The Great Divide

by Andrew Howie

supported by
/
1.
01:20
2.
03:27
3.
05:10
4.
5.
05:26
6.
03:48
7.
07:13
8.
9.
10.
03:10

about

Andrew Howie has been quietly making music as Calamateur since 2000, from his John Peel endorsed early releases through to his critically acclaimed later albums 'Each Dirty Letter' and 'The Quiet in the Land' (the former featuring the sublime duets with Jo Mango 'Retreat', and 'Change This World', as heard on BBC3's drama 'Lip Service'). As Calamateur, Andrew also contributed vocals to songs on the first two albums by Scottish collective The Grand Gestures.

After taking a break for a couple of years to concentrate on gaining an MA in songwriting, as well as working in Scottish prisons, schools and community groups running songwriting workshops, he's now ditched the Calamateur moniker and is writing, playing and releasing music under his own name.

Why ditch the pseudonym? "It just doesn't feel right anymore," says Andrew. "When I started making music the stage-name was something for me to hide behind. It's time for me to step out from behind the mask and learn to be comfortable in my own skin".

His debut (if we're allowed to call it that!) album is the soon-to-be-released 'The Great Divide', preceded by the single 'The Fury and the Sound', co-written with acclaimed Scottish singer-songwriter Yvonne Lyon. The single is backed with an unexpectedly upbeat, but haunting, cover of Nirvana's 'I Hate Myself And Want To Die'.

Other than Yvonne Lyon's gorgeous contributions of piano and backing vocals on four of the album's ten tracks, multi-instrumentalist Andrew performed, recorded and produced the album himself in his home studio. After carefully selecting and fine-tuning the bare bones of the songs (while discarding more than a few along the way), he crafted the sonic landscapes and arrangements over the course of a year to produce an album that is at once immediate and slow-burning. It is, without a doubt, his most assured offering yet - a long-player of meticulously crafted songs that unashamedly deal with the deeply personal (but universal) themes of uncertainty, conflict, parenthood and doubt, as well as the chasms (hinted at in the album title) that often exist within our everyday lives: between the people we want to be and the everyday reality of who we are, between the beliefs we publicly profess and the doubts we privately struggle with.

credits

released March 16, 2015

Written, played, recorded and produced by Andrew Howie, except:

'The Fury And The Sound' written by Andrew Howie and Yvonne Lyon.

Piano and backing vocals on 'The Fury And The Sound', 'Time On My Side', 'Paper Thin Walls' and 'Victory' by Yvonne Lyon @ www.yvonnelyonmusic.com

Recorded at home.

Mastered by Iain Hutchison @ www.glo-worm.com

Cover photo by Stephen McLeod @ www.allmyfriendsarejpegs.com
Cover design by Alister MacInnes @ www.dufi-art.com

Released on Autoclave Records. CLAVE015.

www.autoclaverecords.com

tags

license

all rights reserved

feeds

feeds for this album, this artist

about

Andrew Howie Stirling, UK

Andrew Howie (ex-Calamateur) is a Scottish singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer & prison/community group music tutor. He combines confessional & empathetic lyricism with acoustic instruments, noisy electronics & ambient textures to create introspective, hook-laden songs about uncertainty, doubt & love. You'll find him either holed up in his home studio or playing in your living room. ... more

contact / help

Contact Andrew Howie

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Arab Spring
Listen and I’ll tell you why
If you can’t understand me at all
I’m turning everything into blacks and whites
And friends into enemies

Living in the desert is hard
A walk across the great divide
The morning prayer a call to arms
A place to define myself by taking a side
And the questions and the doubts you adore
Are a luxury I can’t afford

So can’t you see I’m living in an occupied land
Where all I know is sinking in the sand
So now I’m grabbing onto anything I can I knew before

I back up every word I say
With a force that can’t be reckoned with
My morning prayer is that the world would see
I can separate truth from myth
And the source of my authority
Is just two steps away from me

So can’t you see I’m living in an occupied land
Where all I know is sinking in the sand
So now I’m grabbing onto anything I can I knew before

And this is not a strange or futile bid
I’m thinking of the future of my kids
And the boundaries they need to navigate
This terrifying world so filled with hate

This unforgiving desert heat
And the dust that gets in my eyes
Don’t lend themselves to thoughts of grace and peace
And lovers being reconciled
So I’ll defiantly stand my ground
And dismiss you without a sound

So can’t you see I’m living in an occupied land
Where all I know is sinking in the sand
So now I’m grabbing onto anything I can I knew before
So can’t you see you’re living in a liberal land
Where all you know is safe and close at hand
So now you’re taking it for granted
And losing your integrity in whispers and in shades
Track Name: Post
Goodbye evangelical certainty
You’ve served me well for thirty odd years
But now I know it’s time to leave
I am no longer a baby in your fragile little arms

So don’t tell me your stories
And don’t sing me your songs
And don’t presume that you know me
And that it’s me who’s in the wrong

Fear may well be the beginnings of wisdom and love
But I don’t want to be afraid anymore
And I need to grow up

Goodbye cookie-cutters and Sunday schools
How can I be part of this game if I don’t play by your rules
And it’s no fun for anyone with me just hanging around

So don’t tell me your stories
And don’t sing me your songs
And don’t presume that you know me
And that it’s me who’s in the wrong
I’ve had more than my share of this safety in numbers
And strong certainties
I choose to live in a dangerous world
Where I know I am free

And it’s no fun for anyone with me just hanging around

So don’t tell me your stories
And don’t sing me your songs
And don’t presume that you know me
And that it’s me who’s in the wrong
Can’t you see that the gossip, the grudges, the violence
Have taken their toll
I choose to escape from the clutches of your good intentions
And save my own soul

Who is that walking towards me as I
Leave these sinking ships
Beckoning me ever forward
With a whisper on her lips
There is more than this
Track Name: The Fury And The Sound
Your narrow street
Tenement wall
Your sandstone heart
That doesn’t fool me at all

Your darkened close
Cracks in the stair
Your burned out light
This is the armour you wear

Oh let me show what I’ve found
The fury and the sound
Tear your defences down

Your measured love
This counted cost
Your fearing heart
Can still redeem what is lost

Oh let me show you what I’ve found
The fury and the sound
Tear your defences down
Oh letting go is not defeat
Give up on your retreat
The place where two worlds meet

Take a breath
Take my hand
A few small steps
Into this no man’s land

Oh shake the dust off from your feet
Give up on your retreat
The place where two worlds meet
Oh let me show you what I’ve found
The fury and the sound
Tear your defences down
Track Name: Listen
Everywhere you go you bite your tongue
Keeping quiet to please some other someone
So please
Please listen
To me

Everyone you meet seems to be certain
Never taking a good look behind the curtain
So please
Please listen
To me

There is a voice lodged deep inside your brain
Gagged and bound since birth
Happily restrained
But these knots they are unravelling
Like the stories and the songs you sing
But it’s hard to kneel and to be disarmed
But you’ve got to believe that you cannot be harmed

So please listen
Please listen
Please listen
Please listen
To me
Track Name: Dead Ringer
Booted up in black steel toe caps
Holding little fragile hands
Prolonged and sentimental goodbyes
When he shouts he hopes she understands
The stitches slowly coming apart
Inside his heart

And he could count the years on fifty fingers
That he’s worn your smile and been a dead ringer
For a member of a club that is a mystery to me

Staring through Europa’s windows
Wishing he could sneak in and hide
From the prolonged and sentimental love songs
That make him contemplate suicide
And you wonder why his lips never part
Well, here’s a head start

Yeah he could count the years on fifty fingers
That he’s worn your smile and been a dead ringer
For a member of this club that is mystery to me
Baptised in black when he had zero comprehension
Of a life outside this monochrome dimension
That felt safe and warm but was a strange introduction to this world

And can you see he’s barely holding it together
That he’s tried to fake it but it doesn’t make it better
And the voices in his head they say they won’t be fooled again

But the best part of a Sunday is her smile
When he sees her face returning down the aisle
And they sing the songs together as he holds her in his arms

Yeah he could count the years on fifty fingers
That he’s worn your smile and been a dead ringer
For a member of this club that is a mystery to me
Baptised in black when he had zero comprehension
Of a life outside this monochrome dimension
That felt safe and warm but was a strange introduction to this world
And the darkness in his soul is like a poison
That consumes the light that people say can save him
But his scars are like a beacon in the freezing desert night
Track Name: Annie
Your weathered face
Longing to be free
From across the hall
Approaches me

It is a lovely thing to have known you
It is a lovely thing to have known you
It is

As we start to dance
Around and around
You close your eyes with a smile
And tears trickle down

It is a lovely thing to have known you
It is a lovely thing to have known you
It is a lovely thing to have known you
It is a lovely thing to have known you
It is
Track Name: Time On My Side
The twins have shared a room since they were born
And since that day time has relentlessly marched on
Now they are older it is time to separate
So I’ve got beds to build and rooms to decorate

I’m clearing out the junk from our spare room
With both a sense of wonder and impending doom
That every second, every hour slips through our hand
There is no safe deposit box, no on-demand

But don’t be afraid of the dark
Don’t be afraid oh trembling heart
Sometimes I cower, sometimes I hide
But I need more than time on my side

So I’m trying not to think about it all
Like I avoid the pictures on the kitchen wall
Of yesterdays that I never re-create
Can’t travel back towards to fix all my mistakes

But don’t be afraid of the dark
Don’t be afraid oh thankless heart
Sometimes I cower, sometimes I hide
But I need more than time on my side

So as the quietness descends upon our home
And for the first time late at night you are alone
As I lean in to whisper prayers in your ear
The words I choose will be the ones you need to hear

But don’t be afraid of the dark
Don’t be afraid oh trembling heart
No need to cower, no need to hide
And I need more than time on my side
Track Name: Paper Thin Walls
Listen and I’ll tell you a story
Of a girl who ran away
From a father who never raised his hand
But who hurt her in different ways

By always demanding perfection
Never releasing his hold
Believing that Jesus was on his side
And that love is a means to control

So can’t you see
Can’t you see all the damage you’ve done
And the war that nobody has won
Behind these paper thin walls

Each time the girl ran she would someday return
To this home where she strangely felt safe
But when the time finally came to leave home for good
She felt lost and alone and afraid

So she followed in her father’s footsteps
Wearing him like a disguise
And preaching to people a gospel of fear
To a church growing daily in size

So can’t you see
Can’t you see all the damage you’ve done
And the war that nobody has won
Behind these paper thin walls

Where every page
Is filled with rules
That you didn’t make
But that you still cling to
Like an old friend
Believing without them
Your world it would end
So tear down your paper thin walls
And see the damage that is done

When a love has been tarnished forever
The bail out can’t cover the costs
Well that’s when I hope there is something bigger than your
Definition of found and definition of lost
Come see the damage you’ve done
Track Name: Victory
We both know that I curse and I swear
My way through every day
And I lose my patience with
You and the kids
But please don’t mistake my curses for wishes
That you would change

Given half a chance to do it all again I would
Given half a chance to do it all again I would

I am the undefeated champion of under-appreciation
But I try to treasure every day with you
I have failed to set the world alight
I have failed to put the world to rights
But I know my victory is you

Given half a chance to do it all again I would
Given half a chance to do it all again I would
Given half a chance to do it all again I would

Every pipe band marching past
The humming underneath our flat
The starlings nesting in our roof
The godless evenings demanding proof
Every cry in every night
When I was wrong and you were right
Given half a chance to do it all again I would