Beauty In The Blue

by Sarah Hiltz

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about

Sarah Hiltz is an emerging singer/songwriter expanding the alternative Canadian folk tradition with her latest album, Beauty in the Blue, a compilation of songs and stories culled from her multiple journeys across Canada as a travelling musician on cross-country Via Rail passenger train, “The Canadian”. Inspired by the vastness and diversity both of Canada’s northern landscape and its inhabitants, Sarah fell in love with the quiet strangeness of train travel, the ever-changing vistas out the carriage windows, and the frank, open way strangers share their stories in those carriages; in hearing stories of pain, suffering, and beauty, Sarah found herself inspired to document not only the stories shared with her through song, but her own struggles in how to engage with those stories beyond her own art. Beauty in the Blue, co-produced by Sarah and Kevin Howley (Running Red Lights), sounds like the soundtrack to a country-wide journey-- lush, nuanced vocals and jazz-influenced songwriting is complimented by a highly sensitive rhythm section and stand-out guitar work provided by Sarah’s long-term collaborators, drummer Jordan Michaelis and multi-instrumentalist David Puzak. The conversational lyrics are an attempt to connect strangers who share their stories, and in so doing create a bridge across the eclectic gap in our Canadian experiences, expressing what many suffering pain, loss, and confusion have found before- that through the storms that flash blue across our skies, there is beauty to be found if we are vulnerable with one another, if we listen, if we share our stories.

credits

released November 7, 2017

All songs written by Sarah Hiltz
Produced by Sarah Hiltz & Kevin Howley
Recorded at Dream Date Studio and Palace Sound by Kevin Howley
Mixed by Josh Bowman
Mastered by Harris Newman
Artwork by Becca Howes

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Track Name: I Took A Risk
Left home today
Now I'm in an unfamiliar place
Not sure what I'm looking for
Or where I'll come to be

But I fought this off
For far too long
Couldn't stand to stay here
For another day
I took a risk
It was for the best… I think

Got a way of losing my way
Inside my head I'm losing conviction
Always end up spinning
Til nothing's clear anymore
All a blur anymore

Now I'm standing on
The edge of it
But what 'it' is I can't quite grip
In a world unknown
Will I free-fall or fly?

Is this my childhood dream
Come to life?
Me, alone on land,
I'm in a sea of sand
I'm stuck here standing still
And I'm nothing but a name

Got a way of losing my way
Inside my head. I'm losing conviction
Always end up spinning
Til nothing's clear anymore
All a blur anymore
Track Name: Inside My Mind
Inside my mind
It is buzzing
Just a
Sort of constant drone
Enough to keep my head
From focusing
On anything but you

But even that as a topic
Does not
Quiet the noise
Because it
Goes nowhere, it goes nowhere
And it’s a waste of my time
It’s a waste of my mind
It’s a waste of this line

Inside my world
I am walking
All along the edges hoping that I’ll
Run into you by
Chance without trying
So I won’t have to show that
It matters to me

When it’s been all of twenty
Days since we last spoke
But my world is too small
I don’t
See you at all
And I wish I didn’t have to
Give up the dream
I wish I didn’t have to
Hide what I mean
When I say that
I wish that the timing had been..

can't seem to
I wish I
could keep
the noise down
that I could
keep my thoughts
from running wild
from drowning out
the
quiet
quiet
I want to hear nothing
hear the music
of nothing

I wish that the timing had been..
Been…
Been…
Track Name: Without You
I wanna grow greener and brighter
I wanna be better, go further together

When I see the lightness in your eyes
I can see futures where this love never dies

But I’ve seen those eyes turn grey
I’ve seen that lifeless gaze
When you’re not okay

Without you I wither, without you I fade
Without you I’m half dead in the land of the living
Without you I spiral, without you I spin
Without you I just might cave in
Cuz baby if you’re a dying sun, then I’m a dying planet
In your system

When I see the light leaving your eyes
Matter of time till I lose sight of the why’s

But don’t call it dysfunction (commitment)
Maybe our own ecosystem or co-orbit

If you fall, I will falter
If you want, I will be there
Isn’t that a pair?

Without you I wither, without you I fade
Without you I’m half dead in the land of the living
Without you I spiral, without you I spin
Without you I just might cave in

Without you I wither, without you I fade
Without you I’m half dead in the land of the living
Without you I spiral, without you I spin
Without you I just might cave in
Cuz baby if you’re a dying sun, then I’m a dying planet
In your system
Track Name: No Proof
When I tell you to 'hang in there' there's less behind that phrase
Than there ever used to be before
I've been running low on answers for a long time
I can learn to live with questions
But the questions pile up
It's getting heavy on my shrugging shoulders

I don't have any proof
But I need it to be something that I know

When you tell me this can't go on forever
Well I couldn't agree more
You're afraid of the end, I don't blame you, but this ain't then
We can make a list of absolutes
You can point to evidence
And while you wait for a verdict, I'll claim a victory

I don't have any proof
But you'll take nothing less than factual nonsense

When we've been at this same-old-same discussion
For the 100th time this year
I get dizzy from the cyclical motion
Aren't you restless with the pattern?
Aren't you tired of hanging on
To a lifelong supposed biblical notion?

I don't have any proof
But then neither do you, so let's get on with it

No proof that it will be okay
No proof that it will get better
No proof that you even love me
No proof anyone is up there
No proof that we'll stay together
No proof that you will be happier
No proof that the worst is over
No proof that the worst will happen
Track Name: What We Leave Behind
I heard you're doing battle again
In a war that should be long over
They say the rain falls on everyone
But always harder on a few
And I guess that that means you
You know that you have got the strength
You hear it all the time
I'm just the last in that long line

There's nothing I can do to undo this
There's nothing I can offer to ease it
If everything they say is the truth, then love
Is what we leave behind at the end
So I'm sending you love

I seem to get the blow by blow
I see the punch, then your blood starts to flow
It spills into puddles that spell out words and ask for explanation
Why your blood and why not mine?
Why is this happening again?
Life is short for anyone and framed with so much suffering

There's nothing I can do to undo this
There's nothing I can offer to ease it
If everything they say is the truth, then love
Is what we leave behind at the end
So I'm sending you love

There's nothing I can do to undo this
There's nothing I can offer to ease it
If everything they say is the truth, then love
Is what we leave behind at the end
So I'm sending you love
Track Name: Best I Can Believe
Pink flashes in a darkening sky
Hot summer electric night
Means more light than I am used to

These short nights wear me down
Longer days keep me wound up
Wondering where you got to

The cold sting of no goodbye
An exit with no reason why

How many times do I need to say I love you?
How many lines must I write before you know it’s true?
Did you really think I wouldn’t mind?
That’s the best I can believe
About you

I stare straight out into the wild
This light show has me beguiled
Each colourful flash brings me back to you

The sharp pang of knowing life
Moves on whether or not I’m by your side

How many times do I need to say I love you?
How many lines must I write before you know it’s true?
Did you really think I wouldn’t mind?
That’s the best I can believe
About you

So many years spent on this
They can’t mean nothing
I don’t know what I did but please just say
That I’m forgiven
It’s the best thing I could hear from you

How many times do I need to say I love you?
How many lines must I write before you know it’s true?
Did you think I wouldn’t mind? Come on, wouldn’t you?
But that’s the best I can believe
About you
Track Name: Fight Your Dark
You know that you weren’t in my plans here
I never saw it working
But lately I’ve been up nights
Wondering how you are and how you’ll be
Staring at my ceiling
Thinking of the things you said to me

You say that you’re all on your own here
You’ve got no one to hold you
Your words are breaking up
My stone heart
I guess I won’t be leaving you alone
To fight your dark

I’d been bitter for a long time
I’d been indifferent for a long while
You said some things that hurt me
And I never thought I’d see you at my door
Now you’re crying on my couch
Asking what it’s all been for

You say that you’re all on your own here
You’ve got no one to hold you
Your words are breaking up
My stone heart
I guess I won’t be leaving you alone
To fight your dark

Every time you show up
You send me reeling
Tables turned, now I learn
You know the feeling
It’s a beginning

You say that you’re all on your own here
You’ve got no one to hold you
Your words are breaking up
My stone heart
I guess I won’t be leaving you alone
To fight your dark
Track Name: Traveller's Grace
Take the space that you need
Take all the time, I'll stand aside
And make room for you to breathe
You're one I have known all of my life
That's something to hold onto

I've looked down the path
But not round the bend
That you plan to tread
'Cuz life's a mystery not mathematical
No one can know
How it will all end up

Flashes of fear
I push away, try to have faith
That you'll still be the same
Ok, maybe changed
But still the same heart I've known and loved
Always

Eight years on the road
Wandering round the desert of doubt
Have made your visions tangible
But all through the good, or the darkest of nights
You move through life with Grace

Flashes of fear
You push away, try to have strength
So you'll make it okay
So that you'll find a way back to the place that you call home
One day

Home
Home
I knew that you'd come home one day
I only had to wait
Track Name: How To Pour Whiskey For Strangers
Nighttime fell hours ago
Black jagged landscape against a sapphire glow
I’m sitting still but somehow moving
Through tunnelled darkness towards moonlight

I guess that means I lost a bet
I owe someone somewhere an un-payable debt
I guess the night has many faces
And some of them must put me through my paces

I’m staring into faces that I don’t know
C’mon look me in the eyes; I need to feel somebody’s soul
I can see you keep your secrets hidden underneath that hat
Won’t you tell me everything about that?

Let’s share another drink to pass the time
I’ll share my whiskey like you shared your wine
Rye smoothes over rougher edges
Of Rocky Mountains and conversations

I measure the weight by rhythm
Hold horizontally for so long
I make it equal by the sound
Stop the pour before you hear this note’s gone

I’m staring into faces that I don’t know
C’mon, look me in the eyes; I need to feel somebody’s soul
I can see you keep your secrets hidden underneath that hat
Won’t you tell me everything about that?

You’re standing on your own two feet
Pretending that you can’t
But if we’re gonna waste the night away
That’s the worst thing to pretend
Pretend you know me well
And that we’ve always been good friends
Just pretend until the night has ended
Track Name: Beauty In The Blue
Oh, my bright home
plunged into the night
Bowing beneath
The weight of winter’s plight

In the frigid air a feeling hangs
Of the tension between joy and pain

Oh, my night sky
Flashing green and blue
Giving me glimpses of a world I thought I knew

There are unfamiliar shadows here
Underneath a sky I wish was clear

I never thought I’d wanna see the trees cry
But what’s a few shed tears to a surrender?
I never thought I’d meet you on this side
But darkness has a way of helping us find
A little light

Oh, my blue friend
Warm up here tonight
With the knowledge
That I am on your side

Oh, my night love
Hold me till I’m bright
With the warmth that
You give to me right

Oh, my bright home
Beauty In The Blue
Wait awhile yet
We will make it through

Through the hardship here
We’ll hold on tight
Till the morning comes
And sheds its light