Swim

by Anna Smyrk

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04:37

about

Anna Smyrk has journeyed to some far-flung corners of the world over the last few years. From the sapphire waters of the Solomon Islands to a crumbling Cambodian town, her latest offering is a collection of songs about time spent in wild places.

The songs on her EP ‘Swim’ paint stunning pictures of Anna’s travels. ‘Benjamin’ lulls you in with gentle slide guitar and mandolin, evoking the dreamy heat of a remote island in the Solomons. ‘The Wait’ tells a tale of long-distance love and waiting for the monsoon season, against the backdrop of a small Cambodian town. ‘Home’ is a heart-breaking, piano-driven tune about witnessing the world going underwater in the Pacific islands, while ‘Bones’ is steeped in longing for the ocean. ‘Alight’ brings it home- a stirring song about finding hope in dark places, it glows with layers of vocal harmonies.

credits

released November 1, 2019

All songs written by Anna Smyrk

Anna Smyrk: vocals, acoustic guitar, piano
Jhana Allan: violin, mandolin, viola, backing vocals
Dan Musil: dobro guitar, backing vocals
Jimmy Power: banjo, backing vocals
Chelsea Allen: double bass, drums
Katy Smyrk: backing vocals

Recorded and mixed by Health Mackaay
Mastered by Craig Pilkington

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about

Anna Smyrk Melbourne, Australia

Anna Smyrk is a folk singer-songwriter from Central Victoria, Australia. With sun-drenched vocal harmonies and songs about far-flung places, Anna takes you on a journey around the world. She paints stunning pictures of places she’s lived, from the sapphire waters of the Solomon Islands, to crumbling Cambodian towns, to the loneliness of a megacity in the Philippines. ... more

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Track Name: Benjamin
Benjamin tells me,
the boat for the mainland
comes at five, or at six
or seven
or sometimes at eight.
He says, “Wait,

And you’ll see when it comes.”
The light starts to fade
and he switched the generator on.

Benjamin’s island is just two k’s around,
circled with mangroves
and water like slow liquid glass.
In the past,

His great-grandmother swum
these very same waters
and so will his children to come.

It comes,
Comes when it comes.

Benjamin tells me,
the name of the island
means a break from the wind,
a place to take shelter at sea.
As for me,

It’s a port of safe call.
I’m halfway across,
and I’m scared I won’t make it to shore.

It comes,
Comes when it comes.
Track Name: Bones
Go, my darling, to the river
Go, my darling, to the shore
Take my bones unto the water
Make my suffering no more.

Where the southerly is blowing,
Out beyond the white-tipped break
Float me out upon your rowboat
For the water me to take.

Go, my darling, to the river
Go, my darling, to the shore
Take my bones unto the water
Make my suffering no more.

When your dad and I were younger
We built this house with our four hands
Dug the earth and cut the timber
On this salt-covered, low-lying land.

Now that I am just a memory
Won’t stay confined in these four walls
I want to float upon the ocean
‘Til I become sand and salt.

Go, my darling, to the river
Go, my darling, to the shore
Take my bones unto the water
Make my suffering no more,
Make my suffering no more.
Track Name: Home
Ask the grandmothers at Marovo Lagoon,
They'll say,
"Daughter, the water is rising."

Ask the young men who fish down in the bay,
They'll say,
"Sister, the weather is changing.

But you, you can go home."

Everyone here comes from some other place
And they'll tell you,
As soon as they meet you.

"My mother's Makira, my father's Marau,
And I'll go, soon as I can afford to.

Oh yes, I'll go home,
Can't wait to go home."

We drove out one Sunday to Visale beach,
To find,
All of the sand had eroded.

And people spilled out of the church doors,
At noon,
And rose voices to heavens exalted.

Singing, "Go home.
Oh Lord, let us go home."

As soon as I set one foot down in a place
I am thinking,
Of what's round the corner.

I've stumbled my way around half of the world,
And I'm still not quite sure,
What I'm after.

Maybe I should just go home.
Track Name: The Wait
The sky is a silver-white haze,
The sky is a silver-white haze.
It dazzles the days.

The water runs warm from the pipes,
The water runs warm from the pipes.
Even at night.

We wait.

I talk to my love through a screen,
He’s pixels and plastic, not skin.
I’m trying.

I find myself counting the days,
Calculating the distance through space.
There’s no trace.

We wait,
The rain.
The rain.
Track Name: Alight
Hark now, over there in the distance,
No, it don’t make no difference,
We’re coming on.

We are not soldiers, fearless and brave.
The mountain that looms up ahead
Makes the boldest afraid.

But see now, there are sparks in the night.
Days like these it feels harder to keep them alight,
But we keep them alight.

Hark now, over there in the distance
No, it don’t make no difference
We’re coming on.

Hear me, good people will you hear me?
If you can’t hear me, feel me.
We’re coming on.

You will find no assurances here.
Victory’s not guaranteed,
And the way is not clear.

But this murky water is where hope resides.
Uncertainty makes us kick harder since we still just might,
We still could turn the tide.

Hark now, over there in the distance
No, it don’t make no difference
We’re coming on.

Hear now, hear the giant that’s waking.
The ground’s trembling and shaking,
We’re coming on.

And, oh, this too,
This too will pass.
The future is plural,
And so is the past.
And it’s true,
There’s no light on the path.
But each step is a movement,
And we step into the dark.

Hark now, over there in the distance
No, it don’t make no difference
We’re coming on.

Hear us, good people will you hear us?
Dusty, battered and glorious,
We’re coming on.
We’re coming on.
We’re coming on.

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