Sweet Insomnia

by Stephanie Forryan

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about

Sweet Insomnia is filled with the emotions that keep us awake at night: The excitement of leaping into the unknown, the joy of falling in love, worries about family and friends, or the nervous voices that whisper us awake from dreams. And these songs kept singer-songwriter Stephanie Forryan awake for other reasons as well: Most of the album was recorded in the wee hours of the morning. But the sleepless nights were well worth it; the rich production and colorful songwriting reflect the lively inner workings of the artist while the tenderness of her performances is captured in fragile webs of vocal layering.

credits

released April 15, 2016

All music and lyrics by Stephanie Forryan
Produced by Stephanie Forryan
Mixed by Jan Koray
Mastered by Robin Schmidt

The Band
Hannes Dullinger: Drums
Simon Pauli: Bass
Stephanie Forryan: Vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion

Special Guests (in order of appearance)
John H. Schiessler: Dobro
Axel Kowollik: Bass, guitar, backing vocals
Tom Lang: Guitar
Nancy Forryan: Backing vocals
Tara Atwood: Backing vocals

The League of Patrons
Thank you so much to my donors and patrons for making this production possible:
John and Nancy Forryan, Tina and Roy Fenneuf, Kristin Demoranville, Michaela Grayson, Graham Woodward, David Harvey, Sebastian Kowollik, Axel Kowollik, and Bibi Schmidt.

If YOU would like to see your name in the credits of the next album, join my League of Patrons on Patreon.
It works like this:
Patrons pledge to toss small donations into my virtual guitar case on Patreon every time I publish a music video.
I then use these donations to make music like this.
Visit me on Patreon to learn more:
www.patreon.com/stephanieforryan

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all rights reserved

about

Stephanie Forryan

Her face may be unfamiliar, but there’s a good chance you’ve already heard Stephanie Forryan’s voice and music – on world tour with Chris Norman, in successful US television shows like “Lie to Me”, or on releases alongside famous artists.

The native New Englander followed music to Europe and has been traveling the world performing, writing, and recording ever since.
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Track Name: Whispers
Devil running up a stairway. I could only see his back.
But that wasn’t gonna stop me from wanting something bad.

Every atom in my body screamed to run away.
But instead I heeded whispers and took a chance – a chance I never had to take.

I think I was in a hurry, taking two steps at a time
But I had no need to worry because he stopped and turned and drank me like wine.

Every atom in my body screamed to run away.
But instead I heeded whispers and took a chance – a chance I never had to take.


It was the perfect excuse to get dirty.
It was the ideal plan to get my way.
But what I failed to see is we’re all dirty.
And all I got was in my way.


I guess what makes survivors out is they look back and learn.
Not chasing and retracing their own steps.
The thing that bound me for so long was fear of getting burned
By my angels, by my demons, by myself.


Every atom in my body screamed to run away.
But instead I stand my ground – I heed no whispers.
It’s a chance I’m going to have to take.
Track Name: Small Town Blues
Sittin’ in the shade watchin’ the clock
Seems to me that my watch is stopped
But it’s not
Lazy summer afternoons often pass this way
Water drops creeping down my glass
Measure out the day

Measuring my small town blues
I’ve got the small town blues

There’s an old man rollin’ down the street
Pullin’ his wheel chair along with his bare feet
He’s always sure to be patriotic, wears so many flags, looks almost idiotic but
He’s proud and I’m proud too

We share the small town blues
We’ve got the small town blues

Young man comes around everyday
I swear he just wants to
Smoke his whole life away
Long as the sun’s up, he’s around
I don’t know why this boy
Just doesn’t get out of this town

He’s suffering from small town blues
He’s got the small town blues

Everyone here knows my name
I’m sick of playing this with who, what, when, where game
I know I’d go if I had the chance:
Find some new faces, make some romance
But I’m not infuriated… Just incompacitated…

By these small town blues
I’ve got the small town blues

The sun sets but it leaves the heat behind
The tiny beads of sweat I wipe away
Measure out the time
Now
I turn around as a man walks up the stairs
He takes my hand
I tustle his
Hair

He’s my partner in the small town blues
We’ve got the small town blues
They’re not so bad, these small town blues
Maybe I even
Love these
Small Town Blues
Track Name: Sweet Insomnia
A word, a message. A blinking light.
Any little sign, any little sign of life.
The day speeds forwards, my heart stands still
Every single time, every single time you write.

I’m addicted to everything you do.
But I’m not used to the high of you.

Sweet Insomnia – I don’t need sleep when you keep me up.
Sweet Insomnia – but I still dream til I see the sun.

The night seems endless, just one blurred line.
Between what we have, and what we have left behind.
And it’s oh so fragile, this speck in time
When we are still and we are still undefined.

So out of fear, I play it tough.
I’m hoping you will call my bluff.

Sweet Insomnia – I don’t need sleep when you keep me up.
Sweet Insomnia – but I still dream til I see the sun.

A lovesick hypochondriac insomniac who’s suffering a cardiac attack.
A lovesick hypochondriac insomniac who’s suffering a cardiac attack.

Sweet Insomnia – I don’t need sleep when you keep me up.
Sweet Insomnia – but I still dream til I see the sun.

I’ve got sweet insomnia – I don’t need sleep when you keep me up.
Sweet Insomnia – but I still dream until I see the sun.
Track Name: Closer than Before
I can look back. I can see the tears on my face. I can feel your hand slip away. I can feel the heaviness. I can see my family. I can see the look in your eyes.
I can feel the hunger, I can smell the beer. I can taste the salt, I can smell the cigarettes. I can hear them mispronounce my name and I see the dust in the air.

And I am closer than before.

I could hear the words – how did I understand? I gave away my bags to the car with the man. We couldn’t find my place, drove around forever. I hadn’t slept in days.
I can hear the phone ring from downstairs but I can’t answer it. I just sit outside and watch the sunset and the ringing stops.
Ring again. Ring again.
I will the phone and it rings again, cold plastic to my ear. But it’s not the voice I wanted

But I am closer than before
To reaching the end
Oh, God, my feet are sore
From climbing this mountain

I can feel the coolness of the glass that’s pressed against my finger tips – closed fists.
I can see the clouds in whisps as Boston falls away – lights becoming distant.
I can feel the tears – they’re rising now in my eyes to meet my fears
Try to wipe away before someone sees me crying – this fear of heights –
Boston isn’t bright enough

But I am closer than before
To reaching the end
Oh, God, my feet are sore
From climbing this mountain

I can feel the heat, I can see the town. I can feel the sweat on my back and it’s running down as I climb the mountain. I can feel them crawl. I can see the light on their faces as the night falls.
I can hear the clock tick, I can see the happiness. I tap my foot. I’m alone at night walking up the path, right. I should have brought a flashlight.
I should have brought a flashlight.

But I am closer than before
To reaching the end
Oh, God, my feet are sore
From climbing this mountain
Track Name: Tumbling
Somebody told me
“You better be careful when you fall in love.
‘Cause when you’re done tumbling you might need a map at the bottom.”

I should have known better, I should have let it be.
But I put my heart in a letter and it got lost at sea.
There were clouds blowing in, the wild wind whipped my hair
But I took no heed of the storm. I sealed my fate then and there.

Three days I waited and did not close an eye
for fear that I would miss your answer if I missed the tide.
Four days I worried and seven nights I died.
Each morning I rose with the sun but there came no reply.

Somebody told me
“You better be careful when you fall in love.
‘Cause when you’re done tumbling you might need a map at the bottom.”

Now it don’t matter what the weather is no more
My love is battered by the waves as I wait at the shore
And every night I dream of my poor heart beating, bleeding
Steaming up the clear green walls of an ancient empty white wine bottle.

Somebody told me
“You better be careful when you fall in love.
‘Cause when you’re done tumbling you might need a map --”

Heart over heels I’m heart over heels.

Somebody told me
“You better be careful when you fall in love.
‘Cause when you’re done tumbling you might need a map.”

Somebody told me
“You better be careful when you fall in love.
‘Cause when you’re done tumbling you might need a map ohh.”

You Listen to me - you better be careful when you fall in love.
‘Cause when you’re done tumbling no, you’re never done tumbling.
You’re never done tumbling.
Track Name: Concrete Flowers
Your lies are weighing me down.
Your guise is heavy like lead.
I’m waiting for what you’ve given.
I’m waiting for what you said.

Empty promises fill this place.
Empty promises cloud your face.

Shower me with a bouquet of concrete flowers.
Close your lips, savour the taste though it be sour.
Then speak the words that you would say if you had the power
To let black and white fade into grey.

Your web is complicated.
Your thread weaves a great divide.
Your fears can’t be sedated.
The years you keep hidden inside.

The beast that you contain answers to your name.
And when I called it came. Now take the reigns.

Shower me with a bouquet of concrete flowers.
Close your lips, savour the taste though it be sour.
Then speak the words that you would say if you had the power
To let black and white fade into grey.

Shower me with a bouquet of concrete flowers.
Close your lips, savour the taste though it be sour.
Then speak the words that you would say if you had the power
To let black and white fade into grey.
Track Name: Phoenix and the Muse
Give me a dollar, give me your hand.
Give me some water, give me some bread.
A woman like me could use a friend;
a blood brother, bound and branded.

Her kiss still burns on my forehead, like a shot in between the eyes.
I think she left me here for dead, hoping I’d rise.

Call it a sickness, call it a curse.
I call it a blessing and I think it’s getting worse.
‘Cause the deeper I go, the darker it gets.
But I just keep on heading towards the outer limits.

Her kiss still burns on my forehead, like a shot in between the eyes.
I think she left me here for dead, hoping I’d rise.


Father said to plan for the worst and hope for the best.
To never take chances and only dream when I rest.
But ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
All of his silver and gold crumbles to rust.

I could have it all but I don’t want to pay.
I know I can’t afford the prices, anyway.
I’ve seen it before – the slow compromise.
So I choose the muse again with everything that she implies.


Her kiss still burns on my forehead, like a shot in between the eyes.
I think she left me here for dead, hoping I’d rise.
Track Name: Skeletons
I've got skeletons in my closet, skeletons under my bed.
Skeletons in my belly, skeletons in my head.
I know I’m a grown up woman. I know you’re a grown man.
But the skeletons in this old house are bigger than we’ve ever been.

Those bones, those bones – they haunt me in the dark.
Those bones, those bones – are after my heart.
Those bones, those bones – crawl up the window pane.
Those bones, those bones – they’re calling my name.

I've seen shadows in the morning, shadows throughout the day.
But the shadows that come out at night are different in every way.
They dance dance dance with fire in their eyes.
They tell me to turn out the g-ddamn lights but if I do I’ll die.
So they laugh laugh laugh well past midnight.
And when the morning comes they never say good-bye.

Those bones, those bones – I know they’ll be back.
Those bones, those bones – dress my family in black.
Those bones, those bones – they never go away.
Those bones, those bones – they’re calling my name.

I've got skeletons in my closet, skeletons under my bed
Skeletons looking for love ¬– love that they never will get
Daddy told me that he loved me and Daddy didn’t lie
But Daddy didn’t know what he was doing when he made his baby cry.

Those bones, those bones – they dance around for joy.
Those bones, those bones – play me like a toy.
Those bones, those bones – they try to take control.
Those bones, those bones – they can’t get at my soul.
Track Name: July
They say February is a cold month. It is a dark month. They warned me up front. Those who live here will tell you to stay inside. Doors closed tight.
And I noticed that the sun don’t come around much. It’s like constant dusk. Shine obliterated by rust. People ‘round here are protected. By layers shielded. Their shovels weapons wielded.
The perfect place to hide a guarded heart. ‘Cause love is just a lie from the start. Then came the day that February melted like she meant it.

Then came July.
Then came July.

He walked through my door like a Hollywood hero,
Nonchalant hello and my heart rate dropped to zero.
Direct from the lips that had just blasphemed love a taking back of lies of a different paradigm – February just a fuse on a firework. Here stood Freedom with a handsome smirk, whispering,
“Whatever you thought bad experience taught you. Now open your eyes. See what I brought you.”

Then came July.
Then came July.

I opened my lids sitting on a river wall. I must’ve been blind not to see him at all. We were sitting cross-legged under a blue sky, watching riverboats quietly glide by. I said out loud, “I must’ve known you for years. I went searching for you, but didn’t find you ‘til you came here.”
He replied, “That just wasn’t the way. That’s why I came.”

Then came July.
Then came July.

Love Comes in Mysterious packages, wrapped in its own bandages, hiding in the heaviest baggages.

From snowballs and snow forts to festival streets, the only time in my life that the two months will meet. They hold hands until one melts away, leaving me to enjoy heat, light and longer days. From the lips of one who preached that love was dead – if it was for me then it was resurrected. It ran into me, and degree by degree, it melted my heart to set my soul free.

Then came July. Then came July.