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No Branches Without Trees

by Steven van Betten & Andrew Rowan

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Dylan McKenzie
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Dylan McKenzie Beautiful interweaving of Steven's folk-style songwriting and Andrew's orchestration and arrangements. At times a whisper, at times a storm, the strings bloom out of the songs and entangle themselves with Steven's voice and acoustic guitar work. Masterfully recorded, fantastic record. Favorite track: Last Walk Through the Desert.
mctmusic
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mctmusic This record is full of beauty and reflection, played by immensely talented musicians. I could listen to this album on repeat all day long and find something new each time. This record is getting me through this crazy pandemic world we live in with hope and inspiration toward a better future ❤️ thank you!!
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1.
2.
I walk around holding my head high Trying not to let show all the fear I have inside I’ll step right up whenever the light shines But why don’t I let you see my god given beauty Why don’t I let you see my god given beauty I’ll let you touch me and you can hold me in the night Stay up talking until the first of the morning light You say I love you and I say I love you too But why don’t I let you see my god given beauty Why don’t I let you see my god given beauty
3.
4.
Little boy With dirt on your face Little boy Do not leave this place When they come for you Little boy With your sunburnt skin Little boy Do not cave in When they come for you Because this is where your heart belongs Out here where the mountain’s strong Remember how to sing your song So nobody can take you Little boy Who lives out there Little boy Have no fear When they come for you Because this is where your heart belongs Out here where the mountain’s strong Remember how to sing your song So nobody can take you
5.
6.
Mining Claim 02:18
7.
Herman 05:04
Herman was born in Holland August 10th, 1931 The sixth child to his mother The fourteenth to his father after World War I His father owned a coffee and cigar store Downtown in the Hague schoolstraat number 34 Despite the depression which made the money tight His Mom and Dad worked hard To keep those 16 bellies full before the long cold night Herman would stay up reading Head under the sheets while his siblings were all sleeping And in the winter time when the canals would freeze over He’d watch the ice skaters from atop his father’s shoulders On May 10th, 1940 Herman woke up to sound of his father's voice shouting Wake up, wake up, look out the window Cover your ears and keep your heads low And Herman and his brothers were scared of what they saw A thousand green soldiers with swastikas on their arms All marching towards the dutch parliament Breaking down the doors and forcing Holland to surrender Under the orders of the German government Herman, tell me of the war And how your brothers had to hide How you went on without eating Grandpa tell me of the day The Canadians arrived And the Nazis were retreating
8.
This is the last time you’ll walk alone through the desert The last time you’ll smell the sage and creosote This is last time your hands will touch the sandstone The last time your swollen feet will feel the dirt Now it’s time the cloud man comes And takes you in his cloud hand gloves Watch the cloud man send his doves As he chooses life or death

about

From the opening instrumental “Calico Basin,” which operates like an overture, to the rapturous tremolo of closer “Last Walk Through the Desert,” No Branches Without Trees is delicately layered with field recordings collected around Blue Diamond, Nevada, population 339, a Census Designated Place tucked in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area. These eight heartachingly subtle vignettes unfold like a cherished short story collection, as each song evokes tales of the desert, death and coming of age.

Although Rowan and van Betten are no strangers to the academic side of music—they first met at CalArts in 2010 where Rowan was studying composition and van Betten jazz guitar, No Branches Without Trees embraces a direct emotional connection through tender songs that seamlessly fuse cinematic chamber pop elements to the tried and true folk song tradition.

Despite a decade of collaboration—both as bandmates and as composers for film, animation, and dance choreography—this is their first project as a duo. No Branches Without Trees represents an intuitively kinetic musical connection.

credits

released February 12, 2021

Steven van Betten - Voice, Guitar, Percussion
Andrew Rowan - String Arrangements, Reed Organ, Piano, Celeste
Mona Tian - Violin
Emily Call - Violin
Elizabeth Baba - Viola
April Guthrie - Cello
Zubin Hensler - Synth (Little Boy) & Sound Design (Herman)

Voice and guitar recorded by Brian Saia at Spiderhouse Studios
Strings recorded by Pete Min at Lucy’s Meat Market
Piano and celeste recorded by Guilherme Spina at Roy O. Disney Concert Hall
Mixed by Zubin Hensler at Studio 44 Brooklyn
Mastered by Daniel Eaton at Little Castle Mastering
Photography (Uncompahgre) by Miguel De Leon
Layout and design by Miles Wintner
Videos edited and animated by Luke Williams

All music written and produced by
Steven van Betten (©℗ASCAP) and Andrew Rowan (©℗ASCAP)

PRESS
Bricoleur Media | katy@bricoleurmedia.com

LICENSING
Hans Wendl Produktion | bit.ly/376PZum
Instrumental versions available

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Steven van Betten & Andrew Rowan Los Angeles, California

Steven van Betten is a desert-born songwriter and guitarist. Andrew Rowan is a composer and arranger from New York City.

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