Hummingbird Heart

by Scott Gagner

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about

It’s been an eventful two years since Scott Gagner’s highly acclaimed Pins & Needles (#5 Best Album of 2017, Powerpopaholic). “I started taking better care of myself, lost 40 pounds, moved my job and family out of San Francisco, and bought my first house.” His new album, Hummingbird Heart, provides a soaring, sunny soundtrack to those changes and much, much more. “I’m trying to broaden the possibilities of pop music. I think that a good song should be incredibly melodic, yet still cover the entire spectrum of the human experience.” With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the songs touch on themes such as childhood, fatherhood, mid-life crises, divorce, recovery, suicide, and even the devastating wildfires of his long-time home of Northern California. “It’s a dark time, but also a beautiful time. I, for one, have never felt more alive. This album is the first time I’ve successfully captured that complex balance between light and dark, youth and experience, and, ultimately, life and death. I think the record reflects the whole spectrum, especially the feeling of breaking through fear and embracing life.”

Though Gagner played the lion’s share of the instruments, the album features long-time collaborator Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star, R.E.M.) and newcomer Jesse Chandler (Midlake, Mercury Rev, John Grant) who added a new level of lushness to the album. It also contains a breathtaking rendition of Neil Young’s “Philadelphia,” which Gagner chose as a tribute to his late uncle — a casualty of the AIDS epidemic touched on in the song.

Originally from Minnesota, Scott began his musical career as a drummer soaking up local favorites Hüsker Dü, Prince, Semisonic, and The Jayhawks. This is his fourth album.

credits

released June 27, 2019

MUSICIANS /

SG: Vocals, Drums, Bass, Guitars, Pianos, Synths, Keyboards, etc.
Ken Stringfellow: Vocals, Synth Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Tambourine
Jesse Chandler: Woodwinds, Keyboards
Jon Chi: Electric Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
Arnie Kim: Electric Guitar
Mark Calderon: Bass
Omega Rae: Vocals
Jason Slota: Drum Loop

Produced by SG

Recorded at Decibelle Recording, Buffalo Cave Recording, & Midwife Studios

Engineered by Jay Pellicci, Cody Hamilton, Marc DiGiacomo, and SG

Mixed by Ken Stringfellow (1 – 4, 6, 7, 9, 13), Jason Weinheimer (5, 10 – 12), and Andy Reed (8)

Mastered by Michael Romanowski, Coast Mastering

Written by SG (Varsity Team, ASCAP), with Dan Weir (Fresh Blue Songs, ASCAP) on "Two Guitars, Bass, and Drums", and Arnie Kim (Ginka Ginka Songs, ASCAP) on "Just a Boy." "Philadelphia" by Neil Young (Silver Fiddle Music)

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about

Scott Gagner San Rafael, California

Scott began his musical career in San Francisco, writing songs with hooks both surprising and inevitable. He’s released 4 LP’s: the sprawling debut "Rhapsody in Blonde", the lush "Rise & Shine", 2017's highly acclaimed "Pins & Needles", and 2019's "Hummingbird Heart" which seamlessly blends power-pop, synth-pop, psychedelia, alt-country, rock, and heartfelt balladry into a cohesive whole. ... more

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Track Name: Bella
Look to the sky to find a six-year-old girl / Climbing a fig tree to another world / With long blonde hair and mother of pearl, oh yeah / Some days she’ll bring a paper and pen / And make up stories for hours on end / Deep in the world of make-pretend, oh yeah / Bella bellissima / Oh baby, bella, bella / Higher and higher / Deeper and deeper / The sky is wider / And the air is sweeter / Soaking up the sunshine / Hummingbirds buzz by your giant leaves / My little girl knows what she believes / She giveth love, and she doth receive, oh yeah / Someday soon, she will up and find / The house was bought by a family of five / With a six-year-old girl who loves to climb, oh yeah / Bella bellissima / Oh baby, bella, bella / Higher and higher / Deeper and deeper / Tiny recliner / Daydream believer / Basking in the sunshine / Bella bellissima / We’ll miss you, ciao, bella / Deeper and deeper / Higher and higher / Humming along to the cicada choir / Soaking up the sunshine
Track Name: End of the Beginning
Well there’s an angel on my left / A devil on my right / And it’s already apparent / Who I’ll be leaving with tonight / Because I’m out here in the middle / Just looking for a friend / Is this the end of the beginning / Or the beginning of the end / There is poison in my head / Marrow in my bones / Better give my heart to someone / Before I die alone / But I’m stuck here in the middle / And I’m just asking for a friend / Is this the end of the beginning Or the beginning of the end
Track Name: Other People
Did you hear that so-and-so / Went and filed for divorce / After twelve years of marriage / And Mr. Happily Ever After / Left swinging from the rafter
His son found him after three days / If we talk about other people / We don’t have to talk about ourselves / Little Ms. Understanding / Was less than upstanding / And now she’s being reprimanded / And the couple up the hill / They couldn’t pay their bill / So they moved their kids off the grid / But hey, that’s just what other people say / If we talk about other people
We don’t have to talk about ourselves
Track Name: Weeping Willow
For the sun that shines too bright / Or for the cold November night / For your green leaves turning brown / Or for roots that bind you to the ground / For the two who used to meet / Who don’t meet anymore / Under the old willow tree / Down by the shore / Oh, weeping willow tree / Weeping evermore / My weeping willow tree / What are you weeping for / For the raven who taunts you so / For the rain that soaks you head to toe / For the wind that whips your hair / Or for pain and suffering everywhere 
For the two who used to sing / Who don’t sing anymore / Under the old willow tree / Down by the shore / Oh, weeping willow tree / Weeping evermore / My weeping willow tree / What are you weeping for
Track Name: Hummingbird Heart
T-Rex t-shirt and Superman cape / Warm grapefruit juice and frozen grapes / And it’s time to go down, but you’re wide awake / Pool-blue eyes and chlorine-blonde hair / You’re a two-year-old tornado with nothing to spare / And you hid under the bed, but I found you down there / Now it’s time to get some rest / So come lay down on my chest / And I’ll try to slow down your hummingbird heart / The spirit and endurance of a thoroughbred / The indisputable appeal of a Boba Fett / And you should be snoring, but you’re singing instead / You’re a force of nature despite your size / And you’re filling up my heart like a warm sunrise / Singing Weeping Willow, bringing tears to my eyes / Now it’s time to get some rest / So come lay down on my chest / And I’ll try to slow down your hummingbird heart
Track Name: You Can't Break a Broken Heart
You can stand me up / You can dress me down / You can spit in my cup / You can spin me around / Until I spill and hit the ground / You can make up a lie / You can spread it ‘round / You can make me cry / You can watch me drown / See me slowly sinking down / But my heart’s already been broken apart / And you can’t break a broken heart / You can call me a clown / You can push me to the brink / You can drive me to town / You can drive me to drink / But my heart’s already been broken apart / And you can’t break a broken heart
Track Name: Two Guitars, Bass, and Drums
Make believing / Valentines / Sweet surrender / See it in your eyes / Whisper softly / A lovers’ knot / Tender kisses / Penny for your thoughts / True romance / You fill my cup / We’ll go dancing / Knew you were the one / Magic moments / Paradise / A love forever / Until the morning light / Well that ain’t how the West was won / Two guitars, bass, and drums / You can run / But you can’t hide / Dressed to kill / And spoilin’ for a fight / Devil’s daughter / Seventh son / Thunder, lightning / You gotta gimme some / Build me up / Knock me down / Armed and dangerous / The other side of town / Come on, come on / Gonna get my pay / Baby, baby / Stuff that Mick’d say / Give the people what they want / Two guitars, bass, and drums / Nothing new under the sun / Two guitars bass and drums / That’s the way the West was won / Two guitars bass and drums / How the West was won
Track Name: Breathe
If you should get lost, I will find you / If you get tangled up, I’ll unwind you / If you should drift away, I’ll row you ashore / And if you run out of love, I will give you more / But If you grow faint / Weak in the knees / I’ll pump your blood / And remind you to breathe / If you get too high-strung, I’ll detune you / If you don’t want to see no one, I’ll cocoon you / If the pain gets too great, I will numb you / And if you don’t like who you are, I’ll become you / But If you grow faint / Weak in the knees / I’ll pump your blood / And remind you to breathe
Track Name: Just a Boy
Been living in the valley / For fifteen years / Been running down the alley / To escape my fears / But I recall a time / Not so long ago / When the air was humid, sweet, and low / Because oh, those days of wonder / And oh, those days of joy / Couldn’t help the spell I was under / When I was just a boy / Been digging in the closet / Searching for a spark / Been turning on the faucet / To wash away the dark / It may just be called middle age / But I need to rediscover / I need to reengage / Because oh, those days of wonder / And oh, those days of joy / Couldn’t help the spell I was under / When I was just a boy
Track Name: When I Had the Chance
I see your shadow in my hallway / I see your face outside my door / But I only catch a glance / I see you hanging in the stairway / There’s so much that I didn’t say / When I had the chance / I never suspected / I never would have guessed / You had us all in a trance / I just wish I’d been able to help you / When I had the chance / I see your figure on the bottom of the river / I see your shirt in my closet, and I start to shiver / Now I’m much too late / And a continent away / For our last dance / Well I surely loved you / But I sure wish I had told you / When I had the chance
Track Name: Put a Little Beauty
Sometimes it feels like we’ve come too far / To ever get back to the way we are / When it seems like everyone is out for blood / Only watching out for number one / But there’s something you can do / Smile at a stranger until they’re smiling too / Just put a little beauty back into this ugly world / Sometimes I wonder why I write these songs / When it seems the whole wide world is falling apart / But a man who’s busy writing songs Ain’t a man who’s busy building bombs / So I put a little beauty back into this ugly world / Put a little beauty / Sometimes I wonder if we made a mistake / When the sky is filled with ash and flames / But how can I think that way / When they brighten up the darkest day / Yeah, we put a little beauty back into / Put another beauty back into / Put two little beauties back into this ugly world

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