Rogues & Blushing Virgins

Christian DeArmond & Helena Berlin

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Three songs about swindlers, supplicants, and the bad blood between them. It's troubled folklore...Americana in a foul mood.

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    Dive 3:19
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Found a new sound…

You’re stuck and bored. What to do? Search for new sounds.
How? Play new instruments; work with new people, in this case songwriter Helena Berlin, whose imagination looms large.    
 
Throw out your rules.
Succumb to her rules.
Make new rules.
Break new rules.
Write and re-write. And do it again.
 
Visit a new place: uncover a new world. If it only exists in the heads of two people…well, so much the better. You two control the lives living there. Argue about those lives, those stories. Make them better.
 
Then make them much, much worse.
 
Make a plot.
Lose the plot.
Tear up the plot & throw the whole damn thing up in the air and see what lands. 
 
Blood on the Frozen Sand was the first one. It let you know what was oozing from the pen.
Write and re-write.
Headlights Carve next, a set of spoken word weirdness, found sounds & failed experiments. But, some new discoveries in that, new intrigues…
 
Finally – Rogues & Blushing Virgins – it took us a few years to get here, after running around in the dark without torches, hoping for the light of day.
 
It’s dark, it’s done and we hope you like it.

~Christian

a note from Helena Berlin

Collaborative song writing is a bit like a murder ballad. It concerns two people who, on some level, love each other. Sometimes fiercely.  Yet in the end, someone is going to end up floating face down in a river.
 
I mean that metaphorically, of course. Sort of.
 
Fortunately Christian D. and I are still drawing breath after finally completing Rogues  & Blushing Virgins. Writing these songs was, in equal measure, a labour of love and a labour of angst. Our collaborations are always loaded and testy. They resemble that simmering antecedent to a marital blow-out. In retrospect, however, I think that fuming  energy worked.  Vitriol aside, Christian and I land on common ground in our love of narrative songs. Rogues draws from that tradition.
 
A brief exposition of the three songs, then, if you’re interested…
 
Rogues & Blushing Virgins is the aftereffect of three images that came to me a couple of years ago, while driving with Christian through a solemn, churchy little town somewhere up north. Three characters appeared to me: a ragged woman standing on a bridge, calculating the distance of the drop (Dive); a young man watching her, weighing his moral obligation to save her, (Dark Day Darling); and a storyteller who swears the shit he witnessed in a solemn, churchy little town was all true (Jericho River).
 
Christian and I are now finishing our next EP, Lament for Young Cain. We will strive to steer clear of any and all rushing bodies of water.

~Helena Berlin

Helena's Blog

Harsh Lessons

A couple of years ago, Christian asked me to give him piano lessons. I was wary of this undertaking, mainly because we are polar opposites in our approach to anything creative or instructive, and we’re prone to epic spats. I…Read more

Labour of Angst-

Collaborative song writing is a bit like a murder ballad. It concerns two people who, on some level, love each other. Sometimes fiercely.  Yet in the end, someone is going to end up floating face down in a river.
 
I…Read more

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