THIS BRIGHT BEFORE

by NICOLE BERKE

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about

www.nicoleberkemusic.com

NICOLE BERKE's full-length album THIS BRIGHT BEFORE is the long awaited follow-up to the pianist/vocalist's acclaimed debut EP FRONDESCENCE, which was released in 2008. The new record dynamically chronicles the last five years of her life with genuine power, originality and soul. Recorded by Portland favorites Dave Friedlander, Steve Watkins and Tanner Cundy, the album also features a talented slew of local musicians: Josh Lava (who also played an integral role in producing and engineering the record), Nathaniel Daniel, Arcellus Sykes, Bill Marsh, Jarrod Lawson, Max Ribner, Mary-Sue Tobin, and many more. Hailing influence from artists such as Stevie Wonder, Fiona Apple and Erykah Badu, Berke's music is a fresh and well-crafted take on what soul-pop-jazz can be.

credits

released January 25, 2013

(c) 2013 Nicole Berke Music/ASCAP. All Rights Reserved.

All Songs Written by Nicole Berke

Produced & Arranged by Josh Lava and Nicole Berke
Production Consultant: Denise Marsa

MUSICIANS
Nicole Berke: Vocals, Backup Vocals, Acoustic Piano, Wurlitzer, Rhodes, Clavinet, Organ, Additional Percussion
Josh Lava: Drums, Percussion, Synths, Effects, Organ, Rhodes, Clavinet, Acoustic Piano (Black Moon, Those Days), Backup Vocals (Palindrome, Another World, This Bright Before), Additional Acoustic & Electric Guitars
Bill Marsh: Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Effects
Nathaniel Daniel: Electric Bass (Subconscious Heart, Wait It Out, Black Moon, That Ain’t Me, Heartbeat)
Arcellus Sykes: Electric & Acoustic Bass (Palindrome, Another World, Set Me Free, This Bright Before)
Jarrod Lawson: Backup Vocals (Wait It Out, Black Moon, That Ain’t Me, Set Me Free)

HORNS
Max Ribner: Flugelhorn, Trumpet (Wait It Out, Black Moon, Set Me Free)
Mary-Sue Tobin: Tenor and Baritone Sax (Black Moon, Set Me Free)

STRINGS
Lucia Conrad: Violin (Subconscious Heart, Palindrome)
Ben Landsverk: Viola (Subconscious Heart, Palindrome)
Tony Rogers: Cello (Subconscious Heart, Palindrome, That Ain’t Me)

RECORDED by Dave Friedlander at Kung Fu Bakery, Tanner Cundy at Klickitat Band Camp, Steve Watkins at Excellent Gentlemen Studio & Josh Lava at LavaLand

MIXED by Sean O’Keefe
MASTERED by Greg Rierson at Rareform Mastering

PHOTOS by Amy Rollo (Front & Back) and Nicole Berke (Inside & Disc, Album Design)

SUBCONSCIOUS HEART inspired by the poem “The Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot

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Track Name: Subconscious Heart
Subconscious Heart

Because I don't know you, for now I will place you
Inside of the hole in my subconscious heart
And I don't know what I want, in spite of my yearnings
But then again, who ever does?

I woke with a fright in the middle of the night
Saying what if the world ends?
He woke with a fright in the middle of the night
Saying what if the world ends?
She woke with a fright in the middle of the night
Saying what if the world ends?
What if the world ends today?

My body's been battered by billions of billboards
Which promise a product to better my life
With a sword by my side, I drive through the scene
Catching all the eyes I dare not meet in dreams

CHORUS

With a far away ring there's a stirring of wings
Waking up, releasing from this tethered string
Oh say can you see? Oh now have you heard?
There's nothing we have to fear
There's only this fire to burn

CHORUS

If someday the world ends,
This is how the world will end
Never just how we thought the world would end:
Not with a bang, but with a whimper

***Inspired by “Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot:
“Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear…”
…..…
“This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”
Track Name: Palindrome
Palindrome

I was falling before your eyes
And you were rising to my disguise
All just to find some paradise inside this life
As cold as ice

Backwards and forwards now we're not alone
Spinning like a palindrome
Backwards and forwards now we're not alone
Life is like a palindrome

I walked against the windy storm
With pain so old and tired and worn
Back to the place where I was born
I saw you there and gave a warning

CHORUS

I was convinced of this major discovery
I thought that I knew the truth
I refused to see all of the signs that surrounded me
Blocking my view, blocking my view

CHORUS
Track Name: Black Moon
Set Me Free

Words won't say it - how I feel
I get so tongue tied
Time flies, time flies, time flies
I get so lost in your eyes

Baby set me free
Set me free

What if we're wrong?
Would we know it?
Could we see it?

There's a sea of madness
Brewing in my bones
Oh, can you take it?
Quite possibly, I've never known no one like you
You've never met someone like me

CHORUS

Ain't no use in prophesying

CHORUS
Track Name: Another World
Another World

You, you, you
You make me feel so blue, blue, blue
I know we've been through all this before

I, I, I
I know what I've implied, lied, lied
Repetition's got me high, high, high
All odds are down

Keep the sound down
I'm not listening
Keep the sound down
I'm in another world
Can't get through

The words I've always found absurd
Are the ones that you have heard on lips of lovers
And deep are the secrets that they keep
Silently they creep like ticking time bombs

CHORUS

Love can turn to hate
Just like heaven to hell
Let's turn hate back to love
Can we come down from the cloud?

Keep the sound down
Come down from the cloud
Keep the sound down
I'm in another world
(Can we come around?)
Track Name: Heartbeat
Heartbeat

Once again, I find I am
Pacing these streets and thinking
Of how we play that game
Once again, I'm falling for the things you say
…How did we get here?

What can we say when we say what we don't mean?
These words in my ears mean nothing but sound sweet
My eyes to the ground, they stare at my feet
But from a million miles away I can feel a heartbeat
Oh I know it

Once again, I find I am
Building up walls between us
Like a dream, once again
I'm holding back - but I wanna believe it
…It's time to wake up

CHORUS
Track Name: Wait it Out
Wait it Out

I wanna know what's going on
I've got my eyes open
But I'm in the dark

Said you can't decide
It's weighing on your pride
You're so stuck in the middle
Of this lover's high

I can't leave you
But I can't have you
Don't want to lose you
What am I after?

So you come to me
Confess everything
And now you're out in the open
But my heart's still pumping for ya

Why do we feel so afraid?
Why do we hesitate?
Rocking love like a cradle
Till that poor bough breaks

CHORUS

I'm gonna build an ark
I'm gonna wait it out
Track Name: That Ain't Me
That Ain’t Me

When will the clock stop ticking?
When will the time be right?
When will my mind stop running circles round my life?

You never ask those questions
Though I can tell you've had your days
Now when everything seems crazy
You smile and ride the wave

That ain't me, baby
No that ain't me

Another word won't do it
Another promise won't prove it
One more day won't get us through this
Tomorrow's not today

Over and over again I've said it
Over and over again I've met it
Over and over again I've tried to deny that I'm a wild bird
You can't hold me down

CHORUS
Track Name: This Bright Before
This Bright Before

All the way around the world and back again
But not quite where I started
Is where I am
A new beginning

Every time we talk
I feel the distance wrap around your voice
I wish you were here
I wish you were near

Oh, I have never seen a sun this bright before
Oh, I have never seen a light this bright before

Home is not where I began
It's far from where I thought I'd land
But I think you know:
Things never go as planned

Finding fuel in past concerns
Projects me to the future
I don't know where I'll be tomorrow
But it's where I want to go

CHORUS

I can feel it
I can see it
I can be it
If I want, if I want
And I want

All the way around the world
And back again
But not quite where I started;
A new beginning
Track Name: Those Days
THOSE DAYS

By Nicole Berke


The spinning world makes growing trees
Whose branches rise with falling leaves
That bend and sway seasons change
just as the night turns to day
strangers come and lovers go
until your heart could over flow but that’s the way the way it goes
the way it goes

sometimes I find that I still think of you and I want to know
where are you now it’s been so long
who are you now that you’re not with me
do you ever think about the time that we were one?

Those days are done. Those days are done.

The new born child is a stranger first who all the things upon the earth
But when she feels a touch of fear someone appears to bring her near
Then she’ll learn her mother’s face when to give and when to take just like a smile that was meant for
me now it’s just a memory

sometimes I find that I still think of you and I want to know
where are you now it’s been so long
who are you now that you’re not with me
do you ever think about the time when we were young?

Those days are done. Those days are done.

With each day we’re moving forward
Never backwards so fast
But in my mind I can rewind to find
All the things left behind
And I remember

How we use to be
How we use to be
Where are you now?
It's been so long
Who are you now that you're not with me?
Do you ever think about the time that we were one?
Those days are done
Those days are done
Those days are done

(c) 2013 Nicole Berke Music ASCAP