Grandmother's Tea Leaves

by Emily Bezar

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Sven B. Schreiber
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Sven B. Schreiber She's definitely got a voice similar to Kate Bush - and that's why Emily Bezar is frequently compared to the legendary grande dame of art rock. Regarding her songwriting, however, I think she's much closer to Tori Amos - another comparison that constitutes something of a hallmark of excellence. Besides all those similarities, Emily Bezar most of all sounds like herself - no doubt, she's got her own unique style that sets her apart from all Bush/Amos sound-alikes. "Just Like Orestes", for instance, is an adventurous and overwhelming magnum opus that reaches far beyond all expectations fueled by the songs preceding it, and "Madame's Reverie" closes the album with an even bolder sound collage that takes the listener into avantgarde fields. Favorite track: Just Like Orestes.
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1.
Hypertrophia 01:56
2.
Avalanche 05:06
Hide yourself away and leave my deeds undone God has left me here alone to shield you gently from the sun But for the old man who screams in my nightmares, I decided long ago my garden couldn’t bleed without you And the intrusion of years in this lucky place – they want me but they leave you alone Nothing becomes you like the ageless ingenue, but here, in her absence I will dig a fine escape for you Even the avalanche that tears through your mind grows colder, still colder, colder with time Lay those heirlooms down – they’ve crowded this occasion with time And the gaslight from antique lamp bellies can’t mend the evil dissection of mine Each of these exquisite games I cede to you now Watch the ballet of souls balancing fear beyond you – and in your lover’s arms, teach her my lucky charms I’ll watch you while you’re turning to stone Nothing becomes you like the ageless ingenue, but here, in her absence I will dig a fine escape for you Even the avalanche that tears through your mind grows colder, still colder, colder with time
3.
Sometimes I find a pattern in rows of empty chairs, or a likeness of the Virgin on her knees And underneath the fringes of my halo-colored hair is a recipe for every known disease Oh, something I dread follows me ‘round – I can’t choose my heart or my head Heaven is for those who believe that God’s hands are bare I’d love to but I really don’t dare Now on the wall behind me is a man whose sullen stare reminds me of the sin in my weak knees Paralysis refines me, like a jaundiced millionaire is dazzled by the way her body bleeds But oh, something we said follows me ‘round – I can’t hide my heart with my head Heaven help us stoics who run when there’s nothing there I’d love to but I really don’t dare Oh this maze of questions and disguise traps me in your answers and tempts me to tell lies So my love, hold me like a child… wrap your arms around me and the water will stay mild…
4.
Oh girls – here’s an education for you: leave your hands there on the plate while I test your bones And take all the money that you saved for those distractions – you won’t be needing gold to navigate the place we’ll go… I’ve found an ending you never will believe I’ve found an answer in a stack of cards, a southern star and in my Grandmother’s tea leaves Now we could make you captain, or we could make you slave, I sense a comfortable reaction to the promises I’ve made… Malleable though you may be, you’re not ready for your grave, so listen while I contemplate the time you still can save… I’ve found an ending you never will believe I’ve found an answer in a stack of cards, a southern star and in my Grandmother’s tea leaves …and my olfactory nerve is controlling my eyes and my optical senses are touch in disguise, and the only thing left is my sense of surprise… I’ve been accused of excess, been haunted and morose But the canvas in my corner just won’t bear a smaller dose Some say we are suffering from a lyrical disease But when we turn our backs around, they’re sobbing on their knees I’ve found an ending you never will believe I’ve found an answer in a stack of cards, a southern star and in my Grandmother’s tea leaves
5.
English translation: At the Place Dauphine there are souls of Kings, singing the history of winter And the sound of this ancient rabble reminds me of a comic opera I once liked Last summer, I visited Paris and her mysterious laws One day last summer, I met a foreign friend I danced alone under English arcs – I searched far from me for great feeling, I heard your shapes in the clamor The black and white of my childhood follows me now through the streets and along the riverbanks Here, once, all my defenses suffocated in a kiss The commerce and the crowd of your face everywhere silences me like a fever of colors in my heart – I sense your tears approaching, but At the Place Dauphine there are souls of Kings, singing the history of winter And the sound of this ancient rabble reminds me of a comic opera I once liked
6.
Just like Orestes, with his naked knife suspended Just like Cassandra, with her tongue too thick to bleed I unveil you, standing so young beside it – I will be there waiting for you at the guillotine I put my hands on your crown, infusions last for days I saw him before you hit ground, he was sucking you away Your Orion gazing – he had stars hidden for play Go where your reason defends you, don’t pause before the gate You said you were that lucky kind of lover you’d never pay for your own grave But until I wait for you, who’ll save your cradle from this cage? …heroes, in moments like these when you become the man you didn’t think you could be watch, while I change, rearrange my neck bones who’s falling now? did you think it was me? Here, where these unstable lines converge beneath you, follow mine Here, where these unstable lines converge, I keep you darling, all alone in conversation Here, where the unfriendly crease of time reminds you to stay near me in our strange decline… Just like Orestes, with his naked knife suspended Just like Cassandra, with her tongue too thick to bleed I unveil you, standing so young beside it – I will be there waiting for you at the guillotine
7.
I Tear Down 06:22
In the aftermath of chance, I found it there It was soiled with coffee, crumpled lightly, black X through my hair And jaded for a moment by your cavalier despair I tear down Oh like the lover gently dented in you room, I’m shivering like an addict, resurfacing too soon Sedated by the angles and the phases of the moon I tear down So, this is how you relocate me ‘One in a Million’ – ‘til luck he brings you down Scenes, unfolding like a movie, one that I’ve already seen passing through town Oh will you scream and roll me over when I’m dead? In the raging afternoon, I’ll tumble from your bed and even though we won’t remember what it was we said I tear down So, this is how you relocate me ‘One in a Million’ – ‘til luck he brings you down Scenes, unfolding like a movie, one that I’ve already seen passing through town Oh and the lines change in your hand Never thought I’d follow you to this stage of desire And the keyholes and the keyholes the keyholes that I never closed the keyholes the keyholes of my hearing go, my hearing goes When life becomes art, the imitation’s clear Oh darling, your interior is getting far too near So all alone, once again, I pass you to your years, Tear you down
8.
Barricade 04:52
Now go to sleep and I’ll stay – with my love in the way I followed you to this place, or could it be something less a follow than a chase? Though I stand beyond this silly girl, she loves you more than I want to – she knows the lines on my face Oh the saddle rises hard on my curving spine – I get you ready for the ride And I stand at the edge, on your lookout line – strange…it looks like mine Did I stop too long in the enemy trenches? The other team’s benches were warm, but I don’t really know how to play You say, “Run,” like the end may come any day So I run for hours though the wind may change in my wake Oh but hurricane or snow, anywhere you go, I’ll stay Now I leave the light on, though my eyes are in pain And I stamp your hands, should I let you go, I’ll leave some stain I know I can’t belong to you any more than this barricade belongs to me But my shadow glides under its steel weight You say, “Run,” like the end may come any day So I run for hours though the wind may change in my wake Oh but hurricane or snow, anywhere you go Moscow, Idaho, anywhere you go, I’ll stay
9.
Rest Me Here 06:05
oh love, rest me here love, rest me near love in your arms oh love, rest my years love as they go down spilling charms I wake, but the dawn wants you standing alone and the wreckage of this wood mansion feels like stone oh love, rest your fears love, let your candles all dissolve oh love, rest those riddles that our prophets cannot solve I wake, but the dawn tempts me blind with her throne and the wreckage of this wood mansion feels like stone
10.
walking at sunrise in the forest she discovers a small house bell-shaped roof windows of colored glass …

about

**The CD version of this album is out of print. There are pre-owned CD copies available elsewhere online.**

Emily Bezar's debut album is a lush, expansive study of musical lyricism and the power of intuition. Drawing on her background in classical singing, electronic music and jazz-tinged piano, she creates songs that might better be described as monodramas and concert arias. This album was Bezar's unrestrained response to years of academic music study and the astringent esthetic of much post-WWII classical composition.

She reveals herself here as a maximalist, unafraid to project wildly avant-garde passages and almost hyper-romantic gestures onto an undercurrent of graceful elegance. Critically acclaimed as a totally unique work, it earned her favorable comparisons to Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson.

credits

released September 1, 1993

Written and Produced by Emily Bezar
all music ©1993, Blue Countess Music, BMI

Emily Bezar: voice, piano, synthesizers and sound design
Michael Ross: guitar samples on Tracks 1 and 9
The Arlekin String Quartet on Track 4:
Eugene Chukhlov: first violin
Dmitri Glovko: second violin
Rem Djemilev: viola
Sergei Riabtchenko: 'cello

Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 Recorded and Mixed by Bob Hodas at Studio D, Sausalito
Track 6, recorded and mixed by Peter Steinbach and Emily Bezar at Earwax Productions, San Francisco
Tracks 1, 9, 10 recorded and mixed by Emily Bezar at CCRMA studios, Stanford University, Palo Alto
Assistant Engineers: David Farrow, Jay Kadis, Jim Watts Vereecke

Mastered by Paul Stubblebine at the Rocket Lab, San Francisco

Photography: Lorene Warwick
Design: E & E Bezar

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Emily Bezar Roanoke, Virginia

Singer, composer and keyboardist
Emily Bezar creates intricate, uncategorizable music, drawing freely from classical, jazz, rock, pop and electronic genres to create an enchanting, dynamic sound world.

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