Smile Later

by Olive Anne

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These are live recordings, mistakes and all, from the Smile festival at Southampton Solent. Thanks to Tom Baker and Jason Cavalier for asking me to play and recording and mixing them.


released March 1, 2013


tags: folk Cardiff



Olive Anne Cardiff, UK

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Track Name: Hairdresser
To find your voice seek inspiration from your grandparents who effectively raised you with the pride and poetry of your mother tongue. Don't be stunted by anxiety or the assumed silence of femininity. I know you've got sculptor's hands and chorister's lungs.

I put my faith in eradication of arbitrary borders and constructed nations but your national pride skipped a generation and left you with an undiluted sense of place and I want you to share your stories.

You laughed down the phone with such affection about your grandaddy coming home soaking wet and then undressing in the kitchen. Home from home was a comfort zone and a place to hang back from anxiety attack. The last place in existence.

Last night I heard about lengthy CBT and I felt that standing in my shoes it was you and not me. I felt the rattle in your chest, which persisted. I was forced outside in a sort of dis-existence, thinking 'I've never felt this crazy before'. I picked up my head and the first thing I saw was the white chalk scrawl on the Fishtank wall. I couldn't make out what it said, but it was something like 'Schizophonia', or 'Schizophonic'. Whatever it was sent me over the edge. Everything went dark and I could taste your icy heart.

The things that we don't say build up and they escape as the monsters in our stomach, the monsters in our head. But I'm just a phonecall away.
Track Name: Not Temples But Templates
You worked so hard for this but He still struck you in the liver with an iron fist. Your body is a temple, your body is a blessing. Your suffering translates into some abstract message. A shiver of guilt to line the carcinoma while your brain snakes around what your pain is trying to show you. Tears from eyes that never questioned what they couldn’t see.

It’s all cogs and springs under your radiant skin, keeping time for that body you’re in. So when they start to grind and grate prematurely you’re desperate and you weep to the creator who surely won’t desert you.

I have more faith in our humble conception so I spin 180 to get a different perception of microcosmic explosions with atomic components cascading through our being with their epicentres as a moment. Like satellites with orbits overlapping in sections we weave in and out in a directional plexus. There’s life seeping through the cracks in our community.

Fragile vibrations, a gentle kickstart. Pathetically dependent but we didn’t fall apart. An invisible obstruction ends the cascade. Organically we pass, but we never fade away. We’re not invincible.

I’m waiting for the day when we’re not living in the wake of ancient empty promises made to fill the gaps in our knowledge. We’ll regain a realistic understanding of our bodies, not as temples, but as templates. We’ll become somebody.
Track Name: Roibos Friday Night
Better a plan failed than a plan never attempted. But nothing's worse than wasted effort. I acted all of last year. I excelled in the roll of the hopeless pioneer. I lacked motion. I lacked energy. My mind was betrayed by a hopeless memory.

My old friend, wasted time. The most pressing pen in my paper side.

The day job saps all the energy out of me. Its unsustainable, the tapping of saplings all week. In the habit of believing that success must be measured you don't trouble yourself with creative endeavours.

My old friend, wasted time. The most pressing fear in my adult mind.

Brawn will come before brains this year. Muscle and effort over stupid ideas. I'm in favour of quiet labour. So oil will stain the cracks in my hands and I'll be damned if this grease doesn't set into action some plan.
Track Name: Millbank
I had everything minus a painted placard the last time I crossed the Severn’s mouth. Fourteen forgotten headlines later I’ve brought pen and paper heading eastbound out.

As I was walking through parliament square beneath all the placards and flags and fists in the air I tried to remember of what I was sure. But I could think of nothing. I’m sure of nothing anymore.

I used to think in perfect shades but over time those colours changed. Everyone I know speaks like a painter, brandishing brushes and flicking flavours like blood red into green and white into my palate and down my throat. Money in and out leaves my head in a muddle and that’s the reason I’ve done next to nothing in this struggle.
Track Name: The Rolling Drum
I always thought that April was the hardest month. The turning of the seasons when the sun drips gold but it still feels cold. Tentative rays show an absent gaze in the eyes of my friends and we're all just as tired as eachother, all just as uninspired by...

The rolling drum that keeps banging on. Broken snares and vacant stares. We make the body of the barrel, my hands around your ankles and your hands round mine. Coast through every day and dream of a better use of time.

We fancy ourselves as alchemists and altruists but who would trust a blinkered scientist? Unaware of the wherabouts of the works to stick a spanner in and subvert, you become the cogs in the machine. The grease on the bearings of...