Breakwall

by Ansley Simpson

supported by
Hassles
Hassles thumbnail
Hassles The earthiness, the story-telling & the way this delves into my soul!
/
  • Streaming + Download

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

      $8 CAD  or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Album artwork by Matthew Hinther,
    Cover Design by Andrew Oliver,
    Photograph by Aaron Mason ,
    Produced by James Bunton
    Music by Ansley Simpson

    I would like to acknowledge the support of the OAC in helping to fund this album. Miigwech.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Breakwall via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days
    2 remaining

      $15 CAD or more 

     

1.
03:03
2.
3.
4.
03:20
5.
6.
05:15
7.
05:07
8.
9.

credits

released April 26, 2017

All words by Ansley Simpson.
Music by Ansley Simpson (01, 04, 05, 07, 08, 09) and Ansley Simpson & James Bunton (02, 03, 06).
String arrangements by James Bunton (02, 07).

Produced and mixed by James Bunton at The Glen Gordon.
Drums recorded at Dream Date Studio.
Mastered by João Carvalho at João Carvalho Mastering.

The title “A Mixture of Frailties” is taken from the Robertson Davies novel by the same name.
“Kwe (Changing Into Thunderbird)” is in reference to a series of six paintings by Norval Morrisseau called “Man Changing into Thunderbird (1977)”.
The song “The Burnt Lands” was inspired by a Bruce Munro novel by the same name. The line “Trample grass blades at night” is a reference to a poem by Wislawa Szymborska “Among the Multitudes”. Sample of “Drum Song” by The Smoke Trail Singers used with permission.

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Ansley Simpson Toronto, Ontario

Ansley Simpson is an emerging Anishinaabe singer-songwriter from Toronto. A weaver of haunting vocals and poetics, her songs unfold as stories, immersing the listener in vibrant imagery and journeying us through themes of vulnerably, love, and the raw emotion of heartbreak. ... more

contact / help

Contact Ansley Simpson

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Witness
Witness

In the quiet of the clearing
The white pines witness
Our bodies so close that our skin
Melts together like neon lights
In the puddles on the pavement
As it runs from the spring

And I’m more tired than awake
And my bones feel like strangers
And they’re heavy and they ache

In the quiet of the clearing
The white pines witness
What we both know is at stake

And I will walk until the faces
Fade into the sound
Of every time you told me
That you’d only let me down
Track Name: A Mixture Of Frailties
A Mixture of Frailties

Peel off the warning labels
Wear this mixture of frailties
Show our skin from under callus
Feel everything between us

Carry with me the oldest of boxes
To the newest beginnings
Over continents and prairies and rivers

If my fingers go numb from playing
Will you blow across the tips so I can feel
If my fingers go numb from playing
Will you blow across the tips so I can feel

Break way the rusted armour
Fill my lungs with night air
I’m not a battle that needs fighting
You’re not a struggle without end

And my body won’t stop twitching and these tremors

If my fingers go numb from playing
Will you blow across the tips so I can feel
If my fingers go numb from playing

You’ve got all my shadows
Fading like bruises on your skin
I will hold up my hand for the wind
Blow across the river from where you live

Ohhhh live

Peel off your warning labels
Wear this mixture of frailties
Soothe blisters
Pull back callus
Feel everything between us

If my fingers go numb from playing
Will you blow across the tips so I can feel
If my fingers go numb from playing
Will you blow across the tips

If my fingers go numb from playing
Will you blow across the tips so I can feel
If My fingers go numb from playing
Will you blow Across the tips
So I can feel
So I can feel
Track Name: Tea & Bourbon
Tea and Bourbon

It’s raining heavy
Running off your body onto the floor
We could talk about anything or nothing at all
They’re not whispering in our ears
Watching us fall to our knees
They’re dancing on those northern lights
Far from city streets

You pour me tea, I’ll pour you Bourbon
(The rain’s not stopping at all, at all, at all)

I know your strength, this storm can’t worsen
(The river might overflow, might overflow)

They’re not whispering in our ears,
Watching us fall to our knees
They’re dancing on those northern lights
Far from this scene
Of scars from years and years

You pour me tea, I’ll pour you Bourbon
(Oh stop you might over pour, might over pour)

I know your strength, this storm can’t worsen
(It’s raining heavier now, heavier now)

You pour me tea, I’ll pour you Bourbon
(The wind is starting to blow and blow and blow)

I know you’re strong, this storm won’t worsen
(Oh please come close I’m so cold)

Wait out the rain
Wait out the pain
And I’ll hold you ‘till your body stops shaking
Wait out the rain
Track Name: Medicine Hat
Medicine Hat

Run me into the ground, I’m always waking up floored
He’ s done treating me like his beat-up Ford
I’ve got a twenty in my pocket says I won’t be back
Heading to Montana like a wolf with no pack

Should have known better than to trust a man
Who’d rather break bone than to work with his hands
I’m a hard working woman got no ink on my skin
I’ve got scars running deep from my head to my kin

Got a daughter and a son, both taken away
Lost my fight and I decided to stay
I’m gonna pick them up in Butte it’s just as simple as that
Cross at Sweetgrass Hill and head to Medicine Hat

I’ve got a Treaty 7 cousin says she’d put us up
If he dares to step foot won’t need no follow-up shot
I’ve got a Treaty 7 cousin she knows just what to do
Blow his smirk clean off with her sweet field 22

Look down, can you see me
I’m in the car held together with tobacco and feathers
Most of my pay’s in the tank I’m guided by snowbanks
Only miles between mine and me

Hey now can you see me
I’m in the car held together with this song and cold weather
Nothing but pain in the tank I’m guided by snowbanks
Only miles between mine and me
Only miles between fine and free
Track Name: Kwe (Changing Into Thunderbird)
Kwe (Changing Into Thunderbird)

I’m so sore
I’m so sorry
Should have told you so many years ago
When I was young
When I was brazen
When fear was something I went out of my way for

I’ll take these strings
And this small handful of songs
These small hands full of songs I kept stowed
Under the shadows
Of the cedars
That held back the steepness
As we climbed down to the shore.

Build up the fire
Watch the flames light up our faces
Warm our bodies as the storm rolls in
Time our exit
Just as the lightning cuts the beach
Points like fingers through the blackness out of reach
Out of reach

If you need me
I’m on the second floor
Willing talons from the bruises on my feet
Feeling for feathers to push
Through all the spaces in my spine
Where our backs used to touch
As you leaned into mine

Oh I’m so sore
I’m so sorry

It’s been twenty years
of snow melting on those hills
And the farmhouse is gone
Our bones have mostly healed
But when rain hits metal
All I can taste is past
And my body starts to brace
For when Jimmy hits the gas

And if you need me
I’m on the second floor
Bending Willows into wings
Forging Feathers
From yet another failed attempt
Till the security guard tells me to leave

I’m so sore
But I’m done falling down
Oh, I’m so sore
But I’m done falling down this time I’ll soar
This time I’ll soar
This time I’ll soar

Like we were young
Like we were young
Like we were young
When we were brazen
And fear was something we went out of our way for
Track Name: Breakwall
Breakwall

You are the waves
And I’m the breakwall
Worn down and bare
I just sit here
Listen to the silence
When you’re still

Sometimes we collide and I dissolve
In shadows cast by car lights
We could just sit here
And listen to the silence
While we fall to pieces
Fall to pieces
Under starlight

I’m not sorry
I’m not sorry
I’m not sorry
Anymore

I leaned on you
And you gave way
You leaned on me
And I gave way

If you could be unbroken
I could live in you
Tucked away under your skin
Hidden like a secret
Whispered by a lover
When no one else can
No one else can hear

You are the waves
And I’m the breakwall
I’m the breakwall
I’m the breakwall

I leaned on you
And you gave way
You leaned on me
And I gave way

I leaned on you
And you gave way
You leaned on me
And I gave way
Track Name: Belljar
Belljar

You’re the dusk when I’m sleepy
You’re The wind when I’m slow
Pushing hard against my back
and in the face of all my foes

I’m the moan of the streetcar
As it slowly rounds the bend
Near the place that you’ve been working
Trading bottles for sins

The people all start hustling
As the wind licks at their backs
But the driver’s apathetic
Five more hours on these tracks
And this city’s got her wondering
If empathy is dead
And her daughter won’t stop asking
If she’ll be home in time for bed

And I’ve got all the strength of timber caught by fire

In a moment you’ll walk over
Just as the stars no longer hide
Hanging heavy like a memory
In the west end’s blood red skies
I can tell that you’ll be tired
But you’ll tell me that you’re good
How am I not good
Then that smile
Then that touch
And then that look

I’ve got all the strength of timber caught by fire
But I’ll light up all those buildings
Watch my flames put up a fight

I will hide all of these moments
In a belljar by the bed.
Whisper dreams into your sleepy ears
Run my hand across your head

I will hide all of these moments
In a belljar by the bed.
Whisper dreams into your sleepy ears
Run my fingers through your hair

I will hide all of these moments
In a belljar by the bed.
Whisper dreams into your sleepy ears
As our bodies turn to lead.

I’ve got all the strength of timber caught by fire
But I’ll light up all those buildings
Watch my flames put up a fight

I’ve got all the strength of timber caught by fire
And I’ll light up all those buildings
Watch my flames put up a fight.
Watch my flames go wild.

Ohhh…. Oh yeah

You’re the dusk when I’m sleepy
You’re the wind when I’m slow
Pushing hard against my back
And in the face of all my foes
Track Name: The Burnt Lands
The Burnt Lands

There’s a moment of breath
Between numbness and feeling
For one fleeting second
You’re weightless and reeling
Then the tires spin out
The gravel flies
All of a sudden
There’s sparks in your eyes

Keep your hands on my fingers
Keep my eyes on the road
For that bright coloured mailbox
With the three bullet holes
Turn right at the drive
Head straight through the trees
It gets narrow and twisted
Like a skeleton key

I think this time we’ll make it
Oh it’s too soon to tell
We siphoned our memories
Down to vapors and held
Up the highest of hopes
While our treaty was signed
Out of ash and fat and blood and wine

Sew the gold into the lining
Trample grass blades at night
While the frost tries to hold them
All frozen and tight
We’ll push till it stalls
Coast till it settles
Set it ablaze
Burn the cattails and nettles

I think this time we’ll make it
Ohhh it’s too soon to tell
Cuz we siphoned our memories
Down to vapors and held
Up the highest intent
As our treaty was signed
Out of pitch and grease and blood and wine

Sew the cold into the linings
Trample grass blades at night
While the frost tries to hold them
All frozen and tight

We’ll push till it stalls
We’ll crash but won’t settle
Set it ablaze
Burn the Cattails and Nettles

Ohhhhhh…. Hell…….

I think this time we’ll make it
I think this time we’ll make it

Put your hands on my fingers
I’ll keep my eyes on the road
For that bright coloured mailbox
With the three bullet holes
Track Name: Sleeping Giant
Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant I won’t wake you
Walking through your bed
Will the winter let her guard down
Streams wait to be fed

Blanket me with furs you trapped
That time that you went deep
Took everything you owned
And laid it down like offerings

Scarcity is more than plenty
More than we both know
I won’t be there when you wake up
I will let you go

I will place tobacco
Near the skin behind your ear
Where rivers waters wore you bare
From gentle touch for years

Sleeping Giant I won’t wake you
Walking through your bed
Will the winter let her guard down
Streams wait to be fed