crossing wires

by lianne hall

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about

Described by John Peel as “one of the great English voices”, DIY heroine Lianne Hall releases her first album in four years, Crossing Wires, on 31st May 2010. Available on solid vinyl and ethereal download, Crossing Wires is DIY in the truest sense; she played and recorded most of it herself, and it’s coming out on her own label, Malinki.
Lianne has taken time out from recording with Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll and running the Brighton venue West Hill Hall to write, record and release Crossing Wires. “The name partly comes from being overwhelmed by the number of wires I was using to record it” she says, while the track Telephone in a Foreign City speaks of the ethics of squatting: “crossing wires is not stealing/ find the nearest empty building.”
It’s a collection of ten skilfully executed folk-pop songs, with a number of exceptional vocal performances along the way. Intro track Scissors is a break-up tale that startles with cleverly cut up phrases set to piano and subtle, crunchy beats. Telephone in a Foreign City, an unequivocal hit, bounds along to a summery pop beat. Fair Enough blends acoustica with electronica, the disarmingly measured howling of Cry Wolf further evidences the versatility of that voice, and the wistful With the Light swoops and swoons, loops and twists to the end of side one. Opening side two, echoes of Harriet Wheeler and Liz Phair collide in the faster-paced For. Richly intriguing and emotive, Learning Curves brings bass and keyboards into the mix. The mellow Fire on Tyre Beach recalls The Pastels’ later work, with expansive vocals strewn around like shards of light. Change of Heart is a string-laden country ballad inside a delicate musical box, and the album closes with the buzzing guitar and mournful chimes and Mazzy Star-esque vocals of On the Hour.
She did have a little help with the recording and mixing from her friend Simon Janes, the man behind Mary Hampton’s critically acclaimed debut My Mother’s Children. A number of musicians made contributions, including Mark Bassey’s irresistible trombone part on Fire on Tyre Beach. The album’s deeply-hued artwork is by Dana Krusche, the Berlin-based graphic artist who has created most of the images for Ladyfest Europe.


Lianne started writing songs as a teenager, and joined her first band, Witchknot, when she became involved with the riot grrrl movement in ’93. She lived in a bus for five years, making acoustic folk pop with Bela Emerson under the name Hiphuggers and electronica as Pico with bedroom producer Andy Wills. Whilst living there she met her hero John Peel when he was filming his channel 4 programme Sounds of the Suburbs, and since that meeting she recorded five Peel sessions with a variety of line-ups. In 2000 she left her bus and moved Pico to Brighton, where she formed The Broken Heart Club with Matt Eaton, Alice Eldridge and Susanne Lambert. Local Kid Records put out Abandon Ship, Lianne’s first full length album in ‘06, and around this time she met Paul Hartnoll and co-wrote a song on his solo album, The Ideal Condition. They went on tour together and have been collaborating ever since. Lianne has also been working with Newcastle’s d_rradio on Making Spaces, a CD album coming out imminently on Sentence Records.

credits

released June 14, 2010

All songs by Lianne Hall except 'Fair Enough' and 'All Change of Heart' by Lianne Hall/ Andrew Wills. Additional drums from Simon Janes (Cry Wolf) and Steven Ingham (For). Cello by Will Calderbank (Cry Wolf, All Change of Heart). Violin by Annie Kerr (All Change of Heart). Trombone by Mark Bassey (Fire on Tyre Beach). Electric piano/ music box by Andrew Wills (All Change of Heart). Artwork by Dana Krusche.
Recorded by Lianne at home and at West Hill Hall, also at Homesick Studios by Simon Janes, in Brighton, UK. Mixed and mastered by Simon Janes at Homesick Studios.

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Track Name: scissors
half a mind seduced by
cannot keep you in my life no more
said i be civilised
taking taking scissors to his suits
sever you sever you
on first encounter you so righteous
on first encounter you surround us
here's a truth

quiet lies for quiet lives
cannot call a friend a friend no more
said i its terrifying
taking taking scissors to the truth
sever you sever you
on first encounter you so righteous
on first encounter you surround us
here's truth
Track Name: telephone in a foreign city
telephone in a foreign city
telephone in a foreign city
lick my wounds you don't look pretty
telephone in a foreign city
find the nearest empty building
find the nearest empty building
crossing wires it's not stealing
find the nearest empty building
holding on to something honest
hold my hand break no promises
holding on onto everything
change the locks change your life again
holding on to something honest
help is come coming for us
holding on onto everything held the sky
held you to it
Track Name: fair enough
fair enough to be here
fair enough it's true
rollling round fields again
i don't like to bother you
it's enough to get here
enough to get this far
running round the outdoors
i don't mind if you stay
the right thing to do
had enough to keep on
enough to stay awake
curling round you again
i don't know what to say
i wore sequins in the evenings
evenings pulled in all directions
i wore sequins you were missing
evenings pulled in all directions
Track Name: cry wolf
today chemical
you cry engine oil
in these old clothes
these old clothes
hang my bones
burn a hole
burn a hole

i cried at the radio
the sound of a voice
i cried for you
cried for no choice

cry wolf
cry at the airport
cry wolf
crossing my name out
when these old shoes
these old shoes
cross the room
lucky you
lucky you

i cried at the radio
the sound of a voice
i cried for you you
cried for no choice

cry wolf
cry wolf
Track Name: with the light
you shouldn't hurt yourself
in this old building
found a hiding place
by the machines
when it's over
echoing
with the light
with the light
behind you in doorways
the light was it's always
the first floor
you could've helped yourself
for this old building
save your skin oh lust
found tarpaulin
when it's over
echoing
on the roof
with the light
with the light
behind you in doorways
the light was it's always
the first floor
your black eye
the fighting
the light was
behind you
Track Name: for
forwards had it all measured
for several lives
had it all made
louder don't shout at each other
listen blood in my vision
louder don't muddy the water
meet me only living for
listener only here to
hold us hold us
everyone only meant to
hold still hold still
louder don't shout at each other
listen blood in my vision
louder don't muddy the water
meet me
only living for
wasn't what it was
meant to be under
Track Name: learning curves
oooh certain someone
certain someone
reap the rewards from a former life
reap the rewards from a former life
etched in my skin
it's raining ink through the windows
in learning curves
ooh for my loved ones for my loved ones
reap the rewards in the falling light
reap the rewards in the falling light
etched in my skin
it's raining ink through the windows
in learning curves
acid the love of you
you wanna burn through my fingers
in learning curves i'm learning curves
Track Name: fire on tyre beach
liar liar hundred miles an hour
fire on tyre beach
dirt on each of us everyone
wanted by the police
for all the city kids
love to love you a lot
wanted by the
wanted by

change you name a hundred miles or more
finding work is not easy
my shoes come undone
lacing up the drinks
move out to the coast
for all the city kids
on all the sailing ships
wanted by the
wanted by

don't change your mind
don't get high
don't change your mind
stay alive
in all this time it's been too long
in all this time it's been too long
Track Name: all change of heart
too early for thinking
everyone is sleeping
outside you find the morning
this morning finds you in fallout
all change all change of heart

waited for sunrise
i remember looking how you feel
all rough ragged out on edges
all this mess is everything to you
all change all change of heart
Track Name: on the hour
before i write to you
oh it's on the hour
on the hour
pictures cut enough
in the evening
such a beautiful view
all i wanted to
let the ash fall
let the words
stick to the earth
enough got simpler
got simpler
word i write to you
flew out my hands
out my hands
winter got so rough
hidden empties
to familiar tunes
all i listened to
was the message
when the words
stuck to the earth
enough
got simpler
got simpler
on the worng side of
winter