The Red Room

by James Harker

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    Limited run of Double CD albums, with artwork by Isaiah Stephens. Features the main 12-track album (Disc 1), plus 8 bonus tracks (Disc 2), including foreign language versions and an original demo.

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04:47
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02:35
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07:28
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07:05
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06:16
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05:29
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about

The debut album from James Harker
Released 15th March 2012

credits

released March 15, 2012

All songs written by James Harker
Lyrics on (2) written by Dagmar Makara

James Harker: piano, vocals, keys, wine glasses, bass
Chris Cummins: drums, percussion
Matthew Powney: electric guitars, acoustic guitar, bass, fretless bass, backing vocals
Jessy Price: backing vocals, acoustic guitar
James Hyde: acoustic guitar
Cheong Li: erhu
Charlotte Ward-Caddle: solo violin
James Whittle: solo cello

String Quartet
Nicholas Chen, Sarah Barker: violins
James Whittle, Ellen Jordan: cellos

Produced by James Harker & Chris Cummins
Recorded by Chris Cummins at Peak Studios, Derbyshire
Strings recorded by Chris Robins at What'sHeBuilding Studios, York
Mixed & Mastered by James Hyde at De Lane Lea Studios, London

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about

James Harker UK

London-based singer-songwriter and soundtrack composer. One half of duo Vast & Harker.

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Track Name: Last Days Of Rome
Blood rushing round
And wine pouring down
The walls of this place we called home
This masquerade
A last serenade
For the undertakers of Rome

It’s late in the day
We’re losing our way
And we’ve nothing on which to rely
The night’s drawing in
And the wall’s crumbling
But the moon lends a glint to your eye

And well, look around
There’s not a sound
So we touch
And it’s all just too much

We forget who we are
Now we’ve come this far
And we share a kiss in the dark
And I no longer care
For the world out there
It can burn in a single white spark

My world’s spinning round
The blood starts to pound
With your touch
And it’s all just too much

The cold light of day
Shows up the stains
On the walls of this place we called home
Last night’s masquerade
A last serenade
For the undertakers of Rome

Don’t leave me alone
I’m stripped to the bone
And I don’t know the way to get home
I slump to the floor
Outside your front door
And I know that I’m finished with Rome

And well, look around
Till your eyes have found all the pain
Like thundering rain

But I cannot blame
You, all the same,
It was only the last days of Rome
And now that we’re through
Perhaps me and you
Will find our separate ways home

And well, look around
There’s not a sound
Oh, it’s strange
That nothing remains
Track Name: Counterfeit
Under golden sun I saw your face
And watched your flowers to the pace
Of music for the summer wines
And on your life I marked these lines

Of memories, of name and place
And wrote you down, just in case
The petals of the summer bloom
Might suddenly float in scarlet plume

From the perfect picture, away from me
With a sceptic stricture, I did not flee
This denial I prepared to see
But it was not to be

Neon bulbs and halogen lamps
The sun of yours was held in clamps
The artificial voice of you
You took a pencil and you drew

A mere sketch, a piece of art
The quintessential paper heart
The flowers in the summer bloom
Decorate to brighten gloom

You can be bought for decent price
But I will give them good advice
You may look like the real thing
But counterfeit – your heart it sings
Track Name: Lost Soul Music
Words, they patrol my lips
I’m never off my guard
Hid safely behind the script
I simply play the part

Sometimes I play the king
I sometimes the fool
Strutting from wing to wing
And never lose my cool

Oh, but Lord, it’s stealing my soul away
I’m lost in this – this tragedy
Lord, I’ve words of my own to say
So who do I want to be?

I laugh and I cry, I fret
My hour upon the stage
Nearing a dusty death
I creep from age to age

Living my life asleep
From day to day to day
Characters, they will creep
Into my waiting gaze

Oh, but Lord, it’s stealing my soul away
I’m lost in this – this comedy
Lord, I’ve words of my own to say
So who is the real me?

I think that you took my heart
But maybe it’s an act
I cannot tell them apart
The fantasy, the fact

Silently we learn to speak
Across the sacred wall
Words, they are far too weak
But eyes can tell me all

Oh, stop for a moment, and walk into the wing
No one to prompt you – just let the silence ring
Stare in the mirror, and wipe away your role
Hang up your costume, and take back your soul

Oh, but Lord, it’s stealing my soul away
I’m lost in tragedy
Lord, I’ve words of my own to say
So who do I want to be?
And who is the real me?

Playing your soul away…
Track Name: Flimsy Whimsy
Hey, sweetie-pie, heard that you could fly
Or something strange about the sky
Or was it something like telekinesis
Or pretending to be Jesus, just remind me

So, superbear, show me how your flare
Ensnared the magic in the air
You’ve wonders up your sleeve
But I won’t leave until I see, then I’ll believe

And suddenly everything’s hazy
Is it really you, or are you going crazy?
Reality rumbles like thunder
Makes you wake and wonder if anything’s real
Or is it all about your flimsy whimsy?
Just the way the wind takes you

So, tell me how, every time you bow
You all kow-tow to Simon Cowell
I’m dreaming of a place, an empty space
Where I will never see his face

But you’re wed to the machine, now it’s obscene
The time you’re giving to the screen
Come, follow me outside, now open wide
Let’s see what’s on the other side

But the image reflected is hazy
Is it really you, or are your eyes lazy?
The monotony of the music
That echoes through the mall is strangely accusing
Shuffling through your flimsy whimsy
Just the way the wind shakes you

And yet the image reflected is hazy
Is it really you, or are you going crazy?
While we are distracted by thunder
They’re putting asunder the world of the real
Until it’s all about your flimsy whimsy,
Topsy-turvy, bendy curvy,
Helter-skelter, bare unsheltered,
Nothing but the pretty, twitty, bit-by-bitty
Throat-slitty, half-witty, (such a pity)
Infinitely shitty way you feel
Track Name: Falling
(No lyrics)
Track Name: The Exile
The last I saw of you
Was your face lit by the flicker of the picture
And sparkles in your incandescent eyes
Like the dance of fireflies

The night drew close and tight
And I watched you disappear under fear
So I held you, wrapped around an empty space
Just to beckon back your face

And could I close every yawning mile
With a touch, or a whisper, or a waning smile?
Could I claim you again for a tiny while
From my place here in exile?

The pulse of fear drew near
And the firmness of your hand turned to sand
And swiftly slipped from a truth into a dream
And the sky split with the scream

And now I turn away
Yearning for the light of day far away
But I see only clouds coloured with the taint of red
Where the angels fear to tread

And could I close every aching mile
With a dream, or a whisper, or a desperate smile?
Can I claim you again for a tiny while
From my place here in exile?

All I am is flesh bone
In a house without a home
I seem to be turning to stone
Deafened by the dialling tone
Imagining within the gloam
A single dove to bring me peace
On the wings of my release
A firebird to give me peace
With the tears of my release
Release me
Dona nobis pacem

But there will come a day
When I’ll spirit you away – far away
And I’ll be warm and holding you again
You need only tell me when
You need only tell me when
You need only tell me when
Track Name: Mrs Caesar
I catch you in the wine cup
Like the moon upon the water
Your faint reflection
My frail perception
Until today

And the more I gaze at her
I see the Devil’s daughter
And in the corner
Of the trattoria

He stands, he watches
As our hands entwine
And her lips meet mine
While the taste of blood
Washes through my mind

What have I done, what have I done
Mrs Caesar?
I’ve torn our empire limb from limb
Just to please her
And this honeyed taste of love
Embittered with his blood

The Rubicon flows red tonight
Like the water when I bathe
And as she feels me
The scarlet steals me
From the bed

And as I pace the kitchen floor
He whispers at the door
And crowds the silence
With raging violence

Like a hum, a heartbeat
Like a swarm of bees
Or the crash of seas
While the weight of blood
Brings me to my knees

What have I done, what have I done
Mrs Caesar?
I’ve paid the life that ran through him
To release her
And this honeyed scent of love
Embittered with his blood
While feather crests of red
Lie in copper-coloured mud

And I become a knight
Who knows no royalty
And for the sake of love
I know no loyalty
Track Name: Bleeding
So many days
And yet I find I’m still bleeding
From the ruby lips that never dry
So many hours
And how the winter’s still feeding
On the rusty rose that never dies

And then I wake
To find the world in hot ashes
To a rain of cinders on my face
And across the sky
A streak of red flashes
Fire raining down upon this place

And does the Janus face
Of drama still wear you?
Are you dancing at the midnight ball?
Do the wrinkles
Forming underneath scare you?
Are you dreaming of your curtain call?

So let me adorn
Your pure complexion with scarlet
Flood your body, enjoy your cries
Let me reveal you
As my ruby, painted harlot
Till the light begins to sting your eyes

And now I wake
To find the winter clouds receding
To the breath of sunlight on my face
And a warmth to dry
The wound that’s still bleeding
You alone can be my saving grace

Falling from the tree of hearts
Hit the ground and break apart…
Track Name: Tree Of Hearts
(No lyrics)
Track Name: Nowhere To Hide
I don’t know quite how
But everybody seems to know
I tried to lock it down
But secrets just seem to grow
You shared me love
And now it seems I’m sharing you
The secret beat me black and blue

I waited by the clock
But couldn’t make you tick away
You tripped out of my lips
I couldn’t bear another day
Now you’re not mine
In truth you’re everyone’s
But at least I can be sure you’ve gone

And now you’re standing there
You’re standing right in front of me
A secret fully formed
Exposed for all the world to see
And at this time
There’s nowhere left to hide
It’s too late to crawl back inside

And I’m sure that he must know
He surely has to know by now
I see sharp his shadow
I feel his presence all around
And when you break
I hope that he’ll hold true
I pray he doesn’t shatter too
Track Name: Ticking
Listening to the pendulum
Regiment my conscience
Commanding endless armies
Of the hours
Marching to the kettledrum
The souls succumb to rhythm
Time beating down like rain
Upon the flowers

Lights are blinking all around
To tell me stop and stand by
To tell me when to stall
And when to break
To keep my eyes upon the ground
Until the mind is empty
Until the heart and spirit
Start to ache

Imagine that the sky is down
It’s up to the ground
The ropes that tie you to the earth
Lost in rebirth
Could you ever fall this way
Deep into space?
Well, take your beliefs
And throw them away

Herds and herds of empty words
Retire upon the pages
Grey prairies for as far
As I can see
Meaning curls into absurd
In righteousness and rages
Please tell me how to think
Or who to be

And every word will spell your name
From here to revelation
And form the signs that guide me
To the night
And if my end is in the flame
Far below salvation
Then let the fire guide me
With its light

Let me be a child again
Colours running wild again
Faith enough to feel the earth
Understand its real worth
Most alive in your dreams
Fire’s kiss on sleepy streams
Open your eyes
To another day
Another day

Open your eyes
It’s another day
Track Name: Wide Sargasso Sea
You are still lagoon
Silent water
Lapping gentle at my wound
Oh, pale and cool
Moving round me like the moon

And I am silt and stone
Earth and mortar
Circled round you like a home
Of skin and bone
Now the water flows alone

And so you end
In the wide Sargasso Sea
White horses made of memory
And there you ride on their melody
You ride with grace and beauty

You are drifting wide
Taking water
Struggling weak against the tide
On an ocean wide
Between your dreams and mine

But dream of distant shore
‘Cross the water
There you’ll find a place to moor
Oh, rest assured
And I’ll watch tsunamis soar

And so you sail
In the wide Sargasso Sea
White horses made of memory
I watch them rise to your melody
Your soul rides on and sings to me

And so you end
In the wide Sargasso Sea
White horses made of memory
I watch them rise to your melody
You ride with grace and beauty

And so you end
In the wide Sargasso Sea
White horses made of memory
I watch them ride
You’re riding on melody
You’re riding on melody

You’re riding on melody
You ride with grace and beauty