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April

by Nora Nygard

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1.
April 05:29
three blond men come walking in they're hiding in the shadows they're dancing with their partners and whispering hey this is your end three blond men come walking in surround around with the eyes of tyrants they stare me down and yeah I'm shaking and wondering why it always happens this way why they always get so speechy why I'm sweating from my forehead why can't I just take this easy why when they aim the rifle it goes into slow motion why is this so god damn confusing why can't they just explain it why when things were finally turning good as they pull the trigger I remember the date just before I'm blown away I thought I told you not to get me anything for my birthday

about

I was playing guitar when I heard my brother's voice whisper my name in my ear. He had died earlier that year. I was fifteen, panicking at the sound of him speaking, and this song came to me — brought by him or from elsewhere, I'm not sure. Suddenly it existed. I didn't feel as though I had written it. His voice gave me the song.

Whether "April" was delivered from the other side or whether it was a cathartic teenage reaction to the impossibly abstract realities of grief, I don't know. You might assume that one of those options is much more likely than the other, but I heard my brother say my name in my ear. Then, immediately, this entire song was in my head and I moved as quickly as I could to document it while my body shook.

I recorded several cassette versions of this song during that year. One of those recordings was included on the album Lincoln.

This recording was part of the sessions for The Ghosts Beneath Our Feet, the album that I began composing music for in 2007 and didn't finish until 2022. That album went through drastic changes over 15 years, as did my relationship to my voice, and "April" stands on its own as the only fully-formed out-take from the 2011 sessions.

What was my brother trying to tell me? Why did this message come in the form of a song? This wasn't the first time he tried to communicate with me. I still hear from him. I can't find any answers to these questions and they're going to haunt me for the rest of my life.

credits

released August 8, 2022

Nora Nygard: Production / Mixing / Mastering / Songwriter / Cover Art / Photography / Vocals / Acoustic Guitar

Blake Burbach: Electric Bass / Percussion

Robert Kramer: Electric Guitar

Evan Morgenson: Upright Bass

Dr. Sonic: Recording / Transfer Tape to Digital

Taylor Stockert: Drums

Recorded live to 2" analog tape on 4 June 2011.

Mixed in ProTools.

Mastered 8 April 2022.

The photograph was shot August 2011 in Oregon.

Produced in the Vampire Castle by Nora Nygard.

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about

Nora Nygard Minneapolis, Minnesota

I've always been searching. Drumming in punk bands. Singing into a cassette mic alone. Trans angst, alienation, going on the road. Synthesis, tape, poetry. Two failed tours, two failed degrees. Reclaiming my voice from the choir, reshaping my voice after punk rock. Years of isolation, hormone therapy, production studies, and hundreds of releases with various projects. ... more

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