Molly Sweeney

Molly Sweeney

 Montréal, Quebec, CAN
BandRockSinger/Songwriter

From a journey foiled by fate to a poignant French chanson of faithless love, Molly Sweeney's folk-infused torch songs explore the dark side of rapture, showcasing her sultry, dramatic vocals and enigmatic lyrics.

Biography

One of the most compelling new voices to emerge from the Montreal music scene, singer-songwriter Molly Sweeney was born in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, the youngest of five siblings, and grew up in Northern Michigan and Cape Cod before returning to Canada to attend McGill University, where she studied the classic poetry and literature that inspires much of her music. Working at a music venue in the heart of Montreal’s indie and post-rock scene, Sweeney met many of her friends and collaborators, including composer Sam Shalabi, who recruited her to appear on his first Land of Kush album Against the Day (Constellation, 2013). She later collaborated with Shalabi on a number of soundtracks and live performances, and sang the title track from Land of Kush’s 2010 album Monogamy and 2013's The Big Mango

Sweeney's self-produced debut album Gold Rings and Fur Pelts was released in June 2011 to critical acclaim. Ann Powers of NPR compared her to “a young Kate Bush” and The Globe and Mail likened her to Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. Sweeney was a featured performer at the 2012 Dawson City Music Festival, where her eclectic musical style, mythology-inspired lyrics and soulful vocal techniques found the perfect showcase. She has shared the stage with a diverse slate of musicians including Ron Sexsmith, Josephine Foster, Scout Niblett, MV and EE, White Magic, Ed Askew, Sally Seltmann, The Barr Brothers, Matana Roberts, and Doug Paisley.  Now she takes the stage with new songs and a 5-piece rock group that electrifies her folk roots, taking her songwriting, sound and voice to new heights. Her first release from her forthcoming album A Golden Grin is scheduled for September 2015.

Lyrics

Silent Machine

Written By: Molly Sweeney

You could be part of the silent machine
Great fire of love in your bosom
Waters rush forth from the deep well of spring
Young cheeks they blush in confusion

You could be part of the silent machine
Pulled to the dance so unsteady
Teenager wondering if you should lead,
Terrified cause you're unready

Let me live in your heart I'll make no messes
Walk with you in the park
Wear summer dresses

Ignorance is bliss
Footprints from obvious shoes
Lost in a desert
Wondering which path you should choose
Drive a car alone, with the radio on
Your whereabouts are known,
They're tracking you by your phone
Swarms of frequencies like mechanical bees
Will allow you no caprice.

You could be part of the silent machine
Part of a new generation
Told you're adult at the age of eighteen
Ready for an occupation

Between the Fields

Written By: Molly Sweeney

Fat plains stretch between the fields
Forces radiate from steel
Circles cropped around the poles
Drawn in close, some say they heal

Fallen leaves make figure eights
Wind will gather, rain, it waits...
While a young man
Stands and contemplates

I saw you standing in the weeds
Dressed up to the nines in tweed
Chewing on a piece of straw
Thinking on how to proceed

You looked at me with fearless eyes
And it seemed like you surmised
That I might be
The very thing you need

You took three steps closer
And I felt some power unsealed
Fusion at the heart
I had no choice, I had to yield

Currents pulled us close
I felt how happy I could be
Being by your side
Well I'll be steady as a tree

We were so involved
And everywhere, I heard a song
Never be alone,
Now that I've finally found someone

As you walk upon a hill
You wonder if you love me still
Or if you just don't want
To split our things

Under the Radar

Written By: Molly Sweeney

Under the radar
Well that's where I got to stay
Because there's some mean men
Coming to take me away
Taking my halo
Casting a bad light
They forced me to ramble
Because money's too tight.

No great man should ever fall
But they forced me to the wall

I'll head north on a train
I'll relax with the swaying
Take my hand dear,
We're not confined
Now I've got time to unwind.

Under the radar
That's not where I want to be
What happened to life, liberty,
Happiness, and property?
When did the dream end?
Letters of reckoning
From lenders come threatening, my quietus beckons.

No great man should ever fall
But they forced me to the wall.

Dangling feet from slow train
See the swampy terrain
How I love your bright eyes
As we watch the fireflies

Life Would Be Lonely

Written By: Molly Sweeney

If I took you for dead, I would be on my way
To swim over my head in the salty green bay

Because my life would be lonely without you, I know
I'd be glad you were loaned me, but my sorrow would show;
I'd be absent in spirit, forget people's names
And I'd hate to explain.

If you left and moved west, I would follow you there
Like an insect or pest, like a pilgrim in prayer

Because my life would be lonely without you, I think
I'd become plain and homely and I'd take up drinking
And looking for solace with some other men
Although I don't love them.

You have left me before with my face dripping brine
I heard wind move the door, it sent chills up my spine
Your picture is in my locket, your voice is in my vault
Intrigues with other men had always ground to a halt
So until you came back, I made love with your ghost
No one else could come close.

When my heart pounds, distressed, you would sing me a tune
And when you'd feel depressed, I would hold you and spoon

Because our lives would be lonely without each other
I was lonesome before you until I discovered
That someone could love me in all of my moods
And survive all the feuds.

So Sad

Written By: Molly Sweeney

“Just pull the band-aid off,” you said
“If you'll just do it faster
It might not hurt so much,” you said
I responded with laughter

We could be so sad

It isn't fair to look around
I know that I can't help it
I don't know why you put me down
Your words electric

We could be so sad
If the loving we had
We just got used to it
It would be so sad

We're getting older anyway
We should do it together
I want my loved ones around me
When it stops being easy

We could be so sad
If the loving we had
We just abandoned it
It would be so sad

Floodgates

Written By: Molly Sweeney

Oh the floodgates have opened up
Pouring rivers into gold cups
Psychic rain from a heartfelt spout
Can you handle whatever comes out?

I can see you feel abandoned after years of therapy
Having trouble keeping busy? Maybe you should comfort me.
Where were you when I was lonesome?
My hand reached out for a cure
You examined, and found it was empty,
Threw me money, thinking I must be poor.

You came to me like a dark apparition, bringing me news from home
Leading me out to the edge of the highway, don't leave me here alone!

There's a reason I was silent. I didn't want to cause a scene
All around us people gathered, too amused to intervene
Did you take your medication?
Are you sure we need to talk?
Your temper could batter my door down
It'd be simpler if you could learn to knock.

You came to me like a dark apparition, bringing me news from home
Leading me out to the edge of the highway, don't leave me here alone!

Mountain tops, abysmal drops, they move towards a dream
Young birds fly across the sky to settle in between.

Oh the floodgates have opened up
Pouring rivers into gold cups
Broken dreams beneath a pitch black sky
Will you help me or will you walk by?

O Pioneer

Written By: Molly Sweeney

O pioneer
Bright and alone
The scorned puppeteers
Circle your throne
You dropped silver links
Like crumbs from your chain
"Sit still while you think,"
The old guard complains

You blazed a trail, you planted trees.
Forgoing permits and fees
Bought property and burned the deed
To grow a forest from seed.

O pioneer
Breaker of laws
Come, hide out here
As you withdraw
White light as they walk
Torches in hand
No time to talk
Deep in quicksand
Animals armed to the teeth
What if they force past my door?
There's a sea of bodies
Flooding these houses and stores

A state of emergency
A chain of command unfit
My home seems a foreign land
Police and misfits.
High noon when the sun beat down
With sweat pouring from your brow
You elected to be brave
Digging your own grave.

O pioneer,
Never mind God
For fig leaves look foolish
On men made of straw
The scarecrow-in-arms, a cross in the ground
Farms counterfeit corn amid hungry towns

Well you can steal something yourself
Or you can buy it from a thief
Who seals his lips to hide his teeth,
A golden grin underneath.

Who Can I Run To

Written By: Molly Sweeney

Arms reach out to me, who am I to reject love?
And I walked in carelessly
Now I'm wondering
who can I run to

Temptation all around me, is this just a test?
Well summer is the season
everyone's undressed
I left my love light turned on,
I guess I thought I was stronger
That my heart couldn't be stolen,
that my eyes wouldn't wander

But it's a great big world
Have I been too sheltered?
Lately with me he's been so short tempered.
And you're so warm,
Your affection suits me
But with my love comes a sense of duty

So when those arms reach out to me, who am I to reject love?
Got this grip on me
Now I'm wondering, who can I run to?

Laying here beside him I can truly rest
I can't imagine ever leaving the comfort of this nest
When I'm here I never care about what you people think
But when he's gone I just feel empty and it makes me drink

Makes me drink with you...but you know I love him!
And I can't do anything to hurt him
When he's gone I see other views
And that’s how I found myself next to you
Who can I run to when your green eyes appear in the brush?
Who can I run to when I know that it's gone far enough?

When those arms reach out to me,
who am I to reject love?
it's a wide open sea

When You Find

Written By: Molly Sweeney

When you find the desert's cold
When you find your hands are old
When you find true love was left behind
Pay it no mind.

When you find the desert's cold
When you find your hands are old
When you find there's nothing around that can't be sold
Pay it no mind

When you find your love is gone
When you find you've no clothes on
When you see you're no different from me
Pay it no mind

When you hear him say that the world's gone against him
You must be waiting
Don't fret about the people that you meet
You'll find all the ones that you need are inside you

When you find the desert's cold
When you find your hands are old
When you find there's no one left that you once knew
Oh! What will you do?
Pay it no mind.

Discography

Molly Sweeney - A Golden Grin (TBA) 
Molly Sweeney - Gold Rings and Fur Pelts - June 2011

Set List

Under the Radar

Silent Machine

So Sad

Floodgates

Between the Fields

Life Would Be Lonely

O Pioneer

When You Find

Who Can I Run To

Jusqu'Ă   ce que la force de t'aimer me manque (C. Ribiero)

Radiant Sun