Over The Stones, Under The Stars

by Ned Collette & Wirewalker

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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Ned Collette's third full length album, also the first made solely with Wirewalker as his band. Comes with full original CD artwork.
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      $10 AUD  or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Gatefold CD featuring full artwork and lyrics, cover painting by Anna Steele and photography by Karl Scullin (of KES fame).

    Includes unlimited streaming of Over The Stones, Under The Stars via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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about

Ned Collette's third album, and the first recorded entirely with Wirewalker. Mostly written during the 2008/09 Glasgow winter, recorded on a rural property in Victoria, Australia and mixed by Joel Hamilton in New York City in the summer of 2009.

From Mess & Noise Magazine (Aus):

"Sadly, there’s no guarantee the human race will go out with a bang. More likely it’ll dwindle away just as it did in Ballard’s The Drowned World - all our luxuries and exploits will rouse nature and she’ll eventually take herself back, forcing us to take refuge on the margins of the land we’ve made inhospitable. If that seems unavoidable, well, that’s because it most probably is, and here Ned Collette rails against the corrosive, privileged ennui that threatens to drown the modern world; the dangerous apathy, the spoon-fed indifference, the mores of a “golden age” that could soon burn out.

Because Ned Collette’s music isn’t a cosy refuge anymore, it’s a place for mulling over uncomfortable truths; for taking stock of just how fucked we’ve become. Here, a song can begin triumphantly but end on a sour note. During ‘All The Signs’, Collette denounces learning “just to earn” in favour of knowledge for the sake of it. He promises, over a lush bed of organs and rich guitar chords that “as unfashionable as it may seem, cutting it that way is not a dream of mine”. You want to punch the air along with him in his indignant cry, but his passion turns to bitterness by the last verse; the stern, circuitous ensemble mimicking pride’s intoxicated swagger and its eventual wobbly collapse. It’s a long way from the domestic comforts of 2006 debut Jokes and Trials, and even the markedly less “topical” songs seem bluntly reprimanding; the tirades of a drunk cynic.

There are a few songs here like that - so uninhibited in their mission to denounce the follies of modern life that they’re prone to become exhausting. I loved this album for a while, picked it apart like all Collette’s work deserves, found it astonishingly brilliant and then cowered from it: its blunt honesty too overwhelming, too close to home. It’s not a brash call to arms or anything like that - this isn’t John fucking Butler. ‘Your Golden Heart’ in particular dwells long and thoroughly on the familiar pitfalls of 21st century life and results in what can feel like a lecture, but with no quick fixes to blindly spruik.

But we need songwriters like Collette in a world where these “blatant” truths are often ignored, or tacitly avoided. It helps that the overall tone of Over the Stones, Under the Stars is one of longing and the hope to salvage, as if all that we’ve lost is something we should try to snatch back. Wirewalker (drummer Joe Talia and bass player Ben Bourke) brings a new spaciousness and extravagance required for the task, while Collette’s vocals have evolved from his hushed confessional roots into a more poised and commanding presence.

He’s certainly learnt a handful more roles since 2007’s Future Suture and none sound underdeveloped. Ned Collette & Wirewalker is a severe rock band of elemental proportions: this is music as foreboding weather, all downcast greys and apocalyptic reds, thick and blustery and beautiful. ‘Aspect’ sounds like the sun birthing from swampland, a percussive stagger strung up by incandescent guitar chimes, a drowsy rumination at sunrise after many furrow-browed hours on the red. The following song ‘Why We Can Be Apart’ breaks the spell and thrusts us straight back into the glare of summer, with a focus on the personal. Indeed, there are tender moments here, and even oblique ones, but the crispness of Collette’s scattered world-weary proclamations tend to possess the theme.

He returns to that “golden age” twice on Over the Stones, Under the Stars. “The gold is just a stipend and the age is just for show.” There’s nothing subliminal about this. Ned Collette is backed by a permanent band now, and he’s got the courage to be demonstrative. In a time when white collegiate obscurantism dominates rock music, Over the Stones comes as an enlivening slap in the face: rock music as a grandiloquent cautionary tale. And when things do look like they’re going to shit, Collette’s tales are imbued with importance and sound strikingly vindicating. Australia doesn’t have many better songwriters, neither past nor present."

- Sean Prescott

credits

released October 23, 2009

Ned Collette - Voice, guitar, organ, piano, mellotron
Ben Bourke - Bass, harmonies
Joe Talia - Drums, percussion, harmonies

license

all rights reserved

tags

Track Name: The Idealist
Of all the people that you knew in you youth
There was just one who gave you solace true
And though it pains me now to see we are through
The sky is not blue anymore

So when he rushes through the door to rescind your sins
You would be foolish not to take that man in

We set out to start again
With new mottos and new friends
But we stumbled on the artefacts of old
Inside houses of the young
Grew tiredness with what we’d sung
As they would dance and fight
And bicker through the night
I heard it by decree and so I screened that telephone call
To tell me there’s no one who possibly can do it all
There’ll be no further action and there’ll be no further call

So battle lines need not be drawn anymore
Take flight take heed o please
Just walk out the door
A moving symphony of love’s greatest light
Will appear
And take you away from here
Track Name: All The Signs
All the signs are there you know she said
On coming home and sitting on the bed
They just call us clients now
And everything we learn somehow is dead

Something runs afoul of all we learn
And learning isn't learning when the learning's just to earn
Unfashionable it may seem
But cutting it that way is not a dream
Of mine

And oh, they took you for the last, and then they held your past
To ransom 'cause it did not fit their ways
But if this is some golden age why do you feel alone
'Cause gold is just a stipend and the age is just for show

Well I said does your suffering make you strong
If I applaud your suffering will you give me your soul
Well that's just from a book you read - the one that sits here by this bed
And though the idea's good it isn't your idea at all

And oh, must everything good be past
Everything made to last
Or are these just excuses borne of change
'Cause if this is some golden age why do you feel alone
In thinking by our progress we have just stripped off our bones

And now the Devil's skin lies on the floor
His advocacy's crumbled in the smelter of the law
And though we cannot be surprised when metal from it's ore is prised
The argument is won but now the truth is such a bore

And oh, they took you for the last, and then they held your past
To ransom 'cause it did not fit their way
And if this is some golden age it's you who feels alone
They've played their card, the rain is hard and it's someone else's home
Track Name: Your Golden Heart
There’s nothing for you here anymore
even when you go out in public it’s
a private war. No one gazes up at you
now – all eyes are fixed, all heads are
bowed. And everybody likes the same
stuff; somehow what we’re given is
always exactly enough. No one needs
to question the new, ‘cause then they’d
have to deal with the old and that wou-
ldn’t do.

And you say, “Maybe we’re living in a
golden age; where everything that’s
dreamt of is made.”

We sit here watching sex on the news,
and it might titillate if we weren’t so
afraid of the flu. It seems there can be
nothing to fear though, in an age when
a man loses weight and they call him a
hero. “If only I could get to the facts!”
Just change the channel – you’ll find
all opinions are routinely backed.

And you say, “Maybe we’re living in a
golden age; where anyone who dreams
it is made.

And you’ll be accused of being unclear
by this literal generation here, or prob-
ably just ridiculed for trying to be sin-
cere. It’s what they wish for most of all
because it’s what they fear.
Track Name: Come Clean
Your little town has gone to sleep
Guided softly towards better times
Luxury we'd never see
It's what forced us to go on

The winter pale and slender lost
To the human sod of history
Emily come back to me
I mean you no more harm

And your face is but a dream to me

See the teams come one by one
They shadow our light fitfully
Luxury we had not seen
It's what caused us to collapse

As they dismantled all your charms
With their houses built on solitude
Solid ground, where are you now?
You're all I've got to hold

And all of you was real
So real
In crazy blue eyed dreams
You came clean

And they could not bear our love
And I did not have the trust
Robbery, the highway kind
And your murder was foretold

And all of you is real
So real
In crazy blue eyed dreams
I come clean
Track Name: Mr Day
Hey Mr Day, why have you lost your heart?
You need to find your beauty in the dark –
shadows to guide you and love will be your
star.

Hey Mrs Night, your darkness is your light.
Go to your man – he thinks he’s lost his
fight. Answer his questions and give him
back his sight.

All now to sleep for soon we’ll have our
date. We need to leave these two to coru-
scate. No obsequies now, consider it too
late.
Track Name: Aspect
Morning and the aspect of your body as the light comes
through the blear. Every day a circus of your solitary
musings in my ear.

Can you imagine certainty, a landscape of so many
corked ideas? Drifting in modernity, believing in the
shatter-proof, the everyday serene in all the blonde and
blue-eyed children that it rears.

The sisters come to take you back, fill your head with barren tact.
Parting fingers, one last touch and smile…

Early on the Tuesday before losing you forever I’m awake
Jerking through the motions of a man who is considering escape
Is considerately fake
Is considerably late
Track Name: Why We Can Be Apart
She walked so lightly I thought she would fade
Into the pale memoried world she had made
And he looked always ahead to her back
And though he would run it was always her back

Shelving their hearts for the sake of the song
Their chords turned to minor in order to just get along
But there was no peace and out in the slow palling light
Were reflected the words she would offer to him every night

“it’s only love and that’s why we can be apart”

Well boys turn to men and the women they love stay the same
Languid and tall and the curve of her breast is the same
Laughing from eyes set to call forth the history of youth
But everything dulls for the man who has danced with the truth

“it’s only love and that’s why we can be apart”
Track Name: Polly Angel
When they let her go they said “you’d better run”
So Polly caught the first bus into town. Everybody
stared at Polly’s golden hair, and in the night she woke.

The next day found her floating on a cloud. Above
the city floating on a cloud. “I don’t know the way!”
she cried.
“Don’t worry you’ll be fine.”
“But all I have is love to give.”
“That’s what we had in mind”

Polly Angel, Angel Polly

And somehow over twenty years have passed
since sighing softly Polly breathed her last. And as
you walk around the town – see people smiling bright,
and all they have is love to give – you’ll know that
she was right.
Track Name: I Had A Love
I had a love
we walked together
over the stones
under the stars
throughout the days
we just kept walking
I had a love

where you gonna find her
where you gonna find her now?
where you gonna look
in this catastrophic town
where have all the poets gone
with their words that used to save?
given way to fellowships
of mediocre days
Track Name: One Evening, In The Middle Of The Road...
I am travelling all the way to Rome
Dry your eyes – I have to go alone
Oh my love I’ll miss you dressed in blue
Oh my city all roads lead back to you

Please I ask you, let me off my knees
Oh my love you’ll always be with me
These times are so dangerous dressed in white
Oh my heroes take me towards the light