Things We Learned to Live With

by Asthmatic Harp

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shaunpanda
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shaunpanda Possibly the most beautiful EP you're ever likely to hear. Favorite track: Bird of Paradise.
fbartilotti
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fbartilotti Magical! Hannah's voice, the harp, the clarinet: it all fits together in very tender and beautiful songs. Favorite track: Bird of Paradise.
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1.
Lyrics: Bird of Paradise Let’s walk through the greenhouse travel through time and see a Bird of Paradise You’re telling me it’s in your parent’s backyard Brightly coloured birds in flight Bluish green eyes What is this thing called spring? You are asking me What are the odds hypothetically? I am measuring seconds moments of pure light Are you eager to read the lyrics I’m writing? Brightly coloured birds in flight Bluish green eyes There is the heat of love The pulsing rush Magic to make the sanest man go nuts I’ll be the one to warn you… When this day comes will we stand up? When our house burns will we stand up? When the firemen come will we stand up? When our heartbeats turn will we stand up?
2.
Tree by leaf Deep waters I wish you were here with me Stone by stone Outweighs us I wish you were here with me Tiptoe over the bridge to memories we lost To fights we fought and things we learned to live with Burning into the night I can’t swim or reach you on a lake with no name To the boats Afloat us I wish you were here with me Tiptoe over the bridge to memories we lost To fights we fought and things we learned to live with Burning into the night I can’t swim or reach you I can’t swim or reach you on a lake with no name
3.
Limbo 05:02
Lyrics: Limbo This isn’t public art anymore, This is intimacy made so you want to look away, Unless you have the stomach for it. I wanted to hold your hand but I was so far away, And I was distracted by the way your lower lip was surplus to your moonface: You articulate mime, must you pale that way like a slowly freezing pond? And if this is a kind of ending let it be a kind one, This terrible birthday present: Just a small ruck of ice-shavings after ungrateful slice of blade, giftwrapped in Mondays. I wanted to hold your hand but I was so far away, And I was distracted by the way your lower lip was surplus to your moonface: You articulate mime, must you pale that way like a slowly freezing pond? I don't know if I believe my self anymore or if I even recognize my voice When I replayed the tapes. Take your time. I don't want a thank you note. I wanted to hold your hand but I was so far away, And I was distracted by the way your lower lip was surplus to your moonface: You articulate mime, must you pale that way like a slowly freezing pond? The problem of comfort and comforting is not what matters but how we make a mattering of it. I wanted to hold your hand but I was so far away, And I was distracted by the way your lower lip was surplus to your moonface: You articulate mime, must you pale that way like a slowly freezing pond?
4.
Lyrics: Drones over Gatwick Just because she said so Doesn’t mean she cares Just because she loves him Doesn’t mean she can She is just restless But no one cares to see She just drifts further and further away in the North Sea Is it the drones over Gatwick? Is it the constant hum in my ear? Or am I too Scandinavian? Do I not belong here? Just because he knows her Doesn’t mean he knows Not until it matters Then it matters most He is just restless But no one cares to see He just drifts further and further away in the North Sea Is it the drones over Gatwick? Is it the constant hum in my ear? Or am I too Scandinavian? Do I not belong here? Just because it feels good Doesn’t mean it’s good Just because it matters Doesn’t mean it should We are just restless But no one cares to see We just drift further and further away in the North Sea Is it the drones over Gatwick? Is it the constant hum in my ear? Or am I too Scandinavian? Do I not belong here?
5.
Lyrics: Five Day Forecast Small talk by a bus stop I was just pretending to be me It is tricky Two stops that is just enough time to sit and hum in solitude Or time to meet someone new Five day forecast Winds are sweeping past Fast strong winds Soon to batter Britain again No chance for the sun to dance Rainy grainy look out on the streets They need sweeping But you’re fine there is still time Do you have to rush round’ to succeed I don’t think you need to Five day forecast Winds are sweeping past Fast strong winds Soon to batter Britain again It stayed mild throughout the week Against my predictions Against all odds we were speaking Five day forecast Winds are sweeping past Fast strong winds Soon to batter Britain again

about

‘Things We Learned to Live With’, a Neo folk ep, recorded over the course of a year by Danish-born, Glasgow based artist Asthmatic Harp aka. Songstress Hannah Fredsgaard- Jones, is set to be released on 4th November. It’s the sound you’d expect from a perfect sonic marriage between Joanna Newsom’s wonderfully strange sound world and the soothing, pure tones of Laura Marling.

Following on from the critically acclaimed ‘Lost Astronaut’, which was given 5/6 stars in the major Danish Music Magazine Gaffa who labelled it as “Pop Music that takes it a step further”, Hannah set to work writing and recording ‘Things We Learned to Live With’, a collection of intricately arranged contemporary folk ballads. During the same year she was a resident artist at the Roundhouse where she played the 1,700 seated capacity Roundhouse main stage as the opening act for Sam Palladio and later travelled to Austin (Tx) showcasing her music alongside the American The Voice contestant Josh Halverson.

Collaboration is a key feature of Asthmatic Harp’s work. The ep features appearances from Amy Winehouse Foundation artist Sophie Kilburn and fellow Roundhouse artist Laurence Morgan from the London band Kid Jupiter. The track ‘Limbo’ is based on a poem by Manchester based queer writer and performer Roma Havers. ‘Things We Learned to Live With’ also features select international musicians like Ruth Shave (Modern Vampires) on synth and backing vocals, New York based percussionist Kendall Perry, Dutch Julia Koelmans on piano and D’Addario Single Reed Prize winner Heather Ryall on clarinet.

Recorded by Asthmatic Harp solely in the best DIY manner, mixed and mastered by Sam Smith in Glasgow’s Green Door Studio, these are songs you’ll hear one day and still be humming a week later. They are eclectic and inescapable with Hannah’s emotive vocal, delicate acoustic guitar, with clarinet gently weaving in and out between subtle synthesisers, percussion and tinkling piano notes

Lead single, ‘Bird of Paradise', was written in late 2014 after a walk in the botanical gardens in the Danish harbour city of Aarhus. A euphoric ode to new love sealed by a familiar flower found blooming in a foreign spring: a fledgeling romance and a tale not yet begun. “It was one of the first straight up love songs I wrote. At the time I think I had this rather snobbish idea that being a Singer-Songwriter writing love songs on my guitar was a cliché that I did not want to subscribe to. So I kept the song hidden away in a folder on my laptop for all this time”, says Hannah. When ‘Bird of Paradise’ was released as a single earlier in the year, it had UK blog Independent Music News proclaiming that “If the first day of spring could take the form of a song, Bird of Paradise, would be it”. With Tom Robinson also picking up the song for airplay on BBC6 Music it seems evident that ‘Bird of Paradise’ was always meant to be shared with the world.

‘Drones over Gatwick’ is a duet with fellow Roundhouse artist Laurence Morgan. The song is an unapologetic ear-worm with a chorus that lifts you off the ground and into a universe of close harmonies and ethereal autoharp strums. ‘Drones over Gatwick’ was written in the aftermath of the drone sighting incidents in Gatwick airport in December 2018 that saw the airport close down the runway and divert and cancel 1,000 flights. The song weaves a politically charged story of isolation and alienation from the personal experience of an airport shut down and has Asthmatic Harp asking “Is it the drones over Gatwick? Is it the constant hum in my ear, or am I too Scandinavian, do I not belong here?”. Using the drones as a metaphor for the language used by many cultural and political voices, Asthmatic Harp makes you question your own sense of belonging in a place.

Closing track ‘Five Day Forecast’ meditates on the unpredictability of the weather and twists life sometimes takes like sudden Pandemics and drone sightings over airports. It forecasts stormy weather and “strong winds soon to batter Britain again” which, for a song that was written pre-Covid-19, reverberates with an unnervingly accurate prediction of what was coming. “Do you have to rush round’ to succeed?”, Asthmatic Harp sings reflecting on how our busy lifestyles and toxic productivity might just make us miss out on life’s simple pleasures like an interesting conversation with a stranger at a junction waiting for the lights to change. ‘Five Day Forecast’ track neatly sums up many of the ep’s key themes.

credits

released November 4, 2020

Lyrics/Music: Hannah Fredsgaard-Jones

Vocal, Acoustic Guitar, Autoharp: Hannah Fredsgaard-Jones
Synth, BV's: Ruth Shave
Clarine, BV's: Heather Ryall
Percussion: Kendall Perry
Piano: Julia Koelmans

Mix/Master: Green Door Studio, Glasgow
Supported by Help Musicians UK

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Asthmatic Harp Glasgow, UK

“A delightfully playful slice of alt-folk pitched somewhere between Regina Spektor’s characterful delivery and Laura Marling’s near-perfect tones.”
Asthmatic Harp is the musical moniker of Glasgow based songwriter and composer Hannah Fredsgaard-Jones.

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