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Republic of Paradise

by Aphir

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  • A5 sized lyrics booklet featuring lyrics to all songs plus additional poems and illustrations by Goodie. graphic design by Simone Thompson

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1.
2.
Directionless you need from me some new problem to circle round, some new problem to feed upon. I try not to give you one But I can’t get to sleep till we fix our mistakes or make new ones, fix my mistakes or take yours up - can’t move on while you’re here stuck Emotionless, I’m clean to be your blank slate to break, do what it takes to keep that circle just - I feel no thirst so I’ll outlast Directionless you need from me some new problem to circle round, some new problem to feed upon - I try not to give you one I try not to give you one I try not to give you one I try not to give you one
3.
Evelyn Said 03:02
Evelyn said the fears that plague us crystallise into firm foundations for our new worlds, if we face them. I’m afraid that I’m afraid of all the wrong things, only made of transient airflow, thin momentum: if I don’t move, the world will cave in. If I don’t move the world will cave in If I don’t move the world will cave in I’ve been so scared that soon you’ll hate me - things have been tense between us lately. Hurting myself, I call it bravery - heading wherever your questions take me. Heading wherever these questions take me: I’ll be whoever my doubt can make me. No good ideas without you, no songs except about you, but love can’t change my mind - though grown so old, no longer blind. Back when I thought of earning the bright light in you burning I never thought I’d find that you’d break other hearts than mine.
4.
I told the harpies only you - a half-lie their keen eyes saw through. They tore my hair because they knew I have to hold the steelyard too. And with its weight, what shall I do with half my heart’s entire truth? Damn Damocles, I can’t be useful - pressure only leaves me bruised. I told the harpies only you - a half-lie their keen eyes saw through. They tore my hair because they knew I have to hold the steelyard too. And with its weight, what can I do with half my heart’s entire truth? Damn Damocles, I can’t be useful - heat uncloaks me, weak and bruised. I’ll tell the harpies I withdrew when overrun, with fear suffused and hope they claw my form in two and swear they’ll suffer no fake news.
5.
my feelings could be a priceless masterpiece if they weren’t all happening at once.
6.
Residual coward - Carve her out. She moves too slow Enmired in doubt. A viscous stride Can’t keep the pace. I close my eyes - angelic faces circle round, the beat of wings revokes all sound except its own. Oh! come replace my fitful drone with one whole, constant - pure in tone. I shut my eyes and lift my face.
7.
8.
Helianthemum 02:50
9.
the war waif rises, sighs, breathes rings of fire round the ones I love I dream and with my eyes shut I draw pools of water up they lap the sore, subdue it till it lies down soothed at last and drowns at the protection stones the corsair of the past. black tourmaline defences standing staunch around the heart that I have left outside my chest that I have set apart. obsidian to break the curse on those who know too much, green malachite to will away her sweet malignant touch. pure amethyst for clarity: reform the edges smudged and blurred inside her cloud of smoke - fresh eucalypt to crush: I breathe deep and restore my sense: return to me the art I learned from her without the secret defect at its heart.
10.
Paradise knows no fear Paradise knows no fear, Just the dimmest memory, paradise knows no fear Paradise will hold. Hell is talk and paradise is action, Paradise is action, Just the slightest movement starts its motion, It unfolds. Paradise is human, not a chosen few but all - We’ve worked for this, we choose it And we’ll grow in strength as we grow old. Paradise remembers, Paradise forgives, In paradise clean endings hold a sacred weight, A pure and holy thing. Paradise knows no fear Paradise knows no fear, Just the dimmest memory, paradise knows no fear Paradise will hold.
11.
Too Much 01:05
My limbs grow each step. My lungs glow each step. I try not to show it but I have too much - A pure and endless love, destroying all I touch.
12.
Reverse Pandora: call them back, hold the lid and feel the vacuum pull them in all hurt retracted. Spare the last that one pure omen: hold it fast and hold it true. The sunlight cast, the cornflowers grow all debt is void - begin anew.
13.
Bold, bare-handed, we will tear in the night sky, ragged there, slender rents disclosing clear and lightfilled pathways, hanging spheres. Falling force-fields draw us on - No accident: our weight belongs to gravity, and all our strength before the changing light must bend. The sun spins and its fiery spokes make silhouettes of all my hopes: the hills, disguised as data lines, chart heights of love that can’t be mine. So how shall Paradise be built? One sour ambition, first instilled through honest yearning must be killed: I live just to preserve myself. Now no emotion be unfelt! Rest the illness, make us well! Now no emotion be unfelt! (rest the illness, rest the illness) Now no emotion be unfelt! The best in us remains, upheld No emotion be unfelt, The best in us remains.

about

In the early months of 2019, Aphir scrapped an album that she truly hated, and made another record that she truly loved.

Fast-forward twelve months, and on the cusp of release, the pandemic hits. The mood of the world had changed and, like the rest of us, Aphir felt terrified about what might lie ahead, and celebrating the release of the record was the last thing on her mind.

Instead, she started making other music, partly to help her feel strong, feel less frightened; and out of those sessions came an entirely different kind of album - the third prospective album in less than 18 months.

The poetry that underpins the album was all written before production began, but the intensity of the work posed its own unique problem. "The poems were written in the absolute height of bleak prediction at the start of the pandemic" says Aphir, "and I felt kind of scared to revisit those words and work on the songs by myself. I didn't want to be cloistered away with my own brain."

The solution to the problem was just as unique. Aphir chose to live stream the record’s creation on Twitch, where she could chat to other people while she worked; as well as collaborating remotely with some of her favourite Australian artists and friends. The roll-call of companions includes LOUV, Arrom, Brambles, Sia Ahmad, KAIAR, Lack The Low, Sandy Hsu and Tilman Robinson.

The result of this utterly unique set of circumstances and the cathartic release of in-the-moment feelings is 'Republic of Paradise' - a record of these chaotic times, made in a moment that none of us will forget.

credits

released September 25, 2020

all tracks mixed and mastered by Becki Whitton

synth drone & additional vocals on track 2 by Sandy Hsu (sandyhsu.bandcamp.com)

analogue/tape sounds on track 4 by Sia Ahmad (shoebahmad.bandcamp.com)

choral drone on track 6 by Karla Gilbard (KAIAR - kaiarmusic.bandcamp.com/))

bass on track 6 by Kat Hunter (Lack The Low - lackthelow.bandcamp.com/album/one-eye-closed)

harmonium on track 7 by Tilman Robinson (tilmanrobinson.bandcamp.com/album/culturecide)

korg Z1 on track 9 by Mira Dawson (Brambles - brambles.bandcamp.com)

choir and additional vocals on track 12 by Melissa Vallence (Arrom - arrom.bandcamp.com/album/take-my-lymphs)

glass rim/vocal drone on track 13 by Louise McKnoulty (LOUV - www.instagram.com/louvmeplease/)

all lyrics by Becki Whitton

album art photography by Isabella Connelley (www.instagram.com/isabellaconnelley/)
with hair and makeup by Kate McWilliam (katemcwilliam.com)
styling by Simone Thompson (www.instagram.com/shiftyear)
watercolour painting by Karla Gilbard (www.instagram.com/karlapaints_/)
and additional digital editing by Hans Van Vilet (www.hunz.com.au)

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Aphir Melbourne, Australia

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