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Grade School Records

Nobody Lives There

by Sean Davis Newton

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1.
Magpie 01:59
You say there's something wrong Why don't they talk about it It's stuck in your lungs Just move along without it The black and blue Saliva spittin witness Fly off to someone new Take their pets as prisoners Magpie Magpie Magpie Won't ya please forgive us A thousand human lives Dancing in the fountain Junior crowfoot eyes From years too small to count em Someone like you You've lost the right to silence The magpies view Take their song through acts of violence Magpie Magpie Magpie Won't ya please forgive us
2.
My Sunflower 02:39
I'm leaving the summer without you I'm leaving the summer without you I got the message the last time we sang our songs together I’m leaving the summer without you My sunflowers I’m leaving the summer without you Leaves starved of sunlight, frost in your veins by mid September I’m leaving the summer without you my sunflower (what am I leaving for you) I’m leaving the summer without you my sunflower (what am I leaving for you) Isn't it time we start acting our age And I won't be ashamed of our Bodies our strange Lovely bodies are strangers To me I'm leaving the summer without you (what am I leaving for you) my sunflower I'm leaving the summer without you (what am I leaving for you) my sunflower
3.
If your bones were a house I would soon burn them down To the ground, cept the nails and your chimney I'd spit on your bedrooms, and roll around in the ash, yea cause nobody nobody nobody lives there no more It started off you were just tipsy Your rafters they started to bleed After the flood you will shield migrating birds with your insides Are a ghost town that time hollowed out With the help of the swamp grass and leeches They called you unsafe and they all moved away Yea and nobody nobody nobody lives there no more Your water fell victim to commerce Your businesses fell to the ticks People asked why should I bother Propping up your factories When you don't take care of me (whistle) If your bones were a house I would chew you right down To a mound made of marrow and tundra Something will take your place, your property is pretty cheap these days Yea cuz nobody nobody Nobody nobody Nobody nobody nobody lives there no more

about

"Nobody Lives There" is a three-song EP that uses personification of the natural world to talk about decay, both in our relationships and our communities. The songs were written to reflect some rules that I have tried to follow in my songwriting after the Trace Italian LP we released in 2019; write about things you can see and touch; when you can choose between a complicated path and a simple path, choose the simple one.

Some magpies made a habit of stealing straw from a planter I was growing sunflowers in immediately outside my bedroom window last Fall, and I pulled two songs out of this daily ritual; "Magpie" was written shortly after the climate march in Edmonton in September 2019, and "My Sunflower" came shortly after as a more general reflection on the loss of a friend.

I interviewed Clayton of prairie country duo Kacy & Clayton in December, and he mentioned in response to a question about Kacy's hometown that "nobody lives there anymore". I wrote it down right after the interview, and wrote the verses into a folksier-than-usual little number (to honour the source material) including a title that repeats as a kind of tag.

credits

released May 1, 2020

written, recorded, and performed by sean newton

riley chernoff played drums on "magpie", and helped write it
dana clementine sang on all three tunes (and ran the drum sessions for "magpie")
connor newton plays sax on "my sunflower"

cover art by Kyra Sinéad

thanks to: kelsey wood, riley chernoff, dana clementine, connor newton, phil rodda, padraig buttner-schnirer, and kyra

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tags

about

Sean Davis Newton Edmonton, Alberta

Sean Davis Newton is a songwriter, producer, and recording engineer based in Edmonton, AB. His upbringing in the small prairie city of North Battleford, Saskatchewan is felt throughout his songs, which use the sights and sounds of the Canadian prairies to talk about decay, identity, class, and climate change. ... more

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