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Watching the Willows Burn

by Jack Name & Aoife Nessa Frances

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“Watching the Willows Burn” is the outcome of Jack Name and Aoife Nessa Frances' first collaborative encounter, and a study in secret song and ancient ritual. Introduced by a mutual acquaintance on a hunch that an undiscovered sonic kinship might exist between the musicians, Jack and Aoife fell hard and fast for each other’s respective 2020 albums, Magic Touch (Mexican Summer) and Land of No Junction (Ba Da Bing/Basin Rock).

With a mutual admiration cemented, the two musicians established a remote rapport and began exploring themes of moon rituals and divine feminine energies before settling into a work pattern. From Los Angeles, Jack developed the body of "Watching the Willows Burn," architecting the song and adorning it with instrumentation, eventually sending it to Aoife. From Co. Clare, Ireland, Aoife worked out the vocal melody and lyrics, in peak writing form having recently completed tracking her follow up album to Land of No Junction.

The end result of this exchange verifies the suspicions that originally convened Jack and Aoife. The sonic dimensions and intentions of “Watching the Willows Burn” work in wide open ways, the alchemy of Jack and Aoife’s separate but cosmically in tune talents manifesting in a melodic, magical moment.

“A lot of our conversations drifted into topics like mysticism and ancient history. We imagined a struggle between a peaceful group of moon worshipping people and maniacal totalitarian warlords. That sent us down a stream which eventually led to the different things willows can symbolize. It’s interesting how they can stand for purity and nourishment and also grief and death. So what does it mean to watch them burn in the dark? Perhaps a rebirth, whether healing or destroying, depends on who’s watching.” - Jack & Aoife


Lay where you lay
Alone in the blue
Singing secret songs again
Giving away the gold of the night
Casting shadows on the time

Way far away they're pulling you down
Sing your secret song again
Love has a way to carry the sound
Wrapped in riddles til the end

Sacred birth
New thorns in the ground
Paves the way for river’s gold
And a Hollow face
Beaten & now throw
A hand in mine that fell
Useless arrows in my heart
Burn my two skins
Layer upon layer
Sent down stream
Open eyes with hollow mouths
And then I Whisper in the Reeds
And I’m about to find out
touching winter’s hidden warmth
Useless arrows in my heart

The words were shimmering
The curse was written in the cloth
The light was flickering
Watching willows burning in the dark

Naming the days they've stricken you out
Sing a secret song again
Fear in the air had sown many doubts
But we never saw the signs

Why Selene, shine for me
Casting bitter paves a path
My rebirth leans onto death
Weave and wax now disappear
The taste of sweetness running out
See the new dawn as I rise
Casting bitter paves a path
A hundredth hour passing by
Seven planes beyond my sight
And not one of us can block the sun
The taste of sweetness running out

The see-ers shuddering
The rakehells rapping at the door
The masses muttering
Watching willows burning in the dark


released July 8, 2021


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Jack Name Los Angeles, California

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