The Old World

by Shells

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The Old World - written as part of Tarkine in Motion 2016
Down the end of a logging road was Que River camp. Upon arriving it felt like I had stepped into another world! Intricate small detail in every direction…and me…a clumsy, crashing creature creating destruction with every step. What a privilege to be there, yet a sense it wasn’t right. That quiet, slow, magical place should be hidden from human sight. From our rushing feet and busy minds. The flattening of ferns and loss of a hundred little lives, in all sizes and colours, blooming from logs. Wood so old it would dissolve and crumble under the weight of my boot.
Ink flowed to fumble with words; my voice rang through the giant trees trying to catch the rainforest in song and reflect its beauty back to the world like a mirror.
Underneath this incredible experience of the aliveness and creativity was the aching tragedy of the ongoing destruction and threat to this ancient place.
All these aspect weaved themselves into the song and it flowed through me like a fever, working on it consistently and only stopping when the rain got too heavy, sending me back under the tarp. I completed it over 24hrs and shared it with our little community of artists, singing at our dinner circle on the last night camping together.
Coming back to Hobart city was like bringing a wild friend back with me and it feels very special to have had the opportunity to record and now share this with you.
With my love and hope to help protect this beautiful place...Shells


Giants tower above me
The old ones are scattered like bones covered in green
Clinging like fur, it was the first plant to crawl up out of the sea
If I sat singing for long enough, would it grow and cover me
I’d blend in unseen, in this unstoppable expression of green
Slow and uncluttered, quiet pattering through thousands of leaves

Fern trees, fungi, find their home in filtered light
Like an invite, sacred ceremony, picked for their insight
For surely it is only wise who witness the old world

Are we the first people to really see you?
Are we the last people to ever see you?
The disappearing of the old world

They plan to come in roaring machines
Seven bladed arms that will consume even you
The towering giants of the old world
The towering giants of the old world
The disappearing of the old world
I bare witness to the old world


released December 23, 2016
Lead vocals & guitar: Shells
Harmony vocals: Tiff
Record, mix and mastering engineer: Phil


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Shells Hobart, Australia

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