by i.e. kokoro

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Through semi-biographical songs, EPHEMERA explores what it means to have "place" and what it means to be without. Each song is based on a location or space that has held significance for i.e. kokoro. But it is more than nostalgia. It's an attempt to bring awareness of the phenomena of place and placelessness, born from the desire to reclaim a sense of belonging in a world of anonymity and estrangement.


released October 14, 2016

All songs by Kelly Reed ©2016
Produced by Bob Davidson & Kelly Reed
Engineered & mixed by Invigorate Recording

Vocals, keys, synth: Kelly Reed
Guitar, bass, drums: Nick Stetina


all rights reserved



i.e. kokoro Chicago, Illinois

i.e. kokoro is Chicago-based musician, Kelly Reed. With crafted lyrics and thoughtful compositions, her musical sensibilities have been likened to artists such as Emily Haines, Susanne Sundfør, and Cat Power. Her music explores the complexities of what it means to be human, creating sonic landscapes that deal in the universal experiences of truth, pain, loss, love and, ultimately, hope. ... more

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Track Name: Route 38
Three chairs in a row
Not sure I could say it's a metaphor
But they weren't there before
And sometimes they move
Closer, then farther, then disappear
Well, I'd like to dwell here
A sentiment, a detached abstraction
a flaccid distraction
from all of the shit that I'm in

There's a vacant car lot
A capitalist story from old years of glory
Of places we're not
It's like a vessel of hope
When the morning sun shines through I think I might find you
I'm not sure if that's true
On a gloomy day it's probably not what it seems
But I choose to believe
And I'll choose what I see
When I want to see

In the middle of the field
There's a gnarled, lonely tree
With back bent and limbs kneeling
It's lost in time
You took a picture of it once
I said I thought it was nice
I can hear it sometimes, singing:
"Suffering comes and we're all marching on."
I still hear it sometimes, singing:
"Even when you take, I still have faith that you love"

Now I'm here alone
And I think that it's right
And I've heard that it's right
But I pray that I'm wrong
Oh my God, am I wrong
Track Name: River Run
Every sidewalk sweats to sleep
And I am at the mercy of
The hands that held my head and tied my feet
When I was young

Our brother slept strapped in tight
While blood stains soaked the floor
And dried to mark the outline of a form
We knew before

What was I supposed to say?
What the hell was I supposed to do?
I’m sorry for myself and damages on loan from you

What was I supposed to gain?
What else have we got less to lose?
I’m sorry for myself and damages on loan from you

(And every time I get lost inside of
My mother eyes, they recognize
That every time I’m a mess in my mind)

Do not be afraid, my dear
Of the sloped sad sidewalk song
The memories fade into the cracks
Of who we become

Give us yet another round
We’re drunk on what we don’t deserve
I’m sorry for myself and the
Sad sad lesson we learned

(That every time I get lost inside of
My mother eyes, they recognize
That every time I’m a mess in my mind)
Track Name: Book Road Baptist
keep your children safe
don't let them fade, don't let them die
pray most everyday
don't let the hours pass you by

mother, i've done you wrong
i've hurt myself, i've hurt someone
father, was i too gone
to save myself, to choose your son?

make your paths be straight
don't turn away, stand up and fight
see, you've done ok
now close your eyes, it'll be alright
Track Name: The Hancock
O, sing ye hollow places
the bodies without faces
Crushed and muddled
Huddled on cold summer streets

O, sing ye hallowed buildings
of steel, blood, and envy
Brushed and buttoned
Malign the blessed Trinity

O, sing the old white city
We dance upon the ashes
And build again
Forgetting where we've all come from

O, sing ye tired choir
Of flowers and of liars
While children die
We're making love to shopping malls

O sing, city of dry bones
Although your eyes are closed
The world is bleeding in a bath
While building castles in the snow
And though a dawn may soon be coming
It's a festival of thieves
We drink this ignorance, a mother's breast
Soft soap for all your needs
But could the gates maintain to keep us?
I'm not sure of what it means
As young men battle in the towers
A river's running underneath
And if you're quiet you can hear it
Far more certain than we know
Raise up your rigid arms, my love
Raise up your weary, rigid arms!

O, sing ye bloody masses
fragmented and alone
Raise up your lilting, unsure voice
Sing to the good unknown
Track Name: Neuqua Valley High School
We're molting underneath
Stuffy undershirts
You're up for anything
That isn't going to hurt

In the summer '99
Hid our feathers underground
You put your thumb in my eye
To wipe the glint out

Six years later found we
Joined with the rancid holy
Baked bread, gave birth
Told old stories

I kept my secrets close

It isn't what it seems
At least that's what we say
Tarred in feathers, change our names
It all ends up the same

Ten years later found we
Joined with the ranks of the unholy
Baked bread, we die
Sold our sad stories

And you in all your glory
Turn your face from me
Track Name: The Lakefill
willow with me
don't fall behind
all that you see
is losing

i want to keep
would you keep me
from losing

folded in mass
unconscious and insolent
our feet dangling above
i am unreal
i want to feel
all of the things
i'm losing

pedagogue, teach!
pray intervene
our losing

did you hear me
over the bleating
poets who plead
"we're losing"

covered in glass
father impermanent
fragile and dancing around
broken and blasted
mother of transience
bodies, water abound
flower of me
naked and freezing
absence, sacred abide

i am unreal
i want to feel
all of the things
i'm losing

i am unreal
i want to feel
all of the things
i'm losing

im trying to make sense of
these places
these worn out spaces
they keep me up at night
i try
i try
i try