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about

“The Word according to Nick Carswell & The Elective Orchestra”, (to give the album it’s full title!) is the debut long-player from the Limerick natives.
More details from www.theelectiveorchestra.com

The band members include sisters Deirdre Cussen (cello) and Kate Cussen (violin) as well as Sian Murray (vocals), Bart Kiely (drums) and Colin Bartley (double bass). Songwriter Nick Carswell performs on guitar, piano and vocals and the delicate mix and rich arrangements define The Elective Orchestra’s unique sound, which has been compared to The Frames and Sigur Ros. Hotpress also lauded the band’s originality in being “prepared to think, write and play outside the box.”

Based around the songs of Nick Carswell, The Elective Orchestra has been playing together for just about three years. The debut LP is full of the warm melodies, lush strings, and meaningful lyrics that have earned the band a sterling reputation for "emotive songwriting and enthralling live performances." (state.ie) The album features some curious track titles (e.g. Plus! A TV Theme Tune For The New Chief!) and other musical oddities, including two ‘trilogies’ or three-act pieces, complete with introductions and musical codas.

Songwriter Nick Carswell explains; “From playing live together over the last few years, we have developed some extended instrumental pieces based around the songs, and we wanted to recreate that on this record. In the end, several sketches and improvisations are also included. Consider it a musical miscellany, or even an opus.”

Making music together since the end of 2007, the album encompasses both old and new songs and pieces. “Some of the songs have a history nearly ten years old, while others were written in the last six months, which makes for an interesting work when they’re all presented together.”

“As well as the studio recordings we made with Ross O’Donovan in Kerry,” Nick explains, “other recordings were made in two different churches in Limerick and Dublin and an apartment on the site of an old monastery, overlooking the river Blackwater in Youghal. Combine this with that fact that most of the songs are about God, or at least use the jargon of religion, we said we’d go all out and name the album after the Gospel. Why not?”

credits

released April 22, 2011

All songs written by Nick Carswell
Lyrics by Nick Carswell
Music by Nick Carswell & The Elective Orchestra
Recorded by Ross O'Donovan in Data Recording Studios, Kerry and Nick Carswell in Broome, Limerick, The Old Monastery, Youghal, The Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Crumlin and at home in Dublin.
Produced and mixed by Nick Carswell
Mastered by Richard Dowling at WAV Mastering, Limerick

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about

The Elective Orchestra Dublin, Ireland

Six piece acoustic folk-rock from Ireland.
Strings, vocal harmonies, instrumentals and other oddities.
Sigur Ros meets Sufjan Stevens and The Frames.

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Track Name: Waking Up (Is Hard To Do)
Smoke a cigarette – it's not your fault
You've got weak in your genes you know you're not gonna live that long
Who's to say really if you're better off
Work another day to take another day off
'Til you die
Better day
What a day, a better day, when you die

An overdose of light, polite but imprecise
It all comes rushing through
Because waking up is hard to do

So we carry on and learn never to doubt you
It's a marathon – I wouldn't want to run it without you
And all for one, but not for all the tea in china
Come away with me and leave this behind you
When you die
Better day
When you die

An overcoat so light – polite but imprecise
It all comes rushing through
Because waking up is hard to do
Track Name: From The Ground Up
I like to wake up
I like to wake up in a place I've been before
It's not easy
It's not easy letting go and moving on
But I try

None of this makes any sense to me
As far as I can tell, there's no guarantees for us
Just our hearts to trust when it feels right, it feels right
I'm fine, I feel fine

Life is such a fucked up mixed up mess
From which you're supposed to sculpt some happiness
So you build a wall, a wooden picket fence
Just to find a piece of permanence
But it all keeps crashing down
So you build up from the ground

And I try, I try
I'm fine, I feel fine
You're the only thing that get me through
The only thing that I will hold on to
Together we can make it me and you
And when it all comes crashing down
We just build up from the ground
Track Name: Running On Empty
I've been meaning to tell you
I've been meaning to say
That I'll be waiting to greet you
I'll wait all of my days

You, you're out on your own now
You're leading the way
I've been running on empty
I've been running all day

All the colours I'll bring you
All the shades of the day
Will light up the shadows within you
Where you hide your troubles away

Don't think you're not worthy
Don't get caught in the fray
I've been running on empty
I've been running all day

You, you're out on your own now
You're leading the way
I've been running on empty
I've been running all day
Track Name: Folks Like Us
I'm thankful for the day that you were born on
Saturday the Fourth of July
The day your little hearts; they started pumping
We'll see that eagle screaming through the sky

Now you're selling lifestyles on the TV
Convince yourself that you've bought something more
And just because there ain't nothing left to die for
Doesn't mean that we can't have ourselves a war

'Cause I knew these days were coming
And I've seen it all before
Gotta keep this engine running
'Cause the devil hates a slacker even more

And it's folk like us – keep on driving
Folks like us – we're just surviving
Folks like us keep the whole thing rolling

I'm not sure that I've done something wrong here
I've been doing just what I was told;
To pray and hope and plan for the future
I hope that I don't die before I'm old

'Cause I've been just so busy getting on now
Saving up to buy some magic beans
That I may have forgot an obligation
To find an end that justifies the means

Cause I knew these days were coming
And I've seen it all before
Gotta keep this engine running
'Cause the devil hates a slacker even more

And it's folk like us – keep on driving
Folks like us – we're just surviving
Folks like us keep the whole thing rolling
Track Name: How The West Was Won
From the moment you saw me, all you thought was how you'd use me
So you plotted and conspired, just how you might abuse me
I crossed an ocean for your love, without so much as a thank you
Left the stain of my blood on every acre of this land

But I will overcome
And I will be as one

Nothing's given in this world, so they say you've gotta take it
And I stood by every word, every step it took to make it
Oh and it was written from the start, that we're all made the same way
And although you made the rules, I learned to beat you at your own game

And that's how the west was won
But oh now, the story's just begun

And it takes a lot of heart
To play the bigger part
And now the world awaits
To see if you've got what it takes
Have you got what it takes?
Track Name: Hallelujah (I Don't Believe)
A pretty little bird flew in through the window
and whispered me The Word
that every birdy should know

Singing God is on your side, God is on your side

So I think I've found my way
And I step into the free world
What more can I say?
All the good lines have all been heard
But He will understand

And it all comes back to an age-old pact
made between your God and the Devil
And it all comes back to the simple fact
that sometimes we get caught in the middle
But I don't believe it

So I turn my face away
And I look toward a new day
What else can I say?
I'll learn to crawl the hard way
But I will find my way

And it all comes back to an age-old pact
made between your God and the Devil
And it all comes back to the simple fact
that sometimes we get caught in the middle
But I don't believe it

Sing Hallelujah
Track Name: Rainbow's Down
Rainbow's down
Rainbow's down
And I don't feel sad
No I don't feel bad

I'm leaving now
I'm leaving now
'Cause its been too long
And its been too hard
Just to know you all

And where I'll go . . .
Where will I go?
It can't be too far away from here
Away from here

There I'll stay
Tomorrow's a bright new day
To keep moving
I know you'll be strong
Be strong
Track Name: Oceanview
I lie awake and watch the pictures on your wall
I'm feeling sleepy so I try to count them all
And if I get to ten, I'll maybe fall asleep
But you won't

And in the morning-time I'd often think of you
In your apartment with it's perfect ocean view
I see you wash your face and slowly pack your things
As you go

You go and get your breakfast at the local corner store
You buy those little things we used to love before
Sit on the promenade and watch the people pass
As they go

Well you tried to follow through
With the things that you do
And you know you're not alone
You're at home

In the morning-time I'd often think of you
In your apartment with it's perfect ocean view
I see you count the stars and kiss them all goodnight
As they go

And it takes away your hunger
And it takes away your pain
And if you just write down this number it'll come again