Kelly Brightwell


Hearts and Home

Released October 2013

CD and digital album for purchase at CD Baby



The long awaited second album from singer/songwriter Kelly Brightwell is a collection of songs from along the way -- from lover to wife to mother and back to herself again. Her sophomore effort finds the artist letting go of ghosts and expectations, reworking old stories and finding timeless truths. The album was recorded at 8 Ball Studio in Portland, OR and produced by local indie luminary Rob Stroup. Members of Rob's band, The Blame, contributed their considerable talents to the project, lending it a distinctive, rootsy feel. The result is a well worn-in sound that is at once classic and fresh, cozy and intriguing.






The trouble with birds and stones:

You never catch ‘em, you just kill them one by one

You’re better off leaving well enough alone 

The trouble with birds and stones


The trouble with words and bones:

The names don’t break us, we do it on our own

You’re better off leaving well enough alone 

The trouble with words and bones


Why do even the smallest dreams need a bigger sky?

Why do we say the wrong things

And then we say goodbye?  


The trouble with hearts and home:

You don’t think you’ll need ‘em ‘til you’re already gone

You’re better off leaving well enough alone

The trouble with hearts

Oh, the trouble with my heart...  goodbye





Walden on the windowsill

Dog-eared and battered, whisper to me still

‘Cause I drove my life into a corner

But is it mean?  Or sublime?

Or just thoroughly confused?


The sky is like aluminum today

And it’s hard to tell the days apart

so many names for gray

But I’m hopeful as a solar panel in this rain

So I patiently wait ‘til the sun comes out again


Mourning doves up on a telephone wire

Have no idea what’s under their toes

But they’ve got a view, and it’s just a little higher

Than the ordinary world down below


Empty iron table with no chair

What’s the use in offering when no one’s sitting there?

So I made a place for you my darling

And all the changes you wrought

‘Cause those changes brought me here





Trees up on the treeline

Branches in the lightning

Rumble of the thunder off the stone

I hear it echo in the valley

A river winding slow and lazy

‘Til the rain becomes a river of its own

I watch it all come down again


Sometimes I feel that kind of lonely

Know the storm is coming for me

And I brace myself against the mountainside

I get wild if I’m abandoned

Hold these elements for ransom

And wait to see a message in the sky

I watch it all come down again


When it all comes down,

The ground beneath my feet

Moves me even though

I see no way out

Letting go, so bittersweet

It all comes down again 


So now it’s me up on the treeline

Lightning on the inside

Thunder underneath my skin, in my bones

I’ll be the echo in the valley

A river winding slow and lazy

‘Til the rain becomes a river of its own

You know the rain is just a river of its own





She’s so far away

She’s counting the miles; she’s counting the days

She’s waiting for saviors who never arrive

Thunder’s the sound of the lightning’s goodbye


Now she can’t feel the pain

She rides out to meet it; it’s her last hurricane

The storm rushes in and she closes her eyes

Thunder’s the sound of the lightning’s goodbye


In all of the noise, what you hear is her voice

And it’s singing, it’s singing

Like the bell of the world had been struck

And you heard it still ringing

It’s still ringing


You can’t change the rain

But it’s all we can talk about; it’s all we can’t say

Just notice the clouds as they’re crossing the sky

Thunder’s the sound of the lightning’s goodbye

It’s just the sound of the lightning





Thought I was lost, took a wrong turn or two

Got confused at the crossroads

Thought my compass was true

Nearly missed the last exit, I couldn't make out the signs

Just the rain and the radio and the broken white lines

    Sometimes it's just blind faith, baby

    The storm that won't pass over

    You don't know where you're going

    Until you get there at last


I thought I'd be fine, we'd figure things out

I just needed some time and my heart's ready now

But my only companion is a ghost from the past

The song on the radio, the rain through the glass

    I know it's my own fault, baby

    I'm taking too long to get over

    But losing you meant losing me meant losing it all


When I find my way back, I will not run

I'll open the gates, and I'll let in the flood

There are no second chances: you can't wait for the end

No starting over now:  no, you just start again

    And I guess it's a hard fate, baby

    If you face it alone

    But I know there's always the rain

    And the radio





It certainly looks like rain

Blowing hard through the curtain, shut my window again

I didn’t mean to stray

Far from the green of your love


Will you rest in the shade of the old oak tree?

Will you wait in the tall grass for me?

In the dress that you made for our last masquerade

In this prairie fairy tale


The sound of a lonesome train

It’s beyond the horizon, but I hear its refrain

Your voice in my dream

Disappears like the steam and moves on


The clothes are still on the line

Just the way that you left them when they hung out to dry

They’ve been out there so long

They’ll be threadbare and gone in the breeze 





Martin’s meditating in my bed

He’s so quiet, he’s so still

With his eyes closed and his lips parted

For my enlightenment


He’ll wait, he’ll wait

Until a breath is all there is between us


Martin’s got a scar across his head

And I trace it with my fingers

Like a halo on this angel, fallen

So far from where he’s been


You know, I try to tell him I’m a flower in the mud

And some things are better left unsaid

Some things you shouldn’t touch

But he just smiles and waits for me to open up


Martin puts his heart into my hands

He wraps it like a present

Or a future in the Promised Land

And I know where I stand

Cause he'll wait

Until a breath is all there is

Between us





The murmur you make in your sleep, when it’s late

Sounds like you’re speaking in tongues

But the moment you wake and remember your name

Those words disappear in the sun

       It’s clear in the daylight; I know who you are

       But who is the stranger

       Who sleeps next to me in the dark?


There’s never a trace, not a clue on your face

To make me believe that you know

All the things that you say, or the love you betray

It’s only a mask that you show

        But after the light’s out, before the night ends

        You turn to me recklessly

        Wake me and take me again


Should I be ashamed? Should I carry the blame?

Since I seem to remind you of her

Your secret is safe, and I would not erase

Those dreams or the person you were

        What we do in darkness, I keep to myself

        ‘Cause I love you better, my sweet--

        When you’re somebody else





It’s a blank slate, a new place, a slant of northern light

Landfall, then St. Paul on the skyline

The city takes me so often by surprise

A question, reflection, dancing in her eyes


I’m looking over and over

I’m walking down by the river

I see the clouds in the water

It’s what you’d expect from a mirror


I go headfirst, and it’s hard work to drive a wedge between

What’s aching and waking up to some forgotten dream

A deep snow, the cracks show underneath the ice

And I’m waiting for my spring, I need some good advice


I want to live at the beginning of something

Instead of at the end of everything that ever came before

Just coming back again


It was a dry spell ‘til the sky fell to pieces on the ground

And I picked up the good stuff, I tried to settle down

But you just want what you want:

There’s no other reason why

Don’t blame me for leaving -- I never said good-bye





Sweethearts and cities don’t sleep until dawn

The streets are all empty and the neon is gone...


Like secrets we whispered in broken down bars

In alleys, in taxis, in backseats of cars

I knew when I saw you I’d never look back

The trains were like thunder, we kissed under the tracks


We’ll all settle down in time

Look away from the scene of the crime...


Now we leave out of habit and dwell in the past

Searching for something ‘til we’re nowhere at last

Take this for granted, we’ll lose what we found

The heart of this city on the outskirts of town


We’ll all settle down in time

Turn away from the scene of the crime

I don’t want to go there alone

‘Cause I can’t make it home without you

I’ll go somewhere new


So meet me by highways, by headlights and rust

By streetlamps and skyscrapers, buildings and dust


‘Cause we’ll all settle down in time

Move away from the scene of the crime

I don’t want to go there alone

‘Cause I’ll never be home without you

I’ll go somewhere new




Give me your mean stony heart

The taste of your crumbling when the avalanche starts

Give me the gravel that’s kept us apart

And I’ll walk that dirt road, baby

I’ll walk you all the way home


Give me your dry broken dreams

And the way that they rustle since they lost their green

Give me a pile I can toss to the breeze

And we’ll play like we’re children

Just like we used to back home


Give me the smoke and the fire

When the sirens are sounding and it’s down to the wire

Give me your heat so I know your desire

And we’ll burn ‘til we’re embers

Remember we’re already home


Remember you’re already home