Cousins

by Kim Janssen

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1.
Dynasty 03:28
I awake from a dream, the room has grown dark I hear voices and the snapping of fireworks The doorway is lit up and surrounded by blackwood trees And the midnight parade, swims around me The rivers swarm with lights and there are bonfires in the streets Shots ring in the night and the dynasty rains down through the sky, in a golden-white, shimmery haze And the earthquake man stirs and slowly wakes The bright colors shoot through my blood I can barely speak or walk The coral and steel and the mud The palace lights move through my blood But mark the roads and silver trees For they will shift in the night while you sleep And the mountains will grow, even the lakes slowly will begin to change And rivers can vanish without a trace Old pines wander about in the night Old signs quietly change over time Old pines wander about in the night Old signs are quietly changing all the time The coral trees and the mud The humid nights move through my blood The coral and steel and the mud The bright colors shoot through my blood The coral and steel and the mud The warm nights still move through my blood
2.
Take Shelter 03:39
Golden Adelaide Fell asleep when we were somewhere above Malaysia I dreamt about Daniel and the King, there were only three men in the fire I couldn't see the fourth one Of late, I've been trying grief on like a shirt I cried in the backseat on the way to Versailles You know what's coming, but you can't prepare yourself for a famine If you've never known hunger Every night I'm kicked off to sea And the elephants wander through our street They're saying the ground will tremble soon, I've got some extra shoes and a coat under the bed I can hear the black bear from the zoo across the street, I think he knows that the wall might be coming down soon I have everything packed and the dollar bills already folded up and hidden in my underwear because this silence really terrifies me, I've kept my ear down against the ice cold steel of the tracks So let the fire pour from the heavens Let the valley move while we sleep tonight Send a flood or a storm I don't think that I can stand waiting anymore No snakebites or beestings, no broken noses or knees I always did find it strange, there was never a scratch on me You can pack up the moon now and put away the sun I don't need the stars anymore you can put out every one
3.
Host 03:13
Under the lamp outside I see a host of leaves rising up They jitter in the night air And dance around for a while As though they have a will of their own And know something that I do not know And in my mind I'm spinning around on my feet And swirling like a swarm of killer bees And between the stars Lights have shifted in the sky They're moving around me in the dark As though they have a will of their own And know something that I do not know And in my mind I'm spinning around on my feet And swirling like a swarm of killer bees I'm dancing through the yard and never once did I feel a pull at my hands or a push in my back or a biting at my heels
4.
Night-Heron 03:17
Every light in the neighbourhood has been turned off and in the dark I'm searching for a Burmese camp The night-herons that I saw, have gone but I can still hear the sound of their wings and I don't know if it means anything I'd been calling the lions I'd been calling the bulls they're waiting out in the snow I'd been calling the lions I'd been calling the wolves only I didn't know Friday night it's snowing out I watch a story about the landing on the moon I think something's asleep in the other room At the Chinese restaurant they're trying to help the waiter up from his knees He's covering his ears, I want to know what it is he can hear I'd been calling the lions I'd been calling the bulls they're waiting out in the snow I'd been calling the lions I'd been calling the wolves only I didn't know The streets are quiet but every night silver tusks fall from the sky and the light-gray birds swirl around the room I drift home past the icy parks and the drugstores shining in the dark the colors so bright they nearly break my heart in two
5.
Gouldians 03:55
There are feathers red and gold, raining on the lawn and suddenly I miss everyone They're carrying the Nazarene and it's snowing in the Middle East I see the white palm trees in my sleep I need a jewel fish or a wolf, a Jack Dempsey to confide in because the ice around me is growing thin All the greatest say that you will have to let everyone slide if you want to find that needle's eye And they're moving overhead, with little golden wings and feathers bright like fire In the waning light all I'd hid in the ground there, rises to the sky I put on a shirt and a tie, sometimes when I feel alone and go to strangers' funerals All the greatest say that you will have to suffer everyone's wrath if you want to walk that narrow path And they're moving overhead, with little golden wings and feathers bright like fire In the waning light all I'd hid in the ground there, rises to the sky
6.
Actor 04:20
I move across the tundra through the falling, cotton snow Lights trained on my face, I can't see who's sitting in the rows I hear the roar of an applause and I wake up, every night it's the same I look around the room and I try to remember my own name I am swimming in the sky trying to reach the hunter and the swan I am hiding in the wings waiting for my sign to go on The house is full of guns with cousins from the north staying the night They race up and down the stairs wearing blankets, pretending they can fly We pose in front of the mirror and my face seems strange - like it is not my own I turn off the lights, in the dark we can be anyone I am swimming in the sky trying to reach the hunter and the swan I am hiding in the wings waiting for my sign to go on and soft hands to carry me out for the final scene
7.
I carry out the chairs And find the colored lights in the garden shed There are boxes on the stairs Full of rockets and dragon eggs Are you scared to sleep out on the grass by the pool? Where the spirits move in the water That you'll wake up and it's already dark And you're suddenly much older You hear the kids in the yard Coming back from the neighbours You wonder if one day They will become strangers The fires rise up from their little hands And transform in the sky into showers of light I'll find your hummingbird cake and the blue raspberry jam We'll fry our brains on a sugar-high Tie your feet, or you'll shoot off in the night With the violet balloons And the mighty wolf blows the candles out And howls to the moon
8.
Cousin 04:44
Feeling for ticks in the shower along my shoulder blades and between my toes Might just be lucky but I find it suspicious that I've never been bit The rent's always due but my insurance is sorted out, so when I die put me in a white suit with diamonds in the lining and I'll be carried to the other side I saw Jesus and the devil but I couldn't tell them apart I hear a knocking on the door and I want to let the right one in I think someone might have had my wings clipped in my sleep Darling wait around a while I am nothing like the man in me At a birthday party my cousin says that sometimes I'm in her dream Where she ties me to a chair and sets me on fire, I say, I wonder what it could mean I'm not a spiritual man But I can't lay it to rest I've been awake for days eating fire-ants, wandering alone in the wilderness I can't feel anything I saw Jesus and the devil but I couldn't tell them apart I hear a knocking on the door and I want to let the right one in I think someone might have had my wings clipped in my sleep Darling wait around a while I am nothing like the man in me I was floating overhead I was hiding out in Rome I was always underwater with the ruins The sisters swim around, the planets roll and dive And wander in the night And if you wait long enough you will See them re-emerge and shine like stars I was floating overhead I was hiding out in Rome I was always underwater with the ruins I was floating overhead I was somewhere on the moon I was always underwater with the ruins
9.
Rama VI 03:47
It's strange looking back You know, I have never dreamed before I woke up and the leaves hadn't changed Every silent stone is sinking in the night I still haven't aged You know, I'm like a bee You know, I still can't sleep Isn't it strange the way there are stars up in the sky That have faded away and only appear to shine in the night I never left at all I might have imagined all this time, I was somewhere else With the waters of the sea, I'm rising up over the traffic lights and the streets And I'm falling from the sky You know, I'm like a bee (in a hive without a queen) You know, I still can't sleep (I'm thrown around by the wind) Isn't it strange the way there are stars up in the sky That have faded away and only appear to shine in the night I was waiting for a sign It's easy to pretend that I never knew how much was at stake Standing in the aisle of an all-night convenience store And you know something has gone That may not ever return

about

Kim Janssen was born in the Netherlands but raised in Asia, spending most of his childhood in Bangkok and Phnom Penh and his teenage years in Kathmandu.

His new record, 'Cousins', is a pop album, swinging in tone from dark to blinding technicolor, with glossy synths, huge orchestral arrangements and Kim's vocal - at times a Bill Callahan-esque croon, at times a soaring falsetto. Dark strings and steel swells surround hushed ballads and bursts of maximalist pop, as Kim threads memories of Loi Krathong nights, earthquake drills and political turbulence into a domestic landscape of front yards, birthday parties and chinese restaurants.

Filled with idiosyncrasies, triumphs and tragedies, 'Cousins', is a personal account, about looking back and growing older, about longing and displacement, spiritual doubt, dedication, and obsession.

Recorded across two years and several studios, the album features contributions from Marla Hansen (Sufjan Stevens, The National) and Eiríkur Orri Ólafsson (Sigur Rós) and was mixed by Chris Coady (Beach house, Future Islands) and mastered by Greg Calbi (Blood on the Tracks, Graceland).

credits

released March 31, 2017

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Snowstar Records Utrecht, Netherlands

Snowstar Records is a Dutch indie-label since 2003.

Artists: Kim Janssen / Herrek / I am Oak / Town of Saints / LUIK / Bart van der Lee / The Secret Love Parade / The Subhuman / Lost Bear / broeder Dieleman / Ian Fisher / The Fire Harvest ... more

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