The Darling Parts of May

by Amy Annelle & John Alan Kennedy

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1.
THE DARLING PARTS OF MAY my, my my: how the eye of heaven shines. gray, luminous. gray, luminous. a golden-rimmed disc which desires unfastened hearts. desire unfastens hearts. yes, here now are the darling parts of may, they scatter and coalesce. scatter and coalesce. sweet sighs, deep breaths. sweet sighs, deep breaths. he walks ellipses, parted lips. may gives way, while june persists. she walks ellipses, newborn, wet. with all the ways he’ll love her yet. my, my, my: how the eye of heaven shines. gray, luminous. gray, luminous. gray, luminous. gray, luminous. credits released May 20, 2020 Amy Annelle - lyrics, voice, piano John Alan Kennedy - sampling, kalimba, percussion, mix ____________________________ cover photo by John Alan Kennedy July 4, 2019. Taken along the banks of the James River in Mason County, Texas, near sunset, while we were waiting for a million bats to burst out of a cave.

about

It was a couple weeks after we met that John teased me with a song idea, "the darling parts of may". Immediately I thought of Shakespeare's "The Darling Buds of May" (sonnet 18), "rough winds do shake the darling buds of may...sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines", and used that verse as a point of departure.

These stanzas are erotic. Was there something rhetorical in this line of his, an invitation, perhaps? At the time John was living in Houston and I in Austin, Texas. The tiniest spark of a romance was forming. My desire for him, or even just an inkling of it, the newness of something fathomless, came through as lyrics that took me by surprise. They only took me a few minutes to write.

The next time he came to visit, John had a sketch of an arrangement for me to listen to. I felt my way through a lo-fi vocal take and added some lanky piano arpeggios. The front door was open and the night sounds made their way onto the tracks. John added more layers at home: an inquisitive kalimba, found sounds, and gorgeous brushwork. Then the track sat unmixed for a few months, as our intentions went into building a live performance vocabulary together, traveling between our hometowns, and falling in love.

It has been a busy year. Within a few days of recording the vocals (in which I can hear the frailness of my body, but also my resolve), I had a major surgery and began a long recovery that continues today. John and I performed over a dozen shows together and were venturing back onto the road. Then the pandemic hit. And here we all stand, stunned by the changes it has wrought. Not knowing when or if we'll be able to see or play live music again, but knowing, as ever, the sweet crush of the muse.

In that spirit, we offer up this song from the time before. It captures the headiness of a late spring Texas night, the sureness of something beyond words. There is something to this not knowing. May gives way, while June persists...


THE DARLING PARTS OF MAY

my, my my: how the eye of heaven shines.
gray, luminous. gray, luminous.

a golden-rimmed disc which desires unfastened hearts.
desire unfastens hearts.

yes, here now are the darling parts of may, they
scatter and coalesce. scatter and coalesce.

sweet sighs, deep breaths.
sweet sighs, deep breaths.

he walks ellipses, parted lips.
may gives way, while june persists.

she walks ellipses, newborn, wet.
with all the ways he’ll love her yet.

my, my, my: how the eye of heaven shines.
gray, luminous. gray, luminous.
gray, luminous. gray, luminous.

credits

released May 20, 2020

Amy Annelle: lyrics, vocals, piano
John Alan Kennedy: sampling, kalimba percussion, mix

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Amy Annelle Austin, Texas

A prolific writer and interpreter of songs, Amy Annelle maps out the farther reaches of American music, while conjuring visions of our restless musical past. Over the course of ten albums & thousands of miles logged on the road, Annelle has cultivated a rarified voice and repertoire that "blooms with open-hearted, lustful vulnerability and a harrowing naturalistic solitude”(Crawdaddy). ... more

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