Ribbons & Shards

by Watchfires

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mitchattitude Watchfires, from Aberdeen in Scotland, have made one of the albums of the year with Ribbons & Shards. It's a stunning collection of sweeping and anthemic alt rock goodness! Favorite track: Let The Walls Speak Our Names.
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Having written their first song together as a band in February of 2013, Aberdeen’s Watchfires didn’t look back: they played their first gig six weeks later, with a well-received debut EP A Captive Still (not to mention a packed-out launch gig) following in July. Quickly developing a reputation in the city for energetic live shows and big choruses, their brand of bruising, emotive rock (for fans of Young Guns and Idlewild) started turning heads, and in their first 18 months as a band they landed support slots with the likes of The Xcerts, The Winter Tradition, The Birthday Suit, and Broken Records.

Following the release of A Captive Still, the writing continued in earnest, and in the summer of 2014 Ewan Donald (vocals), Alex Lorgen (guitar, vocals), Mitch Bain (guitar), Mark Salter (bass) and Dave McKay (drums) headed back to The Depot Studios in Edinburgh to record their debut album Ribbons & Shards with Craig Ross of Broken Records. A collection of 12 new songs, it’s a mixture of the raw, punk-influenced energy of A Captive Still and a newly-discovered epic streak that lends the new material an added texture and maturity. Whether it’s straight-up rock (‘An Atlas and an Anger’), piano-led introspection (‘Gilmorehill’) or soaring, multi-sectional epics (‘Elisabeth’), Ribbons & Shards is marked with skyscraping crescendos, sparse atmospherics, and everything in between.

The debut single, ‘The Northern Lights’ was released on 21st December 2014 and is available as a free download from Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Watchfires will release Ribbons and Shards on 4th April 2015.


released April 4, 2015

Music by Watchfires. Lyrics by Ewan Donald.
Engineered & Mixed by Craig Ross at The Depot, Edinburgh. Mastered by Garry Boyle.



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Watchfires Aberdeen, UK

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Track Name: Vices
We’ve learned more than our lessons. See all we know. Children armed with vices. Yesterday’s hope.

We bear the weight of our fathers. We’ve learned the lines. Children armed with vices. Playing at life.

Still were the whitest of lies. Held in the jaws of the kind. Laid in the mouths of the cruel. They came alive.
Track Name: The Northern Lights
You have and you hold. A granite heart that beats black gold. The town you wear proud on your sleeve. You never escaped. A dreamer with a watchman’s gaze. Cold feet set firm on the ground.

And you'll never leave.

Fall apart at the corners and the seams. Though the world spins ever faster now. You wait for your days to slow down. The best were laid back when you were young and free. Though the world spins ever faster now. You wait for your days to slow down. The sun is high; at home you still light the fires.

Silent it grew. A shape to pour yourself into. It always will have his eyes. You’ll never search. The corners of this wild earth. Home’s here and so heart must be.

And you'll never leave.

Watch the cloud black and building higher. Watch the cloud paint horizons now. You watch the clouds.

You wait for the Northern Lights. When all of our stars are crossed. You wait for the Northern Lights. The north, it is always the north. You wait for the Northern Lights. Cold, cinematic and clear.

You wait for the Northern Lights.

The sun is high; at home you still light the fires.
Track Name: Departures
Wake before the dawn. Turn the television on. Blood was shed last night, who cares, it wasn’t hers. Dressed in a brand new suit. Pressed in to your father’s shoes. Raise a glass, chase the ghosts of sleep away.
It’s another start for your borrowed and blue heart. As you dance beneath the lights. Another start for your borrowed and blue heart. And you just wait...

As, dressed in black, you pin the flowers to your chest. the faithless smile as she says ‘yes’. There she lies, clothed in white, breathless for you now. A reminder that you’re not dead yet.

Wake after the dawn. Turn the television off. More bloodshed, who cares, when she’s already gone. Dressed in a threadbare suit. A stranger in familiar shoes. Raise a glass, keep her ghost here for the day.

It’s another start for your borrowed and blue heart. She walks towards the light. Another start for your borrowed and blue heart. And you just wait.

As, dressed in black, you watch her pictures on the wall. You brace yourself against her deadweight as she falls. There she lies, clothed in white, breathless for you now. A reminder that you’re not dead yet.
Track Name: Gilmorehill
In a bright west end cathedral. We watched the crowning of a king. We heard the psalms of a brave world. The dark ones they called the greys.

The faded glamour of a ballroom. East end colder than a grave. We, the few that fought the weather. Your arms raised and mine around your waist.

Now that we are strangers here and everything has changed. The avenue that once we owned, it still bears the names. Set upon the sandstone, a shrine to what we leave. That dear green place was kind to us.

Then we were careless. Fools, they can dream. Now we are wiser, but harder to please.

Recall where you were when you first heard the roar. Of fifteen long winters and fourteen before. Remember the strains of that voice through the kitchen door.
Track Name: An Atlas and An Anger
That autumn rose with blood in its veins. And coloured in our blankest year again. You shivered in the front seat as each word clouded the glass. We felt the watch of winter; its hands upon our shoulders again.

I will not stand here to watch it back. I marked the beach we stood upon. Scarlet on the atlas.

And as the peals of laughter climbed. Through freshest air to boundless skies. We marked a cross upon the sand, claimed this kingdom as ours. Sent up a flare. Let the heavens remember us.

I will not stand here and watch it back. I marked the beach we stood upon. Scarlet on the atlas.

Armed with an atlas and an anger. We’ll search the lands we could have changed. Alone, as all of this it passes. We’ll search the lands we could have changed.
Track Name: We're Not Scared Of Ghosts
Cast your armour off. Lay your arms down. This war is won.
They were at your side, haunted you in the broad daylight. Watched you as you slept. When the fight is through, your history still follows you. You live beneath the reign; under the weight of your name.

Come alive and let me hear you now. We’ll clean out all the corners where skeletons and these ghosts hide. Come alive and let me hear
you now. A chance at least to cease the fire; an armistice to build the pyres. For don’t we burn what we want the most, then treasure the ash and sleep with the bones? Wash your hands of all the blood spilt by those you used to love. These skeletons are long since dead and we’re not scared of ghosts.

With hands clenched, scars that bloom where once you bled. You still live on battlefields. Tear the pages out, for history is written now. You don’t need to read through chapters that weren’t written for you.

Cast your armour off. Lay your arms down. This war is won.
Track Name: The Gale That Roars
We arrive, bowed against the gale that roars outside. Soaked to the bone. Lights set low, voices hushed and cheeks aglow. As the warmth sets in.

Everything’s easy, everything’s slow. We can let the hands unwind, sleep tonight.

Let the clocks run cold.

The dawn’s arms will gather you up. Bathe you in an amber light, wake revived, and everything’s alright. Just one more thread to weave through next year’s stories.
Track Name: All That Glitters
Painted cheekbones, Sunday best. A new world warrior poured into a dress. She charts territories and tames the highest seas. All to set her hands on all that she can reach.

Each adventure leaves a scar. Each name written in the creases and the marks. She spends every night like morning will not come. When it does she’ll have to clean everything she has touched.

She held the remains in her arms. The ribbons and shards she collected. She said “I know... I gather up more than I can hold”. She said “I know... but all that glitters could be gold”.

All the treasures that she claimed. Rusted quietly underneath the rain. A silver crucifix pressed against her throat. Guards herself against the guilt certain and slow.
Track Name: Midsummer Skin
Midsummer skin. Warm blood and leaden limbs. We are blushed with the majesty. Of rich and vivid heat. In white sheets we hide. Curtains drawn and windows wide. As the midsummer apathy. Soaks in to every crease.

Here we stand. Arm in arm. Heartlands laid out before us.

As we climb. The proud sun waits. To crown the view from the heights. Sink into the ocean reflecting its light.

The city lies in silhouette tonight. Framed by seas clad in bronze.

Midsummer skin. The quiet bloom of melanin. Flames in the evening chill. Air thick and still. Quench your thirst. Here, as drawn from the stillest of earth. The water cascades. Sweats through every vein.
Track Name: Blue Murder
Drink ‘til the breath. Short inside your chest. Streams out in the evening.

Stains the air blue. Ire that courses through. The veins of each word.

When you wake this will be a memory you barely made.

This was made to come undone. Your bullets had my name on them before they left your gun. You curse the name of the hangman. Change your version of events still with scarlet hands.

You scream blue murder. Then dress and bind the wounds you leave. You scream blue murder. When it’s said and done, you’re really no worse than me.

Now you look like her. With a weight from your shoulders. The colour returns.

When Jekyll cries. Forget yesterday’s Hyde. And do this again.

When you wake this will be a memory you barely made.

You know you brought out the worst in me. At least the worst got out to breathe. Now it walks the chambers of each thought. And hides in every word I speak.
Track Name: Elisabeth
When the words that we believed had bled away. Silent, I was left with black ink and an empty page. I didn’t write, I just let the words escape. From my open mouth. You believed in what fell out.

I watched the colour rise to dance beneath your skin. Heard the blaze of hope well inside your chest again. Saw you start to question all I said. So I promised change. And knew that you would wait.

A watched clock never turns. Elisabeth, we leave in the morning.

You were the only watch I ever had to keep. Heard the stairs unfold a hymn to sound your sweet release. A voice cleared and a hand against the keys. A watch that kept. Your footprints as you fled.

All the hours you wait are wasted. You should know a watched clock never turns. You never did say that you wished you were lonely, but these nights slip away. My love, you’ve got to believe me. All this, it can change. Elisabeth, we leave in the morning.
Track Name: Let The Walls Speak Our Names
Here we stand with breath to bate. Your hands on me. Folded memories. In cardboard graves.

Walls that lie in wait. For strangers’ hands. To paint with strangers’ photographs. Colours you would hate.

Still evidence of us remains. Tears and wine. Fingerprints and your outline. Still pressed into your chair.

Remember now when all has changed. That we once lay our heads down here. And if they ever did have ears. Let the walls speak our names.

Let the walls speak our names.