Ashes

by ELLUL

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about

Three years have past since Ellul released their critically acclaimed self-titled debut. Since then, the band has toured nationally and recently released The Debris, a charity EP for Haitian Earthquake survivors. The album not only raised thousands of dollars for The General's homeland, but also hinted at the new sonic directions explored in Ashes, their latest full length album.

In a world full of snap shot songs, the album Ashes is a motion picture. Musically and emotionally varied, this work is a chronicle of what once was and what might yet be. These are the sounds and textures of loss and restoration. The album was recorded over an intense two year period (2008-2010) for the band. Divorce papers came and went; living situations in flux and identities in question. Ashes tone is atmospheric, lost sometimes in a cloud of unknowing. Lyrically, the duo is completely exposed: exploring issues of loss, deceit and the complete collapse of everything that was once held dear. It's clear Ellul has not stopped asking questions, aware that many will remain unanswered.

With sounds this transparent and personal it's not surprising that Ashes was entirely produced by the Ellul. Taking the torch from Asthmatic Kitty Artist/Producer/friend Chris Schlarb, the band recorded, mixed, and mastered the album at studios all over the San Francisco Bay - most notably at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. Ellul has surrendered to the momentum, and is looking forward to move with it.

credits

released October 12, 2010

Ellul is Joel St. Julien and Joel Tarman/ Joel St. Julien is The General and Joel Tarman is Blankethead.

The General: Vocals, guitars, bass, monome, electronics, percussion, programming/sound design, field recordings

Blankethead: Vocals, keys, monome, electronics, programming/sound design.

Strings on Birthright composed and arranged by The General

Additional Musicians:


Danielle Cohen plays Cello on Birthright

Chris Schlarb plays guitars on Birthright and Memoriam. He also recorded drums on Grave Peddlers, Drone, and Memoriam.

Andrew Pompey played drums on Grave Peddlers, Drone and Memoriam.


Drone contains a sample of "Manned Space Capsule" by Ken Nordine (with permission) from his album "How Are Things in Your Town" (1971, Blue Thumb Records)

Album Artwork by The General

Thanks to Rhea, our Family and Friends, Ken Nordine, Danielle Cohen, Chris Schlarb, ANdrew Pompey, Felix, Ron Stuekle, Steffan Franz and IDC, the entire Pyramind Crew, Jeff Ray and Mission Creek Music Festival and Jeffery Wood and Jessie Nichols at Fantasy Studios.

This album is dedicated to the people of Haiti!

Recorded at Home, Sunset Youth Studios, Fantasy Studios, and Pyramind Studios 2008-2010 in San Francisco, CA / Fantasy Studio sessions were recorded by Jessie Nichols / Drums on Grave Peddlers, Drone and Memoriam were recorded and produced by Chris Schlarb in Long Beach, CA

All songs written by Ellul

Produced, mixed and recorded by Ellul unless otherwise noted.

Mastered by Michael Romanowski

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Track Name: Cages
Chalk white knuckles, failing vitals
Passing notes over the ashes
Pin prick triggers can't keep aflame
Passing notes to the devil
Fear masked in barbell denials
Taping our hands to reduce the strain


Passing notes over ashes
Bury memory in the bright lights
Tape my eyes to mask the shame
Chalk witness falling idols
Walking past in velvet indifference
Tape my mouth to take the blame

Passing notes to the devil
Fear masked in barbell denials
Taping our hands to reduce the strain
Passing notes over ashes
Bury memory in the bright lights
Tape my eyes to mask the shame
Track Name: Grave Peddlers
You don't have to ask me to give you direction
Your eyes so bright and brittle
Arteries the balustrade we clutch and cling to
To keep alive

These faces don't lie awake at night
We fit through the unguarded spaces
Through cracks in the cages we find light
I'll save what I can

You don't have to tell me the holes you're done filling
Captive to a crowded hall
Dreamed this was a special case
The arguments keep mounting
Track Name: Good Night
Good Night Sweetheart, Good Night
Rest your weary bones

What I could have been
What I should have been

Good Night Sweetheart, Good Night
Track Name: Debris
I've been sleeping
Under my belly,
Under the table,
For no one to see

Under the covers
Through a mirror blade
It cut open the debris.
Track Name: Pinched
I saw the crime
Ballots burned to ash
No evidence.

I drank poison
And saw the ocean.
I pinched myself
My eyes are clear.

Soft days to numb the zeal
And to lose control.
The pigs are on the move,
To eat away.

Gunfire is drawing near.
When I smell death,
I fall to my knees.
Dance, the clouds have peaked
The Sword from Your mouth
You've finally appeared, my Dear.
Track Name: Memoriam
We were all seated in a room
The candle lit and flowers from your mom
When I think of past memories
I think of the stains on your veins
When you drank morphine drip
It reminds me of the other hospital trips
When babies were born
And people said goodbye
When will it be when the flowers are for me
But not from my mom
And I lay frozen
Track Name: Egg Shells
In the middle of the night
When it's quiet
The sound of pulses through neighboring walls
In between us lies what walls can't make
When I looked at you, I was shook up
I saw the end of my life with you
If all the people saw
Could they hold it in front of me

Tell me that the words will come out
Tell me that I'll say what I feel
Tell me that I'll even have a notion of need
Tell me that you'll hold me

If I had something to say
I'd let you know

I spit eggshells for you to walk on
Track Name: Trophy
Something under my belt
Something on top of my shelf
Something to show you

Say it loud
Say it clear
From your mouth
To my ear
All I've gain and all I've lost
All I have, for the cause
Track Name: Wanted
All the things I wanted
All the things I needed
All the days I lost it
All the times you tried to
All the times I'd fight you