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The Cleft Serpent

by Black Tape For A Blue Girl

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    LP on 140-gram Galaxy-swirl vinyl, includes full-color 4-page lyric book. Limited Edition of 500.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Cleft Serpent via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 98 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $25 USD or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    THE CLEFT SERPENT and the companion INSTRUMENTAL & ALTERNATE MIXES album. CD in 4-panel digipak with 12-page booklet. Second CD in 4-panel digipak, limited edition of 500. We will send you a download code of the 2nd album, around when your order ships.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Cleft Serpent via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 20 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $25 USD or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CD in 4-panel digipak with 12-page booklet. The 8-track album.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Cleft Serpent via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 20 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $16 USD or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $8 USD  or more

     

1.
I’ve lived this life many times before with you the pain I’ll inescapably summon waiting in the void, I dream of you I’m dust, I’m debris, I’m destruction dust, decay, I’m destruction don’t let me hold you, don’t you see that I always drop you, my love you thought I was docile, that’s just the millennia of fatigue The Cleft Serpent, at your service Surveying the battlefield, I just walk away you’re dying in the dust, eyes on the wheel of the milky way I break him, I break him, you humans are too fragile you thought you could trust me, you really shouldn’t trust me you thought you could trust me, you really shouldn’t trust me I know the pain I’m fated to inflict I know the pain I’m fated to inflict
2.
Like two snakes basking in the setting sun we watch the birds ride the currents where the hills crash down to the sea shivering, he says, “You’re as cold as ice, check it and see.” his wry smile flickers elegantly and I was captured some lifetimes ago this trickster has a trick in store, as he plunges the knife Must I lose you? another search for perfection next life tragic, next life tragic, always tragedy plunging, wings almost touch the sea “Snakey, who you talkin’ to?” he chokes, coughing up blood no more tricks, stay with me this trickster plunges the knife, takes his own life love, he’s willing to sacrifice our love­, he’s willing to sacrifice
3.
Oh, so you call these feelings? I don’t understand them, I don’t know what to do with them I sold my soul to some serpent, who went slithering by I think I lost a bet in a past life, that wasn’t a pleasant way to die In the dark, I think we did some bad things those memories go off like bombs, my heart he wanted to steal the way he looks at me, I don’t like the feelings he feels he’s neither heroic nor pure, but yes! he returns for me You’re a turd in a temple, a shit on a shoe a spiritual refuge for me is a laugh-riot for you well at least we’re not strangling each other, I’ll take a laugh any day, mmmmmmmmm! a refuge for two tricksters, two punks pushing the world away Hid away in this hidden villa feelings, I don’t want to feel the strategy comes undone
4.
Hermes held aloft with my hand ‘round his throat above the blood-stained battle my helmet crested with plumes My serpent-string song drives the men on rallied by war’s dreadful roar I’m strengthened by their savagery Hermes held with my sword to his throat I’ve conceived new methods of carnage malevolence, wrath, relentlessness He’s so thin, he’s hardly there at all destroy the one who once saved me in order to avoid — to avoid Hermes plummets from my grasp I didn’t try to stop myself fear rallied my anger, my self-importance On my knees search among the piles of bodies did I imagine you? did I imagine you? I want you to be real to wash away my pain to wash away this shame­
5.
“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
6.
Eternity, it’s such a damn long time a long time for regretting civilizations come and go but he doesn’t see me comin’ — no, he doesn’t see me comin’ so tired of our history so tired of our history If it’s all just another story if it’s all just repetition if it’s all just a chance to inflict pain then I’d really like to stop playin’ the game I’d really like to get out of this deal break this cycle replay that hand I’d win the bet Hey, who do I talk with to get my check? Maybe I’ll awaken — maybe I’ll make my escape so tired of our history so tired of our history if I let ya go do ya think I’d be free? if I let ya go do ya think I’d break free? What if death is not defeat? not the ultimate failure what if death just comes and goes? but he doesn’t see me comin’ — no, he doesn’t see me comin’ spin the wheel once more — another story begins I try to push it away so tired of our history so tired of our history Lift my head from the earth shake the years from my eyes I look past the broken wreckage I find you there in the bulrushes
7.
Frozen in anticipation stagnation annihilation I shake him he doesn’t awaken this doesn’t feel like me it doesn’t seem to be not the choices I would have made Times Square, March two-thousand and eight a swirl of formless faces smiling, laughing, screaming before you know it, you’ve lit the match burned it all down or murdered a million others we could justify anything Humans find it hard to sit idly by always have to do things atrocities to pass the time so as not to confront the anxiety of our ambivalence so as not to confront the anxiety of uncertainty
8.
We gotta get out of sight, duck into a fluorescent underground parking garage he’s pulling at door handles, oh cute he thinks we can escape I’m the one who loses, I’m the one who loses “You’re the one who lost it,” he shouts. “Where’d you stash that getaway car?” too entranced to move, too pained to run burst through sliding doors, dirty faces and cracked floors red and blue flashes, he takes my weight dragging him down shouting voices, people rushing, needles, alarms my bloody shirt, bullet holes and dying red roses crumpled on the cement, bright lights, dirty floors I said you shouldn’t trust me, I said you shouldn’t trust me I’m the one who loses, I’m the one who loses his eyes get wide, he finally recognizes “Snakey, don’t leave me, I can’t live without you” my death arrives to devour my fading warmth he rides the currents over my collapse I’m the one who loses, I’m the one who loses fragile tender moments with so much nothingness around them your face fills every thought, as I’m dragged protesting to the void

about

NeoClassical darkwave with seductive mournful string, electronics & voice on 8 stories of loss, longing and doomed love.

The Cleft Serpent is an elegant, heartfelt, and tragic torch song to humanity. A deeply personal tale cast on an almost cosmic scale, the album is a mature and fascinating musing on love, death and desire. The eight gothic neoclassical tracks evoke a sense of earthly entanglement, taking the listener through interconnected pieces charged with emotional honesty. A dark and beautiful work, it's the 13th from Black Tape For A Blue Girl, and the first for vocalist Jon DeRosa and cellist Henrik Meierkord, joining the electronics of songwriter Sam Rosenthal.

We are introduced to a world-weary, eternal, devil-like figure -- almost a narrator, almost a protagonist -- who shape-shifts across the album's multiple eras and locales, guiding the listener through stories of loss, longing and doomed love. Far from the proud and defiant Lucifer we find in Milton and Blake, he's a cursed figure, achingly self-aware, fated to inflict pain, yet weary of pain and destruction; he's bound to the one he loves yet is driven to destroy.

DeRosa's earthy, touching vocals possess an inner strength giving the lyrics a passionate honesty, gravity and intensity. This singular performance draws no easy comparisons; it is truly a beast unto itself.

Meierkord's strings and Rosenthal's flickering electronics paint somber soundscapes of yearning melodies bound within the orbit of the character's fractured, chaotic and ultimately disintegrating lives. Never before has Black Tape For A Blue Girl's strings and electronics been more beautifully and masterfully intertwined.

The Cleft Serpent presents an original and thoughtful gothic torch song to humanity, embracing all of our tragedy, heartache, and loss. It is the perfect album for these times: life, with its longing, ennui and contradiction, is narrowed down to the touching interaction of flawed souls that alight in the scorched dreams of acceptance, transcendence and annihilation.

credits

released October 1, 2021

Digital customer, for the companion INSTRUMENTALS & ALTERNATE MIXES album (only $4):
projektrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-cleft-serpent-instrumental-alternate-mixes

to order MiniDisc, Cassette or Serpent Shirt, visit:
blacktapeforabluegirl.bandcamp.com

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Projekt Records Portland, Oregon

Projekt is America's premier independent label specializing in passionately intense introspective music in the ambient, electronic, ethereal & darkwave genres.

39-year-old Projekt is home to Steve Roach, Erik Wøllo, Michael Stearns, Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Aurelio Voltaire and many others. The label continues to nurture the careers of its select roster of artists.
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