And Only The Melody Was Real

by Swahili Blonde

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about

“It seemed to travel with her, to sweep her aloft in the power of song, so that she was moving in glory among the stars, and for a moment she too felt the words Darkness and Light had no meaning, and only the melody was real.” — Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle In Time

“The relationship reminded me of a melody: abstract and intangible, irrational and illogical… We were enchanted with each other in a dream state.” Candidly, Nicole Turley describes the foundation of her newest and most revelatory album as Swahili Blonde, "And Only the Melody Was Real".

Founded as Turley’s solo project in 2009, Swahili Blonde has always involved a varied and multi-talented collective of musical contributors across its releases—including members of Duran Duran, RHCP, The Slits, DEVO, and many more LA scene staples. The 2015 EP release "Deities in Decline" found her once again self-producing and engineering in her Los Angeles studio. Performing everything herself (alongside the strings of Laena Geronimo) resulted in Deities’ uniquely examining electronic triumph.

"And Only the Melody Was Real" is Turley’s next chronicle in an intensely personal and powerful self-study of a breakup; capturing the universality of those painful, and eventually illuminating, experiences. “I feel more my authentic self now than ever before,” she acknowledges. “I have reached a point of balance. I have grown up. And I feel grateful and appreciative for every thing that has lead up to this moment.”

Turley confesses this was a difficult record to make, bringing in close friend Jennifer P Fraser to co-write the album with her. But she also embraces things gained from the experience, describing wide-ranging thoughts and emotions at play— “from a harsh darkness, felt deeply when disconnected from yourself; to saying ‘I love you’ right before surrendering defeat; to having the strength and optimism to move forward.” “On The Other Side” combines a dance beat with insightful melodic ruminations, while “Saturn Farewell” features Turley’s vocals oscillating in a dramatic, silvery offering of a last goodbye. The album’s final track “Vous Enchanter Mon Coeur” is a fitting end— a captivating, string-laden electronic ode to the undeniable force of the ones we love upon us. But it’s also a testament to the truth that it’s ourselves who hold the most power above all: “This album is a metamorphosis, and will always be close to my heart”, she says.

And now this is her in full bloom.

Written by Breanna Murphy

credits

released January 22, 2016

Written by Nicole Turley in Savannah GA and with Jennifer P Fraser in Manhattan NY, 2015

All music and vocals performed by Nicole Turley
Backing vocals performed by Jennifer P Fraser

Recorded by Nicole in Savannah, Manhattan, and Los Angeles, 2015
Mixed and mastered by Nicole in Brooklyn NY, 2015

Cover photograph and design by Nicole Turley

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Track Name: Alivinya
You came
On strong
Slow dance
In a sea of chaos
Innocence or chaos?
Keep it light of her feet
On her heart
On her hands
On her hands

Keep it light on her feet
On her heart
On her hands

Keep it light on her feet
On her heart
On her heart

I close my eyes and all I see is blue around me
I close my eyes and I'm alive in you

I want
The cup
I'll touch
To you lips
I will bring it your lips
I will take it in both hands
I will take it in both hands

Keep it light on her feet
On her heart
On her hands

Keep it light on her feet
On her heart
On her heart

I close my eyes and all I see is blue around me
I close and I'm alive in you

I'm alive in you

I'll take the cup and drink
Drink it all up
I take the cup and drink
Every last drop
Take it all up
Drink
Drink it all up
All of your love

I take the cup
Track Name: Dark Dawn
It's darkest before the dawn
There's darkness when you are gone
It's darkest before the dawn
There's darkness when you are gone

It's ancient history
Of a long misery
This ancient mystery
Of a long history

It's darkest before the dawn
There's darkness when you are gone
It's darkest before the dawn
There's darkness when you're on the run

It's ancient history
Of a long misery
This ancient mystery
Of a long history

It's darkest before the dawn
There's darkness when you are gone
It's darkest when you are on the run
There's darkness when you hold the gun

It's that dark dawn coming for you
Track Name: Her Name Is Hope
Walkin- on the west side of my life
Runnin- all since you left my side
Droppin- to the east side of my sight
Runnin- all since you left my life

You came
You conquered
Are you friend or foe?
No shame
That monster
And her name is hope

Walkin- on the west side of my life
Runnin- all since you left my side
Droppin- to the east side of my sight
Runnin- all since you left my life

Walkin- on the right side
Runnin- on the right side

You came
You conquered
Are you friend or foe?
No shame
That monster
And her name is hope

Walkin- on the right side
Runnin- on the right side
Track Name: On The Other Side
With the many labors
I will drown in love
With the winning favors
I'm your favorite drug

I'll give it to you
I'll give it to you
I gave up for you

And I never left you
Don't you know by now
That I'm in your heart
In your heart
Always and forever
Never far apart

I live to levitate
You'll just smile and take

I'll give it to you
I'll give it to you
I gave up for you

And I never left you
Don't you know by now
That you're in my heart
In my heart
Always and forever
Never far apart

I'll give it to you
Give it to you

And you made me leave you
Don't you know by now
We have no heart
Have no heart
There never was together
We always fell apart

Where's your heart?

We always fell apart
Track Name: Rose My Emperor
She is the Emperor of love
Of love
She is the Empress with the white glove
She likes to teach us all As Above So Below
But we're too dense to express
So we stay low
Hold ourselves low

What a mess
Have we made of this dance
But there's hope
For us yet
She's our chance

She is the Hierophant of the World War
She is the witch in white at the back door
Taking us home
But we're too young and proud
To love out loud
So we stay down
We stay down
Hold ourselves down

What a mess
Have we made of this dance
But there's hope
For us yet
She's our chance

She is the Emperor of love
He is the Empress from above
She is the Emperor of love
He is the Empress from above
Track Name: Saturn Farewell
Here you come
Rings bright like the Sun
And I can't even run from you
I can't even run
From you

And all day long
Your strife, your strife is strong
But I sing it like a song for you
Sing it like a song
For you

Baby goodbye
Baby goodbye
Baby goodbye
Baby

It's a Saturn farewell
That we tell ourselves
It's a Saturn farewell
That we tell ourselves

The harder you come
The harder they fall
And I can not catch them all for you
I can not catch them all
For you

Baby goodbye
Baby goodbye
Baby goodbye
Baby

It's a Saturn farewell
That we tell ourselves
It's a Saturn farewell
That we tell ourselves

Oooh baby

Here you come
Rings bright like the Sun
And I can't even run from you
I can't even run
From you

And all day long
Your Mars, your Mars is strong
But it won't always do right by you
It won't always do right
By you

Baby goodbye...
Track Name: The Diamond Room
Welcome to the diamond room
Let the color fill all of you
Watch those ashes fall
Welcome to the diamond room
Let the fire wave over you
Watch those ashes fall

I had a dream
Surrounded by stars were we
I had a dream
But we were never what we seemed

Welcome to the diamond room
We will only take all of you
Watch your shadow fall
Welcome to the diamond room
We do this out of love for you
Watch your shadow fall

I had a dream
Surrounded by stars were we
I had a dream
But we were never what we seemed

Cord to cord, face to face
I use this sword to save our fate

I had a dream
Surrounded by stars were we
I had a dream
But we were never what we seemed
Cord to cord, face to face
I use this sword to save our fate
I had a dream
But we were never what we seemed
Track Name: Vous Enchanter Mon Coeur
As long there is that great divide
We'll come together and multiply
Here you are again
There you are again

You are the last spark
Of my last life's heart
The future
Is dreaming of you

You are the last spark
Of my last life's heart
The future

As long as our souls stay alive
We'll come together and death defy
Here you are again
There you are again

You are the last spark
Of my last life's heart
The future
Is dreaming of you

You are the last spark
Of my last life's heart
The future

The future...

Vous enchanter mon coeur
(you enchant my heart)