The Astral Plane

by Dana Sipos

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1.
Don’t let the light in, Don’t let the moon on I just want to sit with the darkness for a little bit The day has fallen down The show is over in someone’s house, Someone’s dog is asleep on the couch We crawl into someone else’s bed Horizon hangs heavy We’re always singing these old songs To someone new it seems before too long Does it seem for you too? Did last season’s curses catch up to you As you climbed up the side of the house You were hiding out on the rooftop With only the winds to protect you Just pissing on your alters Cursing to an empty sky, Calling your beloved sea It all goes up in flames time and time again But you’re still someone’s son Still the dew on someone’s morning Despite all the shit you’ve done We’re two broken bones I guess Camped out in borrowed bodies just waiting to set With an old growth heart Just pumping on the forest floor Beating on the forest floor With only the canopy to see you Dying on the forest floor.
2.
These broken bones are mending I heard the swallows call That end is this beginning along that ancient ball of twine It’s stitched into our skin and woven into our knowing These old roads keep bending as I follow the bizarre My pocket’s lined with precious metals carved into a burning star It’s burning up in my palm They say it won’t take long this time This go around This roll on through Are you still wild too? With time comes a shifting Mind’s eye opens and consciousness drifts Along that fine line of sight What once was satin is that twine now wrapped tight Around our wrists
3.
I accrued a crude likeness of you Sketched it from the morning light Drew a side profile scratched in the Prince Edward Island snow By the time the dawn had broke you were broken in too Searching for any home that might make a moon of you Wind twists around the old weather vane again Like a tendril it takes root now you've lost all direction You can use the seven stars of the big dipper To find polaris, lord only knows how much you've missed her You can see it best from the rooftop after dark When you're singing childhood songs that fill you with longing When the nightbird choir strikes, it will call the tide Like a trick of the light, see your chest fall and rise Scrape the sinew from the skin of a story Pull back the ivory of a history grown over Meet me by the hollow tree, hang your dusty harp Well you're no Ullyses but you're still after my heart These are the end of days you know, is your house in order? Are you the architect or the graveyard digger
4.
Light Around the Body Light around the body Is the storm or stillness of the heart Are you the desert winds blinding The devils staircase winding Squandering your darlings While Orion, with his watchful eye, hangs upside down Light around the body Is choking on eucalyptus and rose Velvet hand milks the deer Queer lake is on fire Where the highway meets the highway scum You swoon at the seal of Solomon Light around the body Is the larch turn its yellow face to the sun A people stare down the barrel of a gun After the fault lines of the earth had come undone And the red gums bleed in the valley of the giants The angels in the mountain ash have turned their backs As if waking from a dream The pleasure fades as the morning breaks Solstice has come and gone again And again we haven’t learned anything We’re the sap that flows in the spring like gold So down sugar mountain we go
5.
Oh so skinny legs and all Dangle over the edge Tell me do you fear the fall Or are you done mama done mama done Do you glimpse the world to come Do you like what you see Do you wait with bated breath Or are you free baby free baby free finally free Oh the writing's in the sky This moon is in her final phase You're the heart and you're the break You're the echo and the grace Oh and when you brush my hair Oh and when you the braid the strands I glimpse of the mirrors of your hands And all the memories stored there mama there mama there Oh the writing's in the sky This moon is in her final phase You're the heart and you're the break You're the echo and the grace Oh and just before you go Sit with me a little awhile I listen for the silence And the sound the morning sings mama sings mama sings Oh the sound the morning sings Oh the sound the morning sings We’ll listen for the silence Sit with me before you go mama go mama go
6.
Daniel 04:35
So it wasn’t your finest hour Head in a cradle dead drunk on the floor We’ve all been there before we’ve all been there before October is over without you noticing Without you leaving your ocean stained bed With that ocean stained pillow neath your ocean stained head From the book of lamentation to the days of awe I saw Daniel in the den of lions A shadow cast over his pale face I caught a glimpse at day break and he was gone Always you were the leaving kind Hell bent on dying you walked out with the tide So when the river called you in, already you’d penned your goodbyes From the book of lamentation to the days of awe I looked into that lion’s eye And you were all I saw Now when the sun goes down on an east coast shore I think of the love you held for the tributaries of the north What of ourselves do we leave behind As we ebb with the ebbing times Now you’re sunlight, You’re that incandescent bloom You’re a high-oxygen fire burning blue Now your Daniel, you’re our lion You’re the spark and the flame and now you’re flying
7.
Greenbelt 06:36
The green belt never felt so far as today Half the country and all five great lakes away Still in my minds eye the bartlett pears are growing wide At the end of the long drive in their fat bottom glass jars in a scraggly line It was magic then but I'm hip to your tricks Now the pickings are slim but I'm still feeling it magic, magic of the greenbelt We grew too side by side drunk off the heady vidalia on the winter vine Time was blind like the breath of morning On the cusp on a drop of something divine Feel the stick smell the sweet of the juice of the ripe blackberry on your feet Bare and red past the wicked woods a golden thread Still the bee stings came to a head It was magic then but I'm hip to your tricks Now the woods are stripped but I'm still feeling it Magic, magic of the greenbelt How does a secret get set free? When three moons rose in the black sky we were ready The six daughters of the three daughters dutifully gathered plus one extra for fodder To lift the curse of the black hen  Placed on the family she couldn't quite remember when Sat at the table wide eyed and spooked We worked our juju from every angle When at last we failed our task now the curse has crept into every last crevice It was magic then but I'm hip to your tricks Now your secrets are safe but I'm still feeling it Magic, magic of the greenbelt Strain of the old country pain collides With the drive and ambition of their new country lives Tales from before and of the war simmer in the soup and are met at the door In the hushed tones of their mother tongue Our mothers spun out on some tough love so hard won What was once yours is now mine It's a hand me down story embroidered with time But there's a tear down the middle of the table cloth of this family riddle It was magic then but I'm hip to your tricks Now I can’t mend the bend but I’m still feeling it Magic, magic of the greenbelt The lines are faded now the light is low Trace the hughes of the evening blues from the kitchen window Tall shadows of Yiddish in the morning Are ghosts come to call like notes in the wailing wall  Still all roads lead to cherry and green lane When the pecking order was the rule of the day Back to the lake hidden in plain sight Is the better to be right or to belong?  It was magic then but I'm hip to your tricks Now the farmhouse is quiet and all that went with it Magic, magic of the greenbelt
8.
Hoodoo 04:12
The hoodoos do not take their shape for you Trace your eye down their rocky spire  Laced with limestone and wind and fire There goes the bare bones of the Badlands.  The milky way drips down to the emerald lake Stare to the bottom of sweet Louise Toss in your sins for a cheap release  Your prayers are there  In pieces where there should have been a lake bed Lines on her faces is light of the moon Beat of a thousand wings circle the room Our bodies breathe with the salt of remembrance  Her lifetime resides in the cells of your skin Her voice is your voice and a voice from within  Do you sing, do you bring the Mourner's Kaddish הֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּאy Lines on her faces is light of the moon Beat of a thousand wings circle the room And if you’re quiet You can hear the song It lives in a fistful of sky just beyond your reach
9.
Be the Breathing barrel with its pomegranate throat And your mouth wide open the shape of the ocean Be the very first bubble on the brink of a boil Be the vine growing pale and the growing pains of the pine Be July in the wintertime Against a flattened sky you reach out Can you touch it Can you feel it its’ almost divine Be the written word to the printing press Be the reading of the palm along with those unexpected blessings Be the map of the city alight with hiding spots of love Be the foothills, the lay lines, a window seat to a simpler times Be July in the wintertime Against a flattened sky you reach out Can you touch it Can you feel it its’ almost divine

about

A deeply personal exploration, The Astral Plane traces the imprints of memory that form and take hold over the many lifetimes of a person, a family, the environment. Running parallel to this investigation of family histories and legacies, there are strong undercurrents of collective climate grief, the shifting faces of loss and inherited trauma echoing the ecological crises of our time.

On The Astral Plane, Sipos invites the listener beneath the surface, diving into complex personal histories and relationships and their ongoing reverberations, from the past and into the present and future.
~
Memories. Where do they live in your body? Outline their shapes and form. Press down. Hold. What imprints do they leave behind? Note their weight.
Hold memories up to the light. Are they staring back at you?
Do these memories belong to you ? Were they a gift?
Were you formed in their shadows and light?
~
All songs written by Dana Sipos SOCAN 2021
~
Thank you to Sandro Perri and the band for bringing these songs to life and lending their immense talents so generously!
Special thanks to Nick Zubeck for the therapy sessions and Chris Lloyd for being my Fig Tree
To these kind hearts for their listening ears: Chris Dufour, Benjamin Sipos-Cerf, Ali Eisner,
My family for their ongoing support
Bangs (Jen Yakamovich and Willow Sereda-Meichel) for their support in developing Skinny Legs
The Banff Centre for always facilitating magic and the creation of so many songs, friendships and collaborations
~
Dedicated to my beloved grandmother Esther for imprinting in me her extraordinary life

credits

released June 25, 2021

Dana Sipos - vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion
Nick Zubeck - electric guitar
Tom Hammerton - keys, organ, piano, percussion
Mark McIntyre - electric and upright bass
Blake Howard - drums, percussion
with
Lydia Persaud - vocals (Greenbelt, Skinny Legs)
Michael Davidson - vibraphone
Sandro Perri - synth, percussion
Danielle Knibbe and Barbara Lica - vocals (Daniel)
Fats Kaplin - violin (Daniel)
~
Produced by Sandro Perri
Recorded by Andy Magoffin at House of Miracles

Daniel - recorded by Howard Bilerman at the Telus Studio at the Banff Centre for the Arts
Assisted by Shea Brossard and Anders Kapur
~
Mixed by Sandro Perri
Mastered by Fedge
~
Layout and design by Chris Lloyd
Cover Photo by Colin Harrington
~
I gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council and Creative BC

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Dana Sipos British Columbia

hypnotic folk from Turtle Island.
The Astral Plane, new album produced by Sandro Perri out on Toronto's Roaring Girl Records June 2021

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