Tend the Flame

by Mike Sempert

supported by
Michael Kish
Michael Kish thumbnail
Michael Kish If I had to describe this album in a word, I'd say "spiritual." It sounds like Mike is working through some deep stuff here, and sometimes, on tracks like "We Are Enough," finding transcendence. His sound mixes the organic and the electronic, often setting rootsy, twangy guitars over swirling synthesizers. The great songwriting ties it together, as well as Mike's strong, simple and unaffected singing (his voice reminds me a bit of Richard Manual and Dennis Wilson). One of my favorites of 2016. Favorite track: Anything But Me.
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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    This is a limited vinyl pressing of the album "Tend the Flame"...

    You can listen to a teaser for the record here:

    soundcloud.com/mikesempert/mike-sempert-tend-the-flame-album-teaser

    Includes unlimited streaming of Tend the Flame via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
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03:22
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02:54
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04:23
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04:26
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02:50
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11.

credits

released November 22, 2016

All songs © Mike Sempert 2016 (War of Vines/ BMI)
Photography by Brian Stevens
Album art by Dara Weinberg

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Mike Sempert Los Angeles, California

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Track Name: Egyptian River
There’s snow up in the mountains
And we’ll be giving it all away
And water in the rivers again
And we’ll be giving it all away

There’s food down in the ground my friend
And they’ll be giving it all away
We were lost in search of dreams that found us
Giving it all away

So don’t worry bout the money
Cause we’ll be giving it all away
I know it may sound strange to you
But we’ll be giving it all away

And when the pyramids are snow capped peaks
We can float on a raft of stone and clay
All the gold and treasure buried beneath
They’ll be giving it all away
Track Name: The Weather
Whatever happens online
I feel free
Whatever happens online
I feel free
So if there’s a record of me
I don’t mind (yeah yeah)

The weather’s changing all the time
But I feel free…
The weather’s changing oh man
Do I feel free?

I don’t believe everything that I see
On the world wide web (Yeah yeah)

So if there’s a record of me
I don’t mind (uh huh)
Track Name: We Are Enough
The world is on fire these days of rage
It’s hard to deny, that we are ablaze
When all these technical wonders are not enough
And all this stuff we got, it’s not enough
Someday we’ll make it right but not today
That’s what the future’s for right? Just to delay
And if the present moment is not enough
Let’s fan the flames tonight, cause I’ve had enough

Uh-huh, Uh-huh

Something isn’t right but it’s unstoppable
We know a better life is still possible
When all these technical wonders are not enough
All this stuff we got, it’s not enough
Someday we’ll make it right
Why not today?
You know if science could save us
It would have done it already
And if the present moment could be enough
Let’s fan the flames tonight
We are enough

Uh-huh, Uh-huh
Track Name: Anything But Me
Everybody wants to love somebody
But nobody knows how to love themselves
You gotta love somebody somebody
So I’m gonna have to love somebody else
Everybody wants to love somebody
But I never really knew how to love myself
You gotta love somebody somebody
So I’m gonna have to love somebody else

Now won’t you give me something to look at
Just put it in front of me
Anything but the moment
Anything but me

The good life belongs to someone
Those other lives I wanna lead
Anything but the moment anything but me

Someday you’re gonna have to be anyone
“Not me”
Someday you’re gonna have to be
Somebody Somebody

You know I’m searching for something to witness
You know I’m searching in the screen
Anything but the moment anything but me

Someday you’re gonna have to be anyone
“Not me”
Someday you’re gonna have to be
Somebody Somebody

Everybody wants to love somebody
But nobody knows how to love themselves
You gotta love somebody somebody
So I’m gonna have to love somebody else
Everybody wants to love somebody
But I never really knew how to love myself
You gotta love somebody somebody
So I’m gonna have to learn how to love myself
Track Name: So Foreign
I’ve lived a life so many times
And now that I find myself falling out
I heard the sound of old echoes
They’re calling me home
But it’s so foreign to me now
I hit the ground and then I run
But I’m followed by the sun
It’s so foreign

I’m not who you think I am
I’m more like a spirit
I’m not who you think I am
I’m more like a feeling in the air

When I am found I move around
I live a life out loud
And I’m not lonely in this town
I’m moving forward
Without a doubt
With out a doubt
I’m moving forward

I’m not who you think I am
I’m more like a spirit
I’m not who you think I am
I’m more like a feeling in the air
Track Name: Distance
I can’t hear you on the phone tonight
Maybe it’s the distance, breaking up the line
When I’m not near you I lose the old insight that you give me
So I’m on the phone tonight

It makes no difference to a satellite
But there’s a distance and we’re along for the ride
My voice is a traveller
My heart is full of wires
But there’s a distant light
In the corner of the sky

Aw yeah

I can’t hear you on the phone tonight
Maybe its the distance growing ever wide
The canyons tumble oceans turn to fire
For that distant light
In the glory of your eyes

Aw yeah
Track Name: Baby Bird
I’m running along a ledge
I run parallel with the edge
And all the while I can’t help but smile
I feel just as light as a fledgling

Down below is a wilderness
I know so well
But I’m not afraid of falling down
Or maybe I already fell

Baby bird I heard you singing
I know my luck won’t run out on me
Baby bird I heard you singing
I know my luck won’t run out on me

Hey baby don’t you cry
You know that you just hit your stride
And I know it must seem wild
The perilous ways we get high

Baby bird I heard you singing
I know my luck won’t run out on me
Baby bird I heard you singing
I know my luck won’t run out on me

We’re running along a ledge
We run parallel with the edge
All the while I can’t help but smile
Sweet little wings made of lightning
Track Name: Goodbye Polar Bear
High highs
Lows lows
This might be desirable in a frequency response
Or the arc of a story

High highs
Low lows
God only knows
I could go easier on me
Smoothly now

High highs
Lows lows
Only I’m responsible
For this train come roller coaster
I am the conducter

Our bedsheets spread across two coasts
Up north and down low
Another polar bear’s ghost
You always say bye bye - bicoastal
The world said bye bye - bipolar
Goodbye polar bear

ugh

Up high the wind blows
The light sleeps
The dusk shows
The valley down below
In the shadow of the mountain

High highs
Low lows
God only knows I could go easier on me
Smoothly now
Smoothly now

High highs
Low lows
You know I wish it would go smoothly like a sine wave
Not jagged like a saw blade
I’m run ragged like an ice cap
In the flow of dollars and hand claps
Melt down to something raw and natural
Let me be a resource
Let me be the source

Bye bye bye coastline
The whole world’s bi bi bipolar
We wanna be bye bye bicoastal
The world said bye bye bye polar
Goodbye polar bear
Track Name: What I Want
Let’s pretend
That the world’s not coming to an end
Oh Let’s Pretend

And let’s bend
All the rules but they’ll never break
They just bend back again

Salt water!
From my sink
Salt water
All I ever think about is water

So let’s spend
all that money and all that time
As if it would never end

And darling when
the waves come we’ll be fine
Whoa let’s pretend

Salt water!
From my sink
Salt water
All I ever think about is water

And I want what I want
False refuge is the one you choose
What I want
White noise is slowly killing you
Well I may be under the influence
Of social conditioning
What I want what I want

Don't you ever tell me
What to feel and what not to feel
Don't you ever tell me
What is real and what isn't real
Wouldn’t it be nicer, if someone could decipher
What I want, what I want

Let’s pretend
That the world’s not coming to an end
Oh Let’s Pretend

and Let’s send
all those letters to all our friends
and say goodbye again

Salt water!
From my sink
Salt water
All I ever think about is water

you know that
I want what I want
False refuge is the one you seem to choose
What I want
a seldom-broken trance of blues
Well I may be under the influence
Of social conditioning
What I want what I want
Track Name: Annihilation Bossa
I found consolation in knowing that even after our
Annihililation there would still be beauty

The light shown through the rubble
The dust is moving now
And there’s no trouble

I found consolation in knowing that even after our
Annihililation there would still be love
There would still be love

Or would there be I wonder
If nobody was around to feel it
Did we create it?

I believe the universe
Is a benevolent place
I can feel a lonely love
When I’m floating in space
I read the news today and it made me cry
But I still believe the universe
Is on our side (Oh!)

Yes I take comfort knowing
That as long two people remained
There could still be love
There could still be love

I feel a weight being lifted
To feel that life goes on without me
No burden to carry

Yes I take comfort knowing
That if a single flower remained
There could still be
Something growing yeah

So please find consolation
In knowing that with or without a witness
There would still be beauty
Track Name: Tend the Flame
Baby if you don’t tend the flame
The flame dies down
Baby if you don’t tend the flame
The flame goes out

But the burning embers
They just need a breath of air
All they need is loving care
We gotta learn to build
Yeah the burning embers
They just need your breath
So give whatever you’ve got left
And tend the flames

I can remember the last time
I know you remember
Cause it’s all we got left, yeah
I can remember the last time
I know you remember

Now baby if you don’t tend the flame
The flame dies down
Baby if you don’t tend the flame
The flame goes out