The entire album strikes me as a very satisfying meditation on reincarnation and the agony of trying to hang onto the memories and to somehow get a fully lived life right so one doesn't have to come back in the end.
Favorite track: To touch the milky way.
After hearing Dani sing "the Stars," I feel as though I’m soaring up through an evening storm, the brilliant points of light in the night sky above shining through the wispy cloud tops like stars in a dusty galaxy. The music matches my mood of the past year while the lyrics help to pull me up out of the doldrums I've been in. Excellent performance from Michael also (the whole gang, really). Thanks for a great album, Sam!
Favorite track: the Stars.
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“…striving to take hold of the life they have left unlived”
Ethereal, evocative, powerful and introspective, Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s 12th studio album To touch the milky way expands upon their sweeping Art Rock aesthetic. Utilizing multiple genres and instrumentations as elements to shape a larger conceptual work, the eclectic, modernist approach refreshes BlackTape’s pioneering musical sentiments while maintaining the unique originality of their sound. Captivating vocals from Danielle Herrera and Michael Plaster accent songwriter and bandleader Sam Rosenthal’s electro-acoustic atmospherics and foreboding, engaging lyricism. A contemplative twilight hangs over these seven tracks.
As the premier artist on the Projekt record label he founded in the early 80s, Rosenthal has been a tireless creator of new sounds. Moving from Los Angeles to Chicago to Brooklyn over the years, Rosenthal recently settled into Portland, Oregon where he’s written and released more music in the last 4 years than in the prior 15.
This creative energy led to an album encompassing powerful personal and transpersonal themes. There’s a yearning for connection to a truer understanding of self and our potential — letting go of façade and fears, obstacles which hold us back. The lyrics emerge from the depths of the psyche addressing a desire to feel truly alive by overcoming self-imposed boundaries. They are first-person narratives at the edge where something has to give, something has to change, as the characters strive to take hold of the life they have left unlived. “I close my eyes and watch the galaxy turning” and the title track explore a consciousness-expanding understanding of the cyclical nature of existence mixed with a hunger for something eternal beyond this reality.
Non-binary porn star Mercy West portrays the androgynous alien traveler in Rosenthal’s cover photography. The deluxe crowdfunded edition, downloadable booklet, and CD booklet contain 8 pages of striking photos the duo shot at locations throughout Oregon. Rosenthal explains, “The photos reflect an attempt to externalize the feelings of isolation, alienation and longing of the lyrics. Mercy’s character is a stark representation of our struggles, lost within a larger self-defined world that attempts to limit our true nature.”
Rosenthal’s electronics, harmonium, piano, and acoustic guitar form an intimate backdrop for Herrera’s ethereal, tender, heartfelt voice and Plaster’s breathy, sensitive vocals. The emotionally-charged pieces are enhanced with appearances from drummer Brian Viglione (of The Dresden Dolls), violist Nick Shadow, multi-instrumentalist Chase Dobson. The title track features electric guitar from Walter Holland of Californian 70s space rock band Amber Route.
Closing on a sorrowful but moving note, the arpeggiated piano of the title track slows to a crawl as we drift upon the alien landscape of the startling cover imagery. To touch the milky way is a goal that might remain beyond reach; however by interpreting Sam’s lyrical suggestions, we’re encouraged to reach for it nevertheless, grasping for all that might be attainable during our brief time under the existential glow of a fading sun.
Black Tape for a Blue Girl is an American Ethereal band formed in 1986 by Projekt Records' founder Sam Rosenthal. Their
music takes on elements of darkwave, ethereal, ambient, goth and neoclassical music. Director David Lynch is one of the band's more well-known fans....more
Track Name: I close my eyes and watch the galaxy turning (part i + ii)
i awaken through the clatter of history
my armor falls around me
aware, my eyes open
i’ve been here before
ashes floating in the air
looking up into the same constellations we saw last time
the same complicated wreckage of our lives
another spin of the universal wheel
i land in another cycle: observer, victim, and perpetrator
repeating my mistakes, again, again, again
i’m a brutal man raging at a boy shivering in the dirt
or holding a young pilot dying on a beach
if only i hadn’t been too late
if only i hadn’t been too late
every so often when i awaken i see your face
in this incarnation we don’t hurt each other
cherish this beauty, too soon it will be ash
then i speak, but discord steps in
i recall this is when i always leave
spin the wheel once more, watch the galaxy turning
the cycle begins upon itself
one cycle closer to understanding
i close my eyes and try to remember
i close my eyes, watch the galaxy turning, and i forget
Track Name: Does anything remain? (part iii + iv)
i don’t know, i just don’t know, does anything remain?
something not worn away by all the battles
can i trust again? can i even trust myself?
i haven’t left the house in days, calling in sick with spirits watching over me
drinking alone, i’m thinking you’ll abandon me when you keep finding me like this, of course i can stop, i promised i’ll stop
why don’t you hold me and talk anymore? why are you shouting? every word a lifetime, a lifetime, a lifetime
i wish i could take back those angry words, i really only wanted to tell you i loved you
does anything remain through all the mistakes and all the wasted years, i try to forget myself
Track Name: In my memories
you’re twenty-three again, in my backyard
laughing by the pool, diving underwater
you come up and smile at me, in my memories
what if we could go back there, and i could hold you?
what if it was that summer again, and it felt like it was real?
so damn real! i taste your kisses
the water on your lips, you’re drippin’ all over my feet again
maybe we’d stay there, and maybe we’d never come back
maybe we’d always be there
maybe i’m there, and i want to be trapped in my memories
maybe i’m lost, beneath the planks
or that time in the cabin, or slithering naked across a thousand blades
Track Name: the Stars
nothing to stop me from drowning in hopelessness
except for another, except for another, except for another love
another chance to get it right, another chance to feel alive
you walk through the door, snow in your hair, tears in my eyes
he says he doesn’t understand why i take life so hard
always another, always another, always another doubt
another chance i’ll let you down, these overwhelming feelings around
i look up from the kitchen table, i try to smile
he says, “all of this makes you who you are
i love you like you love the stars:
so far away, so brilliantly beaming
your luminosity enlightens my dreams.”
we escape into dreams
to keep reality away
all of this makes us what we are
i love you like i love the stars
we’re imperfect but that’s ok
we are imperfect in every way
i love you like i love the stars
i love the stars
Track Name: On some faraway beach
in my room alone with my fears taking me
thoughts of losing you wash right over me
smelling your skin i’d smile, losing you, losing you
touching your hand made it all ok for another day
i walk into the sparkling water on some faraway beach
i dream of holding your hands again, i rush underwater to be forgotten
and fear brought me closer to you, closer
and fear brought us closer, closer
and losing you, and drifting out to sea
and losing you, i’m lost
Track Name: All of the things i wanted
all of the things i wanted, all of the things i could be
forever and ever beyond my grasp, slips away from me
and oh, i lived in my obscurity
and oh, i lived in my obscurity
believing, is not the same as being alive
and living, is never the same when you’re living a lie
hold me tight in a warm embrace, reveal my deception
just a coward cowering behind his fears, prepared for my destruction
and hold me tight in a withering fire, burn my disguise
i’m losing at a life that i have not lived, defeated in my victory
i think i once felt a moment of passion, i think i’d like to feel alive
joy, hate, sex, thirst, longing, pain, passion, i think i want to feel alive
Track Name: To touch the milky way
with these hands, i reach for the stars, the stars above you
another lifetime, another battlefield, i reach to touch the milky way above you
if only i hadn’t been too late, if only, if only, if only i’d arrived
i lost my friends there. i hope we go somewhere when we die, what are we if not eternal?
why do we fight, and love and die? on my back in the dust with my eyes on the wheel of the milky way
so the infinite can know itself. we are awake for the infinite to know itself
supported by 35 fans who also own “To touch the milky way”
I own the deluxe CD and LP and they're very nice; got the DL for streaming. Impossible to pick a single favorite song given the remarkable variety and consistent quality here, but "Vastness of Life" has made quite an impression on me. Scott