feather weight soul tape Volume V: Down in the city

by Robin Mitchell's featherweight soul

supported by
Hannah Coates
Hannah Coates thumbnail
Hannah Coates This album really is one of my favourite listens of the year. Think songs which tell stories and sounds which transport you far away. Favorite track: we are the people, they are not the people.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    with artwork by Sherony Lock

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  • Cassette + Digital Album

    Beautiful turquoise cassette. Contains special mixes of certain songs. Tracklisting differs from download and CD versions

    Includes unlimited streaming of feather weight soul tape Volume V: Down in the city via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
02:05
2.
03:21
3.
03:48
4.
03:19
5.
01:44
6.
03:27
7.
8.
9.
01:09
10.
03:51
11.
03:03

about

Featherweight soul draws together Robin Mitchell's eclectic tastes, combining tape sounds, retro synths, drum machines, twee indie, trip-hop and soul into a neat (okay, scruffy) bedroom pop package. An early '80s Casiotone 202 keyboard inherited from Robin's grandfather provided the genesis for the featherweight soul sound, and Robin's characterful recordings are easily distinguishable from those of the squeaky-clean MacBook generation.

'Volume V: Down in the City' ties up many of the themes from the first 4 installments of the featherweight soul project, and is above all a soundtrack for the individual trying to find his or her place in the hum-and-drum of the metropolis. Expect a contrast between downbeat grooves and skippy, uptempo gospel stylings, with songs about riding a bike (Bike) or going to heaven (Pools), plus a belated anthem for the Arab Spring (We Are The People).

credits

released September 1, 2015

all songs and all recordings by Robin Mitchell
robinmitchell.co.uk

additional lyrics on 'Down' by Gibbon

artwork and design by Sherony Lock
sherony.com

Isabelle Neill sings on 'Bone Dry', 'Bike', 'Slight' and 'Hanging On'
Robert Short sings on 'Bone Dry' and 'Pools'
Gibbon (Joey Mitchell) sings on 'Down', 'Slight' and 'We Are The People, They Are Not The People'
Leroy (Liam Owen) plays bass on 'Tongue Tied', 'Bone Dry', 'Slight' and 'We Are The People, They Are Not The People'

'Don't worry about a thing' is a field recording made in NY Penn subway station, January 2015

Thanks to Mike Griffiths (Muncle), Nigel Savage, Christophe Blanc (Strophe) and Jesse Edbrooke (Transition) for their specific comments and advice. Thanks to Isabelle, Joey and Liam for their immense support and encouragement with this project, that thanks extends to Hannah and to the Mitchell clan (Tina, Dave, Esther + Nate, Perring, Ben + Shoua). Double dose of thanks to Perring for backing me up musically through the hard times and the good. Thanks to Sherony Lock for being so patient and producing some amazing artwork. Thank you to my supporters, without whom none of this would be possible.

THANK YOU, GENTLE LISTENER, FOR CHOOSING FEATHERWEIGHT SOUL!

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Robi Mitch Bristol

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"Timeless songwriting." (Bristol Live Magazine)

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Track Name: bone dry
stood aloof, bullet proof
a narcissist within my youth

but in the half-light I couldn't be seen
there was nearly nothing left of me
translucent, fading away
lost in the shadows at the end of the day

I take it slow, take it in my stride
one step, one step at a time
and though I walk in the pouring rain, still I'm bone dry
soon be falling on my knees again

something hit me like a brick
in the pit of my stomach

sent me out on a spin
far away from the planet I was orbiting
and when I opened up my mouth to pray
I couldn't find the words to say

take it slow, take it in my stride
one step, one step at a time
Track Name: bike
I ride my bike along the shore
the sun never shone like this before
the sun never shone like this
never gave me such happiness

the wheels on my bike just turn, turn
the waves on the shore come crash, crash
and oh, the tips of my toes
kissing the pavement as I go

don't be too much of anything dear
don't be too much, just be enough

I don't want to be young forever
I just want to be young for a little bit longer
I just want to run into the arms of summer
okay, I admit I want to live forever and ever and ever and ever

but only if you are living with me
only if you are by my side

oh oh oh, I am a believer
I believe in an endless summer
I believe in a life eternal
I believe we can go on and on
and oh oh oh, I'm gonna hit the target
I'm gonna get the grades
move aside, I'm gonna take the prize
I'm gonna win the lot, I'm gonna rock your socks
Track Name: pools
have you seen my eyes, they are pools of delight
sunk into my face, stupid mouth open wide

blinking like a baby in the glare of the sun
the world laid out before me and the best yet to come

these salubrious sensations and glorious revelations
are teasing my tastebuds, awake and impatient
I am hungry to be living to the full


suddenly the feeling that I'm truly awake
it's my birthday and the world is my cake
hallelujah dances from the tips of my toes
blissfully naïve, I do not care if it shows

I will glide up through the heavens with the stars as they sing
swoop low across the ocean on albatross wings
with my magical straw I will drink it all in


I am on a journey up a tall, tall hill
been on my way for years and I'm climbing still

but I've heard the whispered rumours about the view from the top
so come hell or heavy weather, still I won't stop

up there the air will be so clear and so clean
and the most vibrant of scenes from my wildest of dreams can't prepare me for what I'll see
Track Name: down
when you're feeling down, down down in the city
just get your head up, up, up in the clouds
take a good look around,
no it ain't so bad
don't be sad
be glad

*

it's like a jungle out here, makes me wonder how I keep from going under
like a jungle out here, makes me wonder how I'm ever gonna slumber
no name just another number, footsteps rain like all day thunder
in servitude gotta keep earnin, get streetwise get busy learnin

stop! come awake to the moment
look! you won't fail to notice
listen to the city both day and night,
yes it's a mess but it's yours and it's mine
so arise and design on this grey canvas
jump and jive in the playground around us
found our place in the high life
so come, freerun with me into the limelight

keep your eyes to the ground as you take steps
as grass shoots up thru cracks in pavements
hear traffic jams and street talk
smells play chase as we walk
pick a little litter for my urban mosaic
it's not dirty disorder, it's beautiful chaos
and I'm lifted, not to fly away
but to surf these clouds and sky-scrape
sing city blues with nothing to lose
in her open arms I can finally snooze
Track Name: slight
pass your eyes through me, right under my skin
see truths that lie hidden within
all my foolish fears for all of these years
oh my foolish pride

so ask of me and I will give you my all
as heavy as stone, as light as a feather I fall

listen carefully, right next to my skin
hear the whispered words that simmer within
all my darkest dreams from which I can't wake
bonds I cannot break

I realise without you I'm nothing at all
as heavy as stone, as light as a feather I fall
Track Name: we are the people, they are not the people
hydra awoke, spoke in tongues
spoke many voices choked into one

as one heart we beat out the sound of the street
as one we repeat the sound of the street

like waves out in the bay we rise and we fall
they will not stop, will not stop us at all

we are the free ones, we are the new ones
we don't belong, don't belong to no-one
we are the chosen, we are the lucky ones
we won't be slaves, won't be slaves to no-one

many hands pulled the rug from out under your feet
many hands clapped as you were thrown from your seat

and pulses were raised in anticipation
as voices repeated the song for the nation

the writing's on the wall as we rise and we fall
they will not stop, will not stop us at all


the voices fell silent as the crowds were dispersed
but I'm staying put, fearing the worst
don't let them pull the blindfold down
don't let them spin your head around
just let your heart beat with the sound of the street
and all of our hearts beat as one to this song:

we are the free ones, we are the new ones
we don't belong, don't belong to no-one
we are the chosen, we are the lucky ones
we won't be slaves, won't be slaves, won't be slaves
Track Name: apple
what if the spring is too short, love
what if the summer is too long
what if the grass climbs too high and we get lost in it, love

what if we neither sustain nor create
what if we fail to pollinate
what if the bees don't come this year
what if the bees don't come?

it will be through no fault of my own love
and through no fault of yours
without map or compass to guide us
it's no wonder we've strayed from the course

roll away, roll away little apple
don't roll away too fast
don't get crushed in the barrel
don't get lost in the long grass
Track Name: hits
what will you do when it hits you
the future's opaque, it ain't see-thru
like waves in the bay we rise and fall
like waves we crash against the harbour wall

and I get the blues
and it gets inside my head
and I get the blues

I may hesitate, but I won't break
I may hesitate, but I won't break
I may hesitate, but I won't break
I may hesitate, but I won't break

what will we do when it hits us
when the future falls apart around us
when our comeuppances have come to get us
when our fears have finally found us

walking around around around this old town
makes me want to holler,
throw up both my hands

(well let me tell you that)
I may hesitate, but I won't break
Track Name: hanging on
oh the world is in a spin
I hardly know where to begin
I can't decide whether to step outside or to just stay in

there must be some solution
that can counter my confusion
yesterday I was okay, today is just the opposite

I am hanging on, hanging on, hanging on my dear
I am hanging on, hanging on, hanging on for dear life

oh the world is in my face
my best-laid plans all laid to waste
I can't decide if it's better to hide or to run away

the jumps and starts
the twists and falls
I had control but I lost it all

pieces of the day always seem to come my way
like broken biscuits on a tray and it has always been this way