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The Secret You Can't Bear to Keep

by Willow Steps

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    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Limited edition three-song CD in handmade card-stock jacket. The CD includes the two-song EP "The Secret You Can't Bear to Keep" and the Single "Simple Song about a Girl".

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Secret You Can't Bear to Keep via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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Let’s sleep together every night Any bed, any floor, anywhere’s alright Let’s let our bodies reunite Oh, let's stay up just talking till daylight Let’s whisper on train rides And metal birds in the sky Let’s be madly honest Yeah, let’s keep every promise Let’s go out and see the world And just try to understand how this mess unfurled Let’s make reality swirl Having wine and psilocybes, laughing till we hurl You can teach me your languages I can teach you chord changes We can just do whatever forever and ever And never get tired whatsoever Don’t wanna have a brilliant ballad about a girl who got away I’d rather write a simple song about a girl who came to stay I’m in love with your ideals If you only knew how many arguments of yours I steal And I admire what you feel It’s always so good willed, so beautiful, so real Getting old and ugly Has never sounded so lovely When every evil gives a scare too much to bare You’ll be there to remind me there’s beauty still everywhere Don’t wanna spend a lifetime singing about a girl who got away I’d rather live a life of singing to the girl who came to stay
Pangaea broke like a poem And set all the islands free When the pieces set out for the ocean Do you think they laughed with glee? I bet they cried like babies lost at sea When best friends become lovers It’s not too far of a leap One night of one unlikely Summer After all our friends fall asleep You kiss me like it’s a secret you can’t bear to keep A fool for romances, I can fall hard from a few advances But I take my chances And now one year together Our hearts just know no better Steered for forever And you’re still my best friend You take me across the world To see the life you left behind Show me your country, your culture, your family We explore states of mind But to make room for freedom your heart pushes me aside I’m holding on I still believe So if you’re letting go Do it gently Life’s full of changes Just when you forget what pain is The good rearranges And now we face a fire Mom said I was born a fighter So let’s hold on tighter You’re my best friend One day, we’re kissing goodbye 'cause I’m leaving Saying, “We’ll be together soon. Yes, we will” And today, I’m kicking myself for believing We’d ever make it to a greener hill That we’d really be together still Our love never made it out of Brazil I’m letting go Since you let go of me If you ever come back Do it gently
Promise 04:12
We could watch as the hands move All so blindly on this wall Brushing by, barely grasping Any moments quite at all So oblivious to life And this world in which they guide And the ties they build so close Just to turn and wear through most These hands are so stubborn Incessant and determined But I won’t let you slip And watch you fall to their grip This I promise We could sit and hear the phone ring Less and less with time Notice that the meaning Slowly drains from your voice and from mine Such a bitter regret One I could not live with I won’t reduce you To “that girl I once knew” This I promise I refuse to watch With open eyes and empty thoughts As the photographs lay dormant and abandoned The remnants of something I lost These hands are so stubborn Incessant and determined But I won’t let you slip And watch you fall to their grip No, I won’t reduce you To “that girl I once knew” This I promise


"The Secret You Can't Bear To Keep is an audio novella documenting Strickman's relationship with one of his closest friends. A story of time, love, and heartbreak."
- The Bay Bridged


released September 24, 2015

Jesse Strickman – voice, guitar
Leiya Mahoney – vocal harmony

Guest musicians:
Chris Nishimoto – percussion, glockenspiel, harmonies
Matt Cascardi – bass
Graham Patzner – violin
Lewis Patzner – cello
Group vocals by Erica Chen, Stephen Michael, Yarrow Doerfler, and Maia Wiitala

All songs by Jesse Strickman.
Recorded by Bryan Lovett & Chris Nishimoto.
Mixed by Derek Schultz. Mastered by John McBain.
Artwork by Willow Steps, conceptualized by Stephanie Tait.
Cover layout by Brian Azevedo with photography by Nathan Abercrombie.
Track 1 recorded by Derek Schultz and mastered by Paul Gold of Salt Mastering.


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Willow Steps Oakland, California

Willow Steps combines the folky, introspective tunes of Jesse Strickman with the angelic harmonies of Leiya Mahoney.

After three years of touring, recording, and shooting music videos, Willow Steps parted ways as a band (not as friends) to pursue new life goals. Leiya opened the SunRoom and Jesse launched a solo project:
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