Last Year's Leaves

by Matt Lowen

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about

(almost) americana & kind of like Bluegrass in a graveyard on a thursday afternoon.

Matt Lowen’s “Last Year’s Leaves” is an acoustic blend of zen, bluegrass, and americana—it’s the music you hear in the autumn wind as the leaves turn colour; it’s the music the moon makes as it scrapes against the edges of the summer sky; it’s the music of change, of transition, of life as we live it.

A poignant work of lyric & melody, this ephemeral album overflows with an abundance of image & song as it explores the cyclical nature of growth & decay, love & loss, and life & death.

Recorded over the summer of 2014 with Rick Genge at Spiderlodge studio, Last Year’s Leaves “ripened and fell from the vine” with a creative ease in the warm July nights. Each session lasting through two (or sometimes three) bottles of red wine, Matt & Rick worked to emphasize the organic spirit of the music with acoustic instruments and chose to abandon percussion, enabling the songs’ structures and melodies to carry the listener along.

With Rick and his wife, vocalist Lori Paul, providing background vocals, creative conversations, and more than a few good meals, the backdrop was set at the quaint and comfortable home studio nestled deep in the heart of the Fraser river valley. From the hummingbirds buzzing over our heads in the afternoons, to the dogs curled up beneath our feet in the evenings, to the moon shining in through the window as it rose over Mt. Cheam, the record began to reflect the natural setting it was born out of.

A chance trip out of Idaho brought musicians Renee & Jason Homey to Spiderlodge to lay down the fiddle on “Never Goodbye.” With the addition of the fiddle, Rick’s masterful Guitar, Dobro, & Bass playing along with Matt’s work on Piano, Mandolin, Banjo, Harmonica, & Guitar combine to evoke a unique sense of timelessness. There is an old-world spirit that dwells within the music which feels ancient but sounds crisp, clear and contemporary. As dust brushed from an antique clock reveals the brilliant patina beneath it, so Last Year’s Leaves shines like an old soul with a new body.

credits

released November 4, 2014

All songs written by Matt Lowen
Produced by Matt Lowen & Rick Genge
Mixed & Mastered by Matt Lowen & Rick Genge @ Spiderlodge Studio
Engineered by Rick Genge
Photography & Design by Leigh Culpin
All songs ©Matt Lowen 2014 SOCAN

Players:
Matt Lowen: Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Harmonica, Dobro, Banjo, Mandolin, Bass
Rick Genge: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Dobro
Lori Paul: Vocals
Renee Homey: Fiddle

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about

Matt Lowen Vancouver, British Columbia

“Last Year’s Leaves” is an acoustic blend of zen, bluegrass, and americana—it’s the music you hear in the autumn wind as the leaves turn colour; it’s the music the moon makes as it scrapes against the edges of the summer sky; it’s the music of change, of transition, of life as we live it. ... more

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Track Name: Daisy Rose
I hope everybody knows
that I love you Daisy Rose
I will love you till the mountains climb the clouds into the sky
But those flowers in your heart
Can’t keep growing in the dark
I wish you’d see your own light shine
While I’m out here chasing mine

Daisy Rose, will those flowers bloom at midnight?
In the light that shines upon you when you sleep
To keep you from the gloom of your small apartment room
Where you wait for me to wake up from my dreams
And give you back the love you gave to me

Wild Chamomile grows
in your footsteps, Daisy Rose
And the briars turn their thorns away whenever you pass by
Please stop hiding from the rain
While you wait for me to change
You need to let your petals show
Give your roots a chance to grow

Daisy Rose, will those flowers bloom at midnight?
In the light that shines upon you when you sleep
To keep you from the gloom of your small apartment room
Where you wait for me to wake up from my dreams
And give you back the love you gave to me

Flowers that linger are flowers that fade
Love only blooms when it’s close to a flame
Daisy I’m sorry I’ve been so unkind
You can change a woman’s feelings
But you’ll never change her mind

Daisy Rose, will those flowers bloom at midnight?
In the light that shines upon you when you sleep
To keep you from the gloom of your small apartment room
Where you wait for me to wake up from my dreams
And give you back the love you gave to me
Track Name: Shiny Black Shoes
Life is like a long pause in an awkward conversation
When you die you probably think of all the things you meant to say
And people like me come to the cemetery and we read your tombstone
We read your name, how old you were, and then we go away
And you just lie there with your hair and fingernails growing into grassblades
You get a trim on thursday afternoons,
HA
A little off the top

Some nights when I get tired of writing I look out my windowsill
I see the moon hanging like a silver apple
And I reach out to pluck it from a branch of dark and cloud
And it looks so sweet, so soft, so supple
But by the time I get my hand around it it’s two million miles away
And I can’t reach that far
I’ll just have to let it hang there for everyone else to see
Or build myself a ladder

Don’t wait for my call
It won’t ever come
You’ll get by on your own
Babe you’re pretty and young
You left a mark on my heart with your shiny black shoes

Last night I felt the earth move and I walked down to the beach
I stayed up all night counting grains of sand
I caught a glimpse of all the ghosts and salt I left behind me
And then it all got swept away by some invisible hand
I smashed my bottle down and cried across the starless sea
I needed someone, anyone, to tell me everything was gonna be OK
But all I heard were the waves of time
Pulse against the shore like a heart that beats
Like a heart that beats

Don’t wait for my call
It won’t ever come
You’ll get by on your own
Babe you’re pretty and young
You left a mark on my heart with your shiny black shoes
Track Name: Mountain Blood
He was born in North Carolina
In the year of who knows when
Underneath a moon shaped like a mandolin
They baptized him American, in the Appalachian mud
And there was tar on the heels of the man with the mountain blood

Just below the fall line
In a cabin on the hill
He grew up with the bible on the windowsill
The Carters on the radio sang songs of life and love
And the leaves turned color for the man with the mountain blood

Mountain Blood
Flowing in my veins
Dogwood flowers
Railroad trains
The high water mark
From Noah's flood
Couldn't wash away
My mountain blood

He survived the great depression
Was too young for WWII
Spent 9 months in Korea as a P.O.W.
The reds tried hard to break him down, but he wouldn't budge
There was a fire in the heart of the man with the mountain blood

Mountain Blood
Flowing in my veins
Dogwood flowers
Railroad trains
The high water mark
From Noah's flood
Couldn't wash away
My mountain blood

They brought him home in '53
Now he's pushing 84
His old bones are wearing thin in an old folk's home in Georgia
His kids are grown, his wife is gone
He knows he doesn't have too long to wait
Until the autumn closes in
And those Carolina mountain leaves turn red again

Mountain Blood
Flowing in my veins
Dogwood flowers
Railroad trains
The high water mark
From Noah's flood
Couldn't wash away
My mountain blood
Track Name: Deerfield's End
the young golden sun
shines down on our fun
and the light in our eyes
is as bright as the skies
we’re the princes and kings
of the kingdoms of spring
and the girls are the queens
of our songs and our dreams
and time is our friend
here in Deerfield’s End.

the apple trees wave
as they offer their shade
The birds in the boughs
sing the sweetest of sounds
the old folks are there,
with their lily white hair,
and they laugh at the joys
of the girls and the boys
and time waits for them
here in Deerfield’s End

we’ll run and we’ll shout
till our spirits run out,
and our eyes start to drop
and our games have to stop.
Our mothers will come
and they’ll carry us home
just like birds in the nest
we’ll be ready to rest
and the sun will descend
here in Deerfield’s End
Track Name: Underpriced Wine
I used to live the bohemian life
I rose from my bed when the stars took to flight
Taverns were temples, the moon was my bride
I was a young man in his prime
I drank oversized bottles of underpriced wine

The fire of music burned in my veins
I danced with the muses, let the dogs off the chain
Burgundy poured, it stained every blank page
There was no cork for my mind
I drank oversized bottles of underpriced wine

But my cup overflowed
It dried up like a rose
That blooms in the snow

Now the glasses are clean, there's a lock on the gate
The tavern door closes before I'm awake
I chased bitter fruit and became like the grape
That ripens and falls from the vine
Into an undersized bottle of overpriced wine
Track Name: Never Goodbye
When I lay down my body, my spirit will fly
Through the jet streams of angels up to heaven on high
In the arms of my maker I’ll be whole once again
And I’ll stand with tomorrow on the wings of the wind

Throw down your sorrow, open your eyes
I am waiting for you at the edge of the sky
Where it’s always forever and never goodbye

In your life you will suffer, you will come to know pain
You may not see the rainbow but you must face the rain
You may fail in your journey and be crushed by defeat
But a new life awaits you where the earth and sky meet

Throw down your sorrow, open your eyes
Life is waiting for you at the edge of the sky
Where it’s always forever and never goodbye

Our master is watching, His vigil He keeps
His candle still burns while the hurricane sleeps
When the lightning comes crashing He’ll gather us in
And help us remember forever again

Throw down your sorrow, open your eyes
He is waiting for you at the edge of the sky
Where it’s always forever and never goodbye
Track Name: Last Year's Leaves
Sunset on the mountaintops growing old beneath the newborn moon
Spring is in the meadow as old man winter lies down in his tomb
I swore I'd always love you and I meant it at the time
Underneath Orion in that empty northern sky
Oh, I planted promises in dreams
But they've blown away like last year's leaves

April sings her melody, the river waltzes in 3/4 time
Blossoms on the branches fall away, they never need to say goodbye
You swore you'd always love me when our love was wild and young
The young man by the river and the old man I'd become
But young and old and everything between
Gets blown away like last year's leaves

Even mighty rivers freeze with snowflakes on their shoulders
Just because the music stops don't mean the song is over

There are glaciers in the sun, my love, everywhere the fire and rose are one
You were smiling in the garden, now you're crying in the crematorium
Seasons have to change and I guess love must be the same
Leaving you the feeling that it won't come back again
But everything you feel and you believe
Gets blown away like last year's leaves