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Sacred To The Shades

by Trapped Mice

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Compact Disc packaged in a lush eco-friendly 6 page Da Vinci File with sleeve design by Ian Tilling.

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  • Digital Album
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modern history, nothing's easy fallen empires and burnt tyres and bee stings g-strings stone-cold companion the deepest canyon the highest ransom still standing so handsome the right price balance carefully so bright and breezy the high trapeze seems to fly back so easy so teasing reach the summit babe we've won it overdone it dear, but hell, we've won it time fades sacred to the shades the safest place in a storm can wait we've waited, waited so long here's a song for a mind gone wrong still strong as the first time we climbed through the bars
i played through all the phases of the moon shaving silent circles out of view descending into blue and the light's gone, and i miss you i saw my face reflected in the sky sobbing rainy tears down from on high filling me with life like the night fills up the sunshine the day you left they sentenced me to life waiting til your ship comes sailing by tied up on the pier killing time, counting stars searching the night for shooting stars and satellites coming up short in fun and games of a lunar sort it seems so silly when you see it the tears twist your face so crooked how could this feeling kill me when feeling it fills me so fully call off the firing squad the rot's not set in yet yes, i'm a safe bet
these stones are old, and your body is cold and wrapped so sweetly so routinely sold, in slave girl clothes so long ago and so damn cold see those romans stole all that you knew like white stone loan sharks stripped you to the bone your soft young bones made themselves at home inside your clothes it's so sad to see a child upon her knees you made the old men grieve sweet tears between your teeth sat on a lap on a silver throne stretching out those soft young bones you made your masters moan old patrons crow: if only, only, only she lived to give the best a young girl could
history came to claim us on a thursday and the way we became was so different we believed we must be dying in the best way the taste in the air was so vibrant and they finally knew our names and found us so enlightening we were remembered as giants seems all it takes to be is dying all it really needs is a spark in the darkness of trying and in some starry sky they'll find us they'll watch us split the atoms of being with such beauty and they'll wonder how they missed us in a darkened room where we lay and we prayed in the shadows and the walls grew thick with ivy and you saw me grab hold of the last living fibre and we tied ourselves together and we fell into the darkness that crumbled around us and i realised then i loved you more than i could hold in the body i lost to this feeling like life but so much stronger oh hold me now just hold me for one minute longer oh hold on tight, and close your eyes step into the light i'll love you when i die oh! rest with me tonight as our bodies turn to fire
The Trial 07:06
they put me on trial then they put me away for a while but they couldn't say at what time the blame became mine when they put me on trial the courtroom shook as the judges pounded their books and they took one last long look at the life that they took when they put me on trial in darker days i might look at the mess i'd made and decide there's nothing to say they'll put me away for the mess that i've made but when you've seen through eyes that buy the sunlight's silence another shade comes out it's different now i mean it looks alright to me the tender way they all turn their eyes away as the judges say it shouldn't happen like this it should never be this way an easy life the finest mind that books can buy but then the legs fell out he's finished now a case of the saddest kind climbing, as winter follows winter in the city out there there's this memory haunts the air of someone climbing somewhere in never-ending libraries in stories i'll never find garden paths that fork in time with a slowly growing waistline we'll walk these halls and finally we'll find out what we became we are all the same the stand-ins for the stand-ins for famous names when the judgement came they judged me fairly they put me between the best there's ever been and the ones they won't believe
Erotion 03:42
the camera clicks and she smiles so sickly sweet with her knees on the sheets and she greets the eyes that glide all across the flesh that she can't hide can't hide no more and when she looks into the blinking lens it's so hard to send any kind of life out into the shining lights it's so hard to try in the street outside they're gathered far and wide she's so sure she knows deep down inside they're gathering far and wide to bring her life the blinking eyes of the men who sit there in sweating skin have seen everything and this one's sweet she's such a tender thing but nothing more than the eyes have seen before and promises sworn in the grey light of dawn of images that soar great visions of porn are casually withdrawn hastily reborn and they bark and they claw at the trails of endless meat they're shredding fearsome and forlorn like the dogs outside an essex wedding
Old Patrons 01:59
the morning was low in white autumn clouds then the evening came down with the sun to the ground the garden was neat the soil was swept they grew peaches so sweet for the creatures they kept but no sweetness can grow no nectar will flow when you're praying to god but the soil doesn't know and the money was gone and their fingers were numb and they waited so long for the space race to come travelling west with nowhere to go such hope in their chests left in pools by the road chasing a sign some signal in the wind a promise of light for those who have sinned caressing the breeze down on lover's bent knees it reads: there's fruit in those trees there's fish in that sea and the road struggled on and the travellers were numb and they waited so long for the space race to come this country was built by a hundred great men and we'll build it again when the signal is sent and the men they were brave took what stood in their way those natives now slaves made this country great and the men spilt the blood of the hopeless and damned spilt out with their hope tried to baptise the land and the land it grew strong and the people struck dumb and they waited so long for the space race to come
When I Sleep 04:24
she bathed me in pastel colours and put me on a screen i was everything the world could ever want the best that man could be she stuck me on some humdrum stage called a kingdom for a crowd then she looked the other way as mother nature took a bow but she could never be just slightly ordinary no, she will always seem so slightly out of reach she bathes me in some magical colour right out from her insides meanwhile i desire to hide all i feel in her tonight like there was better in the holy roman empire though she tells me otherwise but i know she's only sunk into my eyes as i hide in her tonight no, she could never be just slightly ordinary no, she will always seem so slightly out of reach she might be my victory speech when i sleep when i decline to breathe she likes to play the servile servant the timeless concubine like i could ever fathom her kind oh empress divine her hair hangs even longer than mine behind it headlamps shine i ask you in all that is holy could christ escape that light? no, she could never be just slightly ordinary no, she will always seem so slightly out of reach she might be my victory speech when i sleep when i decline to breathe
lying there, just me and you naked as the day we blew in on some western wind bound with skin, crumbling, thin slouching in my tarnished crown tugging and tearing at your gown, now stained with wine and all is ours this town, this time we're the finest line this age can spin casting off for emperors and kings but catching at the skin that crowns this oil slick in which we swim great men will fall as the seasons grow small we'll watch it all sacred to the shades are we when our time comes interred in shallow graves are we when our line is spun divine in all but name are we sacred to the shades i've seen us in times gone by remembered as giants now stylised by winning tribes you and i the shining marble prize together entwined in stone encasing your body but romans had orgies too and i've the same disease as you the statues that they might build the townsfolk inscribing: until they outweigh these ills they'll exist in this life still great men will fall as the seasons grow small we'll watch it all sacred to the shades are we when our time comes interred in shallow graves are we when our line is spun divine in all but name are we sacred to the shades


Two years on from their excellent debut album Winter Sun, - an album steeped in the chilly themes of longing, confusion, and a creeping sense of dread at the slow march of “progress” - the band return with Sacred to the Shades, an album that delves into historical allusions, stirred by the thought of living in the shadows of fallen empires, never quite learning from what has gone before. Ian Tilling explains;

“I read a sheet of translations from the inscriptions found on Roman funerary monuments. They spoke of loved ones who had passed on, now “sacred to the shades”, to the spirits of the dead, and these centuries-old stories struck a chord with me, and reminded me of themes I was already exploring in my song-writing. I've been fascinated by the idea of history repeating itself, and when I read the sad tales and warm-hearted manifestos in the various epitaphs, written so long ago, they seemed so rich and vital, like they could have been written yesterday”.

From the opening rumbles of ‘A Brief Introduction to Modern History’, with it’s pining guitar notes swooping above a rain-soaked serenade to some washed-up old circus performer down on his luck, Trapped Mice sound more assured than ever in their proclivity to all things atmospheric and mournful.

On ‘The French Lieutenant's Woman’ - inspired by the novel of the same name – the band weaves textures and masterfully builds tension. Lucie Miller’s violin winding beautifully about the vocal melody creates a sound that is suitably empathetic to Tilling’s words of abandonment, waiting and desperation.

The inscriptions that informed the writing surface throughout the album, but perhaps most prominently on the post-rock melancholy of ‘Slave Girl Song’ as Tilling explains;

“There was one inscription in particular, entitled “on the death of a young slave girl”, which moved me immensely, and it was clear to me that whatever the young girl Erotion had been through, there would be countless examples of people still alive today with similar experiences, without a stone epitaph to remember them by: "Let her now play and frolic with her old patrons, and lispingly chatter my name. Not hard be the turf that covers her soft bones, be not heavy on her, earth; she was not heavy on you.” Perhaps the intentions of her “old patrons” weren't as sinister as I imagine, but the parallels with modern sex-slavery, exploitation and people-trafficking were too obvious and too raw for me not to at least try and put some of how I was feeling into this song.”

Sacred to the Shades is arguably at its most striking on the two-part, ‘Shades’. Part one explores the idea of living in the shadows for a long time before eventually finding glory when you least expect it, and how that experience might make you feel about the person with whom you shared your life up to that point. Part two takes the idea of being two people together, in love, destined for something greater, and contrasts these grand historical ambitions with the absurdity of the pissed-up sex-addled reality of modern life


released April 6, 2015


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Trapped Mice Edinburgh, UK

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