The Groundskeeper's Daughter

by Dolls Come To Life

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Basilicum A haunting sound, accompanied by haunting words. Images are built and blurred, mixing together and becoming something anew. Favorite track: And Dreams of the Evening.
John Croudy
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John Croudy This album is like a bizarre blend of three of my favourite artists -- Joe Frawley, Tori Amos and Kate Bush. Favorite track: Outside.
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Dolls Come To Life are singer/songwriter Michelle Cross and experimental musician Joe Frawley. Their debut self-titled album, released in 2013 to critical acclaim, blended piano/vocal songs with dark ambient sound collages to explore the complex relations between children and their inanimate companions. Their new album, The Groundskeeper's Daughter, pushes further into uncharted territory of song and soundscape. A non-linear story emerges, in which the image of a garden is central. An inner awakening? Memories of an ancient trauma? A young girl coming of age among the topiary, the ivy, the hidden paths? There are ghosts in the garden, of that we are sure. Or are the events merely the disappearing ink of a fast fading dream? Whatever interpretation the listener may arrive at, The Groundskeeper's Daughter will certainly haunt you.

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released March 20, 2014

The Groundskeeper's Daughter
music by Dolls Come To Life

Michelle Cross, voice and piano
Joe Frawley, sound collage, piano, effects

Greg Conte, ghost guitar on tracks 3, 6 and 9
Win Ridabock, flute on tracks 5 and 11
Alex Greene, spoken word samples on tracks 3 & 7
Har, ambient guitar on track 8

All songs: music and lyrics by Michelle Cross
(except Stardust: music, Hoagy Carmichael, lyrics, Mitchell Parish;
publisher, EMI Mills Music Inc./Hoagy Publishing Co.)

Produced and arranged by Joe Frawley

Cover image: "Et Marcel dans le ciel" (detail), by Isabelle Menin

Art direction by JF.
Wake Up, Wake Up: photo-illustration by Belle Pearson.


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Dolls Come To Life New London, Connecticut

Dolls Come To Life are singer-songwriter Michelle Cross and experimental musician Joe Frawley.

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Track Name: The Nightingale and The Rose
“In all my garden there is no red rose,” heard the nightingale. 
“No red rose in my garden,” cried he with his beautiful eyes. 
“Here at last is a true lover,” said the nightingale in the garden. 
“Night after night, have I sung of him, though I knew of him not.” 
And when the moon shone in the heavens, the nightingale, 
Flew to the rose tree and pressed her breast against the thorn. 
And all night long how she sang with her breast against the thorn. 
And the cold, crystal moon leaned down and listened. 
Track Name: Outside
Outside, there’s a moon in the sky. 
There’s a ghost in the night, just sitting beside me. 
We can say goodbye without a sound. 
We can say goodbye without making a sound. 
Outside, there’s a moon in the sky. 
And we can fly right by without making a sound. 
Track Name: And Dreams of the Evening
"...and when the baby cries give me one chance to be open in the sky..."
Track Name: The Violet Hour
And in your garden by your gate,
I used to run around in circles. 
Trying to call your name.
Trying, but nothing ever came. 
And if the wind asks, tell it to listen.
It could carry me to you. 
And if the rain comes, begging to let in,
lay down and you take it now. 
It was always that way.
There’s a thousand ways to Sunday.
Always a cold bouquet. 
Well, I could hardly wait to haunt you, haunt you. 
And if the wind asks, tell it to listen.
It will all come back to you. 
And if the rain tells you her secret, it may be true.
It may be true. 
At the Violet Hour,
the evening hour that strives homeward,
brings your shadow home, 
Breeding lilacs out of my memories,
is there no way out?
London Bridge is falling down. 
And in your garden by the gate,
I used to run around in circles. 
Minding my long white dress.
It was a long white dress. 
I wonder if he’s okay. 
Track Name: Wake Up, Wake Up
I sat upon an ivy wall, I could see clouds were coming. 
And when the rain began to fall, I could hear flowers laughing. 
Wake up, wake up, you sleepyhead. 
I told you not to do that again.
The grass, he said, is not your bed. 
What could be wrong with that? 
Flower voices: 
Come if you want, follow us down into the ground,
into the brown earth where we all are listening. 
And when the wind comes whispering that it is spring then we begin, making our way up shivering. 
And when the walls come apart, when the wind blows. 
It goes up to the top. You are the May Queen. 
You are our May Queen. See how we sing. 
It was me, I finally was the May Queen. 
Track Name: The Language of Flowers
Apple Blossom...
Baby’s Breath...
Bells of Ireland... 
Cherry Blossom... 
Forget Me Not... 
Lily Scarlet... 
Morning Glory... 
Track Name: Stardust
Sometimes I wonder why I spend the lonely nights dreaming of a song. 
The melody haunts my reverie and I am once again with you. 
When our love was new and each kiss, an inspiration. 
But that was long ago and now my consolation is in the stardust of a song. 
Beside the garden wall, when stars are bright, I am in your arms. 
The nightingale tells her fairytales of paradise where roses grew. 
Though I dream in vain, in my heart there always will remain, 
My stardust memory, the memory of love’s refrain. 

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