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Invisible Threads

by Helen Bell

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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Also includes the original voice/piano demo of 'Invisible Threads' as a bonus track.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £2 GBP  or more

     

  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 4 Helen Bell releases available on Bandcamp and save 35%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Late Night Letters, Invisible Threads, Roll as a Hexagon, and Sketchbook. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      £6.50 GBP or more (35% OFF)

     

1.
In the years since we scattered So much has been shattered Where have we all been? And now for some reason or other we fell back together And we huddle like goats turned out on the bright cold green We’re scuffed and we’re battered The winter’s been hard But here looking up at our knees against the blue Hold tight to each others’ words a bit more than we used to Here’s a length of one my invisible threads for each of you Go and wind it round trees and trainlines and don’t let go It will stretch round the back of the moon that hangs in the garden If you need it to I’ve stopped looking for beginnings and endings Amidst all our messes of tangled up yarn There’s no rolling us neat and new all back in our packets now And how I love unravelling into your arms And through the summer we drew patterns in the sand Fleeting microcosms of joy in this collapsing fading land I want to go back to the sea Summer opens and closes like a shell I want to go back to the sea Did you keep a hold of the end of the line for me? Hold it tight against the swell If we could be The ways we can see Beyond what we’re defaulting to If we could change before the changes reach us And the wave takes all we ever want to do You are the ones I’d choose To hold and to build with But here with the feel of our backs against the ground All we can do is search for broken strands, re-thread the loops that come unwound
2.
Is the day over or is it beginning? Bright underwing, bright underwing Among the old stones given back to the moss And a memory of rain in a distant park Sending our smudges and chimes to each other Bright underwing, bright underwing You give me back parts of myself that I’d lost Bright underwing and a song in the dark And how dare we take joy in a low sun brightening feathers As if ravages and cataclysms might be disowned? But while we still breathe, and while we rage and while we grieve We must hold these things close against our bones The colour of eels paints the sky by the water Bright underwing, bright underwing Down in the kelp forest strange currents pervade And now we know time can’t be taken by force We are all growing in sparks from each other Bright underwing, bright underwing You send me back bits of the world I mislaid Bright underwing and the scent of the gorse Round comes the dawn chorus too soon after sleeping Bright underwing, bright underwing Then it’s back to the bats in the last evening glow Now the clock is just songs trailing out of the sky And oh no we shall not get out of the river Bright underwing, bright underwing The fish are insisting we owe them our toes Bright underwing and a sweep of high cries
3.
It crept in, the Septemberlight Overnight, all visceral rememberlight All long wet grass and storms All sparks and apples on the train But just because the light falls the same way that it did then Doesn’t mean all those things will happen again Though all your cells are primed For another of the same And these days, these minutes, these moons I can’t even wish that any of it might be undone Look what velvet we have woven from the wreckage In an hour round the sun It crept in, the Novemberlight Overnight – do you rememberlight? All fragile on the bridge Between what was and what became And just because the leaves move once again from sky to feet Doesn’t mean we too must play on repeat What if time has bends And refraction amends Expectations of the same?

about

Here are three new tracks which were going to be on my next album – until I realised that the album was becoming too big and unwieldy and unfocused, and that if I took these three songs out, they would make a nice EP, and it would leave the album more cohesive as a result. The album isn’t ready yet, but these tracks are, so … here they are.

The first track, ‘Invisible Threads’, now sounds to me like a song that should be written after the pandemic. However, it was written in early 2019. As well as the full arrangement, I've also included the original demo, which was just voice and piano, as a bonus track with the download.

The second, ‘Bright Underwing’, is the only song I wrote during 2020. I didn’t write any songs during the majority of lockdown, as at that point I felt that I’d already written all of the things I wanted to say about the pandemic in earlier songs, and had zero ideas for anything new. Also, my songwriting process depends on talking to people in real time, and group conversations with lots of ideas being generated – both trivial and serious – some of which turn out to be the last jigsaw piece in something I've been trying to write.

The song is about several things: the way time went all weird during lockdown, exploring the outdoors and noticing little things that might have gone unnoticed before, and staying connected to friends while physically separated. Most of the imagery comes from conversations with my friends about their own experiences in nature. I have come to associate particular plants, animals, birds, rocks, mushrooms, etc. with people who’ve talked to me about them, so when I see that thing I think of that person, and it’s a nice thing to have happening in my head when I’m wandering about.

‘Septemberlight’ is a song about seasonal sense memory, and was written after a conversation with a family member who noticed echoes of intense emotions she’d experienced the previous year turning up as the season changed to match the time of year they’d happened in. And I’ve noticed the same thing happening to me, sometimes. I don’t think we can be the only two people in the world who experience this. However, we've both just recently observed that we aren't experiencing it at the moment – perhaps as a result of the pandemic's time-flattening effect.

This track is based on a single live vocal and piano performance, so it is a little bit rougher than the other two. But I liked something about the energy of it, so I wanted to release this version, even if I re-record a different version in the future.

credits

released October 27, 2021

All songs written and performed by Helen Bell

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all rights reserved

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about

Helen Bell UK

Prog/folk/pop singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist specialising in viola and keyboard instruments.

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