Geography and Other Problems

by Normandie Wilson

supported by
Stan Stewart (aka @muz4now)
Stan Stewart (aka @muz4now) thumbnail
Stan Stewart (aka @muz4now) I was first attracted to this project by the liner notes. And I still have a soft spot for them. The music matches nicely. Great mood shifts. "Martini-sipping" for sure. Global musicians. Have a listen. And another. Because as I hear the tracks after the first time, I really take in the innocence and experience that mix -- especially in Normandie's voice and lyrics. And that will keep me coming back to listen again... Favorite track: Meanwhile.
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about

Geography & Other Problems
circa August 2011 – October 2011

“Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.”

This quote is attributed to many different authors, but that's not important. Absence indeed sharpens love. I wrote these songs while feeling love like a just-sharpened knife against the grain of my heart. So sharp, that I didn't realize how deeply I'd felt until I saw the blood.

A hand that lingers a half-second too long on your back. A meaningful stare. Long conversations into the wee hours of the night. Falling for someone is always the easy part. It's the rest of life that gets in the way.

I was out of sorts for a solid month and a half. I stared blankly into space. I was high and low, I was up and down, I was so upset, so confused, and I kept it to myself mostly. No one knew the internal turmoil I was experiencing, and I needed it to be that way.

Were my feelings real? Who knows. I don't know. All I know is that I got enough material during those six to eight weeks to carry me creatively for over a year. As my grandfather said, “Lovers are like buses. If you miss one, another will come along in a half hour or so.” Songs, however, are forever. Whenever I “miss the bus,” I always try to catch the song.

Feelings are just... feelings. Butterflies. Ribbons. String. Palpitations. Flushes. Sleepless nights. Flutters. Laughs. Sometimes they're shared. I think 95% of the time they're not. We have occasional moments of mutual shared feelings that are the sweetest moments on earth. But the point is that it's okay to feel things. And it's okay if that doesn't mean anything to anyone but you. If you were in love, and you were the only one who knew it, that's totally all right. It's okay if you love and you carry it with you as a deep secret. I don't know if what I felt was real, or reciprocal. I'm only happy that I allowed myself to feel so deeply. I got so many wonderful songs and wonderful experiences, solitary and shared, from this event in my life, that put so much love in my heart. I was forever changed, and in the end, that's the best I can do.

I thought I was headed in one direction. Indeed these songs were a map, but a map to a different destination. Life has a funny way of imitating art sometimes. I believe these songs breathed life into situations that were not possible before I wrote them. I know the journey was a long and winding one for me...

Enjoy the songs that opened up the world to me...

Love,
Normandie

credits

released September 12, 2013

Personnel

Tom Dechristofaro – (Cleveland, OH) – guitar, vocals
James Feliciano Rito Salas-Garcia – (San Diego, CA) – tenor saxophone
Karl Hjalmar Nyberg (Malmö, Sweden) – tenor saxophone
Juan Lopez (West Covina, CA) – trumpet, guitar, bass
Rasmus Olsson (Malmö, Sweden) – vocals
Erik Sunding (Malmö, Sweden) – drums, percussion, guitar
Fredrik Sunding (Malmö, Sweden) – bass, guitar
Normandie Wilson (San Diego, CA) – vocals, piano, vibraphone, percussion, drums

Engineered by:
Juan Lopez at Casa de Lopez Recordings (West Covina, CA)
and Hit Single Recordings (El Cajon, CA)
Erik Sunding at Discrete Motion Studios
and Tambourine Studios (Malmö, Sweden)
Normandie Wilson at the Habitaint (San Diego, CA)
and the White Rock House (Hurricane, WV)

Mixed by Roy Silverstein at Rarefied Recording (San Diego, CA)
and Erik Sunding at Tambourine Studios (Malmö, Sweden)
Mastered by Bobby Holland (Nashville, TN)
Pre-production: Roy Silverstein
Art/Photography Concept: Normandie Wilson
Photography: Amber Martin, Saans Lena Studios (Ocean Beach, CA)
Design: Gordon Wagner (San Diego, CA) and
Taylor Crawley (San Francisco, CA)

"Don't Use My Words Against Me," "Cold Rain, Malmö," "Meanwhile," and
"Stop My Heart" produced by Erik Sunding and Normandie Wilson

"Mirrors Strung Upon Necklaces" produced by Roy Silverstein and Normandie Wilson

"Boulevard Beaumarchais" and "Before I Go" produced by Juan Lopez and Normandie Wilson

"We Take France," "A Lack of You," and "Your Nights, My Days" produced by Normandie Wilson

Executive Producer: Normandie Wilson

Production would not have been possible without the help of the following individuals:
Mike Allan
Tom Dechristofaro
David Feldman
Randy Fuelle
Adam Powell
Gabe Saucedo
Roy Silverstein

Thank you:
To everyone who made this record with me. You brought it to life in ways I couldn't imagine. The staff at Tambourine Studios. Cari Cole and the Mind Over Music group. Anna, Fredrik Sunding, Filippa, Pierre, Karl, Rasmus. Walle, Fredrik, Niklas, Erik, and Conor. Roy, Linsey, Juan, Gabe, Tom, Mike, Leia, Randy, Adam. BM2, Monica, DC. Babs, Lynne, Liz, Michael, James, Ellen, Lucas. IcelandAir. Mike Vasquez. Gordon, Taylor, Amber. Keenan, Sammie. The gang that is Red Pony Clock. C'Lesa, and the Divine. To my best friend. You warm my logical heart.

To everyone who cares. Thank you for listening.

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Normandie Wilson San Diego, California

woman of mystery. reclusive artist.

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Track Name: Don't Use My Words Against Me
You don't get mad at a basketball
when it bounces from the ground
And every morning, all over the world,
no one's surprised that the sun keeps coming around
I know you know about chemistry,
so there's no way you're gonna disagree with me
You've started a reaction that's hard to ignore,
oh, please, don't let me fall to the floor

Don't use my words against me
Don't use my words against me
or I'll be lonely as I've ever been,
always dreading the why and avoiding the when

So if you want to meet me at a small café,
my dear, I'll always be on time
I swear up, down, and sideways on a stack of Bibles,
I'll let you know if I'm running just a bit behind

Believe me, if you leave me, I'll go back to the ways
that got me through all those gloomy days
Lonely as I ever was, doing the things that I say that I'll do, just because

Don't use my words against me
Don't use my words against me
Don't use my words against me
Don't use my words against me

Believe me, if you leave me, we'll go back the ways
that got us through all those gloomy days
but we'll be lonely as we ever were,
that's the only fact that I can attest to for sure
Track Name: Meanwhile
Since you left my side,
every day is grey without you
I try to smile, but my
world might as well stop without you
My friends speak soft and slow:
“I've never seen her look quite this low, and I'm worried so”

On sunny streets, in Technicolor,
She turns away from the call of her lover
Her head hangs low, and everybody knows
She walks in sadness

Sedan du försvann
är alla färger bleka
Jag minns hur vi brann
men himlen är grå när himlen tvekar

They walk together to the beat of the same song,
Oh, but meanwhile

On sunny streets, in Technicolor,
She turns away from the call of her lover
Her head hangs low, and everybody knows
She walks in sadness
On muted streets, under cloudy skies,
He stops to pause for a minute, but he's not crying – no -
it was just a sigh
He walks in sadness

I walk in sadness
Track Name: A Lack of You
Well, a fish doesn't know much about the sea
And the trees probably don't know much about the breeze
What's a party without a host?
Sometimes it's the absence we notice most

There's not a lack of love in my life, oh no
There's just a lack of you, a lack of you
The other day, I saw your red shoes,
but they weren't attached to you
I'm running out of ways to prove, what I feel for you
or rather, the lack of you

They say absence only makes the heart grow fonder
As for me, I think it's just making me stronger
You're much too far away, you know, my heart breaks every day
so with the help of my friends
I grab all the pieces and throw them together again
And recall the days before the heartache was here to stay

There's not a lack of love in my life, oh no
There's just a lack of you, a lack of you
The other day, I saw your red shoes,
but they weren't attached to you
I'm running out of ways to prove, what I feel for you
or rather, the lack of you

I cry silently and hope that you will hear me
I'm not sleeping, and I won't until you're near me
But last night I had a dream, it cut me and ripped me to the seams, oh
I cried out for you, but all I could catch
was your eye across the room
So I wait for the day until you are by my side to stay

There's not a lack of love in my life, oh no
There's just a lack of you, a lack of you
The other day, I saw your red shoes,
but they weren't attached to you
I'm running out of ways to prove, what I feel for you
or rather, the lack of you, the lack of you
Track Name: Mirrors Strung Upon Necklaces
To make a long story short, you bought me a mirror, strung upon a necklace, which never arrived
it's an oblique reference to a conversation that we had when I was drunk, or possibly high

It signifies the value I should place upon myself
I'm no longer an ugly duckling left neglected on the shelf
You asked if it was excessive, and I'll say it again as such,
I can assure you, darling, nothing you could do would ever be too much

But I don't need a mirror
I'd like a looking glass
I want to reach right through
and hold your hand at last
I don't need a mirror strung upon a necklace, no matter how nice it may be
But I'll wear it with pride every day until it breaks
if you say you bought it because it reminded you of me

Well, the necklace never came, I blame the chilly Swedish post
the weeks and months have found you fading from my life just like a ghost
I wonder how you're doing, and I wonder how you've been
I wonder if it's a stretch to still consider you a friend,
and if my feelings are corrupted, well, I wish you'd tell me so
I prefer honesty to pride, I hope you'd know me well enough to know

And it feels like a funhouse every time we speak
I spin in candy tunnels, and your voice, it makes me weak
But scarier than tunnels are the thoughts I think instead:
is this all just an illusion? Is this all just in my head?

And I don't need a mirror strung upon a necklace, no matter how nice it may be
I'd just love to have your hand in mine for all the Transatlantic folks to see

I don't need a mirror;
I'd like a looking glass
Track Name: Your Nights, My Days
Your nights, my days
and my feelings fall like rain
There's no one left to explain

By day or night,
I've heard you're not sleeping well
And you've got no one else to tell

Every time that we speak, it's like saying goodbye, goodbye
and it hurts every time
by day, or night

I watch my clocks
I've got four or five set up,
and late at night, I wait up
I count to ten
on both hands and back again
And think of how deep I'm in

And I don't want to say it because I'm afraid, I'm afraid
That I'll lose the brightest spot in all my,
all my nights and all of my days

I watch the sun rise, you watch it set
Track Name: Blvd. Beaumarchais
And, when the snow falls, and the cold wind blows
I want you by my side

And now the streets are paved with cold
I need a loving hand to hold
Don't pack up and walk away
Come around with me to stay
In the winter snow and through the longest night

And, when the snow falls, and the cold wind blows
I want you by my side

When we're feeling sad and low,
say you'll have a place for us to go
When our heads are spinning round,
and our hearts are blue and broken down
Everywhere we walk to, everywhere we go

And, when the snow falls, and the cold wind blows
I want you by my side
Track Name: Before I Go
Every step that I take with you
is a journey into the unknown
And each time that I look at you,
my heart ceases to beat on its own

Before I go
I need you to hold me
There's no way I can make it alone
And each time I go,
it's your face that I see
Every day, every night, in all my dreams
And if I go,
who knows where I'll be?
All the days ahead remain a mystery
Before I go,
please won't you hold me?
Don't let me go
Track Name: Stop My Heart
Stop my heart...

When I saw you again,
I couldn't remember the where or the when

You stop my heart
You stop my heart
When I see you, more so when I hear you
You stop my heart, stop my heart
from aching, from breaking

I know that you can see
Just what you do to me
So come back, come back, come back
for me, for you, for you, for me

My love, you are the one that I dream of
Night or day, across the world in other ways
You stop my heart, stop my heart
From aching, from breaking

Last time we said goodbye,
you didn't look me in the eye
just like we never met, like we never cried tears for each other,
like we're strangers to one another, well

You won this round, you knocked me out and now I'm down
but like most hearts do, it'll beat again, again, for you
So keep my words in mind
If you can find the time

My heart will always have a place for you if you want it
My heart will always have an emergency brake for you to stop it
My heart will always have a parachute if you drop it
My heart's been missing since the day I saw your face, have you seen it?

My heart will always have a place for you if you want it...