Written and recorded with great care over the course of a year, Terra Traipse sees Our Brother the Native eagerly treading new ground, while continuing to haunt those places in music they've come to be associated with. The product is a powerfully dynamic blend of effected, familiar, and other-worldly sounds, performed and arranged in a manner that is as often meditative and gentle as it is bracingly intense. An ebb and flow permeates the songs, alternating between and sometimes blending phases of deeply felt melancholy, exaltation, sorrow, and hopefulness, telling of what comes and goes, confessing a love of Plath's poetry one moment, and recounting past grievances another, all in a voice that is unfailingly honest. Featuring an eclectic cast of musicians and collaborators living in Michigan, on the West Coast, and elsewhere, Terra Traipse lacks none of the technical ambitions, nor the sonic texture of past albums. But they are presented here in a refined form, and though it was drafted with an amplitude of pop sensibility, the music lacks none of the depth, spirituality, or darkness that characterizes the band's prior work. The twenty-six minutes make for an immediate and coherent kind of stepping-forth that is engaging throughout. Meticulous production handled by many capable ears helps to give the abysmal interior of Terra Traipse a sparkling surface, much like the surface of any great lake seen from the window of a West Coast bound airplane...
released 11 February 2014
Recorded in Pontiac, MI 2012
Mastered by Geoff Saba
Josh Bertram: Vocals, Guitar, Keys, Production/Composition
Benjamin Spencer: Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion
Sean Hall: Drums
Ian Fulcher: Trumpet, Euphonium, Trombone
Amanda Haswell: Vocals
Jean Bertram: Vocals
Drew Pearson: Vocals
Daniel Goldblum: Bassoon
Alex Wand: Vocals, Flute
Samuel Johnson: Pipe Organ
If you dissect a bird
To diagram the tongue
You'll cut the chord of
If you flay a beast
To marvel at the mane
You'll wreck the rest
From which its fur began.
If you pluck out the heart
To find what makes it move,
You'll halt the clock
That syncopates our love.
Track Name: Terra
I’ll dive from the highest cliff
To feel how night falls,
Just another drop in the chasm.
The ones of ash born
Are met with teeth that sweetly tempered,
A pillar of white in a blackout of knives.
And with their feet firmly planted above
The terra seams, all their lives
Are slowly tunneling out
Their graves beneath.
And I’ll bet you most men met their deaths
With a hushed logic
and more than just the slightest bit of terror,
but what I fear most is this old tether here,
That keeps me from believing in something better.
The cycles of myths,
That catch the taste of every new era.
The billowing tails of grey swerved out of this home.
Can you smell the smoke of a house fire on me?
And the plume that just hung,
As a constant reminder,
Adrift in the air.
Clear as an angel of coal and honey,
Told with a glimmer of truth.
Oh now our winged youth,
Made mine a broken throat,
With ambition lost to the smoke.
I will do as much for my true love,
as any young man may.
I will sit and mourn all on her grave,
For twelve months and the day.
Track Name: Unquieted
It’s hard to know what to make of each day.
So I take a moment to create,
The loudest sound that I can make.
And I want to know,
what we all would sound like at once,
Would we be a thunderous roar?
Screaming out, “What is this place for?”
Death won’t silence me.
Put all our hands in,
We are un-lasting.
We won’t be quieted,
We’re not asking again.
I fear I’ve felt them pass through me,
Millions upon millions of tiny voices,
Fading ever so quickly.
Track Name: Whinnying
When it rattles each stitch and a terrible wind blows,
I am consumed by worry.
I am impatient as well as I am old,
For now in the mirror all I see is an image of every hook
that has ever caught my flesh & every brace
I’ve used to set the broken back in place.
Upon arrival of this, our wintering season
A coarse wind swept through every vein,
In & out of all our pores, and every bone
Making solid ground of this farm
That we so desperately need
To crack and drink the marrow from.
And all our hopes while awake
May seem so colossal by design,
For that which springs forth eternal
Gives us this will to survive.
There in our dreams, while asleep
We finally find a release from the perils
That we believe to be finite.
By day our cheeks angles burn so bright
With scarlet skin from every ray of sunlight.
It looked like decades hanging from our faces
And come nightfall we lapped up the light
from all the lanterns filled with kerosene.
We’re doused in the sounds of the birch sparks flickering.
Now we lay to rest in the warmth of an iron cove
We made amends, we simply just made the best of it.
And I kneel beside the edge of the river,
Nourished by the ichor of spring.
And there I sit beside my sister
Draining sap from the pines as we sing.
And I kneel beside the edge of the river,
Where we’re nourished by the ichor of spring
and I sit by my sister
as we drain the sap from the pines, then we sing…
Are you not darkening others’ lives?
So hold onto the worst that is inside of you,
Hold onto every ghost of your darkening hours.