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Songs of S + D

by Christina Wheeler

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1.
Asleep at the Wheel I’ve seen the sun rise countless times I’ve danced in the light of the lunatic moon I’ve found the bottom of many a glass, and I got mangled on other tasty bits too. I’ve traveled around much of the world Made music for thousands more Loved far too many dubious men And all of the entire time I wasn’t even there...’cause I was Asleep at the wheel Enjoying the view From inside my eyes Where all the world Was my own private stage, I was Asleep at the wheel With life whizzing by And in my reverie, I was Just along for the ride The view is much nicer When you’re sleepwalking through You’re the star of every show And the world loves you, too Unscrupulous people don’t Exist in there, and All of the empty space is full So, you never have to really feel Yourself when you’re alone, I was Asleep at the wheel Avoiding the pain That comes from confronting The messes you made Asleep at the wheel, I was A wreck for too long And all the while I never had To sit still alone Facing the horror of the world Is hard enough to do Facing yourself and all you hate Is even harder still For the open, empty spaces Just leave you With you (and you and you and you and you... ) So, I try to stand here awake Solitary, flawed and still But the lure still tempts me To close my eyes, and Dream my dreams Asleep at the wheel Asleep at the wheel Asleep at the wheel
2.
Into the Sun 02:42
Into the Sun I want to fly Straight into the sun Melt my wings and Plunge into the blazing heat Become one with the Blinding light I'm white hot fire Hotter than light All my cells will Disappear into the blaze until There’s no more me, just Beautiful, beautiful White hot light I want to fly Straight into the sun Straight into the sun Straight into the sun...
3.
Shadowlands 04:15
Shadowlands What happened to you? Why’s the space so dead Behind your eyes? Did you burn through the fire That made you alive? You walk and talk like Someone I used to love, But you're a whispery shell Of your former self A cut-out doll Fluttering in the breeze What happened to you? You tried to grab the World by the horns and Fling it out into the sky Scattering your prize wide Like stars across the canopy… Did you kill too many hopes? Did you trash too many dreams? Did the city break your heart More than any woman dared? What happened to me? I almost followed your lead Down that path But I decided I had to live Though with each and every day, I Fight the temptation To join you In the Shadowlands
4.
So Close to You Your eyes Made me Want to drown In you Your hands Made me Want to twine Round you Your lips Made me Want to Enter you I wanted to be So close to you Closer than anything I knew Closer than our bodies Could ever be I wanted to dive under your Skin, swim through the Platelets of your blood Wrap myself around and in The marrow of your bones Nestle in your muscles Tangle in the Branches your nerves Lodge myself deep in the center Of your hot and pulsing heart But my desire masked fantasy Conjured up to cloak the danger That I refused to see Flesh can’t fill the empty spaces Especially when the figment of my Dreams was one as Volatile as you Now, I’d rather keep a Lucid distance as Your madness seems far less alluring And I continue facing down The solitary demons, which are Every lurking, lonely, but they’re mine
5.
Some Boys 02:44
Some Boys Some boys like to play with snakes Rip the wings off moths and smash The blues eggs found in Robins’ nests above Some boys leave those days behind While others find they cannot quell the Urge that makes them Want to hurt the very Thing they love the most You saw me bright and shiny Fresh for plucking For your fancy And though you struggled hard, you Couldn’t help but Try to break me Straight in two Bit by bit, with every day, you Picked and poked and Dug and bit Tried to bring me down With each and every move I crawled away with two drops left Close to dead, but I refused to Give up on the ghost, for Even life keeps marching on… So, now you’ll find me on a shelf Safe and high above, where Grubby hands can’t pull me down And have a go One day, I’ll venture down below Armor locked in place, so Angry foolish boys like you Can't try to mess with me again Oh no…
6.
Alone 02:55
Alone For every time I home to you Try to join myself to you Try to reach for some moment sublime I know these precious seconds When the lines that Separate us disappear They’re oh so fleeting, so fleeting… Far too soon, we'll fall to earth Break apart into our Discrete entities, where There’s no singularity Only you and me Why let us know that place exists Where time and space can melt away And we are one with everything When in the end, Its fades away, and We are left Once again Alone
7.
This Time 03:11
This Time If this time Might be the last time We make love We may never know If this time Is the last time We make love We’ll never know So love me With all your might Love me With all your heart Love me With everything you own For this time may be, the Last time we'll know This is all the time we’ve got. Make it count for all we can This is all the time we've got Trickling away like grains of sand...
8.
In the Sea 03:32
In the Sea (Full Fathom Five) One day, we’ll live down In the sea, You and me, In harmony Spending our days so happily Frolicking among the fish and Playing hide and seek Amidst the coral's lacy trails I’ll pluck some pearls To bejewel my hair A ring of shells to Crown your head and A mighty triton for your hand We’ll carve two thrones From the rocky reefs Where we'll sit by side The gentle waves lap golden warm We’ll splash and laze about each day And when the moon lights Up the sky, we'll make our Sandy beds, and sleep so Peacefully Enjoying each other’s Company Far better than when we were Distant mortals on the land One day, we’ll live down In the sea, In the sea, In the sea, In the sea, In the sea… One day, we’ll live down In the sea, In the sea, In the sea, In the sea, In the sea… [Full fathom five thy father lies Of his bones are coral made Those are pearls that were his Eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes… —William Shakespeare, The Tempest]
9.
Where Did You Go I miss you, my friend I love you and I’ll never See you again… Where did you go? Where are you now? Did you slide into the earth Burrow into the loam? Sink down deep Into the soil, and Mix your bones with the stone? Where did you go? Did you slip into the sea? Let your blood flow ’round The fish and flora Nestled sleeping Down dark and deep? Where are you now? Did you fly into the air? Take one final gasp, and Blow your heart, out Into the farthest Reaches of the sky? I knew one day, that You, like me, Would take your leave And disappear But I had no idea, that It would be so soon, so soon… I miss you, my friend Where did you go? Where did you go? Where are you now?
10.
Deep in My Heart Your hands Your strong hands Used to hold me, Feed me, bathe me Now, they’re tiny twigs Veined like pale leaves Your eyes Your brown eyes Used to scrutinize me Now the faintest glimmer Is all you can perceive You’ve known me all my days And time keeps passing by And we just keep changing And nothing stays the same Nothing stays the same Your skin, Your pale skin, So soft, not dry like paper For all its lines and creases It’s so soft, so delicate, so soft… And I’ll remember you Your eyes, your hands, your skin And hold you always Deep in my heart Deep in my heart Deep in my heart
11.
Sleeping 03:19
Sleeping When you’re sleeping So peacefully I peer into your tranquil face And wonder at the Places where you go When you're dreaming So quietly I gaze into your curtained eyes Veiled from me, and Wonder if I'll ever know The things that only You can see When you lie So near to me I close my eyes and Fall to sleep and Wonder if I’ll join you In your hidden, private place Do we meet somewhere, and Do the things we never can When we are wide awake? Come together Make a secret life So rare and precious it can Only blossom fully in the Garden of our dreams?
12.
My Lullaby 02:18
My Lullaby Close your eyes Rest your head In this soft space Now's the time To let yourself go Let yourself go No danger’s near You're sheltered here All alone and All is well No harm can come To you tonight You’re safe Alone in this Quiet moment Go to sleep You can go now Let yourself go Now you can Become one

about

Songs of S + D is a deeply personal album long time in the making. Inspired by my experience of having lived through 9/11 in New York City and the subsequent attempt to negotiate the aftermath of that time, I wrote a series of songs addressing the larger human experience of life, loss, joy, ecstasy, sadness, and the connecting, universal condition, framed through the context of vivid, intimate vignettes.

My music background is extremely diverse. As a child, I grew up on a rich, musical cornucopia of soul, R&B, funk, and disco. Yet, I have always wanted to hear these funkier beats in the context of the equally-loved, dense walls of sounds associated with shoe-gaze music, which has often been anchored to indie-rock beats. How would it sound to fuse these different worlds together? This is what I set out to realize this with this album’s series of songs: soul-gaze music.

Musician, producer, and engineer Christian Prommer invited me to record at Red Bull Studios Berlin, where I tracked all my vocals and instruments. Next, I decided to overdub other musicians to expand the record’s scope and quality.

Red Bull Studios New York head Chris Tabron offered me recording time there with New York studio musicians: electric bassist Melvin Gibbs, drummer/programmer Marque Gilmore, and cellist Marika Hughes. Recording finished at Vox-Ton Studios Berlin, with Marque Gilmore and Kelvin Sholar adding drums and synth bass lines to the last three tracks; Antonio Pulli and Simon Goff engineered. Joe McGinty provided additional keyboards.

I completed post-recording production editing with engineers Louis McGuire, Simon Goff, and JB Saboira. Veteran engineer Scotty Hard of Duro Studios, NYC mixed the album, and Michael Fossenkemper of Turtletone Studios, NYC mastered the album’s digital version.

As a musician, songwriter, and composer, I have spent much of my professional career connecting the worlds of acoustic and electronic music through the human gesture of singing songs and playing electronic and hardware instruments. Next, I expanded my repertoire to include traditional electro-acoustic instruments that I present in fresh, musical contexts, by incorporating analog and digital electronic processing.

My music takes traditional and unique instruments that resonate via different physical materials and processes their waveforms through electronics to make hybridized sounds that incorporate modern, popular music styles. From the metal tines of the African kalimba to the strings of the autoharp, each instrument becomes a new sound source when its acoustic tones are transformed through electronics. When these effected instruments are used to write popular music, the results become fresh and contemporary.

While technology continues to evolve, the human voice remains constant in the singing of songs. With this project, I hope to share modern music with the world that speaks to our universal experiences and connect us through the simple, evocative themes in the narrative and emotional content of my songs.

credits

released March 25, 2022

Written and Produced by Christina Wheeler

Mixed by Scotty Hard, Duro Studios, NYC

Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper, Turtletone Studios, NYC

Christina Wheeler: voice, autoharp, mbira, QChord, Polychord, loops, effects

Marque Gilmore: drums, drum programming and production

Melvin Gibbs: bass

Marika Hughes: cello
Joe McGinty: keyboards
Kelvin Sholar: synth bass

Recorded by: Christian Prommer, Red Bull Studios, Berlin;
Chris Tabron and Evan Sutton, Red Bull Studios, New York

Production Editing: Louis McGuire, Simon Goff, JB Saboira

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Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.

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Christina Wheeler Berlin, Germany

Christina Wheeler is a composer, vocalist, multi-instrumental electronic musician, producer, and multimedia artist, who works solo and in collaboration with other artists.

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