Joseph.
Additional recording by Shane at The Bungaleau and Rachel in her Petite Palais.
Letters string arrangement by Rob Moose; Pleasant Valley Reservoir strings arranged by Rob and Shane Leonard.
All strings performed and recorded by Rob Moose.
Woodwinds on Young Love arranged, performed and recorded by Alec Spiegelman.
Photography by Sheri Manson
Styling by Andrew Medlin with assistance from Rachael Price
Hair and makeup by Robin Watson Hamilton
Special thanks to Tofu the pigeon and her keeper Maddy Joyce, as well as Mookie the turtle and her keeper, Kim Rose.

Rachel Ries: vocals, guitars, piano, rhodes
Shane Leonard: drums, percussion, guitars, organ, vocals
Pat Keen: upright, electric bass
Rob Moose: strings
Mike Lewis: saxophone
John deHaven: trumpet, flugelhorn
Ben Lester: pedal steel
Alec Spiegelman: bass clarinet, alto flute
David & Sarah Ries: For a Song sibling harmonies

All songs written by Rachel Kay Ries © 2017 (Crooked Heart Songs SESAC) except tracks 6 and 8 written by Rachel and Shane Leonard (Gourdon Publishing ASCAP)

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Her Crooked Heart Minneapolis, Minnesota

HER CROOKED HEART is the new name; the new music of RACHEL RIES – multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, hired gun, singer. Her Crooked Heart’s first release, To Gentlemen, hits the ground spinning May 5, complete with Rachel’s own limited edition artwork and featuring members of Bon Iver & Field Report. ... more

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