Listen To The River

by the Collection

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about

A year after processing the deaths that lead to the Collection’s first full-length, vocalist David Wimbish found his faith and courage left at the bottom of a spiritual well. Listen To The River is the story of the rope that he used to climb out, one that’s strands were made of great spiritual writers, from Rumi and Kahlil Gibran to Herman Hesse and Lao Tse. The process that followed was a re-examination and reorientation of both his spirituality, and his marriage to member Mira Joy after mutually deciding to divorce last year, ultimately leading to an album created together, hoping to honor the past while accepting the present.
The band had spent much of the last few years touring the country as a unit of 7 people, and wanted to create an album that reflected the sound of their experiences together. Where previously the Collection had been approached as a community collective, Listen To The River is much more distinctly the sound of a band, one that has been through many tough and beautiful moments together.

credits

released March 24, 2017

Listen To The River was performed by
David Wimbish: Vocals, Guitar, Keys, Percussion, Strings, Baritone Horn, Vibraphone
Hope Baker: Clarinet, Saxophone, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Hayden Cooke: Bass Guitar, Vocals
Timothy Joel Austin: Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Joshua Dorsett: Electric Guitar, Loops, Vocals
Graham Dickey: Horns, Harp, Vibraphone
Mira Joy Wimbish: Vocals, Accordion, Percussion, Vibraphone

Additional Musicians:
Luke Skaggs: Fiddle on “Siddhartha”
Stephen Price: Synth on “Birds” and “The Alchemy Of Awe”
Joshua Ling and Terra Jo Kleigle (in addition to the collection) sang group vocals on “Birds,” “Siddhartha,” “Sing Of The Moon,” “So Many People,” “The Older One,” and “The Explorer.”

Executive Producer: Stephen Price
Co-producers: David Wimbish, Joshua Dorsett
Engineering: Stephen Price
Assistant Engineering: Joshua Dorsett, Ethan Gingrich, Dustin Lohr
Mixing: David Wimbish, Joshua Dorsett
Mastering: Adam Gonsalves, Telegraph Mastering
Art Concept: Brian Morgante, Flesh & Bone
Artwork: David Wimbish

The Collection feels enormous gratitude to James and Mikal Celentano, for being the best manager and team a band could ask for and for making this record even possible, Stephen and Kate Price for believing in this dream and seeing it to fruition, ElisaRay, Al Brilliant, our beautiful friends in Lowland Hum, and Aaron Weiss for spiritual and personal direction, Joel Case, The Helser’s, and A Place For The Heart for letting us use your beautiful studio, Gene Francis and Reynolda Church, Riede Dervay, Kevan Chandler, The Oh Hellos, Family & Friends, Cereus Bright, mewithoutYou, The Genuine, our parents, every venue that’s hosted us, every family that has hosted and/or fed us, and every person that’s ever listened to our music: we do not take for granted the fact that we can only do this because of you.

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about

the Collection Greensboro, North Carolina

The banjo-keys-glock-strings-brass-woodwinds-timpani-boy/girl-vocals-etc. of David Wimbish’s Greensboro collective may at first recall the figurine-songs of Sufjan Stevens – but only until one of the 12-member band’s delirious crescendos erupts. Wimbish employs as many as 20 instruments per track, yet the arrangements are judicious when they need to be- Shuffle Magazine ... more

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Track Name: Threshing Floor
I can no longer carry the ark if it’s causing the death of my friends
So I’ll trade that gold ballast for hand-laden altars,
And baptize myself in the lake
Oh, there was sorrow in every word
Oh, how it longed to be heard
But for the first time, I am not speaking, I am just listening until I can hear you on my own
Track Name: You Taste Like Wine
I’ve been searching too hard for my soul
Like it matters which words lead us home
When the end will not reveal its face
I guess I will rest in palms of grace

Am I lost or found? Or am I just here, waiting around
Until someone comes and tells me it’s okay to move?
And I’ll take another step toward you

You taste like wine
You taste like wine
You taste like wine
But I can’t find those vines

Was the path one my feet made clear?
Or was it laid out long before I appeared?
Each new love feels the same as before
Yet each old one keeps me longing for more

Is this all that we get? Or, is there something we forget
When we are born and hope to find it once again?
Open doors beckon us into you

You taste like wine
You taste like wine
You taste like wine
But I can’t find those vines

So c’mon, show me home and I will go

You taste like wine
And I think that is fine
Track Name: Mama
Mama, I know you cannot let go
The weight that I have placed upon your scales
Is more than they were meant to hold
But steady is the hand that leads me home
I’ve never known its plan, but I’m still grasping
To the other end of its rope
Like you

Lately you just speak in words that broke
Eventually the shards will break apart
Until they start in to make you choke
All of us were once baptized in hope
Holy water that you gathered from the father
Until it started coming out of your throat

And you felt it like a bad dream
But I watched it like a movie screen
Different eyes can see the same thing and not realize what it means

Oh, Lord, where did I go wrong?
A cut cord?
A kettle left too long?
But you won’t answer any prayers when I’m alone
Perfume words from alabaster songs
And tales of hurt described by fiery tongues
But you won’t answer any prayers when I’m alone

Mama, I know you cannot let go
Though we have both been rowing toward the ocean,
It seems our motions split some time ago
Steady are the hands with which we row
The way the rapids turn the land to sand
Feels like a steady plan to take us home

You felt it like an ending
But I saw it like a new scene
Different ears can hear the same thing and not agree on what it means

Oh, Lord, where did I go wrong?
A cut cord?
A kettle left too long?
But you won’t answer any prayers when I’m alone
Perfume words from alabaster songs
And tales of hurt described by fiery tongues
But you won’t answer any prayers when I’m alone
Track Name: Birds
I’ve held birds with broken wings
Between all my changing leaves
Keep my branches strong to hold their perch
But my roots can’t seem to quench my thirst

And the birds hate us naked trees
It’s our honesty that makes them leave
While the dark flock hovers,
Wondering what would help me keep my big mouth shut

And I will always tame my mind
What hand grafts us to what vine?
While the stars quietly speak
Of mystery
Or futility
Which will keep me steady on my feet?

You have built nests from all of my bark
For too long to tell us apart
But my branches always seem to break
When I look for you inside their shapes

And the earth will never tame its mind
What foot crushed us to what wine?
While the ocean loudly speaks
Of creativity
Or vanity
But which will keep me steady on my feet?

But they say, “You ask too many questions
You start too many fires
You dream of resurrection
But you’re too scared to die”
Track Name: No Maps Of The Past
When I look out the window, I only see my reflection
No memory crescendos, no past-year possessions
Where did all of our time go?
Like a ladder with no bottom
And each rung passing below:
I’ve already forgot them

How did I love you the first time we realized that we both did?
And all of the canyons in my mind were crossed upon your bridges
How did I used to hold you before you knew that you needed it
If everything always feels new, then what if nothing is?

I’m trying to find my way back to where we started
My tired mind holds no maps of the past
If you are the wine, I’m the headache you part with
Leaving us blind to why we ever poured the glass

When the rain comes tomorrow, and the sun peeks through small cracks
Then I’ll see you’re an echo of a sound I can’t get back
Where did all of our time go? What is it that we don’t know we’re missing?
There is no hope in photos if I can’t remember the feelings within them and

I’m trying to find my way back to where we started
My tired mind holds no maps of the past
If you are the wine, I’m the headache you part with
Leaving us blind to why we ever poured the glass

Oh, the saints go marching out with their faces full of doubt
That we meant the promises
Well, I can’t remember if we did

I’m trying to find my way back to where we started
My tired mind holds no maps of the past
If you are the wine, I’m the headache you part with
Leaving us blind to why we ever poured the glass
Track Name: Siddhartha (My Light Was A Ghost)
I keep losing everything I have
My keys, my phone, my friends, my hat
And every brick I laid each year collapsed
By some unnamed trumpeter marching past
And he asked

What if my light was a ghost?
Every breath comes out held by a gasp
With every timbered year tied loose to my soul’s raft
I’m tugging at my oars with waning grasp
And when I hear the river, it only laughs
And it asks

What if my light was a ghost?

The divine came and cut all my bark away
And I stood naked, awaiting the fire
Took my last breath from the sun and the wind and clay
And I was one with the whole earth’s desires
And I lived and died at the same time

What if my light was a ghost?
What if all failures and hopes are on the same river, afloat?
Then I think my light is a ghost
Track Name: Sing Of The Moon
I’ve always been told we hold black holes inside
That know from the start that every star must die
But it seems too convenient to lose track of time
Now that you’re gone, will my orbit unwind?

What northern wind blew us into the street
And what fatal one will we all someday meet?
Swept into a palace with no sign of a king
No court for us jesters, but we like to

Sing of the moon as it sometimes get shy
Running from lovers through starry-eyed skies
Morning comes quick bringing tragic goodbyes
Nothing ever really dies, right?

Someone’s lighting candles all over my floor
And placed “holy of holy’s” through every door
But who are our doubts said to?
Some half of the evening knew of listening ears, long withdrew?

So we sing of the moon and the face that it hides
Shining just half of its truth to our skies
But bring me the sun that gives it all its light
I don’t want to just wait to die
Alright
Track Name: So Many People
I painted you on my doorpost when the angel of death passed by
Your precious heart is like an orchard that grows within mine
And this house has become my cage,
All of the windows steal hours from my eyes
They let in so little light, I start to think that I’m blind

There are so many people
They fall like the snow that collects outside
I know between them, they feel everything
So I don’t have to feel alright

Well, I am lonely when I’m around people
They are all sure of things, and I can’t relate
But I’m still losing all of my sleep over all of our fate
I’ve been the altar inside of your temple
I have been condescended by stars
And I know there is no stranger feeling
Than knowing no one knows where you are

There are so many people
They float like the lashes that fall from my eyes
I know between them, they believe everything
So I don’t have to be right
Track Name: The Older One
Where’s the “you” that we all used to love?
When the spirit came upon you like a dove?
And your love felt exactly like ours was
Well, I can’t believe it’s not enough

Since the day that you dyed your hair black
We were worried that the serpent would snap
You never know when you might be attacked
And once you go, you can never come back

Now the current pulls you out toward that ocean we spoke about
I always thought that all we needed lived around its mouth
But you find peace within the river’s sounds

And your love was received through a sieve
And it left a small crease in your gifts
And furrowed brows on the way that you live
Well, I can’t believe the things you did
To find light in the darkest of rooms
To find sun in the smallest of moons
To find that everything dies too soon
So why not love the road to ruin?

And now the current pulls you out toward that ocean we spoke about
I always thought that all we needed lived around its mouth
But you find peace within the river’s sounds

You taught me movement sometimes can be safe
When I was always scared to run away
Tired of lines we’re told that we should trace
Drawn by pens of someone else’s faith
Well, I’ve always loved the pictures that yours paints

Now the current pulls you out toward that ocean we spoke about
I always thought that all we needed lived around its mouth
But you find peace within the river’s sounds
Track Name: The Alchemy Of Awe
I hope to break myself open,
Drain this poison water
Let it flow back to its ocean
That I used to call, “Father”
Every absence is a door to walk through
But it all leads to empty rooms
And the writing on the wall says,
“We were never here”

But if awe is the salve for my eyes,
Than I’ve gone blind
We are not hard to find
But we’re all lost all of the time
And I was a creature of habit
So I got myself stuck on your rabbit trails
And I’m trying hard to leave myself

When you’re constantly in motion
The forest has no trees
And the one I climbed was broken
And I fell quick through its iridescent leaves
All my cravings, in your absence, moved
To lesser things that I love too
And the writing on the wall says,
“We were fading quickly”

I dreamed of ropes tied ‘round the rafters
But I heard your heart shatter,
And I woke and cried ‘till
My eyes saw things clearly
That fear would keep me here even if this life had scared me

And if awe is the salve for my eyes,
Then I’ve gone blind
I am not hard to find,
But I feel lost all of the time
I was a creature of habit
I am leaving your rabbit trails
And I am trying hard to believe myself
Track Name: The Listener
All of my life, I’ve been asking the same things
And I still don’t think I’m closer to an answer
I’d build an ark at the first sighting of rain
But the sky just stays the same and I feel landlocked by our conversation

I can’t tell the difference between stars and lights that I’m to follow
They all glow

So set my sails toward westward gales
And pray that love don’t just blow one direction

500 times I’ve asked you if you’re still there
And I never hear replies, yet somehow I’m still doing fine
If I find land, will I know if it was planned, or if it’s all just happenstance?
And will it matter as long as there is ground around for my feet?
If I head south, will that be heresy?
No, I don’t think so

So cast my fears away from piers
And pray that love don’t just blow one direction

Listen to the river, now
Listen to the river

When I woke up, you were standing on the opposite bank
And I saw that you never needed to be saved
And I know, I know, I know
That I’ve seen the light go out in so many friend’s eyes
But the wind can’t take the spark that settled inside
And I know, I know, I know we’ll be alright