Left Open in a Room

by Lucy Roleff

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I’m waiting for my friend soon he’ll be coming down the hill not much matters to me when we sit with the snacks and tea and I think he likes to look in my eyes fluttering to my surprise I’m waiting for my friend there he is coming down the hill not much matters to me when he laughs and tries to hold my feet and when he looks into my eyes I look back to my surprise
Night dreams how they cling to us thick and sweet how they trouble us and I woke to a dark house again barely in the hall he drops the keys I wake and turn walk down to meet him I know a woman’s worth but have given mine again, again, again skirting the lawn with his tennis ball training the dog how to beg I tried as well but didn’t know what to say dreams fulfilled but the edges worn with drawn out grievances long nights and the sullen dinners yes I know a woman’s worth but have given mine again, again, again I’d better keep the rest there it is no shining mantelpiece there it is in the stars!
Rheingold 03:24
How can I touch you with your back to my face? how can I say what matters, what’s dearest to me now? I thought it was good out in the soil patch I dig in a daze circling for metaphor or a herb to make me better today when I know it’s just thought your shoulders on my mind I forget all I have learned I guess it is love in this cliff perched weatherboard we potter and pace and I can see the outlines of a sea storm taking shape was it ever soft and still? I can’t recall how can I touch you in this wind blown place how can I love you with my spirit blown away?
Silver 03:14
As a long night settles in I set out for his studio seeking beer and company by the factories - great, sleeping tombs the desk is cluttered, sinking but he pours the drink so carefully we talk in turns on a borrowed couch watch the lamp throw shadows on our feet what is this I feel? sentiment or thrill? a bit of gold or silver? share a smoke with the windows wide through the burn of his throat he says give it a try see this passing going cold and steely leave me wrapped up going over visions of this night riding home sun threatening to rise brush the hair back from my brow coffee pouring in the quiet and stillness fancy leaving behind all this for him still… send in the light!
Sometimes Do 04:21
Long were the afternoons spent trying to be different girls only to find that the one you first met dizzy on cheap cigarettes had caught you that late evening I borrowed your lighter I didn’t know how to use it I think of the morning after in the coffee shop I think of the rainy hills where we hid in my car I think of you sometimes do even now but how could I ever return to that thought? how many seasons until I am done? when your housemate he went away you invited me in damp from the shower I looked at the plants and studied your belongings we sat on the couch drank something even in silence and even in solitude I’ll see a reminder I’ll think of the holidays and that we never touched I’ll think of our city shoes wet in the forest brush I’ll think of you sometimes will even now but how could I ever return to that house? how many summers until it burns down?
Autumn Song 02:43
Where did the season begin? heavier quilts and the trees darkening auburn, red and gold chimneys puff plumes into the eve leaving the city to sleep something to do with the light seeping in underneath the door picks my dreams up and flips them around head to the north and the east stopping for chestnuts, a lime and star anise airing out the house pulling down cobwebs pouring tea passing the hatchet to you leaning the firewood to dry upon the porch I believe in this, alpine, red bottle brush and the sun where did the season end? heavier quilts and the trees naked auburn, red and gold choking the gutters on the strip back to the city for heat something to do with the night air breezing in underneath the door picks my dreams up and flips them around
When I get home by dark and he’s there with a solemn hand in hello I walk to the kitchen make myself a snack and I know that something is amiss all the silence tells me that it is why I call myself a widow of sorts he falls asleep in the chair I smoke by a window on the landing tell him I’m going out to see a film or a friend for a drink at the inn I go over all the details, again part the blind to see the world still down, dithering there told him I’m sorry, again but he won’t hear it and he heard everything television, creaks and the clink of gin days since pass in the cloak of a dream washing dishes and staring at folks in the street I take myself into the town a lowly lizard looking for somewhere to sun myself warm my blood shed the skin of all that’s done
I went to the ocean through the veil of a January fog sun spilling emulsions upon a cape unaware of anyone throw my dress onto the beach knee deep in the salty cold and the seaweed swim out ‘til hurts to breathe roll over and let the water come hold me see how the heavens hold time for us still we insist we can do it ourselves stitch in the cloth or a speck in the sea I remember home a cove of pleasantries marmalade and the sound of animals wring my hair into the sink draw a face where some adversary was madeleines and milky tea in the garden beneath the fig and the loquat tree call a friend to hear her speak wait for something to come around and involve me how can I mend this life for us? detail the hems and the ties for us? deep in the night with the cat at my feet I remember to stop trying
Given enough time I’ll find your hair filling the sink given enough time you’ll find me clipping your sentences let’s leave it there with the songs and the chats the coffee and the visits there’s a lamp I read by when you went away it needs a shake to come on it only tilts one way let’s leave it there with the kicks and hotels the city and the hills
I’ll leave the door wide open check the view and I know the little things could be better settle the dogs and towel dry my hair better wait ‘til morning to bring in the clothes a fern getting dusty in the corner I saw myself getting old and all this while waiting for you like a book left open in a room


released May 15, 2019

Songs by Lucy Roleff
Arrangements by Lucy Roleff and Pascal Babare
Recorded and Mixed by Pascal Babare at Electric Dreams
Mastered by Nick Huggins

Lucy Roleff – vocals, classical guitar, harp, flute, piano
Pascal Babare – electric guitar, bass, piano, moog guitar
Rosalind Hall - clarinet
Alex Badham – guitar on ‘I Went to the Ocean’

Back cover photograph by Alex Badham
Insert photograph by Annika Kafcaloudis
Front cover artwork by Lucy Roleff
Artwork reproduction by Matthew Stanton
Graphic design by Luci Everett

Special thanks to my family and friends, especially my parents Myra and Hans, to Pascal, Alex and Rosalind for all their hard work and support making this record happen, to Marky at Lost & Lonesome, Matthias at Oscarson Records, Nick and Chris at Little Lake Records, to Annika, Luci, Matthew and Kate, and to Lorelei and Jeremy at Jacky Winter Gardens in Belgrave, where most of this record was arranged during my time there as artist in residence.


With an eye on the contemporary but an affinity for the traditional, Melbourne folk artist Lucy Roleff returns with Left Open in a Room – a chamber-folk inflected expansion on the fingerpicked purity of her 2016 debut, This Paradise.

Autobiographical in essence but vast in theming, Left Open in a Room reminds of both the simple, vignette songwriting of Sibylle Baier, and the intricate stylings and blunt tongue of Bridget St John and Nick Drake. Lucy’s vocals are truly the centrepiece, imbued with a precise, classical enunciation and soft duskiness. The peaks and valleys of her voice allowed to shine, as her rare contralto register shows all shades of its deep colour. We also welcome a new addition since This Paradise, Lucy’s 36-string celtic harp, alternating beautifully with her fingerpicked classical guitar.

The collection of songs here find Lucy looking inward, musing on domestic spaces and contemplating relationships past and present. Latent memories of an early, unresolved romance are reflected upon during 'Sometimes Do', details of a faltering household ruminate on 'He Heard Everything', and finally an opportunity to step inside Lucy’s own space with titular track, 'Left Open in a Room'.

While the songs were written over a three year period, Left Open in a Room has much of its essence in the fern-shaded grounds of the artists residence Jacky Winter Gardens in the Dandenong Ranges. Here, Lucy composed the majority of the album’s arrangements; the divine tranquility of the gardens imbued in the album’s verdant instrumentation.

Left Open in a Room was recorded with longtime collaborator and fellow composer Pascal Babare – much of the recording and mixing split between Pascal’s home and his recording studio at Electric Dreams in South Melbourne, a process to which Pascal also contributed electric guitar, bass, piano, percussion and Moog guitar. Lucy’s musical collaborators Rosalind Hall and Alex Badham also lend their talents to the record on clarinet and guitar, respectively.

Releases May 15, 2019 on Lost & Lonesome Records, Little Lake Records (au) and Oscarson Records (eu)


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Lucy Roleff Melbourne, Australia

Lucy Roleff is a classically trained, folk musician from Melbourne.

"The focal point of Roleff’s music is, of course, her voice: this quavering, rather deep husk, that has the blunt European tongue of singers like Nico and Sibylle Baier"- Happy ... more

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