AFRAID I CAN'T SWIM

by EMMA JUNE

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03:55
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04:16
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04:27
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04:28
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05:07
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04:57

about

Emma June/Vox
Chris Kerrigan/Vox/Guitar/Bass/Drums/Percussion/Banjo/Mandolin Accordion/Piano/Organ/French Horn/Trombone/Glockenspiel
Olivia Holcomb/Vox
Curtis Barnes/Cello
Abby Kahler/Violin
Asher Putnam/Vox
Jesse Putnam/Vox
Crisco/Horn
Amory Drennan/Trombone

credits

released October 20, 2015

Lyrics and music by EMMA JUNE with the exception of Riverside, which was co-written with Olivia Holcomb. All tracks arranged, recorded, mixed and mastered by Chris Kerrigan at Amity House Studios, Amherst, MA.

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about

EMMA JUNE Amherst, Massachusetts

Emma June sings about the ways in which we build ourselves into empty factories of potential productivity & transform ourselves into lonely machines, the campaign to keep heart, head & hands connected & yes, love lost & won.

Music unfolds into a howl, towers of dreamy harmonies, reverberant instrumentation, while the riverside rings with red-winged blackbirds & takes you away without apology.
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Track Name: Machine Man
Oh my machine man
Takes the time to use his hands
Can’t buy back the missing parts
Tightens bolts to loosened plans

Oh my machine man
Broke down by the old farm stand
Oh all I need’s some of your honey
To get this engine running again

I’ve been a stripped bolt
I’ve been a downed wire
I’ve been a mechanical liar
This factory don’t sleep
So stay awake with me

Father tells him dollars will make a man
But he’s made for something better than a man
Meant to build something greater than a man
Something outlives my machine man

Oh my machine man
Loose parts drag me in the road
From your mouth flew all the birds
The songs I’ve looked for high and low

I’ve been a stripped bolt
I’ve been a downed wire
I’ve been a mechanical liar
This factory don’t sleep
So stay awake with me
Track Name: Hangman's Game
He’s the jester in the street
Throw a dime to watch him dance
Ash butterflies been clouding his eyes
There are some things I don’t understand

Will you find the right word to say?
I’m so tired of this hangman’s game
This sand money won’t set you free
Put a smile on, get back on your feet

The angel of the cobblestones
There’s no one to reset his bones
When the lovers leave the road
There’s no where to call home

Oh we don’t make nice
We built this house of bone
The sun is going down, darling
I’m not the lonely one

Will you find the right word to say?
I’m so tired of this hangman’s game
Sand money won’t set you free
So put a smile on, get back on your feet

There’s a grand price to be paid
For the view by the sea where they live
But the beggars’ the only one free
From that lonely price of poverty

Will you find the right word to say?
I’m so tired of this hangman’s game
This sand money won’t set you free
Put a smile on, get back on your feet
Track Name: Route 3
Been driving down 495 watching the skies turn to gold
We believe in dollar signs-- you can't leave yourself behind growing old

You really won't there without wasting your days
You really can't get there until you come home to stay

My old man sleeps all alone, watching sailboats bought & sold
sings in the street for a dime—darling, no such thing as time (it’s alright)

You really won't there without wasting your days
You really can't get there until you come home to stay

Roof top sofa watch the sun fall down
Spend your days treading water trying not to drown

You really won't there without wasting your days
You really can't get there until you come home to me
Track Name: Send Me Away
Once I was in love
She was locked up by her name
She wore an evening gown
To aid the Queen of Spain

Brought the people to the streets
So they could listen in
Glow of prison light
Her radiant refrain

They’re gonna send me away
If I speak up, speak up
They’re gonna send me away
If I cry out, cry out

If you’re lucky you’ll get all the money
There’s not enough to go around
If you’re lucky you’ll get all the money
You’ll be the loneliest man in town

Beneath this glaring color
Your nothing but your name
The beauty that surrounds us
Is dressed up all the same

I’d rather have roses on my table
Than diamonds round my neck
Tell me that the waters rising
Because I can think for myself

They’re gonna send me away
If I speak up, speak up
They’re gonna send me away
If I cry out , cry out

If you’re lucky you’ll get all the money
There’s not enough to go around
If you’re lucky you’ll get all the money
You’ll be the loneliest man in town

Wasn’t made for this machine
But they won’t set me free
Oh we have lost the truth
There’s nothing we can do
There’s nothing we can do :||

Ohlalala
Ohlalala
Ohlalala
Track Name: Hands
Put on your loneliness
Put on your Sunday best
Dreamer with the checklist
Farewell on your tongue

I’ve gotta use my hands mama
Wasn’t made for this machine
I’ve got something here to offer
Let the howling fill the streets

Don’t know where I’ve been
Don’t know where I’m going
But I found this hunger waiting
Tell you I was made for makin'

I’ve gotta use my hands mama
Wasn’t made to compromise
I’ve got something here to offer
Let the howling drown the lies

Maybe one or two of us?
Keep us quiet until we rust

There’s a bone growing
Where it shouldn’t be
Won’t keep quiet easily

But I won’t run away now

I’ve gotta use my hands mama
Wasn’t made for this machine `
I’ve got something here offer
Let the howling fill the streets

I’ve gotta use my hands mama
Wasn’t made to compromise
I’ve got something here to offer
Let the howling drown the lies
Track Name: Smoking Gun
It all sounds the same

If I keep quiet with my wings open wide
Would you remember me? A shiver in the night
This head full of swallows can’t fly through the rain
Tried to forget you, it all sounds the same

Oh I’ve been crying by this little river
There’s no smoking gun that could shoot through me now
I was only a child, buried this bird inside me
Someone wipe the earth from my hands and my brow

Your wearing those jewels made of cheap kerosene
I don’t trust the rainbows, exhausted my dreams
Seen them gathering rust round your pretty eyes
That’s the first sign you’ve told too many lies

Oh I’ve been crying by this little river
There’s no smoking gun that could shoot through me now
I was only a child, buried this bird inside me
Someone wipe the earth from my hands and my brow

Arsonist set fire to the plans I have made
There’s nobody who cared to put out the flame
I’ve found myself sitting alone in your grandstand
I promise you I’d do it over again

Oh I’ve been crying by this little river
There’s no smoking gun that could shoot through me now
I was only a child, buried this bird inside me
Someone wipe the earth from my hands and my brow

Oh my words have been hanging in the town square
The pigeons pecked the eyes out the townspeople stare
Someone stop the wind from singing through my bones
Won’t you take me back now? Retribution is sown?

It all sounds the same

Don’t know my way back to where we have been
Told me not to feel or they’d peel back my skin
I’m a blackbird caught in a barbed wire lie
I thought I had let you go, fly wherever you like

Oh I’ve been crying by this little river
There’s no smoking gun that could shoot through me now
I was only a child, buried this bird inside me
Someone wipe the earth from my hands and my brow
Track Name: Afraid I Can't Swim
River flow down
As you wander by my lonely town
Honey don’t forget
The bird that sings to you from the east

And darling I’m afraid I can’t swim
And darling many years since I’ve been
And darling won’t you please let me in
This suitcase of dreams was too heavy in the end

The moon she is a friend of mine
She says she saw you driving blindly
I don’t know whose god draws these lines
That keeps me from your fireside

And darling I’m afraid I can’t swim
And darling many years since I’ve been
And darling won’t you please let me in
This suitcase of dreams was too heavy in the end

There’s something changing on the wind
Can’t pretend to understand
Its time to go
Said I’ve wasted precious time
All you see are dollar signs
Not our love

There’s something changing on the wind
Can’t pretend to understand
Its time to go
Said I’ve wasted precious time
All you see are dollar signs
Not our love

There’s no good way to say goodbye
There’s no good way to say goodbye
There’s no good way to say goodbye
There’s no good way to say goodbye
Track Name: Radio Silence
It’s your radio silence again.
My friend, you’re breaking my heart.
You called, but all I heard was nothing remarkable
That taught me what loneliness was.

If I’m being honest I wish I could find
The source of the howl that keeps me up so late at night
Oh my darling, I’ve served my time
You’ve done me wrong so leave it alone.

These days oh they slow around me
Your songs tell me stories as I wonder through this city
Is lovers stacked up to the sky—scrapped my knees
So I don’t say goodbye.

If I’m being honest I wish I could find
The source of the howl that keeps me up so late at night
Oh my darling, I’ve served my time
You’ve done me wrong so leave it alone.

I’ve traveled from town to town
There’s nothing like this built for us
I’ve traveled from town to town
This city of dollars and dust

Darling one thing that you should know
I’ve been bruised and erased and my hope is tired and worn.
Through the holes shines your light, you try to wash me clean
Still I cling to what I could have been.

If I’m being honest I wish I could find
The source of the howl that keeps me up so late at night
Oh my darling, I’ve served my time
You’ve done me wrong so leave it alone.
Track Name: Riverside
All my days I have lived by the riverside
Old tin roof, Queen Anne’s lace, skeleton pine
Painting the expressions of all the pretty faces that pass me by
Some say I’m a dreamer always want what I can’t find

Grow your hair down to the cold ground my little girl
Dress your words up in glamorous gowns, ink and pearls
I don’t recognize you when you criticize my unkempt ways
I long to belong on your doorstep, I cannot stay

I’m not sure what it is you want me to say
Sentences spur, I’m no follower you bird of prey
Lazy little schemer walking towards you backwards, she’s chosen fear
30 minutes on a highway, this tune that you wanted to hear