The Burnside Church

by Matthew Pickering

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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

    Two free songs: 'The Burnside Church' and 'I've Got My Shoulders Under You, Love'
    About the album: scroll to the bottom of the page)

      name your price

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    This album has been immaculately designed by Samantha Rouse of Wellington, New Zealand, and printed at Stebbing Recording Centre in Auckland, NZ.

    The 16-page booklet, cover, inlay, and back cover have all been hand-illustrated; a lot of time has gone into making these drawings look beautiful. Imagery from the cover corresponds to lyrical content and is continued throughout the booklet. All lyrics are included, as well as all guitar tunings.
    Super-jewel casing with rounded edges.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Burnside Church via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days

      $20 NZD

     

  • I believe this song, 'I've Got My Shoulders Under You, Love' can really bless people. It was a dream to write, and it is so so fun to play.

    Download it; it's free :)

    My really good friend Robbie Neilson has produced an absolutely amazing handcrafted book based on this song, the last song on the album.

    (You can see imagery from the book in the banner at the top of this page.)

    The song tells the story of a magical and mythical adventure down on Oriental Parade, here in Wellington, New Zealand. But it doesn't stop there! When Daisy arrives in a hot air balloon, that's when the story really takes off!
    Each scene from the song's journey has been drawn into 14 separate panels, and has taken many hours to complete. Each panel has been printed, carefully cut out, and glued onto wallpaper, which has then been cut out again, and folded into a concertina-like book. And it's all topped off with a red ribbon. Sweetness.

    Seeing as they take a bit of time to make, we are starting with a limited edition of 50. So snap 'em folks, snap 'em up!

    Much love

    Matthew Pickering & Robbie Neilson
    ... more
    ships out within 2 days
    edition of 50 

      $20 NZD or more 

     

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about

Hear ye! Hear ye! I proudly present the release of my debut album, The Burnside Church. The album has been a few years in the making. It is part lament, part Spring, intelligent, honest, personal. Recorded at the Braeburn Studio, Wellington, engineered by Robbie Duncan.

On the album, I play fingerpicking and slide guitar in a few different tunings, piano, ukulele, rain stick, and sing (plus a bit of throat singing and whistling), plus others play flute, violin, double bass, percussion, and there's a kids' choir right at the end (they don't really sing in tune, but that's not really the point!)

The album is rich in imagery and reference: scenes from the ups and downs of relationship, battling with depression and coming out the other side, a trip to an op shop and a friend’s farm, mentions of Don Binney, Woody Allen, and Van Morrison...
And speaking of Wellington, I mention: a mythical balloon ride above Oriental Parade, going to the Savemart, how to get through a Wellington winter (tip: it's linked to going to the Savemart), reading the poetry engraved in the cement down on the waterfront, visiting the Burnside Church ( in Martinborough), the way the lights leading up to the Brooklyn wind turbine look like a concorde ... among other things.

More on the ethos in the album booklet (also available in pdf with download of the album)

Influences/Sounds like:
Guitar: acoustic finger-picking in altered open tunings a la M Ward and Nick Drake;

Piano: influenced by Vince Guaraldi (Peanuts music), Thom Yorke’s Radiohead stuff, Erik Satie, Ketil Bjørnstad & Svante Henryson;

Voice: a bit like Dave Dobbyn, Chris Thile of Punch Brothers, early Van Morrison, Tim Buckley, and M Ward;

Lyrics: storytelling, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Joanna Newsom, Sufjan Stevens. Interesting words that spawn scenes and stories.

Arohanui and God bless

Matthew Pickering

credits

released May 21, 2011

Robbie Duncan - mixing, mastering, gentle spirit in the studio
Lillian Fougere – flute, vocals
Arna Shaw – violin, vocals
Peter Cogswell - drums
Alistair Isdale - upright bass
Matua Dave – reading the passage
Samantha Rouse - graphic design

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Matthew Pickering Wellington, New Zealand

Matthew Pickering is a multi-instrumentalist folk-pop artist – think finger picking in alternate tunings,
stories put to song. He released his debut full length album, The Burnside Church, last year. It’s been described
as intelligent, personal, honest, and Wellington-centric. His new album, Up at the Bunkers, will be out in October.
... more

contact / help

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Track Name: The Burnside Church
Hey love, we had a good run, I know.
Well, I’ll see you down Pirinoa Road

Hey honey, best resume this search, I know.
Well I’ll see you at the Burnside Church

You know, it’s funny. It’s just like Annie Hall
Our quirks got the better of us both (or maybe I was too young)
Just like some cruel nuptial I signed on the dotted line, it hurts
But then I see you at the Burnside Church

And promise me this one thing, babe: you keep those Binney birds up on their perch
And I’ll see you at the Burnside Church
See you at the Burnside Church
See you at the Burnside Church
See you at the Burnside Church…
Track Name: The Ticking Clock
Did I hear? You found another one to carry you up the hill?
Or was it my mind playing tricks?
Did I tell you I met your brother in the street?
He was busy moving cities with his bare hands

Don’t go blaming that ticking clock inside every woman
It’s inside every man too.

Yeah it’s true, I found another one to carry me up the hill.
It ain’t your mind playing tricks.
Did I tell you I met your brother at the beach?
He was busy building cities with his bare hands
I won’t go blaming
I won’t go blaming
I won’t go blaming
I won’t go blaming

Don’t go blaming that ticking clock inside every woman
It’s inside every man too.
Don’t go blaming that ticking clock inside every woman
It’s inside every man too.

Don’t go blaming that ticking clock inside every woman
It’s inside every man too.
Track Name: Rites of Passage (To Reconcile)
Hey, they’ve got a name for it: "to reconcile"
It might just be the richest word we have

Our histories and the novelty of new love
The one and only, and the here and now
Long distance, age difference
Oh oh oh

Hey, they’ve got a name for it: "to reconcile"
It might just be the richest word we have

What I called rites of passage
You called frescoes of the heart
You laid it on impasto, left me half a neenish tart
And straight through the skin like a tattoo
The marking of the marama moon
Oh oh oh

Why you’ll always be a ballerina
Though you always did stand on my toes
You see, when we first met, Astral Weeks was playing in my headphone

Hey, they’ve got a name for it: "to reconcile"
Track Name: Eggshell Breaking
The eggshell is breaking
A new life hatching
Its universe was inside the egg

An opening flower
Needs a pin drop to view it
And we are witness to the newborn

So that the kid may fly
And may his eyes be wide
And may his love be live
And may his be the biggest bonfire (on New Year’s Eve)
And may we embrace his dream
And show him that through grey is green
The sooner we realise
That kid must fly

See how this moment can be reduced
Remember when you were airborne?
Corners breed busy minds when behind every turn
Lies a hidden universe

So that the kid may fly
And may his eyes be wide
And may his love be live
And may his be the biggest bonfire (on New Year’s Eve)
And may we embrace his dream
And show him that through grey is green
The sooner we realise
That kid must fly
Up and away…

So that the kid may fly
And may his eyes be wide
And may his love be live
And may his be the biggest bonfire (on New Year’s Eve)
And may we embrace his dream
And show him that through grey is green
The sooner we realise
That kid must fly
Track Name: The Concorde of Brooklyn
I see you
The arc of you
Not far from where we once threw fate
A dart of paper

We’ll transcend on transparent wings
Your body stretched out one foot longer in flight
Lifted on a blue shimmer

Up on your sequined wings
Up on your sequined wings

My concorde of Brooklyn
The crisp air awaits us
The houses on the hills
Are blinking bright snakeskin

And the phosphorescence takes hold
As I climb into your saddle
We rumble and soar
Outta here

Up on your sequined wings
Up on your sequined wings
Up on your sequined wings
Up on your sequined wings
Track Name: Pier and Ocean
I used to watch when the wind asked the curtain to dance
And I’d be the one to accept on behalf
Time is a ragged restless wind inside my heart
And it’s inviting me to risk it all for love

And I think I know the meaning of waiting on love

The pier to the ocean is the bridge in between
And, oh, we must all search for those primary colours (of hers)
So freely all the ships pass by
And with every one, the pier knows it’s tied

And I think I know the meaning of holding on

The true intimate transcends touch
The comfort that comes when silence removes all distance
And acting as both the pier and ocean
I want a love that extends above both trough and crest, is both bridge and the expanse.

And like the lighthouse, the lone lantern by the sea
At home in the dark, and daylight its purpose defeats
It shines so brightly as if wanting to meet
Its outstretched arm in the form of a light beam

And I think I know the meaning of the lonely stand

The true intimate transcends touch
The comfort that comes when silence removes all distance
And acting as both the pier and ocean
Our love extends above both trough and crest, is both bridge and the expanse

The true intimate transcends touch
Track Name: The Vernal Air
Hey, didn’t I see you walking out in the vernal air?
Didn’t I hear you had a bad day? Well, hey, it’s OK

I heard you were down so long, your black dog was going grey
I heard you were down so long, your black dog was going grey
Well, hey didn’t I see you walking out in the vernal air?
Woo!

Let your senses come to you

Hey, didn’t I see you walking out in the vernal air?
Track Name: An Everlasting Spring
Say goodbye to the powder
Welcome in the melting evening
Venture out from your shelter
To receive the warmest greeting

And each and every songbird sings
In an overflowing everlasting spring

Such a hurried hibernation
In aching anticipation of what the new season may bring
We’re flicking coins over shoulders
And keeping secrets from parents

And each and every songbird sings
In an overflowing everlasting spring

And on my own, I would never have known
To listen out for that guiding tune
Our love deserves a season of melody and new shoots

And each and every songbird sings
In an overflowing everlasting spring

And each and every songbird sings
In an overflowing everlasting spring

Call me silly, but I’m in love. I cannot help it. I fell in love with a woman and it feels like we have known each other for years, even though we just met last night. We snuck out at 11 p.m., when the moon was out. All the streets had been blocked off from the parade. We walked in the middle of the road. We pretended the streets were lined with thousands of people, all celebrating that we had met one another. You picked up a piece of tickertape and waved it round like a young ballerina. Down at the waterfront, we read alternating lines of poetry, cemented into the pavement. We held hands. We kissed. I’m not religious, but it is in the hands of the gods. Some things you learn from love that is never meant to last. Maybe that is not love. But sometimes, that is all we have. At least for one night, I was an act of love.
Track Name: Awake O Sleeper
Whose gentle hand doth braid the river down?
Tis the same hand that scatters the darkness in this tourist town
The angel asked me up to the ridge of love
And the townspeople cried come down, I said “Never!”

Awake O Sleeper
The day it breaks like bread
So lift your head
For the day breaks like bread

Whose gentle hand doth braid the river down?
Tis the same hand that scatters the darkness in this tourist town
The angel asked me up to the ridge of love
And the townspeople cried come down, I said “Never!”

Awake O Sleeper
The day it breaks like bread
So lift your head
For the day breaks like bread

We pray in circles, in silence
We try to be disciples
Together we can handle the weight of that title
In an old Bible I plaited the ribbons like rivers
Of red, blue, and yellow down the spine

Whose gentle hand doth braid the river down?
Tis the same hand that scatters the darkness in this tourist town
The angel asked me up to the ridge of love
And the townspeople cried come down, I said “Never!”

Awake O Sleeper
The day it breaks like bread
So lift your head
For the day breaks like bread
Track Name: Your Beauty Transforms Every Space
So, so the story goes
Up at Mt Zion Station
How could we not draw near to You
As we lie on our backs under the Southern Cross
Oooo

Down, down into town
We hit up the Savemart
A pair of boots for me and a summer top for you
Thinking ahead through a Wellington winter
How else can we get through, other than by purchasing ahead of time reasonably priced clothing?

In the back of the ute
We were soaked through in You
Droplets running down our backs
And still, there’s so far to go in what it means to know that
Your beauty transforms every space...
Track Name: I've Got My Shoulders Under You, Love
Back when I was young
My father and I picked black doris plums
He’d sit me on his shoulders as I reached for the highest one, and
He’d say: “I’ve got my shoulders under you love. I’ve got my shoulders under you love. I’ve got my shoulders under you love.”
I was restless!

The other day we were down around Oriental Parade
Just past the marina where my dad kept the boat he sailed across the Strait
He made it all the way!
He was reckless!

Robbie and I were thinking about heading up to the lake (Lake Taupō). We were thinking bout how there ain’t no place higher than your daddy’s shoulders, there just ain’t no place.

We stood near to the whale’s tail
The one carved not from salt, but sweat
More like the one that hangs around my neck.
And Robbie said: “Close your eyes. I've got a surprise for you. I
Know there's something you've been wanting to do for ages.”, and he
Led me to the sand. It was a beautiful day.

When we reached the water's edge, he said: “Are you ready? Are you
ready for your surprise? 1, 2, 3 Open your eyes!”. It was the most
beautiful thing I'd ever seen!

Now, I don’t know how many of you have seen a hot air balloon
Land on a pontoon? That's what I thought.

So I started swimming out and I free-styled and I duck-dived and I
climbed up the little ladder and into the basket, and there was
our friend Daisy (she flies hot air balloons in real life).

So I said: I’ll put my arms around you, I'm glad to see you, see, I was coming
up for air.” And she said: “I’ll put my arms around you, see, I’m glad to see you,
I was coming down from thin air.”

We were breathless! We were breathless!

And I got a taste of plum
And I felt the same breeze in my face that took my dad across the Strait
And I saw St Christopher set in greenstone.

And as we rose up above on the shoulder of pure love
I heard God say to his children:
“I’ve got my shoulders under you, Love. I’ve got my shoulders under you, Love. I’ve got my shoulders under you, Love …

And that’s about the story of a hot air balloon landing on the
pontoon down on Oriental Parade.