Care & Handling EP

by B R O A D S

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Recorded at home, February-May 2014 by JF


released July 4, 2014

Anna Nols - vocal on 2
Owen Turner - cornet on 2
Justine Mann - vocal on 3
Rose Kemmy - photography
James Ferguson - everything else



all rights reserved
Track Name: Be In Lines
All polite to be erratic now
Inflated, bold
Be near a wooden town

You're wrong to fade the red
The letter dumb
Too old to be the force to let it out

Oh, to be in lines and settled down
Oh, to be the same, and as and do, and let it out
Track Name: Care and Handling
About 30 metres away, and still smeared in slow shadow was the spot where the tree had fallen. For a week or so the trunk had remained, lying just past horizontal, making a shallow bridge between the path at its root end, and the dark, wet grass on the lower level. The capillary maze of smaller twigs and branches had hung limply at right angles to their normal position, some forced flat against the ground, others urged by gravity to stretch unendingly towards it. The council had removed the tree in stages – first the trunk and branches went, fathering dents in the ground and little piles of sawdust – then a few days later the upturned stump was taken, leaving a deep hole lined with ripped root-ends, immediately marked as a hazard by orange cones and red & white tape, then filled in with new earth. Now the ground was dry and hard, and there was no sign that the tree had ever existed, save for the break in the regular pattern that its absence created, the rest of the row unmoved by the loss of their fallen neighbour.

Emerging into the soft haze, Boy walked blinkingly up the gentle slope (never the steps) and then left along the gravel path that cut across the middle of the park. Here the sun was already strong, battling through the muggy sweat of morning mist to wrap around his arms and face. Boy stopped at the wooden memorial bench and sat, the lateral slats taking the weight of his bag from his shoulders and forcing its canvas mouth open. He reached inside without looking and pulled out a ragged, curled sketchbook. Flicking through the pages he caught glimpses of doodles and half-phrases: “bright hearts crashing”; “care and handling”; a smudged pencil sketch of a pair of daggers. The sun seemed to focus in on the paper with new intensity, ironing out the creases in each page with bright white force. Boy’s thumb reached the point where the crumpled old pages met the fresh, flat virgin ones. He set the book down carefully on the bench.

Someone’s faded husband or wife loved this spot.

In front of the bench was an expanse of gradually-yellowing grass, stretching down to another pathway and a line of trees in the hazy, distorted middle-distance. The faint chalky scratchings of last season’s winter sports pitch markings were still just about visible in places, as were perfectly regular bald patches in the grass that marked the positions where centre circles and six-yard-boxes used to be. Two pigeons staggered lazily about, occasionally stopping to peck at something tiny and unseen on the ground.

On the other side of the park Boy could make out the featureless figure of a lone woman, brightly-dressed and running at pace, silently and purposefully. The line of trees just beyond her camouflaged her rhythmically as she passed each one.

Into the light and out again.

Creaseless at distance.

Boy rested his elbow on the back of the memorial bench and stretched out his fingers to encourage a greeting from his shadow, which now stretched to the pigeons in front of him. The last chill of the dawn fizzed out into the airless heat as the runner turned 90 degrees and started up the path that ran alongside the right-hand edge of the park.

“I drew some daggers and I don’t know why”. Boy closed his eyes and held his breath – absorbing the miniscule sounds that the heat made as it acted on the surfaces around him.

Hard ground, bitter with dust.

Nowhere for the worms to hide.

Moments passed, and the runner turned again - steady, metronomic and approaching, merging into the foreground. Head down, still featureless but stripped of haze and now clean, clear, distinguished. Rubber almost silent on gravel, then a moment of fluttering noise: breath, steps, fabric. Bright hearts crashing. Care and handling.
Track Name: Don't Flow
Sun, oh
You're reading
I'm near
But your reading knows I'm not here
Oh, that's not all
you go holding for one, for all

Don't break so slow
Fix, flow, we don't hear