Inside Free

by Miriam Jones

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about

Writing and Creating 'Inside Free'

There’s nothing quite like thrusting yourself into a complete change of life-scenery to panic you into doing something, anything, to help reassert your identity. I suppose I could have started wearing high heels and mini-skirts, taken up knitting, or become a nurse, but instead, I responded to my marriage and move in the summer of '07 (to an Englishman and to England) by making another album - an EP entitled Inside Free.

Admittedly, my last project Being Here was barely out of the bag, having only been released in Vancouver in February of the same year, and of course nobody had heard it in England, but I was already feeling disconnected from it, having found myself in an altogether unfamiliar place. Call me an organic fruitcake, but it’s true. I’m wholly satisfied with Being Here, but if there’s one thing a Brit will heckle you for (and oh how they heckle) its being too ‘up’, too, well, happy, and while I sincerely doubt (hope) I will never be accused of being a ‘twee’ artist, the album definitely has a Nashville pop-countriness to it that I felt suddenly, not ashamed of but, let’s just say I felt a bit like a nudist bursting bare-breasted onto what she’d thought was a nudist beach only to find everybody dressed in one-pieces.

I had also started writing again after a creativity-free few months (unless having to adjust to a new life can be considered a creative act, which it probably can), and was keen to get the new stuff down and out the door, partly because I’m just like that, and partly for caving somewhat to the squeeze to keep things interesting for folk who are more and more tempted to change the channel in a bored huff. With pianist husband now in the picture, and with him a fantastic network of talented musos, I figured the sun was shining and I ought to make hay.

There are five songs on the EP - four are new since the last record, and one is a piano remake of Earth & Sky, from the Sign & Semblance album; we also re-recorded Dust & Sand (really just to feature the wickedness of drummer Tom Hooper’s playing) and threw it into a pre-ordering deal which offered buyers downloads of all the EP’s tracks in a pre-production state, i.e. with some instruments and backing vocals missing, edits incomplete, mixing undone, etc.

The band really was ‘instrumental’ if you will, to the final expression of the songs. With my first two albums I essentially recorded the guitar and vocals together and the rest of the instrumentation was built around those tracks, whereas with Inside Free I wasn’t sure exactly how the songs were going to feel until the band played them, partly because I had used the piano a lot in their composition and had focused on creating motifs. My acoustic guitar was the last thing to be put down. Carr, Lawson and Hooper are all primarily jazz musicians so there is a lot of groove to be had throughout the EP, not to mention some fairly jazzy tinkling from pianist Jez Carr.

credits

released December 20, 2008

Miriam Jones: acoustic guitar and vocals
Jez Carr: keys, electric bass on "Chase Me"
Steve Lawson: electric bass
Tom Hooper: drums/percussion

produced by Jez Carr and Miriam Jones

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Miriam Jones Oxford

Management: miriamjones.tumblr.com/contact

“... it’s a very good record” - Independent On Sunday

“Transfixed by her style .... emotive performances that combine darkness and soul but warmth and accessibility too”
– Maverick
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Track Name: Holding Bay
I pray you out of this holding bay, pray you in to some kind of air
God only know why we hover here bleeding life down the drain of going nowhere
I sing my songs in the dining room, wring my heart with nobody there
You spin your soul with a coffee spoon typing tales ‘mid the music and the fanfare
Everybody needs a hearing and how we fight to gain the clearing

And sometimes we settle for watching bottles we dared to throw out to sea get washed ashore
And sometimes we have to be satisfied that in the loneliness there lies a sleeping meaning

You lose your heart in a shuffle play - shift the weight of waiting on whims
A sea of eyes on this sea you ride back and forth between the stillness and the mayhem
Sometimes I play feeling far away, lose my heart to what’s on their mind
I see their eyes and I’m compromised - feeling naked and nervous beneath the lights
Thoughts like these reminding me I’m inside fettered or inside free

Don’t worry, this fury that keeps you alienated is the way we pray for what may be -
the day we’re satiated
I love you will not be enough to lift up your courage always
What you’re speaking, life you think you’re leaking, comes overflowing some day
Track Name: Down
I brought you down to a place where I could see you dressing down, climbing down
I went 'round you, felt too much to tell you I was down everything was falling down

I was bound to be the one to sound you - I wear your frown like a hand-me-down
I astound you to be so like, unlike you, I run you down, we tumble round and

What I could have been for you, but what we don't do cannot be rescued

I let you down, misused my only chance - I loved you fiercely with the love tucked in my hand
I put you down, now I can't take it back, and I can't bear the sorrow and the judgment at my back
Will bring me down

The days I found you, so beautiful to crown you - then turn around and knock you down
I would hound you to break the chains that bound you, but never knelt down, helped you off the ground and

Oh that all this hatred of what we are should be translated
Track Name: Chase Me
I always had a heart for you and a mind for more of me
You gave me all the world to use and I found the one forbidden tree
Oh the naked day I ran away to take care of myself
To all my life be ruled by my escape, to faint under some spell

So you would chase me down through the centuries
Remembering the garden when you asked me where I was
Then you came to face me but I didn’t really see you

You always had a heart for me that I mistrusted from my birth
And you trying to get close to me has marked the history of earth
Round a table we, 12 men and a deity drinking wine together just like brothers
We were vying for the right hand of your royal court
And you looked like the world was going under
Oh the night I naked fled away and left you by yourself
You went on to pay for my escape and shake me from this spell

So you would chase me down through the centuries
Remembering the garden when you asked me where I was
Then you came to face me but I didn’t really see you

You hung naked on that darkened day and brought me to yourself while I was
Swearing there was some mistake - I didn’t know you well
Track Name: Routine Runaway
Open the window and breathe in - I can’t believe we’re finally leaving
It’s just the way I always dreamed it
I’ve got you, you got me, we promised - there’s nothing left but to get on this
If the car breaks down we’ll pawn it
Finally free to love and leave this land

I know they see it in some ways as just another routine runaway
From the girl who couldn’t stand to stay in one place
But running ‘away from’ and ‘into’ are two completely different ways to get through
You pull me like the right was always meant to
We could drive a million miles tonight
I could not be further gone than here in your sweet eyes as we’re kissing at the stoplight

And I’ve left this town more times than I can think of
But I never cared less where I was headed to than on my way out with you love
Oh and everyday your love takes me far away, and I’m OK that you’re my
routine run run runaway

The first time I met you I left you make believing things we could get up to
The places we’d go doing what we loved to
A year gone and married a day in and we’re leaving everything for England
Like I never came awake from dreaming
You say I’m brave to come away but understand
I will be at home whenever I have you in my hand - you keep me safe like nothing else can
Track Name: Earth & Sky Remix
This is a song for the wild and the free - for all of the lost that lives in me
This is to say that I’m making my way in the absence of everything ordered and everything plain

And I’m alive in earth and sky, in these rivers that dance for my mischievous eyes and I am thinned by this tidy and civilized world that I’m in

Try as I may I just never quite seem to fit in
All these edges and corners, these boundaries that border me in
‘Cause I am not orderly, there’s more than four sides to me
And this ground that I’m made of, I’m bound to its anarchy

So I will step off of your walkways and head for the hills
Wander the woodlands, flesh out my soul and the way that I feel
And in this great expansiveness I’m opened right up to this:
We are all made for wilderness, called into pilgrimage

And I’m a live in earth and sky, in these rivers that dance for my mischievous eyes and I am thinned by this tidy and civilized world that I’m in