Beneath a Level Head

by Me and My Friends

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about

Me and My Friends' debut album, 'Beneath a Level Head', was released in 2012 to critical acclaim, and is a journey through the band's multiple identities and multifarious influences. Taking cues from vintage 70's Highlife and Afrobeat, early Caribbean and American field recordings, as well as contemporary folk styles, the album places riotous rhythmic interplay alongside heart-rending vocal harmony and gorgeous cello and clarinet lines.

"Unusual instrumental forces create a sublime fusion that combines pastoral dreaminess with the heat of reggae, highlife and Afrobeat sounds” - Songlines Magazine.

“A life-affirming sound”, Loose Ends, BBC Radio 4.

“They’ve got joy written through them, like a stick of Blackpool rock!” Alex Lester, BBC Radio 2.

credits

released July 9, 2012

Nick Rasle - Vocals/Guitar
Emma Coleman - Cello/Vocals
Sam Murray - Clarinet/Vocals
James Grunwell - Bass
Fred Harper - Drums and percussion

Produced by Roni Spakowski and Me and My Friends

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about

Me and My Friends Bristol, UK

The sound of English folk colliding head-on with the golden-era music of 1970s West Africa and the Caribbean.

Bound by a mutual love of the sun-drenched vintage sounds of afrobeat, soukous, highlife and roots reggae, the UK-based 5-piece re-invent these influences around the instantly recognisable voice and finger-style guitar of songwriter and singer Nick Rasle.
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Track Name: A Penguin Samba
Who’s that man arresting in the night
Who’s that man again?
Who’s that man who trampled on the rights
Who’s that man again?
Who’s that man nah suffer a list of names
Who’s that man again?
Who’s that man arresting in the night
Who’s that man again, yeah

Who’s that man who chipped away at the gains
Who’s that man again?
Who’s that man who privatised and modernised
Who’s that man again?
Who’s that man ignore us as a million
Who’s that man again?
Who’s that man who privatised and modernised
Who’s that man again, yeah
Track Name: Brother
Bloodied in fight with the past and the pain
Never heard mother saying
Oh lord I should have tried
Watch for the words on the back of the page
And the numbering upon your wage
Oh lord I should have seen that

When the day comes for the bridges to burn
Throw another lesson learned
Upon a stack of cards
When the day comes for the debt to be paid
We haste to step away
Oh lord we could have tried

Yeah, who lost our brother?
Yeah, who lost our brother?
Find, who lost our brother
Find, who lost our brother

Memory fades when it hurts to recall
But take me standing tall
To fall upon my chances
Memory preys when you’re sick with regret
Nobody here forgets
Oh lord we could have tried

Yeah, who lost our brother?
Yeah, who lost our brother?
Find, who lost our brother
Find, who lost our brother
Track Name: Madame
And I see, and I say
It is odd to have you set upon my path
My word, better better mum’s the word
For we can’t have a scene among our clique
Madame, madame madame madame
I would fall from a graceful blotted perch
Madame, madame madame madame
Have the power to deviate from age
Track Name: Level Head
Yeah, can you bury
The trail of blood that feeds a paradise
By, right by the alter
Dressed in a pestilential rhetoric of right

Yeah, I had a nightmare
Where men tow a line in univocal rank
To leave me senseless
For I am just the same, the same as any man

Yeah, I didn’t hesitate
To draw a line beneath a level head
All the while, my head was buried
For I am just the same, the same as any man
For I am just the same, the same as any man
Track Name: Penseur
Penseur, réveille toi au monde
Les amants, pourquoi vous restez loin?

Orphée, viens me voir si tardif
Vieux Balzac, pourquoi tu ne bouge pas?
Track Name: Trailing Off Course
Always, on ready feet to be swept
Hours, stretch in a trail into months
At times, oh what a beautiful thing
Oh what a beautiful thing

And a granule in your thoughts
Thinks the kindliest of thoughts
And a granule in your thoughts

Thinks the kindliest of thoughts
And is always on your thoughts
With a flourish I was swept up
Trailing off of course

Spend the nights a-warm and close
And assuring as you go
On a spittle-coloured excess
Trailing off of course
Trailing off of course
Trailing off of course
Track Name: Greenback Dollar
I don’t want your millions, mister
I don’t want your diamond ring
All I want is your love, darling
Won’t you take me back again

Once you was my fond affection
And you thought this world of me
Now you’ve gone to love another
Won’t you take me back again

I don't want your greenback dollar
I don't want your silver change
All I want is your love darling
Won't you take me back again