Emergency Picnic

by Hands On Heart

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    11 tracks of wholehearted indie rock goodness.

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released February 15, 2016

Hands On Heart is Ash Shanahan
She performed drums, bass (tracks 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10), electric and acoustic guitars, keys (track 4), percussion (tracks 3, 9) and vocals

Additional instrumentation by Scott Mercer
He performed guitar feedback (tracks 1, 11), bass (tracks 2, 4, 9), EBow (track 2), keys (tracks 2, 6, 8, 10, 11), percussion (tracks 3, 9), electric guitar (tracks 8, 9), acoustic guitar (track 11) and drum programming (track 8)

Guest vocals by Harley Young on Track 9

Written and composed by Aisling Shanahan | Track 7: Lyrics by Stan Facoory and music by Aisling Shanahan

Recorded and produced by Scott Mercer {Vulture's Nest} | Drums recorded at Incremental Records | Mixed by Cam Smith {Incremental Records} | Mastered by Dom McGlinn {DOMC}

Cover photo by Denise Stevens | Cover art by Ash Shanahan | Hands On Heart logo by Alice Stockwell

Thanks first and foremost to those who have inspired my songs (including politicians). I would also like to thank Rory, Doug, Denise and Erin for putting up with my noisy hobby over the years. Scott Mercer for his dedication to this project. Former bandmates (Angela, Muzz, Harls, Phillipa) for the good times we had. My wonderful “band” of friends – You all play a part in my endeavours.



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Hands On Heart Brisbane, Australia

Ash Shanahan is an undercover spy who is also a world famous banker who moonlights as a talented artist and is also known as a okay musician ... No, you're right, she's only one of these things. But let's have some fun! Have a listen to her music and try to guess which one it is! ... more

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Track Name: Goodbye!
When you told me you were leaving town
Invisible walls came crashing down
And the noise was deafening
My mind was retreating
My insides started to split and shatter
And all day long I was caught in the net of
A thousand reasonings
Begging, quietly kept in

But it's nothing I can't handle
It's nothing I can't stand
It's nothing I can't handle
I want to know just where I now fit in
Losing you is my greatest fear

I couldn't find the right words to tell you
Now every nerve I had was broken, shot through
What was there left to do?
I stood dumbstruck in front of you
And with a sigh you turned to walk away
You couldn't care what I had left to say
My fear became reality
You had finally left me

Come back
I'll be honest this time
Track Name: Drink Yourself To Sleep
Throw your car keys down
The dread will be upon you soon enough
The moon begins to crown
Loneliness surrounds and the evening’s creeping up

When the darkness comes
Crack open another bottle because the voices in your head
Begin to wage another war that you can’t win

It’s called self medication
Wiping the slate clean with cheap wine
So when you finally close your eyes
You won’t be seeing mine

I plague you in your sleep
You create what you believe to be an ideal world
Then the bird songs begin
Your thoughts start up and poof – your girl is gone

The pain exists, the pain is there
Life pushes forward till we can’t go back again
Track Name: Majority
Politics, this is the splash zone
Better look out or you’ll get wet
Back track, this was the cheap loan
A hand of empty bets is all you’ll get

We’re in power and we’re towering over you
What will you do?

Cop flack, we’re staying right here
You voted us in so deal with it
Attack, you voice your anger
But you don’t scream until you’ve been bit, till the moment fits you

Majority gives us mandate
We’re about to swing, so shut the gate
On all the methods to show that we comply
We don’t bribe, cheat, bullshit or lie
Track Name: Killing Time
My perfect day I'd say it'd have to be with you
Hiding under covers, hidden away from view
Eating all we can until our stomachs groan
And kicking up the piles of grass we spent all day to mow

So can we do this all our lives?
Why don’t we go ahead and try?

There are changes each day, one by one
The flowers bloom and wither with the sun
Who says we have to fall in line?
The scenes may change and the seasons pass
The chill of winter may brush against us
But you and I, we're happy killing time

And my perfect night would be with you as well
Taking shots and downing beers to make our bellies swell
Walking through the city streets late at night
And arguing the little details, no matter who is right

And though our bodies may grow old
And the cracks begin to show
All of our radiographs telling
What we don’t ever want to know
Our bones are slowly breaking down
The systems losing their routine
But the notion of love is felt at any age
And if you’re willing, then I’m keen
Track Name: The Other Side
It’s getting too intense
It doesn’t make much sense for you to be with me
You’ve let me too far in, the gap’s now paper thin
I can’t deny it but you don’t see that
You’re tumbling way too fast for all of this to last
Just back it up and count it out
Still have your wits with you
Your sanity’s held true but your heart’s floating all around

We’ve got to take it slow, ease it off, let the feeling subside
Then my dear we both will know what we want and if we really should try

You look at me and I look away
I just can’t meet your eyes today
Why can’t I say out loud how it is I feel
And I wish what I want just was real

The possibilities are there for us to see
They’re not within our reach as yet
Sporadic memories compel us to believe
That maybe someday we might regret
Track Name: All In My Head
Since I left your side the world seems slightly bigger
But there’s a subtle blue tinge that’s colouring my view
And I thought if I left my life would become better
But every now and then though I start to think of you

And the sun shines brighter but I’m hiding in the shadows
And my path seems to get darker every day

Every time we meet it feels just like the first time
Our brief embrace reminds me that I’m home
But then we start to fight and we lose us altogether
I realise I’ve become more alone

If you saw me on the street, would you still remember
That for a little while you wanted me to stay

It’s time to let the past go, it’s time to move ahead
But late at night the torch burns bright and I think I’ll stay put instead
The flicker of your love is what I dread
One moment it’s real, the next all in my head

When I’m dreaming at night I think of us together
And when I wake up in the morning you are gone
My tears inside provide me with no comfort
As I’m lying there, the future so unknown
Track Name: Without A Love
Sometimes a dream just fades away
Leaving behind a memory that'll never die
I have walked alone where ashes lay
Where once we embraced the world with a sigh

Without a love the world seems empty and bare
And everyone is left not knowing a prayer
And even my heart is left without a care
Without love

Without a rain the rose would surely die
And all in vain is hope unless you try
The leaves would fall like thunder from the sky
Without love

There'll come a time when you know I'm yours alone
My heart and soul is yours to control, that's all I own

Without a rain the rose would surely die
And all in vain is hope unless you try
The leaves would fall like thunder from the sky
Without love

Without a love no song could ever live
These words therefore I'm sure could never live
And when love dies what good remains in life to give
Without love
Track Name: Disembark Through The Front And Rear Doors
Spin the globe, point your finger, see where you land
With another rotation our fate is soon at hand
Pack your bag and wonder will the carry-on fit
When you’re up in the air you will not care one bit
And I wonder, is this it?

See, we board when we’re bored, when our lives become stale
Hurt and waiting for the flights to go on sale
Who really knows where you and I will be next year
Tensions flare and emotions spring a leak
It’s better to disappear for at least a week
Cause staying put’s the only thing you fear
This is what they meant when they said the future is now here

Travel light and live free is the new ideal
Escape to another place that you think’s “more real”
So you fly through the clouds in economy
As it’s more comfortable for you than facing me
Soaring over land and sea
Track Name: Hummingbirds
Grief and grey, the sun is setting on this day
The morning is too far away, I’m sitting here amongst the crowd tonight

Night’s coming on, I start again and hum along
The haze upon the ocean’s gone, the rising moon is for the owl’s delight

But I am no owl, I am a man, a woman, lost without a plan
I look to you to give me wings for flight

Place your hand upon my shoulder, let me know that you’ll be there
When the adult world is frightening, when the lonely spirits come to scare
Light the match to spark the darkness, showing outlines in the air
Lead me back onto the dusty path we share

Devil’s horns, desire calls to ride alone
There’s greener grass for us to roam, if only I could barrel through my pride

Grown-up daze, I take on burdens in a craze
And though the pressure comes in waves, right now I’m drowning underneath the tide

But I am no fish, I am a man, a woman, raising up my hand
I look to you to give me fins to glide

Hummingbirds and coyotes
Saunter through their lives so easily
Will this world ever feel like home for you and me?
Track Name: Street Walking
Knocking on wood, I’m holding my breath
Could this be the one where I get ahead?
This world isn’t kind to people like me
And earning a living won’t come easily

I stomp on the street, briefcase by my side
A handful of papers, a strong sense of pride
When the door open there’s seconds to act
If the impression’s off, the door will swing right back

So I straighten my shirt, I brush back my hair
Check all of my buttons, and swallow my cares

Back in the office we’re judged on who’s signed
The numbers are tallied and the highest defined
The bonus is given, the commissions cut
And those stuck at the bottom survive on borrowed luck

When it’s clear skies above I feel like today will be my day
Each step I take is light and my heavy load has gone away

Each morning I wake up who knows what will be?
My chances rely on what homeowners see
And each word that springs forth can change my whole day
Yet this is my job and I’ll work hard for my pay

Ding dong, door to door, yes it’s you I’m calling for
Ding dong, door to door, maybe I’m what you’re looking for
Track Name: Haunt
The pain in my arm makes it harder to breathe
And the harrowing thoughts won't allow me to be
But the truth now I see
I have ignored you

The limp in my leg gradually cripples me
And with each new step my tear filled eyes fail to see
But the truth still haunts me
I have ignored you

So come back and never leave

I can lose all my strength and crumble into a heap
And I can suffer a nightmare so real in my sleep
But the truth proves to be
I have ignored you

The break of each new dawn renews all of my dread
And I long to vanish forever lost in my bed
But the truth can't save me
I have ignored you

So come back and never leave

In the stillness of now and the noise of then
I created this mess and I will yet again