otp: learning to bend

Prettiest tree on the mountain
  • Prettiest tree on the mountain
  • Ben Sollee
  • Learning to Bend
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Today’s audio gift is a track by Ben Sollee called “Prettiest Tree on the Mountain.” It’s from Learning to Bend, an exceptional album.

“Well a robin flew by my window
I thought it just might be you
Judging from the colour of its breast
And the sound of its song
But I’m just thinking of you

‘Cause you’re in sunny California
The fertile land on Steinbeck road
When I came not a single furrow patch
Could be spared for you and me

You see I wanted to love you baby
But neither you nor I’d been loved before
I thought I could change the world if I just held you high enough
The truth is I couldnt hold you up at all

I couldnt hold you up
I couldnt hold you up
And I sure aint gonna hold you down

Well Im leaving
Walking back home
I dont care if it takes years or more
But as I walk through the hills of Kentucky
The leaves begin to turn red

And I think of you
Yes, I think of you
The prettiest tree on the mount.”

Ben Sollee// Bend When the storm comes
Will you reject the rain
If it falls not soft
If it falls not tame?

When the wind blows 
And calls your name
Will you run in fear
Will you hide in shame?

Are you strong enough to bend?
Yes, don’t stand against the wind
Cos you know you’re gonna break

When ages comes
Will you call my name
Will you cut me down
Just to ease your pain?

When truth comes
Will you accept the blame? 
Cos history will teach us
We were all on those plains

Are you strong enough to bend?
Don’t stand against the wind
Cos you know you’re gonna break

When love comes 
Will you release the rain
Will you change the world
To the song you sang?

Or when the smoke clears
Will your hope remain
To make some peace
On this land you claim?

Are you strong enough to bend?
Don’t stand against the wind
Cos you know you’re gonna break

When the storm comes
Will you reject the rain
If it falls not soft
If it falls not tame?
Made with SoundCloud

Derek holding Braeden while he listened to the rain was adorable

Derek entwining his hand with Braeden’s was cute

Derek staying awake to make sure Braeden was safe was swoon worthy

buuut

Braeden letting Derek hold her while they held hands and listened to the rain when she wasn’t asleep to begin with

IS THE REAL REASON WE’RE ALL
LOSING OUR SHIT

No? Then why does Braeden open her eyes as the alarm sounds before Derek has a chance to say her name? Hmm.

YEP.

WE’RE DONE HERE

[Album of the Week] Ben Sollee - Learning To Bend

It’s often hard to take artists seriously when they discuss politics, love or God. Ben Sollee has an indisputable honesty about him that allows him to bridge all of the subjects in the most believable of ways. Learning To Bend is Sollee’s solo debut from 2008. Since then he’s released Dear Companion (with Daniel Martin Moore) and more recently Inclusions.

Of all Sollee’s albums Learning to Bend is my favorite. It is Solle at his purest. A classically trained cellosist with a beautiful voice staying true to the genres that have inspired him the most, soul and bluegrass. Throughout the album he’s able to weld them together leading the way with his cello, an instrument known for weaving it’s way seamlessly through various genres. A pluck here a melody there to accompany his soulful voice or that layered effect you hear under a banjo.

“A Few Honest Words” is one of those songs you wouldn’t take seriously if it had come from any other artists, yet it’s so straight forward and honest coming from Sollee. “We don’t choose our leaders. They choose themselves. Tell me again about democracy.” Politics never sounded so direct and uncomplicated. While tracks like “How To See The Sun Rise” are as soulful as they are playful.

What I find most arresting about this album is the instantaneous connection made with the artist while listening. He is your equal, he could be your friend and hes singing his heart out about the things that are most important to him. They are the basics, the problems and ideas that surround us all. Listening to this album affirms that we all have the same worries, hopes and dreams. We are all in this together.

A Few Honest Words

How To See The Sun Rise

Built For This

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Ben Sollee: A change is gonna come
(Learning to bend, 2008)