Colony of Bees

by Beta Radio

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about

Colony of Bees is Beta Radio’s first full length recording in over four years. It marks a subtle departure in style from their celebrated debut Seven Sisters – a record without label support and whose grassroots success was built largely on the back of internet radio stations Pandora and Spotify. The more layered and at times ethereal offerings on Colony Of Bees tread into new territory, but at the same time manage to effortlessly keep one foot firmly rooted in the Americana/folk arena that they have called home for many years.

credits

released 18 November 2014

Benjamin Mabry: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano/Keys, Glockenspiel, Harmonium. Brent Holloman: Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Electric Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Piano/Keys, Glockenspiel, Harmonium

Colony of Bees was recorded between January 2013 to August 2014.

All Music, Lyrics And Arrangements Written, Performed, and Produced by Beta Radio And Recorded In their Home Studios.

Amanda Holloman: Vocals and Piano. Theo Milojevich: Drums. Rob Moose: Violin and Viola. Jeremy Turner: Cello. Anna Stanfill: Trumpet. Andy Stanfill: Trumpet, Trombone and Euphonium. Alex Hall: Background Vocals. Amanda Hinson: Flute.

All String Arrangements by Rob Moose. Drums Recorded by Lee Hester at Logan Manor Studio (Wilmington, NC). Additional Drums Recorded by Worth Weaver at Red Room Recording (Leland, NC). Strings Recorded by Dawn Landes at Saltlands (Brooklyn, NY).

Mixed by Lee Hester at Logan Manor Studio (Wilmington, NC). Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering (Boston, MA). Assistant Mastering Engineer Maria Rice.

Art Direction by Beta Radio. Album art by Brent Holloman at Brent Holloman Design (Wilmington, NC). Photography by Millie Holloman at Millie Holloman Photography (Wilmington, NC). Additional photography by Margaret Craycraft.

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Track Name: Take My Photograph
take my photograph my portrait
don’t hang it on a wall for me
give it up to my mother
or to my colony of bees
on a ceremony sunday
sitting in cemetery trees
it is all vanity yet i know
there is a little light i still see

oh i am arranged oh i am arranging
oh i am arranging you to be to be changed
i am arranged oh i am arranging
oh i am arranging you to be to be changed

touch my head upon the water
so in light it will now show
lay my hand down on the altar
for inside a sickness grows
i am wasted on the waiting
is it right that i would know?
lay your hand down on me a term
in the garden that you’ve sown

oh i am arranged oh i am arranging
oh i am arranging you to be to be changed
i am arranged oh i am arranging
oh i am arranging you to be to be changed
to be changed

take me sparrow
don’t hang it on the wall for me
i’m laid in narrow
i’m waiting on my colony
Track Name: East of Tennessee
are you a meat eater forsaking the plant?
i’m here under covers i’m under your trance
i saw the flair that shone in your eyes
but i have grown older from hearing your lies
an old photograph that you took from a plane
of the snow covered mountain in my mind remains
all snow left that mountain the following spring
like you left for all yonder on wings of angels
east of tennessee always i’ll be
only i am here too far
a feast of misery but i just wash it away
only i am here too far
from you

gone is the widow from the window here
she married a martyr and contracts were cleared
but down in the water she’s washing her kin
to show what’s forgotten can be thought of again
an old photograph that on my wall still hangs
is the one that reminds of a past filled with pain
give it to another i want not to see
give it up to my mother because soon i’m leaving

east of tennessee always i’ll be
only i am here too far
a feast of misery but i just wash it away
only i am here too far

spent all your life halfway outside
cursing the curtains that caused you to hide
who would’ve known i could’ve grown?
so i can finally say “i’m absolved”
of you
Track Name: I Am Mine
“i am mine i am my own”
said the ancients years ago
apples and pears rotten lie
the eulogy itself can write

when i heard the man was dead i wondered
do i have a hero that’ll stay?
he said “i am mine and no others”
but i never planned to live that way

cradled hands don’t hide your calls
i hear them rolling in the walls
calling out toward the wind
asking how to begin again

if you’re strange
then i would love to meet you
i can’t go on any other way
been on my own too long to retreat
yeah you’re just getting too old to delay
but you say

“soon i will be new
soon soon
soon i will be new
soon”

and if you’re strange
then i would love to meet you
i can’t go on any other way
been on my own too long to retreat
and you’re just getting too old to delay
Track Name: Come on Make it Right Once
soon come on make it right once
any other night comes with grey and blue
choose any other day run
i don’t wanna stay once i am loose

youth not wanting to waste
another way i’ll find
and prove all is alright
are you alright here
watching the night near from your shrine?

lay ancient unbroken
spend the day soaking sunny rays
but stay for an hour longer
do not go and wonder all away

youth not wanting to waste
another way i’ll find
and prove all is alright
are you alright here
watching the night near from your shrine?

are you alright here
watching the night near from your shrine?
are you alright here
counting the light years in your mind?
Track Name: First Began
i wrote my name in the wall of the bathroom
only because i knew one day i would change
to give and take away the garden i had planted
always i demanded that my own vine grow tall

everything will fall everything that stands
everything will be brought back where it first began
when i was wild i’d invite all i had known
when i was real i could feel what i did before

you cut off all your hair when they buried your brother
there was no one other that you’d always known
and shaking tambourines won’t bring you any closer
and as you’re growing older all will go away
but until then i’ll stay until then i’m sure
until then we’ll not remain in this garden anymore

everything will fall everything that stands
everything will be brought back where it first began
when i was wild i’d invite all i had known
when i was real i would feel what i did before

everything will fall everything that stands
everything will be brought back where it first began
when i was wild i’d invite all i had known
when i was real i could feel what i did before
Track Name: Sitting Room
in the living room in the sitting room
i will wait for you in the hollow i have hewn
like a darkened glass or the devil’s past
and he is waiting fast to set his own trap too

and in a kinder way what did the spirit say?
what did the spirit do beneath the waning crescent moon?
when you were in the yard where you had worked so hard
with one thing to impart one secret said for you

you let the moth in and the loser win
and you have shaken him you shake you fight you move
a nude wrestler so come and wrestle her
and see the shaking turn to taking then to soothe

and in a kinder way what did the spirit say?
what did the spirit do beneath the waning crescent moon?
when you were in the yard where you had worked so hard
with one thing to impart one secret kept for you

i offered you you all for you
i offered you you all for you
all for you
Track Name: On the Frame
can you hear me father john?
have you lost what you believe?
what’s the matter what’s the meaning
when nothing’s as it seems?
sit down at the table now
there’s reason there’s reprieve
(though you never would know it)
even those who are yet to
come are sharers in your grief

because in a little while when all will be over
you’re going to say goodbye go and get your closure
in a hundred years when you’re just a haze on the water
and then when it clears it’s another’s turn to discover
but you know they’ll have to let go like you

can you hear me caleb?
on the morning when you came
it was me who wrote onto
the wooden door your name
it’ll last there longer than
in this body i can stay
(because we all will be moving)
if you ever return again
write another’s on the frame

because in a little while when all will be over
you’re going to say goodbye go and get your closure
in a hundred years when you’re just a haze on the water
and then when it clears it’s another’s turn to discover
but you know they’ll have to let go like you
Track Name: Kilimanjaro
on kilimanjaro on fuji i’m waiting
come yellow dawn summer’s gone it never was staying
seems all is clear waking here above the beaches
it leaves turns with years reappears yellow as peaches

time will still ring as you bring forward your best man
all that was wrong has just gone before it began
now your display june to may you’re making me wonder
how i could stay in the shade of anything other

gone in life i have been carried all the way
taught to say if it’s only me i’ll go
i didn’t know you are a territorial
bird of prey if it’s only me i’ll stay

dipping robes into blood watching horses run
walking numb if it’s only me i’ll lie
all walk by into the war memorial
but i won’t go out of kilimanjaro
Track Name: White Fawn
a light in the dark split through the trees
appearing in part a legend to see
born in the dirt nursed in the dawn
lying with wolves an american fawn
she wanted all that her brain would behold
gardens of garland diamonds and gold
she wanted all that her guts could digest
taking what’s worse and leaving what’s best
but i still say

oh my white fawn i’m the wild one i’ll find you
out of the zoo i’m feasting on you one last time
oh my sparrow my heart so narrow for you only
i could love you i could love you one last time

the day she ran away everybody knew
they said “gone is the legend” but the legend just grew
out in the world she’s catching drops of rain
inside a hive of bees she’s guarding honey with stings
if i’d only obeyed my own advice
i would’ve never gone to her twice
but if i’d obeyed then i’d never have seen
her light in the dark that was splitting through the trees

oh my white fawn it’s me the wild one i’ll find you
out of the zoo i’m feasting on you one last time
oh my sparrow my heart so narrow for you only
i could love you i could love you for all time
Track Name: Monument
build your heart let it grow
your design can still be known
commemorate or bemoan
build upon your shoulder bone

tiffany (all goes) when you die
(to zero) so multiply
i admit i know the hollowness
of the ever absent soul

come and try me now but you can never tell
the secret i with you will share

break apart your monument
you left no space for consequences
build a place in your mind
to reconstruct your first design

benjamin (not all goes) when you die
(to zero) but still you try
love doesn’t always follow
toward the ever longing soul

come and try me now but you can never tell
the secret i with you will share
so close your eyes you my evil twin
don’t criticize me when i say “you can begin again”