Mountains & Valleys

by On a Clear day

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released January 1, 2012

All songs except track 5 written & recorded by Stefanie Brendler at the House in the Sky in Seattle, WA; track 5 recorded by Opal Mekkelsen at Monstersori Observatory in Seattle, WA.

thank you: Tin Tree Factory (Johnny, Opal, Marc), Annah, Mark Gunnery




On a Clear day Seattle, Washington

On a Clear Day performs live-looping, electro-acoustic songscapes and storytelling, micro-ballads and poetic pleas for accordion and voice. On a Clear Day sings the intimacy of deep secrets and brings fading memories to life.

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Track Name: With the Whales
Can I make you love me in 20 seconds?

I could be swimming naked with the whales, my feet below the arctic edge
no time to stop breathing, but it's time to stop breathing

this is no slow and steady courtship

I could be swimming naked with the whales, your soft flesh against my edge
your breath in my ear, you said you like it glacial

if it's gray just one more day...
I can't make you love me
I wish you well
Track Name: You Held my Hand
it’s been hard
I can’t pick up the phone
i’ve been really sad
I wanna stitch you to my clothes

wish you’d call
wish you’d remind me to eat
these thoughts are so consuming
it’s hard to do what I need

I know I should call you back
open my mouth
say i’m sorry
say you’re lovely
say how much you mean to me

you held my hand
you held it tight
I cried so hard
I cried all night

you cut me open
you pulled out the bite
you patched me with glue
you sewed me up tight

you stayed by my side
snuggled cheek to cheek
poured my heart into you
poured your heart into me
Track Name: My Body
my body... every muscle in my body aches...
my how time passes by and these thoughts organize
I don't know what i'm doing just...

my body... knows the touch of your mouth
and the weight of your words
a gravitational pull to my body

i've got you in my arms, i've got nothing to hide
no butterflies, high tides, or railroad ties
Track Name: Five Years Ago Today
I think i'll ride my bike away
unplug the radio on my way
i'll ride past your house and say,
“hey, let's play – today is the first of May”

I sat on the corner of your bed
with sounds in my head
gotta reproduce the sounds in my head
gonna paint for you this image in my eyes
my grandpa's heaving sighs

I think i'll ride my bike away
unplug the radio on my way
i'll ride past your house and say,
“today is the first of May – it was five years ago, today”
Track Name: To Gaza with Love
Dear Gaza, I can hear your voice
dear Gaza, can you hear me?

I am singing
Dear Gaza
I am still singing

i’m on a stage
should I still sing?
Can I still sing?

Dear Gaza, I am singing
with sadness
with love
with joy
with pain

our boats await your shores
one day

Dear Gaza, I believe
I believe, one day
Track Name: The Mountain for the Valley
an hour off, chasing the sunset
westward, here I go again
clear the sky, make way for me
into the mountains, I go
tell me, in these Rockies, which way the wind blows

this is my dream: to traverse this avalanche shoot
and in my dream, I see rainbow clouds beside me
as the earth falls out below me
i'll taste of this adventure
not sure where the earth ends, or where the clouds begin

just a little ant, I navigate this land
tectonic arms outstretched
towards the sky

and if I can't see the mountain for this valley i'm in
I hope you'll help me make it up the hill again
to where I can see what comes next
Track Name: Oh Quilcene
i've got salmon berries to my west and huckleberries to my east
i've got huckleberries to my east and salmon berries to my west

oh quilcene, you hardly know me

(he said i'll) meet me/(you) at the light house and the cottage by the sea
Track Name: Stay
sometimes I forget how to breathe
sometimes I forget I still need help practicing unlearning anxiety
melodies fall one breath at a time
but I held my breath these last three weeks learning how to speak

she's always on guard, she keeps herself hard
she keeps herself distant and heartless and hard
she tells me she cares, she tells me she's scared
she tells me that nothing will change anyways
but I loved her dear, I thought, I loved her dear
I wish I could hold her and make it all right

you told me to stay – I tried, I tried, I tried.
I tried, did you? You said to try harder, don't you remember?
Maybe it's time for me to go.
Track Name: Time to Come Clean
i'm trying to remember everything you said
to document it, to tell it, to keep it from happening again

Tell me tell me tell me
it's time to come clean
it's time to come clean
it's time to tell me

I only know the stories through this end of the phone
I only know
Track Name: So we Start Again
I have a story to tell
of Mima & Pipa
of inherited debt
of the business

he said, “on a scale of 1-10, a one won't land you in jail”
I asked, was it illegal, or was it mismanagement?

the year daddy didn't take a cut at payroll time
he said, this is when you learn who your real friends are

I have a story to tell
of bankruptcy
how we get to keep the house

so, we start again