by The Tree Ring

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    12" Vinyl copy of Brushbloom with custom topographic map of San Diego County indicating the geographical origin of each song on the album. Printed on quality recycled paper.

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released October 30, 2012


JOEL P WEST vocals, guitar, pump organ
DARLA HAWN drums, vocals
DANIEL RHINE bass, vocals



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Hey Amigo Recording Co. Portland, Oregon

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Track Name: The Rainshadow
We’re waiting in between
The frost is hanging on in the shape of a tree
White where the morning sun can’t reach

On grass that once grew green
But has no say in how rich its pigment will be
My nervous vanity’s been slow
To see
The coyote’s coat looks like her home
In the dusty leaves

I always shared a fear
With the sawtooth agave who blossoms and then disappears
Til I got a taste of what I’d be
If all of this light
Hadn’t fallen so easy around me

Now the violet hands of the May jacarandas are blossoming
There were days that I may not have made it if they weren’t lining Granada street
Every spring they recover the colors in me

I am starting to notice their bark through the dark winter weeks
Making me learn them patiently
And deep
Like anything I’ve ever believed

I’ve known since my swollen mirror broke skin that even my best merits wait dormant for someone to draw them out of me

And though I was so sure
Which virtues I have earned
The dry rainshadow knows I’ll learn those lines are blurred
Track Name: Brushbloom Glow
Softly in the pink heat
Bleeding from the evening softly fleeing from the
Blue East to the coast lets just lay low

Somewhere in a half-dream
Buried in the line between the chaparral and
Pine trees
All our clarity waits deep laced in the seams

The mountainside will show its jagged face to you
As the shadows travel slow through the golden afternoon
Until I got up close I’d never known
The brushbloom glow

Scattered on the desert floor
Every year the patience of the colors makes me
Love them more
Like floorboards in our homes

Every glimpse of light I see
Is just as soon a memory
And though my logic longs for absolutes
I’m only sure of moments I once knew

And all the things that I’m not proud of but I know I don’t regret

They have made the contrast clear
Every year the faces of these people grow more dear to me
They make me see
They make me
Track Name: Salton Sea
From a moonsoaked peak I am looking east
To a boundless, colorless sight
Where the untamed sky’s being sectioned by
Airplanes drawing straight white lines

On the valley floor light from tiny bulbs
Oscillates like flames from the homes
Someone once explained why they dance that way
But it makes no difference to know

From here
I can almost see the Salton Sea
Dark in a void between the manmade things

And if you look close you can see the ghosts of the wonders we tried to fake
We have yet to shape anything that shakes me the way that the wind up here
Whispers through the branches
Track Name: Hummingbird Pause
My steps are louder than a train through the heavy snow that lays
Soft and seamless
Under the Penny Pines disguised in the dull white of the day
The bark that shows looks like a shadow so

My stark quandaries rush to the top
A flood in a hummingbird pause

In my youth I was consumed in pursuit of what to do
With every stone unturned
And sold or thrown or burned
Pushing through a fragile expanse
I’m shaken by the weight of my hands
Who am I to hurt the ones who give me all I have?

The mountain frees me from entitled feelings

Forgive me I’ve just found myself
The pressure makes me someone else

Loneliness is self-sustaining
And phantom pain no less forgiving
In the city I forget how much I’ve known of both
The dreams about my father make my surest footing shake
In the quiet I crave nothing but grace
Track Name: Shoulder Seasons
Even these trees
Are huddled tightly in the sharpness of the morning
Wearing nothing but some rotten apples on their sun-starved arms

Small underneath
A wall of grey that hardly lets the daylight to me
And no sound
But my mouth
So loud

An early freeze
Instills in me the wishful dreams of what else could be
Because the vivid ghosts of once before come when our bellies growl

But when I see
The stubborn earth is far more gracious than it could be
I breathe deep and howl

If the cold air made our bodies shake
How could we say the morning was a waste
Sometimes the shoulder seasons fill us more than what we’re waiting for

Cause without warning
We’ll find the new spring
We’ll point the car east
In search of new things
And in the soft heat
We’ll find an oak tree
You’ll find a soft spot
And lay beside me

And under young leaves glowing in the sun
We will agree these moments are enough
I'll admit that times are harder now
But I swear I’ll never turn them down
Like the seabird hovering in flight
If I am sustained, then I am alive
Track Name: The North Grove
From the North Grove the haze has turned gold
As it savors it’s last breath
It will fade away to slowly expose
The endless blue West

Every time I look away from my feet
The sea’s gotten clearer
There’s another forest deep underneath
It just needs a revealer

And it shimmers like stars without the fog
How I wish I was pure but I am not

Up here my doubts about who I want to be
Are smaller than ever
But I spend almost all my worry on things
I’ll never remember

Now I’m level with the pelicans
Resting on a mass I can’t see
They appear to love the hunt just as much
As anything can be loved

In an instant they fold back their graceful wings
And with no hesitance let their weight fall free

When each outstretched beak
Collides with the sea
The wild thirst returns to me
Track Name: Ghosts of Happines
Under unsure skies my eyes evaluate the light
To decide how much they can afford to let inside

And interpret the colors to try and show my mind what’s true
No matter how defined and brilliant are the hues
I tend to read them blue

A surplus of comfort tends to form a crippling hole
That lets you eat all night and never quite feel full

But leaves us haunted by years when we were still too young to know
We had as much as any human life can hold
But still worried if there could be more

When the dawn explodes
In this tawny meadow
The birdsong swallows my angst and fills my throat

Because the fear of my secrets has stolen up too many years
And I am tired of being blind to all that’s here
So I pine for day I’m finally not surprised to find
That freedom only comes inseparably tied
To promises that guide
Me honestly toward my own mind
Track Name: Thieves
Stay in my sight
I’m dead without reference
I’ve learned my tendency

With no one close enough to see
I feed all my enemies

Stand in the light
It loves to be on you
We best let it stretch our shape

If we get too lost in the days
Routine will find our darkest traits

But if we remember when we got to see the city with no lights on
Nothing washing out the stars except the fires in the front lawns
I believe we can keep them safe

I know my eyes
Were clouded without you
By words that I wrote before

There’s an ocean in my mouth
I forget how I was drowning

If we remember when we got to lay so quiet by the lakeshore
Under all the yellow tanagers that buzz around the scrub oaks
On the morning after you were there to see me hit my lowest low
I sincerely believe we will never be thieves

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