EMPTY BRANCHES

by Richard Stuverud

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about

Back during the winter of an early December in 2018, Derek McCulloch and I were at a Christmas party with good friends, great food and an inviting piano. As we both had embarked on a collaboration a few years back which would result in my debut record Memories In Kodachrome (2020 release), I had mentioned to Derek that my old friend Tom Dyer at Green Monkey Records asked if I'd like to submit a song for his holiday compilation record. Derek's eyes lit up while a crazy thought had occurred to him...."Why don't we try writing a song right here at the party"? I thought it was a brilliant idea!
We kept the volume low and kept it as unobtrusive as possible.
And keep in mind, we were with really good friends so what might've appeared as a slightly anti social move with the song writing, we were still socializing while writing it, which made the experience feel like performance art in a strange way.
Derek wrote the first verse which began with: Spirits of Old Christmas Eves, Branches That Gave Up Their Leaves.
The vocal melody came to me straight away working off of the imagery of the lyrics.
We worked like this for the next 20 min and had a song finished in less than an hour.
No one seemed to notice as we both had a good laugh at the evenings creative endeavour.

The north star had shined its light upon a new song.
And that new song was Empty Branches.

I tracked it the following week and had Rachel Elginsmith add Cello and brought my son Alexander in for his angelic backing vocals that really brings the song home.
It's worth mentioning that the icing on the (holiday song) cake was discovering the mysterious Sleigh Belt in the percussion box at House Of Faith Recording. What's a holiday themed song without sleigh bells right?
After adding the Sleigh Belt, we were now ready to wrap it up with a bow on top!

Empty Branches first appeared on: A Green Monkey Christmas For Martians Up On Mars compilation in 2018.
And now it is available as a digital single right here at bandcamp to warm up your holiday.
Enjoy!

lyrics

EMPTY BRANCHES

SPIRITS OF OLD CHRISTMAS EVES
BRANCHES THAT GAVE UP THEIR LEAVES
CARDBOARD TUBES THAT ONCE HELD SILVER WRAPPING PAPER

EMBERS ALL BURNING DOWN
YOU AND ME STILL HANGING AROUND
HOPING THIS TIME WE DON'T GET CAUGHT NAPPING WHEN IT COUNTS

DIFFERENT LIGHT THIS TIME OF YEAR
USED TO BE MORE CHILDREN HERE
ANOTHER NIGHT I MIGHT HAVE ASKED YOU TO STAY

I CAN SEE HOW HARD YOU TRY
DON'T KNOW HOW TO SAY GOODBYE

BUT WHEN THE BELLS STOP RINGING
I'LL BE HEARING YOUR VOICE SINGING
AND WHEN THE BELLS STOP RINGING
I'LL BE HEARING YOUR VOICE SINGING
YOUR VOICE SINGING
YOUR VOICE SINGING
YOUR VOICE SINGING
YOUR VOICE SINGING
AND WHEN THE BELLS STOP RINGING
I'LL BE HEARING YOUR VOICE SINGING
(YOUR VOICE SINGING)
AND WHEN THE BELLS STOP RINGING
I'LL BE HEARING YOUR VOICE SINGING
(YOUR VOICE SINGING)
AND WHEN THE BELLS STOP RINGING
I'LL BE HEARING YOUR VOICE SINGING
YOUR VOICE SINGING
YOUR VOICE SINGING

credits

released December 17, 2021
Richard Stuverud-Vocals, piano, mellotron, timpani
Alexander Veikos Stuverud, Backing vocals, sleigh belt
Rachel Elginsmith-Cello

Music by Richard Stuverud
Lyrics by Derek McCulloch

Recorded and mixed by Barth Thurber at House of Faith Recording
Additional recording by Mike Bobis @ Green Room Studios
Mastered by Myles Boisen @ Headless Buddha Mastering,
Oakland, Ca
Graphics by Dimitri Mavra
Cover photo by Stu Richards

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about

Richard Stuverud Oakland, California

Richard is a musician known for his work in the Seattle music scene as the drummer for The Fastbacks and War Babies, as well as Three Fish, Tres Mts and RNDM with Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament. Richard has been working on solo material with his debut Memories In Kodachrome released in 2020, along with various digital singles in 2021.
His follow up, Hummingbirds is set for release on March 20th, 2022
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