A Beautiful World

by The Pinkerton Raid

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    The Pinkerton Raid's sophomore release

    Includes immediate download of 7-track album in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
    shipping out on or around 29 July 2014
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  • Immediate download of 7-track album in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

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about

The Pinkerton Raid is a sibling rivalry with musical byproducts both as different and as familiar as the brothers and sister who created them. From folk-pop charm to pensive, baritone-led rock, the band’s latest album, A Beautiful World, might conjure comparisons as disparate as Ingrid Michaelson and The National.

In truth, songwriter Jesse James DeConto’s influences run older, back to The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac songs he heard from his dad’s guitar or his mom’s favorite soft-rock radio station. Later, he discovered U2, adding the Edge’s penchant for chiming guitar tones but reinforcing what he’d already learned from albums like Rubber Soul or Rumours – melodicism from bass to vocals and everything in between; the beauty of vocal harmonies; the joy of juxtaposing thoughtful storytelling with music that makes you want to move.

“[Jesse’s] dealing with some pretty complex and heavy subject matter,” says Juliet Fromholt of WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, “But can also make a solid pop song.”

Born 14 years later, Jesse’s kid brother Steven didn’t grow up with him, not really. Jesse was off into the world by the time his youngest bro was even four years old. Katie, the middle of five siblings, didn’t get to know her big brother that much more.

As grown-ups, though, the DeConto kids have forged fierce friendships as neighbors in Durham, NC, a seedbed of New Southern culture. Here the siblings draw on musical influences that literally span generations to create music that is hard to categorize. Jesse’s 1970s Brit-pop songwriting and indie-rock ambience tangle with Katie’s playful, jazzy melodies and the rhythms Steven draws from his hip-hop playlist and the epic folk of bands like The Head & the Heart or Of Monsters & Men. Steven can’t decide if he prefers the drums, a Les Paul or his acoustic Taylor. He’ll throw the ukulele to Katie behind the keyboard and see what happens. Jesse might put down his viola bass or open-back banjo to tinker with guitar pedals or tap on a glockenspiel. The Pinkerton Raid is the controlled chaos of a big family, set to music. It’s A Beautiful World.

On this, the band’s sophomore release, the sibling trio collaborated with friends Eric Johnson (Telecaster) and Tim (drums) and Laura Wooten (keyboards, background vocals), members of the six-piece live band that coalesced after the release of their self-titled album in 2012. Producer Edd Kerr honed the Beautiful World sound with layers of guitars and keyboards for a musical experience by turns soothing and cathartic. This album was a collaborative effort born out of family and friendship.

From beginning to end, A Beautiful World tells a story of young love – the shy flirtation, the wonder, the questions, young marriage, second-guessing, a baby girl, a miscarriage, the extended family dramas that complicate all of it. It ends in hope – hope that things will get better, hope that what is broken can be healed, hope that what is worn-out can find rest, hope for a beautiful world.

credits

released 29 July 2014

All songs copyright Jesse James DeConto, 2014
(ASCAP Clarendon Street Press)
with "Just a Boy" lyrics by H. Pfau
Recorded by Edd Kerr at Edd Kerr Productions, Durham, NC
Mixed by Greg Abate at Neon Audio, Durham, NC
Mastered by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Audio, Portland, OR

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about

The Pinkerton Raid Durham, North Carolina

The songs sketch characters from the travels of Jesse James DeConto: street kids in California, weary worshippers, generous bartenders, hard-up songwriters, a flirty piano-teacher in a hipster nightclub, a fatal attraction, a lonely divorcé in Paris, a sleepy baby. These stories float among layered keyboards, lush harmonies, pensive melodies, groovy bass lines and sparkling guitar textures. ... more

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Track Name: A Beautiful World
without your skin I'd never feel
the flower petals on my face
without your breath I'd never breath
the salty sea though it gives chase
without your laugh I'd never smile
at things I'd like to change
without your fingers never feel
the music the masters made

you multiply my senses, five million maybe more
you are my connection to a world I might ignore
with you I sand away the rough to find the hidden pearl
as if your beauty weren't enough, you show me a beautiful world

without your eyes I'd never see
the purple sky or crescent moon
without your lips I'd never taste
the food that makes me whole
without your ears I'd never hear
the spirit whisper in the wind
without your voice I'd never speak
the secrets deep within
Track Name: Just a Boy
he was a boy, just a boy I once knew
when he was nearby I felt his vibe
ultrasonic, pyrogenic, alive
he's the rhythm bass, I syncopate
long before my eardrums vibrate

I am softly slipping, tongue-tripping, soul-stripping
through his silence, through his words, too late,
he asked me inside. did I decline?

I tripped into his window, slipped into his afterglow
was stripped out of his soul. Why?

I was a girl, too young for this,
just a girl afraid of dangerous bliss
memories slide into choices collide,
I subdivide the present from past

He was a boy, no, he was a man I once knew
Track Name: April Flower
One fine day in the middle of May
Six lovers lay beneath the sun's rays
For two loves touch was much too much
When the other pairs touched, they left in a rush
It didn't take long for fear to be gone
Before autumn's dawn her hand was won

The turn of the millenium, a summertime of love

Spring was all smiles, in March down the aisle
In a little while we followed their style
First to the altar their love didn't falter
Crazy we called 'em, the summertime sweltered
A union in June and one in July
Another in August with a lunar surprise

A rose by name she smells the same
How quickly she came, no gardener can tame
her wild dancing and fickle fancy,
her eyes romancing, but they can't see
The Julian power that made this flower
The Julian power made an april flower
Track Name: Fly Away
Half the tears I ever cried, I cried for you when we said goodbye
At our first goodbye, our love was new, you had my ring, and away I flew

There’s a time to stay, and a time to fly away
There’s a time to stay, and a time to fly away

We’re parents now, though I don’t know how,
we three like glue, me, her and you
I like to think I can keep you safe, but we can’t just hole up in a cave

Another surprise at the worst of times,
can we four survive, can I provide?
These questions asked, and your bags were packed

More tears in an airport for the ones I care for,
three darlings departed, one life barely started
All three ascend, but one never lands
Why did you fly away? Fly away?
Fly away? Fly away?

I need to forget because I can’t protect you
My song will remind you that someday I’ll find
This poem has told you that someday I’ll hold you

When I fly away, fly away
When I fly away, fly away
There’s a time to stay, and a time to fly away
There’s a time to stay, and a time to
Track Name: Giving Tree
when we were young
they told us a story
'bout a boy and a tree
he took its fruit
its leaves and its branches
that's why they call it
the giving tree
everybody loves
the giving tree

Listen, friends
I'm gonna tell you a story
'bout a girl and a tree
she lost her mama
when she was a baby
tried to fill the hole
with the gifts of the tree
everybody loves
the giving tree

Lights so bright
they gave her sight
fruit so sweet
can't help but eat
boughs so strong
it wasn't long
before the gifts made the girl
forget the tree
she'll never fill the hole
with the gifts of the tree
never fill the hole
with branches and leaves

Listen, friends
I'm gonna tell you a story
'bout a girl and a tree
the gifts let her down
and she cursed the giver
everybody loves
the giving tree
but she told me she hates
the giving tree

The tree grew old
it had no more to give
the old man had no need
he sat on a stump
and he found his rest
he was happy just to rest
with the giving tree
he found his rest
with the giving tree
and the girl could still climb
in the giving tree
she could rest in the vines
of the giving tree
Track Name: Sins of the Fathers
The sins of the fathers go farther and farther
Our generation still waits for salvation
Our daughters' daughters will savor the water
That drenches their mothers and quenches like no other
Generation number five will be truly alive

Try as we might, we can’t change the past
We are the ones whom Adam begat
The whole is greater than the sum
Of its parts, together, we are one

The blood in our veins is exactly the same
It came from a man at the head of our clan
He’s more than a drunk, but he’s less than a monk
And we share the same mixture, colors blend in a picture
The image of God, but unmistakably flawed

The sins of the fathers are washed by the water
It cleanses the child of the scars and the miles
New family, new birth, for whatever it’s worth
Can it alter the truth that lies at her roots?
Grafted in the vine, she’ll bear fruit over time
Track Name: Voice of Silver
Like the cool moonlight refracting,
through the thin nocturnal clouds
Like frozen snow cascading, on a mountain’s ice façade
Like a silver chain in a jeweler’s hands,
like a beacon that beckons a sailor to land
Like the sheen of the sky on a sunless day,
like the music that echoes when angels pray

Voice of silver, speak my name
A velvet box your timbre tames
Tremble slowly, break those chains
Voice of silver, speak my name

Like the sunlight’s soft reflection, on a stony mountain stream
Like the water’s quiet whisper in the silence of the trees
Like the wash of the waves on an empty beach,
like the fragrant flowers that winter can’t reach
Like a lover’s fingers on naked skin,
like a bright-eyed glint with a mischievous grin

Like a billion stars, all shining, in the blackness of the sky
Like the morning birds all singing, as I wake before my eyes
Like the mirror, mirror on the wall, says who’s the fairest of them all
Like the slipper that fits when hope is gone,
like a kiss that brings Aurora’s dawn