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Perfect Vision

by Thalia Zedek Band

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1.
Cranes 04:41
Shadow’s spreading like a stain, Across the borders that run like the veins, in your arms that are raised like the cranes that are slashing the city skyline And our Fathers are insane, Watch them feeding reason to the flames, And our Mothers are not to blame, we are here now and they have already paid The line was snaking around the bend, Can’t see the beginning or the end, Can you meet your neighbor’s eye my friend, in broad daylight, or do you hide inside? Now the river’s roaring like a train, And the current’s crazy from the rains, And the blood that runs in your veins, is as cold as the eagle’s eye And the missing tried to explain, But no one was listening, no one was taking names, The pride of a nation has been erased, drowned in waves of shame We draw the line again and again, but each time we’re further from the end, I think we’d better start again, while we still can, or die trying
2.
Smoked 05:07
Watch them attack, when the hive starts to smoke, Inflamed and enraged, they are blind in the haze, Hear the buzzing, feel the stinging, when you stumble on their nest, And they halo around your head, Do you lie still and play dead? Once we’ve been released, we will never be the same, We’ll be turned by the wind, and forget from where we came, Shadow’s crawling, ghosts are calling, How will we answer them? Will we answer? When they ask us again and again?
3.
Binoculars 05:18
We live in, a time when, We can’t look, we duck our heads, Sea of lies, reshapes us The riptides, will take us Prey has eyes, on both sides, Birds alight, shadows fly, When they can, they will land, In the sand, or in your hand We’re in the shadow, of the giants, And the gods are, fighting like lions, We’ve got to shelter, it’s Helter Skelter Go undercover, stick together, We’ve got to ride out, some nasty weather, We’re in the valley, of Goliath, And we must be, lionhearted, Carve your name, in the bark, Burn a trail, leave a scar, Vision shifts, the fog will lift, And we will see, across the rift Right now, it seems so far, Right now, we’ve got the power, Now…
4.
Overblown 04:09
We just hate what we don’t understand, We’ve got no patience for our fellow man, No quarter given nothing ever gained, We deny but we cannot explain, We can talk but we will never change, We have tried but we are still the same Everything’s so overblown, It either floods or is as dry as a bone, She could never bring the rain, Now you’re going down in flames Realignment, reassignment game, Reassign and realign your brain, We’ll fill every hole with all your pain, We’ll fill the emptiness with all the rain, Here we go again once more, From the churches, and out the door, Past the memories that have been left behind, To the scene of the crime We just hate what we don’t understand, We’ve got no patience for our fellow man
5.
Queasy 03:56
I’m so tired, of this endless stream of filth, Keep it clean now, keep it above the belt, You are punching way above your weight my friend, I’m afraid of how this is going to end I can’t claim that, I never meant the things I said, It’s all related, to the seed that you planted I see such disease and I feel uneasy, I feel such dis-ease, and it makes me queasy Fool me once and it’s your fault they said, but you’re never going to take the blame, Don’t look at me as if I’m acting strange, because I see you and you should be ashamed We’re not broken, though we certainly have cracked, I’m not joking, what they took we won’t get back, I see such disease and it makes me queasy, I cannot believe that we gave up so easy Fool me once and it’s your fault they said, but you’re never going to take the blame, Don’t look at me as if I’m acting strange, because I see you and you should be ashamed Won’t say your name, won’t say your name
6.
From the fire, into the fire, I get the feeling, that you’re inspired, You’re the fuel and I’m the pyre, My consumption is your desire, From the fire, into the fire, Burning our fear, the great divider, Flames ascending ever higher, Searing your tears, melting your eyes As we wait for immolation, And pray we rise to the occasion, Shapes are shifting in the shimmer, See the faces in the glimmer From the fire, into the fire, Following behind the Pied Piper, Smoke signals, sent to the liars, Seeding the clouds with fear as they rise, Burning blue, red and white, There’s no time for fight or flight, The panic room is getting tight, and my head is feeling light, In a state of willful suspension, sacrifice your condescension, Thoughts and prayers for our saviors, Now alone upon their dais From the fire, into the fire, From the fire, into the fire, From the fire, into the fire, From the fire, into the fire In a whirlwind of suspicion, pump the bellows of ambition, Thoughts and prayers for our nation, in suspended animation, As we wait for confirmation, vaccination or salvation, Flames are rising to the ether, and you fear you feel a fever From the fire, into the fire, From the fire, into the fire, From the fire, into the fire, and you fear you feel a fever
7.
The Plan 05:20
I don’t know why I find the fog so comforting, just like old movies in black and white, I can almost see the shape of everything, and the difference between the dark and light, and the difference between the dark and light Be thankful for what you’ve got, Sometimes the truth is not, what it’s cracked up to be, in reality, It’s not that hard to see, things are not what they seem, This is no lucid dream, where you can fly away, to safety Everyone’s just trying to get by, Trying on each other’s alibis, And looking like they’re gonna hold up a bank, In their bandanas and their masks, But we’ll get left holding the bag Stand where you stand, Don’t follow commands, Everyone has got a theory, Everybody’s got a plan For how they’ll save their lives, or how they’ll suicide, But I just want to fly, to somewhere else in time I’ll plan our escape, I’ll take you to someplace, Where nothing’s black or white, and there’s no darkness only light And shadows will not fall, And voices do not call, And there is room for all, Nobody’s climbing the walls Climbing the walls
8.
Don’t want to bring you down, Don’t want to hold you back from nothing, I’m waiting on the ground, just in case something happens I want to be there, You say I’m always gone, I want to come home, but I don’t want to be alone. Wherever you are, somewhere else is always better, You’re always moving on, I don’t mind as long as we’re together I want to be there, You say I’m always gone, I want to come home I can only see myself, I must have closed my eyes, When did you change your mind? Is it revelation time? Will you be back again, Or have we reached the end ? I’ll ask you one more time, Is it revelation time? Wherever you go, I know you will always wonder, What we could have been, What was just around the corner But I won’t be there, And you’re already gone, And we’re not going home Do I still have the right, to see inside your head? I could almost see the light, but I could not read your mind I’ll be back again, I’ll never leave my friends, We’ve got to hold the line, in the revelation time Can you turn down the noise, so you can hear my voice, Do you recognize, it’s revelation time?
9.
Remain 03:47
I want to walk you, I want to walk you, Down to the seashore, one more time The waves are lashing, The waves are crashing, I watch you laughing as they knock us down The sea might wash away, where we wrote our names, Memories might fade, but I’ll still feel the same Back in the country, Back in the city, where you were born, I will wait If you get lost, If you get lonely, find your way home while it still remains The wind might blow away, everything we’ve saved, And we both must know, that everything will change, someday The sea might wash away, where we wrote our names, Memories might fade, but we will still remain I want to walk you, I want to walk you, Down to the seashore, one more time The waves are lashing, The waves are crashing, I watch you laughing as they knock us down
10.
Tolls 05:51
I know that you’re tripping, the light’s fantastic, With your new flame, who you constantly toast But every time, I see, a photo, of you, I feel, like I’m looking, at a ghost There’s something in your smile, that is so unnatural, Your eyes are out of focus, and the lines are blurred, Between then, and now, and before, and, After, The clouds are just bruises in the sky, Purple and majestic, flashing electric, and the hail feels like nails, and it pierces the veil Of confusion, Of your illusion, You’re going to lose her again, In the fusion, of your delusions And they’re deep as a well, And they’re blue as a bell, And every toll, paves the road, That will unfold to her, and to your hell Oh bluebell, The road will unfold

about

Thalia Zedek is an artist of immutable stature and unceasing vitality. The legendary songwriter’s fiery voice and frank lyricism give her songs both their emotional potency and their stark beauty. Zedek is able to distill complex events into simple, clear, and at times monumentally weighty moments with a singular grace. Through ballads or bluster, Zedek imbues her music with unguarded honesty. New album Perfect Vision examines the anxiety and pain of rising divisions between people both physical and ideological. On Perfect Vision, Zedek transmutes fervor and resilience into sobering laments, while her lush arrangements wrap the listener in an often complex emotional message.

Perfect Vision follows Thalia Zedek Band’s 2018 album Fighting Season, created in the midst of growing tensions across the U.S. On Fighting Season Zedek sought resistance, where on Perfect Vision Zedek searches for clarity during a time of exponential isolation and doubt. On “Binoculars,” she explores the difficulty of staying afloat, while overwhelmed by uncertainty of conflict and fear. Zedek’s simple and repetitive guitar line marches forward while longtime collaborator David Michael Curry’s viola swirls intensely around her. The pounding “Queasy” thunders and thrashes in the face of ignorance and intolerance while “Overblown” examines the strain of communicating across cavernous schisms. Every challenge and sadness Zedek forces us to see is met in equal measure by her defiant guitar and dissenting voice, a torch illuminating a path for the listener to navigate through the darkness.

Zedek composed the bulk of Perfect Vision remotely from her band. Lockdowns allowed Zedek to take more time working on arrangements as well as to collaborate remotely with artists from across the country. Zedek recorded the core of the album with the veritable rhythm section of bassist Winston Braman and drummer Gavin McCarthy (also of Zedek’s E and Karate) who brought a propulsive punch to the album. As the trio recorded at Machines With Magnets with engineer Seth Manchester, friends old and new remotely recorded their parts fleshing out Zedek vision and arrangements. Pedal steel guitarist Karan Zarkisian buoys the steady swagger of “Cranes” with sublime melodic lines seemingly in conversation with Zedek, in an intimate conversation between friends. Brian Carpenter’s trumpet harmonies punctuate the incendiary “From the Fire” with flares of Eastern European brio. On the waltzing “Smoked” and climactic album closer “Tolls,” Alison Chesley’s (Helen Money) cello bolsters David Michael Curry’s elegantly restrained lines. Mel Lederman added final touches of piano and back up harmonies in the final days at the studio.

Zedek and Manchester completed work on the album on January 6th, 2021, as the U.S. Capitol was under insurrection. Perfect Vision is an album fully willing to see, acknowledge and address the insidious forces of the modern world. Zedek brings considerable skills as a musician and as a groundbreaking advocate for both women in music and LGBTQ rights to face emotional and political obstacles with unblinking, steadfast determination. The sharp and diverse songs across Perfect Vision stand as profoundly reflective, moving anthems to purging malevolence.

credits

released August 27, 2021

Winston Braman - Bass guitar
Brian Carpenter - Trumpet on “From the Fire”
Alison Chesley - Cello and piano on “Smoked” and “Tolls”
David Michael Curry - Viola
Mel Lederman - Piano on “Binoculars”
Gavin McCarthy - Drums
Karen Sarkisian - Pedal steel guitar on “Cranes”
Thalia Zedek - Electric guitars and vocals

Front cover photo by Thalia Zedek
Back cover photo by Heather Kapplow
Design by Dan Zedek
Recorded and Mixed by Seth Manchester at Machines with Magnets, Pawtucket RI
All songs by Thalia Zedek
Mastered by Sarah Register

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Thalia Zedek Band Boston, Massachusetts

Thalia Zedek has one of the most enduring and distinctive voices in modern rock music — a voice like no other — that can be heard in her work with some of the most groundbreaking underground bands, from Uzi and Live Skull to Come. Since 2001, Zedek has been making music under her own name, releasing a string of critically acclaimed albums. ... more

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