Song From Far

by Grand Lake Islands

supported by
Haytham Jawhari
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Haytham Jawhari A breathtaking album from beginning to end, the beautiful warmth of Erik's voice brings out an honest feel to the dreamy melodies. Definitely a must have. Favorite track: Diamond Eyes.
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Songs about the familiar becoming unrecognizable and the foreign becoming home. Written in a basement far away from where I ever figured I'd end up.


released January 20, 2015

All songs written by Erik Emanuelson © 2014 (BMI)

Erik Emanuelson- Guitar, Vocals, Mandolin
Evan Krogh- Guitar, Lap steel, Wurlitzer, Resonator, Vocals, Tape Loops
Bob Reynolds- Drums, Percussion
Kyle Hartelt- Bass, Percussion

Robin Bacior- Harmonies on “Monterey”, “Warm Keeping”, and “Silver Moon”
Mark Robertson- Upright Bass on “Song From Near”, Organ on “Diamond Eyes”
Daniel Bindschedler- Cello on “Song From Near”
Victor Nash- Horns on “Warm Keeping”

Produced and engineered Victor Nash @ Destination Universe-Portland, OR.
Mastered by Gus Elg @ Sky Onion- Portland, OR

Cover photo by Erik Emanuelson
Design and layout by Michael Popp
Insert photo by Corrine Krogh

Thank you to all who allowed, helped, and inspired us to make this record including, but not limited to the lovely and wonderful Robin, Cori, and Miriam, as well as the families we were born into and the families we’ve made. Infinite thanks to Brandon Whightsel, Richard Duke, Mat, Mike, and Annie Bacior, Michael Popp, Jeanne and John Tatoian, Keith Emanuelson, Kate Reynolds, Daniel Bindschedler, James Clifford, Zach Thomas, Harlowe, and Nancy Pratt for supporting the record. I am endlessly thankful for the the prospective that comes with time and distance as well as for the inspiration and beauty inherent to the northwest.



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Grand Lake Islands Portland, Oregon

"Grand Lake Islands...Rides the link between cerebral folk mysticism and dreamy beach-bum sunshine nostalgia with surprising ease."
-Independent Clauses

Grand Lake Islands is a hazy folk collective led by Portland-based songwriter Erik Emanuelson. Emanuelson’s expressive tenor recalls Nashville Skyline era Dylan and delivers lyrics soaked in metaphors and stark emotional landscapes.
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Track Name: Song From Far
One night remains, in the year of red tape
with a bottom that scraped, the skin off our teeth
and the speck of concrete, still left in your knee
that you showed to me, when I didn’t believe
that the bottom is not, a stone we are tossed on,
its a road of loose rocks and
we grab some as we go.
the sage is blackening the room,
I’ll send some to you.
Twelve thousand you owe, is twelve thousand you don’t.
Oh, I know
that the grey under blue, over your avenue,
is the ether you threw, all that you’ve never done.
If you’ve fallen in well, you need only to yell
to remake your self, or a self, just this once.
If you’re finding yourself, on the ceiling of a plane,
and the seat-belted sane, are more scared than you are,
then it’s much like a dream, the kaleidoscope things,
matter less than they mean, but the feelings,
you cannot explain, though you try anyway,
we’re so trifling, in most of our ways.
Track Name: Diamond Eyes
The other yesterday, on the six past the Forest Station
so the river’d wash away the crawling in my ear,
and everything’s a phantom, until it’s real.
So why are you asking me, “is it warm?”
when I’m up to my neck, in that water again?
There is no still boat on a strong line, my sure foot is on new ice,
darling there must be diamonds in your eyes,
for you to look, at me that way, all the time.
I tried to let it be, this river is dark for a reason
we can’t drain it all with dynamite,
because it looks so very fine,
on its own, in the right kind of light.
Track Name: Monterey
I snuck in again, to the downstairs apartment
while the workers took their smoke break.
The walls were bare and bright, my head a little light,
from breathing in the liqueur.
Despite the itching in my throat, I hummed a couple notes,
in the room we’ll put our bed in.
And they danced all around, to the hedonistic sound
of February sunlight.
So how do all your blue days fall in Monterey,
or the East Bay? Anyhow? Either Way?
Silent city walking, last night with a friend,
turned me on to Joseph Campbell.
I sat drafting up my myths, to reaffirm all this,
but your absence was distracting me.
So we’ll keep closing in on whatever it is,
that sends us searching through the bramble
like a dog after a squirrel, I saw the neighbor’s golden girl
say “someone ought to shoot that thing”.
Now I’m on the porch, in my Sunday shorts
watching the shadows, slide sideways.
Over the country radio, through the open car window
the battery, is breathing shallow.
Track Name: Atlantic/Pacific
The sun has gone crooked in the sky,
use your feet to occupy your mind.
Your holiday heart ain’t beating slow,
walk your breath to the middle of the road
and feel the center swell, oh riotous bells,
and I’m just weaving through the yells.
No my friend I don’t mind if you can tell.
The cold’s gonna come, and quiet all them fumes
but for now I’m walking down this yellow avenue.
And your holiday heart oh it tries to go,
fly little bird, caged little sparrow.
Track Name: White to Grey
Somewhere past the tree line fence
we were hungry children
staring at piñata hits, stumbling over fire pits.
sitting in the smoke as we wait
our heads and the light grew faint.
I really must say, they cast you in the strangest shade.
Now I might say you wandered away.
Now the white it turns to grey,
and the grey it remains
The house I love is in the mud,
barely breathing from three flights up.
Cheeks of red from your wine of white,
howling in the silence at night.
But we are hardly wolves in the light,
we just sit and watch it rot and writhe.
You could have come but you stayed behind,
and I wandered out west into those pines
Now you might say I wandered away
that the white it turned to grey
and the grey, it remains.
Tomorrow you could come back, but it don’t mean that
we didn’t wander out past, the very, very last
fence on the hill, through the tall grass.
What’d you carry off? What’d you bring back?
Now I might say we wandered away
that the white it turned to grey
and the grey, it remains.
Track Name: Come to Call
Would you come along, if you got somewhere to go?
If my road was not your road, if I pull a heavy load,
a stone you don’t want dangling from your throat?
Would you hang it though?
If time allows, and I feel like yelling out
in a room of old thin walls with people in the halls
being such a quiet bird and all;
would you come to call?
If by some chance, no answers find these hands
when a question mark demands, would you cast a weary glance
where that palm and pine tree strangely stand
by the neighbor’s fence?
Nights on the bridge, the sky is warm as blood
would you sit with me above, feel the cold beams buzz
with all this passing under us
is it all too much?
Track Name: Silver Moon
He’ll lead you to a darkened room,
you’ll say oh my have I gone blind?
And on the floor a map was thrown,
knowing well, you’d make up time
to hang around above you
so at least there’s something here that moves.
But you can’t see that silver moon,
it’s a blindness you choose.
Emergency red and outdated
with an ear to an unplugged phone,
pacing around and waiting for that old dial tone.
It’s a modern art he’s made
of making people cry so low.
Lungs always feel the smallest
when some one takes their breath away.
With fists of fool’s gold,he’s the bearer of toasts
and he’ll drink all your wine and you will pay.
When the sun’s a blaze around him,
here the night has little left to do.
Track Name: Song From Near
The Sage is blackening the room,
I’ll send some to you.