Trick of the Eye

by Joy Mills Band

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    Seattle songwriter Joy Mills released Trick of the Eye in 2012. Balladeering and soulful country songs about the ethos and modern myth. The album line-up includes Mills' partner of eleven years, Tom Parker, on bass, Lucien La Motte on pedal steel and electric guitar, and Paul Culala on drums.


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about

Seattle songwriter Joy Mills released Trick of the Eye in 2012. Balladeering and soulful country songs about the ethos and modern myth. The album line-up includes Mills' partner of eleven years, Tom Parker, on bass, Lucien La Motte on pedal steel and electric guitar, and Paul Culala on drums.

After recording & touring with The Starlings from 2005-2010, Mills set out to record a solo release, and brought forth her most contemplative round of songs yet. Maintaining her urban country style, Trick of the Eye is steeped with verdant melodies and layers of pedal steel and electric guitar set against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest. Big ideas like time, motion and the mind are delivered through the lyrical imagery she is known for and sink a little deeper into the psyche of life in the modern world.

In both her solo career and with The Starlings, Mills has garnered extensive reviews, chart-listings and favor both here and abroad. She has supported such artists as Todd Snider, The Avett Brothers, Fred Eaglesmith, The Wood Brothers, and Eilen Jewell. She also provides backing vocals on multiple recordings - most recently to Zoe Muth and the Lost High Roller’s 2011 release, Starlight Hotel, and 2012 release, Old Gold.

Trick of the Eye was made possible in part by the Artist Support Program at Jack Straw Productions.


"Seattle’s liveliest country-flavored act since Neko Case." - Paul Constant (The Stranger)

“Call it lilt with an edge.” – Leicester Bangs (UK)

“Organic country…both delicate and edgy… For the lo-fi country enthusiast.” – Maverick Magazine

"Trick of the Eye is an easy rolling, urban country debut, right in step with the likes of Zoe Muth and Davidson Hart Kingsbery. Mills sings with a simple, unhurried cadence, with earthy tones that softly attune bassist Tom Parker's subtle harmonies with her own. Trick of the Eye rings with such sounds, rich in lyrical imagery and twangy pedal steel." - Seattle Weekly

"The record is stunning in its simplicity and gorgeous vocals." - Oklahoma Lefty

"...a fine collection of delicate, confident tracks." - Neon Filler

“The Starlings vocal harmonies, acoustic goodness and sweet blend of folk and country set the stage for the band's storied original songwriting and the compelling presence of vocalist Joy Mills.” -KEXP.org

credits

released April 15, 2012

Joy Mills – ac guit, vox
Lucien La Motte – elec guit, pedal steel, bass (track 6)
Tom Parker – bass, harmonica, vox
Paul Culala – drums and percussion

Produced by Joy Mills
Co-produced by Lucien La Motte, Mike McDermott and Julian Martlew
Recorded and mixed at Egg Studios with Conrad Uno
Mastered by Rick Fisher, RFI CD/Mastering
Watercolor "Belize" by Tracy Lang (tracylang.net)
Design and layout by Pebbles Willekes

All songs © ℗ 2012 by Joy Mills (BMI)

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about

Joy Mills Band Seattle, Washington

Urban country and roots from the Pacific Northwest.

"Seattle’s liveliest country-flavored act since Neko Case." - The Stranger

Seattle Weekly included 2012's release "Trick of the Eye" in Seattle's Top Country Albums 2012.

“Call it lilt with an edge.” – Leicester Bangs (UK)

“Organic country…both delicate and edgy… For the lo-fi country enthusiast.” – Maverick Mag (UK)
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Track Name: History Repeats
so rehearsed, it could not be worse
than the script that was thrown in the flame
breakin backs on your bitter lakes
and the sun has been setting all day
how can somebody know these kind of days
when the math isn’t made with clay
I wrecked all the webs that the spiders made
but I rarely go insane

so rehearsed, it was never worse
than the deafening sound in the air
plenitude with pale attitude
no doorway to old prayers
how can somebody know these kind of days
with a heart that’s just made with clay
I cracked all the codes in my little book
but it’s just a little book I made

where’s the promise, where’s the focus
I know this writer just like hypnosis
a different way to see, a different way to see
where’s the promise, where’s the focus
the night has fallen, you hear the locusts
the timbals in their ribs, the timbals in their ribs

so rehearsed, each and every verse
it’s the ending of an age
imagine now if you still know how
what a changed mind can replace
how can somebody know these kind of days
when the math isn’t made with clay
and I wrecked all the webs that the spiders made
but I rarely go insane
more than once each day
Track Name: Boomerang
there’s only one way to cast a stone
or draft a line or boomerang
and by the way turn around
it’s coming from the other way
I’ll sit beside this tree
and wait for the softest breeze
there’s never right and never wrong
and afterlife and nevermore
and by the way who can agree
with anything we’ve said before
I’ll sit beside this tree
just you wait and see

how the moon has arranged us
like stars repeating in the sky
where tides and animals collide
and the wind will take us in its time

the money made, the stones engraved
the kitchen sinks and tagalongs
and by the way we sing along
to every little radio they say
I’ll sit beside this tree
the thoughts rise above me
the mess I made, the love created
never born never dated
fly away to distant dreams
with lands that seem so fabricated
I’ll sit beside this tree
who will deliver me
the happenstance, the mating dance
the hypocrites that caterwaul
and by the way, I’ve seen it all
and you do too, the tale is tall
I’ll sit beside this tree
picture it silently

I called you back, I drew a heart
I left you with your favorite part
and by the way, I can’t explain
what happens to us anyway
I’ll sit beside this tree
what will remain of me
Track Name: Think of You & I
I am the ocean and the sky
A marble full of clouds and I had never noticed
How it swings a melody
And kindness swells, make me smile
think of you and I

I am the river, lean and strong
I hold the belly boats, carry motion faster
I am devoted to the night
When shadows merge, sing a dirge
think of you and I

And I will go
As lightning strikes, send a crooked saber
And I will go
Because the bell was shot, and 6 o’clock tomorrow
Maybe we’ll be here tomorrow

I am the forest and the breeze
A rooted spine, a twisted vine
A thought moving through you
I am a wave inside a wave
So sing again my feathered friend
think of you and I
Track Name: Trick of the Eye
what is this trick, what is this photograph
that comes to mind every time?
hey, didn’t know it was taking mine
blazing all those trails, taking all those photographs
taken long from the roof
hey, didn’t know it was coming soon

what is this dark room?
what is this light that’s pouring in?
to break itself upon itself
and leave no time for crying shame
the pencil breaks, broken
the ticking of the time is when
the sight of the edge is thin

tell me now, design…tell me now photograph
the gear is low, rolling down
blacking out across the town
taken for a fool, but I’m skipping school
fold it up, had enough
do you know what I’ve been thinking of?

this tripping old dream
for all it is and all it seems
and I wrap myself inside the light
of sleepless nights and tossing beds
these running trains inside my head
I skip the stones along the stream
no wiser for this walking dream
yeah, I skip the stones along the stream
no wiser for this walking dream
Track Name: Tourist Town
I never set out for glory
that was always the story
and the players come back late
to a neighborhood so sweet and tired
I was taken by the gallon
sweatin and then frozen
weighted down by mileage
chosen for the scorning
and now, can you feel the fever’s reverie

I never set out for glory
that was always the story
I’ve been holding back the plow
always sleeping by day
in this tourist town, this tourist town
always caring for the lowly, trodden down by takers
rollin’ in the shipyard, burning down the papers
and I get restless, even when the fever’s going down

always caring for the lonely, trodden down by takers
rollin’ in the shipyard, burning down the papers
and now, can you feel the fever’s reverie

I never set out for glory
I keep telling that story
I keep hearing my voice talking
I keep seeing my feet running
I keep hearing my voice talking
I keep seeing my feet running
and I never set out for glory
Track Name: Hey Valentine
hey hey hey valentine
Time to ease your worried mind
hey hey hey valentine
who has given all away, all away to me

time is just 1, 2 and 3
every wave falls back to sea
and every road that don’t taper and end
and every echo across the span
and like an echo I hear it again

tell me what is fortune, something to realize
at the end of our lives just to find
all the trials and the setbacks were designed
like a folded piece of paper, sitting on a sill
sail it out through the window, to be still

hey hey hey valentine
Time to ease your worried mind
hey hey hey valentine
who has given all away, all away to be free
Track Name: Best Show in Town
Well, I've been certain sometimes
as the grass grows underneath
Confounded by the night sky
and all there is between
People always say, how long must I wait
Til my glass is full and brimming
with a love that I can taste

I’ve taken all the measures
I’ve stood in all the lines
Held out my worn-out ticket
tall enough for the ride
Little stroke of luck, well I’ve had that too
But the closest that it brought me
was to a dream-vision of you

Is this the best show in town
am I high on its praise
could my heart bear the weight
as the sun beats to the ground
and the evening stars beg
they beg to be seen, shining down
shining down on the place
this restless love has made

there’s an island in the meadow
there's a meadow without sides
like an ocean bearing rowboats
tending to the greater tide
it’s hot under the sun, it’s cold under the moon
it’s tricky how I got here
to a blue world without you
Track Name: Lake
How is that lake still in my mind’s eye?
I read my horoscope it said to capture thunder
And I love you, and you’re my type
But all this love is taking over and much under
And in my make-up, and on that high line
I walk across like I could worry sober
And my lover, out of my hands
I hope that all this talk of love is moving boulders

All those nights, we slept like sardines
For each one of us a wheel to spin our dream
And how they must have risen like steam
And intermingled with the drifting clouds of evening
And not for lack of distant sorrow
Or all the rules I like to make and never follow
We crossed it all out, we swept the floor
Isn’t what’s always here the always waited for
And out of nowhere I sing like this
And across my lips, sinking ships
Track Name: Bound to Find You
Everyone knows on the roadside
that every night on the road side
is a trial to be close to the fire
And I have opened eyes in the morning
but every night on the road side
you gotta hide and find

se don’t move fast as an arrow
we don’t move on a straight line
let’s go down to the races
anybody been racing out on the roadside
where I’m bound to find you

Everyone knows in the changes
like every night on an airline, across the divide
where pressure’s thin as a feather
and you can slip through the shadows
or grow green on the vine
Track Name: When the Arrow Leaves the Bow
When the arrow leaves the bow
when the arrow leaves the bow
I’ll slip a note, under the door
to shine your light on the distant shore

If the candle wick won’t light
if it’s drowned in a waxen lake
we’ll turn away from the spark
to let our eyes adjust to the dark

how the wind it howls at the door
now the wind it howls once more
we’ll put ourselves and friends alee
and pass the time with the old stories

I am a traveler, I am a homemaker
Don’t hurry now for the undertaker
who heeds the word, who heeds the call
to climb the mountain, to sleep inside its walls

With smoking guns we’ll shoot the breeze
with what is left to contemplate
O garden give what you can
and autumn rest in a fallow hand

I am a lover, I’m for believing
don’t worry now about the rules of forgiveness
there comes a time in every life
to put your weight behind the push of the knife

When the arrow leaves the bow
when the arrow leaves the bow
I’ll slip a note, under the door
to shine your light on the distant shore
Yeah shine your light on the distant shore