Faraway City

by Valerie Orth

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about

Described by the East Bay Express as "a remarkable piece of work," this full length album includes Valerie Orth favorites such as reggae/ska song "Relinquish," funk-rock song "Waterfall," and cinematic "Why Now" with its glorious string arrangements. It features Scott Amendola (Charlie Hunter) on drums, Julie Wolf (Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls) on piano and organ, and Jon Evans (Tori Amos) on bass and electric guitar. Produced by Evans, it amply displays Valerie's range as composer, lyricist, and singer.

credits

released March 15, 2011

Written by Valerie Orth (ASCAP/ VLO Music).

Produced and recorded by Jon Evans at San Pablo Recorders. Mastered by Mike Wells.

Valerie Orth (vocals, guitar), Jon Evans (bass, electric guitar), Scott Amendola (drums), Mystic (rap on track 7), Jule Wolf (piano, organ), Lylia Guion (violin), Marcie Brown (cello), Bob Sanders (lead guitar).

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about

Valerie Orth New York

"There is an honesty to Valerie Orth's music that is both brilliant and heartbreaking.”

A prolific songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Valerie integrates live instruments with electronic sounds. Her latest EP, “Wake You,” carries the upbeat production and warmth of Sylvan Esso, the unexpected rhythms and percussion of Tune-Yards, and the dark vocals and trippy-ness of Portishead.
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Track Name: Better Than Reality
motherhood in a sleepy city
doesn’t fit right on me
still I often get this strange feeling
I’m not where I’m supposed to be

so I’m calling you in that faraway city
to gimme my next line
I’m calling cuz you make it sound so pretty
when you tell me I’m just fine
please tell me I’ll be fine

I love the stories I make up about you
and you paint me bigger than life
you can dream up my fate much better
than this bottle of red wine

so I’m calling you in that faraway city
to gimme my next line
you make it sound better than reality
when you tell me I’m just fine
please tell me I’ll be fine

write me in your song, I’ve already written you in mine
find the words between the bricks on the buildings,
between the cracks on the ceilings, up in the gray sky
give me the rhythm from the other side and I will sing you the melody
someone else will take care of our worries
we’ll just live in song, we’ll just live in this song

I’m calling you in that faraway city
to give you your next line
I know it’ll sound better than reality
when I tell you you’re just fine
I am calling you in that faraway city
to give us our next line
I know it’ll sound better than reality
when you tell me
I know you’ll be fine
I know I’ll be fine
I know we’ll be fine
Track Name: Keeps Coming Back
on a side road
I’m broken down
I’m on empty
nowhere left to go now with you

do you remember
if you were broken too?
I don’t get that
when I see you

I’m better now
better than you ever knew
so why do you still trigger me
like I’m a handheld to you

everyone says to let it go
as if I didn’t think of that
every time I let it go
it keeps coming back

stare in the mirror
heard you’d be there too
I bought three dresses
hardly proof of my value

I’m better now
better than you ever knew
so why do you still trigger me
like I’m a handheld to you

everyone says to let it go
as if I didn’t think of that
every time I let it go
it keeps coming back

I deserved more than this
I have more than this now
I’ll be done with you
as soon as I know how

still everyone says to let it go
as if I didn’t think of that
every time I let it go
it keeps coming back
Track Name: Why Now
we sent out the news alerts
made headlines far and wide
everyone lowered their flags half-staff
and sighed

I cried, all my friends cried with me
I eventually stopped having those bad dreams
finally started to breathe normally

so what are you doing here
looking at me with those precious blue eyes
why now after my hard-earned healing
why are you hugging me so tight?

I set you on a boat, packed with
bottles of our fantasies
took one last hard look, gave one last hard push
then watched you sail away

I crossed the world’s longest bridge
to climb the highest peak on the other side
held mass then scattered our ashes
which danced off like a thousand kites

so what are you doing here
looking at me with those precious blue eyes
why now after my hard-earned healing
why are you hugging me so tight?

I scrubbed, washed you so damn good
then hung you out in the beating sun
bleaching you to a pale distant past
just a lesson, another lesson, a hard lesson...
Track Name: Beyond This Song
I prefer to be mysterious
but I slip up every time
I don’t know the first thing about you
but I’m telling you everything on my mind
to…

keep your gaze on me a little longer
‘cuz we both know that we won’t last
beyond this song

your move as smooth as a boy hitting puberty
wide-eyed and eagerly you ask
the dj in the bar blasts our one-song soundtrack
still you’re harder to refuse than the rest
so…

keep your gaze on me a little longer
‘cuz we both know that we won’t last
beyond this song

our goodbye is near
it’s as if i’m staring out from a departing train
as if through my open window from the platform you’re runnin on, you grab my hand
as if this song has lasted years and we suddenly discover
our ever-after will never be together

keep your gaze on me a little longer
‘cuz we both know that we won’t last
beyond this song
Track Name: Relinquish
turn off the light
keep our baggage out of sight
see only my eyes, feel only inside
remember the good tonight

no need to say a thing
forget before, don’t say what’s coming
find solace in this rare silence
let’s play in the forgiving darkness

Relinquish just this moment
Allow us one last night

let’s idle on high water
and disregard the tide sinking lower
though we rock between a fairytale and the world’s end
it’s just good to see your smile again

Relinquish just this moment
Allow us one last night

you walked through my field innocent as Dorothy
yet you see my wildflowers as Oz’s sleepy poppies
will we ever get anywhere or will we just stare at the cracks
in these stained yellow bricks, you ask
still here you are purring up to me like a cat
it feels better next to you
it’s as simple as that…

Relinquish just this moment
Allow us one last night
Relinquish just this moment
Allow us one last night
Track Name: Movers & Shakers
you sit behind your screen,
till all you see is blurry,
you lose contact with your right arm
then your left, both legs turn to yarn

whatever happened to your hips, your waist?
disappeared, with your face,
you become one-dimensional
you can’t recall what it’s like to be full

why don’t ya, get up get up get up now
get up know who else is on your side
get up get up get up now get up
know who observes what you don’t see
who tells the long-forgotten story
who makes you feel, who makes you dance,
who else feeds your movement

you may be moving, shaking worlds around the sun,
you may think you’re speaking for everyone
but it takes a village to send a message
It takes all of us to make a difference

so, get up get up get up now
get up know who else is on your side
get up get up get up now get up
know who observes what you don’t see
who tells the long-forgotten story
who makes you feel, who makes you dance,
who else feeds your movement

Move me, won’t you move me…
Track Name: Black & White (feat Mystic)
safe in my play pen
enclosed by barbed wire fence
armed gates as if part of the defense
but clearly I was born into the offense

less than one mile from here
sirens scream in fear
you look like someone with a gun
so the whole damn pig squad’s a-comin’
to ensure I’m safe in my play pen

it’s another episode as predictable as
daylight, as sure as black and white
as black and white as black and white

helicopter circles
search lights probe your home
they hired Mister Clean’s team
to sterilize your street
and leave no neighbor in peace

it’s another episode as predictable as
daylight, as sure as black and white
as black and white as black and white
Track Name: Waterfall
one split second
to imagine
me without you
scrambling for some solution

uneasy breathing
tears follow quickly
oh, what can i say
you’re already walking away

i’m left wondering

where did it all go?
wondering, where did it all go?
i’m throwing gold into a waterfall
watching it all go

exception to the rule
that’s why i loved you
when did you become
another pop song?

you’re playing magic
first you’re ubiquitous
next just dust swirls
through me a cold front blows

i’m left wondering

where did it all go?
tell me, where did it all go?
you’re throwing gold into a waterfall
you’re watching it all go

do you forget it all
or do you give it up?

what about traveling the world together
… building a home together
… making history together
… defying the odds together
… honor, love respect
… talking through it together
… growing old together
… dreaming big together forever and ever

where did it all go?
tell me, where did it all go?
we’re throwing gold into a waterfall
we’re watching it all go
Track Name: The Ones I Owe
you followed the book exactly
to make that model child I’d never be
maybe it was the way the stars aligned
that first night I saw the moonshine

you must have known that one day, one day
that I’d be grown enough to know
that you are the ones I owe everything to

you blew up balloons, stretched out streamers
planned games for the other seventh graders
you smiled when they shouted surprise
I left as quickly as I arrived

you must have known that one day, one day
that I’d be grown enough to know
that you are the ones I owe everything to

under my bed I hid boys like liquor
testing which one would make me sicker
you became private eyes
evidence rarely matched my alibi

you must have known that one day, one day
that I’d be grown enough to know
that you are the ones I owe everything to

all the years of grievances, all my resistance
all the differences I claimed, as much as we really are the same

Now I am grown enough to know
that you are the ones I owe everything to
Track Name: Unconquered
make up a religion
pick a region
tell ‘em this is what it takes
to keep the sun shinin
to keep the rain fallin

then you got
worlds gone worlds no more

two severed heads
warning in blood
saying this is what it takes
to keep the grass growin
to keep the spring comin

then you got
worlds gone worlds no more

you call it bad weather, call it bad luck
call it bad choices, but it’s not,
no, it’s not bad weather, it’s not bad luck
no, it’s not bad choices, it’s not their choice at all, in fact
but don’t think they’ll lay down
don’t think they’ll take it from behind
they never have before now, and they won’t this time
it’s just not in their tradition, no, no….

‘cuz worlds rise up, worlds fight back,
we rise up, we fight back
we rise up, we rise up
Track Name: Waiting
there’s a whole lot I can do tonight
so much I can do without you
I could pace myself to sleep, could write all night in misery
I could throw a party for myself for finally walking out

but I’m not waiting

even magnets repel each other
I am flames, you are water
I am smoke you are the wind,
ice, you are the sun
and you’re breaking me down, breaking me down one particle by one

but I’m not waiting

I listen to the footsteps outside my door
and through all this, I still wish they were
yours, I still wish they were yours

And now I am waiting
Track Name: Toolbox
show me what’s inside your toolbox
show off all your colorful tools
dig around, find the right one to use
which one to fix this blown fuse?

‘cause everything needs a little fixing and
everything could use a little tweaking and
I could try to change it on my own
but everything heals much better with more hope

your art is a hammer
your voice a nail, so
pick a falling building where your heart cries
then root down to rise up

cause everything needs a little fixing and
everything could use a little tweaking and
I could try to change it on my own
but everything heals much better with more hope

show me your strength
let me hear your sound
be the change you want to see around

everyone’s got the skills to share
but we all got separated somewhere
I dare you to splice our wires
use your ladder reach a little higher

cause everything needs a little fixing and
everything could use a little tweaking and
I could try to change it on my own
but everything heals much better with more hope

show me your strength
let me hear your sound
be the change you want to see around