Before the Mountains

by Sarah Brendel

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about

The new SARAH BRENDEL album “BEFORE THE MOUNTAINS” culminates in an intensity of language you’re forced to withdraw from or succumb to. The 15 track album was produced by the songwriter herself and her friend Arno Jordan in the backyard-studio of the artist community they and their families have both made their home.
Deserting all masquerades, Sarah presents herself in her most coarse and fascinating incarnation to date. The scope of ideas from song poet BRENDEL is enormous, the album reveals facets broadly transcending the limitations of any genre, intertwining threads, connecting neo folk and country, stumbling over the roots of blues, casting a glance through the window of pop, losing herself in sound collages, and uttering a poem every step of the way.
“The dragon underneath looks defeated, every mouth is shut, every image is deleted…,“ these lines usher in her great new work, accompanied by a sombre stomping of wood panels, sawing violas, plucked metal strings, and with an imminently close, dark voice that goes back and forth between two worlds and eventually morphs from its obscure timbre to a lucid fairy-tale. The following title, “Think back”, appears surprisingly simple and empathetic, dissolving into a memory. Recorded in the archway of a castle, the castle where the singer lives.
“Think back to when you were a child when your heart was free and you were alive in the wind, in the rain, like the adventures of Marc Twain”. A booming organ and a Western guitar are the foundation of this song and seamlessly, other instruments are blended: psychedelic bells are ringing, a violin follows with haunting melodies, an electric guitar reminiscent of Calexico is breaking ground while low-country brushes beating unobtrusively hold everything together. Sarah's voice soars up – close, ever-present and deeply personal.
In “Dangerous Cities” when Sarah sings ”Cause I don´t know anyone under the sun with a love like yours” she is gripping, irrevocable. The immediateness and honesty in her voice, evocative of singers like Karen Dalton and Melanie, gives you a feel of the dense spirituality highlighted still more by the cathedral-like reverb on vocals, guitar and strings.
And like Sarah's voice, the instruments on the album sound just as free and unaffected, maybe because not only the vocals but also the drums and guitars were recorded live without overdubs.
The mixture of rough sketches and pure, unembellished beauty truly makes the album rustle. The art-work in book form emphasizes the music in every aspect and every page contains hand-written lyrics with small drawings of the photographs and paintings from the Brendel family.

BEFORE THE MOUNTAINS is a voyage of discovery to find a treasure of inexpressible worth.

credits

released June 30, 2012

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about

Sarah Brendel Dresden, Germany

German Songwriter and more. Expanding and personalizing genres from Folk to Pop. Performing with a full band or alone with guitar and harmonica.

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Track Name: Beat Underneath
BEAT UNDERNEATH
The dragon underneath
Looks defeated
Every mouth is shut
Every image is deleted

The river and the well
Run dry now
The twisted movement is stilled
Shadow’s guilt forgotten

Snow has come
To make the world a foreign place
To give the world a different face

Only one song
For everyone
One song
For everyone
The song of the free

The dragon is defeated
The spirit and the bride are one

The sting of death
Is overcome
Buried in the grave
Buried in the grave

Only one song
For everyone
One song for everyone
The song of the free

Snow has come
To make the world a foreign place
To give the world a different face
To cover the trees
And all the earth
To stop the old heartbeat
To give a new birth
Track Name: Think Back
THINK BACK
Close your eyes
Try not to speak
Forget the times
Of your struggling
I want to fix the
Troubles and the pieces
Of your broken mind

Think back to when you
Were a child
When your heart was free
And you were alive
In the wind and the rain
Like the adventures
Of mark twain

And the streets
That you are travelling on
They lead you far away
From home
And you don’t know
Where you’re going to
And your dreams
They all turned into blue

This burden in your shoulder
Is too heavy for you to carry
And the well
That you are drinking from
Is a well a generation was
Dying from

Just keep your eyes
Closed right now
And think about what’s
Going on
If you’re living the life
You want to live
Or if you’re just a shadow
Of your dream

I sing songs of Jesus
He’s waiting in the doorway
He prepared a way
For you and me
His love has set me
Captive free
Track Name: What A Happy Life
WHAT A HAPPY LIFE
What a happy life
I had so far
Oh so happy I could sing
The only shadow
The only shadow
Is the world I’m living in

I’m not a ghost
I’m still alive
And I can see the hearts reflection
How it twists and how it turns
Into this and that direction

What a happy life
I’ve had so far
Oh so happy I could sing
The only shadow
The only shadow
Is the world I’m living in

How can a blind man
Lead a blind man
Would not both fall to the ground
How can we say we love our neighbours
But reject our enemies
While our sister is crying
Our brother lays dying
And we just sing
Of an amazing grace

Tell me what’s the reason
For being saved
If we know we know we know
To think is to act
Track Name: Before the Mountains
BEFORE THE MOUNTAINS
Before the mountains were born
You brought forth the earth and the world

For a thousand years in your sight
Are like a day that has just gone by
Or like a guard in the night

From everlasting to everlasting
From everlasting to everlasting
You are love

You sweep men away in the sleep of death
They are like the new grass in the morning
In the morning

Though in the morning it springs up new
By evening it is dry and withered

You turn men back to dust
You turn men back to dust
Return to dust oh son of men
Return to dust

From everlasting to everlasting
From everlasting to everlasting
You are god

Teach me to number my day aright
That I might gain a heart of wisdom
Establish the work of my hands
Establish my work trough your hands
Track Name: Dangerous Cities
DANGEROUS CITIES
I still walk in these dangerous cities
Sometimes heavy minded
Sometimes with the blues
Sometimes in despair
Sometimes with no shoes
But every mile with you

Can you forgive me
My cold dirty mind
The songs I am singing
With you left behind
The roles I am playing
The love I’m persuading
You know it all

Cause I don’t know anyone
Don’t know anyone
Under the sun
I don’t know anyone
Don’t know anyone
Under the sun
With a love like yours

You’re the light unto my feet
In every corner
Of every street
You’re the light inside
This stumbling heart of mine

In every ghost town
Inside the dark
You’re the light
I’m gonna let it shine
In the valley below
In the mountains up high
I’m on your side

Before the night’s
Drawing near
Before we’ll disappear
Track Name: Snow White Fields
SNOW WHITE FIELDS
If you’re driving
On snow white streets
Out of darkness
Into the brightness of days
You’ll find a man
Who never done wrong
Never done harm
A pure hearted friend
Covered in innocence

If you’re driving
On snow white streets
Out of danger
Into cities much safer
You’ll find a man
Never did sin
Always done good
The only true friend
Leading you home

If you’re driving
On snow white fields
To far far away lands
Leaving your past behind
Finding the morning light

When the day is done
And you spent too much time
Trembling just lay your head
Next to mine

If you go back
To the break of dawn
Into the house where
You came from
Listen to the white
Noise sound
See the angels
Coming around
And the man
On white winged horse
He’s whispering your name
Track Name: To Hungry Listeners
TO HUNGRY LISTENERS
There’s a strong wind blowing
Can you hear it howling
The silent night will shatter

From the moon back to the sea
Every heart will know its meaning
Deep to deep
Beat by beat

Where’s the reason
Where’s the rhyme
Underneath this evening crime
The birds are singing
No more no more

Do you hear
The oceans roar
Far above the sinking shore
Thunder and lightning

And on her face we rise
Back and forth we slide
While she is aching and breaking
Tomorrow will come soon
Blood will cover moon
And the sun don’t shine anymore

Digging deeper in the ground
For the early future sound
When hard rains were falling
And I’ve heard the prophets voice
Trough a child that cried: no more
Thunder and lightning
Track Name: Enter My Door
ENTER MY DOOR
Stranger where do you go
I will walk with you to the ocean’s shore
I will walk with you
Until I see you no more
And I promise
No one else but you will enter my door

Stranger when do you go
Let me walk with you til the lights grow dim
Until the dust of morning
Will cover the shore
And your ship is seen no more
Oh I promise no one but you will enter my door

Waiting by the window
No matter how hard the wind blows
Waiting by the window
No matter how far the story goes

I promise no one else but you will enter this door
Every other man must sleep on the floor
Cause you’re the one
My heart is longing for
Track Name: Yaweh
YAWEH
Words they fail me
Leave your lips
Embrace me
Yaweh!

All our busy rushing
It will end
In nothing
Yaweh!

My oh my
Oh my love is yours
My oh my
Oh my home is you
Yaweh!

Happy an those
Who live in your chambers
For always

Gonna sing like David
Gonna preach
Like Paul
Gonna run
Like Peter
Yaweh, Yaweh!

My oh my
Oh my heart is yours
My oh my
Oh my art is you
Track Name: Heartuplifter
HEARTUPLIFTER
Hills and fields
From my window
I clearly see
And the sun is shining
Down again
On me

The cathedral
Looks so peaceful from this sight
Bells are ringing
Children speaking
And all the birds
Are singing in tongues

And I step out of the twilight
And I leave my own chosen stories
Which make me feel so alone

And I get up on my feet again
And here I stand with empty hands
But I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake for you

Hills and fields
From my window
I clearly see
And there’s a river
And a red train slowly coming
Track Name: Little Mirror
LITTLE MIRROR
Little mirror shows me who I am
Little mirror knows the meaning of my name
Little mirror tonight you understand
How it feels to be
How it feels to be
Without a man

Little mirror knows my darkest part
Little mirror reflect the intention of my heart
Little mirror goes to where the river starts

Please prove prepare and guide me
On my way towards the sun
Take the strange that blinds me
1, 2, 3 you and me

Little mirror you do understand
How it feels to be
How it feels to be human
Track Name: Read Your Mind
READ YOUR MIND
When I see you I can read your mind
Read your mind
When I see you I can read your mind
The things you’ve left behind

You are awake and you live and you die
You are awake and you live and you die
You are awake and the years go by
The years go by
With no one by your side

When I love you let me love you more
Love you more
When I love you let us loose control
Loose control
Into worlds that we don’t know

You are awake and you live and you die
You are awake and you know you’ll die
You are awake and your years go by
Your years go by
With no one by your side

Are you listening
To what I’m saying
Are you listening
To what I’m saying
Track Name: Out Of Skies + Skies
OUT OF SKIES
I’ve been down to the south
I was born up in the north
I’ve been up with the clouds
Been a stranger in my town
I’ve been into the forest
I see the headline burning
My lover is returning

I’ve travelled many oceans
I’ve been inside America
I walked into the promised land
I live up on a hill now
My home is in the highlands
I see the headline burning
My lover is returning

Over mountains
He climbed
In the burdened misty rain
Out of skies and skies
He came
As a servant
He has given all
Trough the hands
Of one man

The world
Is driving fast
No one knows
How long it lasts
The desert sand
Comes quickly
The cities can’t escape
Tomorrow could be
Too late
I see the headlines burning
My lover is returning
Track Name: Poets
POETS
Hey all you poets
All those who won’t show it
Give me words to sing
Hey all you ramblers
All those who don’t feel love
Where do we begin

Give me a reason
In this shivering season
When the storm
Is blowing low
Like black birds in the willow
Like dreams under my pillow

Hey all you soldiers
All those who feel hopeless
The world is overcome
Hey all you listeners
My brothers my sisters
I ring the bells for you
Like black birds in the willow
Like dreams under my pillow
Track Name: Speak Out
SPEAK OUT
I will be silent when you speak
I will lay down lose it all
I will be silent when you speak
I will go down to the ground

I will be silent when you speak
I will go down to my knees
I will be silent when you speak
I will bow down at your feet

Only if I lose my life
For your sake
I’ll find it
Only if I lose myself
I will be free
To follow you