Oakland based duo Ragana have announced the upcoming release of «We Know That The Heavens Are Empty», which will therefore succeed their fantastic «Let Our Names Be Forgotten» split alongside Thou. The new release is comprised of two tracks, «Waiting» and «The Tower», was recorded this August by Jonah Strauss and Zoe Stiller at the Survivor Sound in Oakland and subsequently mastered by James Plotkin. The album title was taken from «The Toast Of Despair», which was written by anarchist poet Voltairine de Cleyre, whose collected works can be found here, and is reproduced at the end of this piece. Below, find the album cover, taken from an etching by Caspar David Friedrich.
«We Know That The Heavens Are Empty» is set for release on November 15 on cassette and digital formats. Pre-orders are available at this location.
You can follow Ragana on bandcamp and facebook.
«Let Our Names Be Forgotten» was released on September 23, 2018, through An Out Recordings. Digital and vinyl copies can be found here.
«You Take Nothing» was released on April 14, 2017, through An Out Recordings. Digital and vinyl copies can be found here and here.
«The Toast Of Despair», written by Voltairine de Cleyre in Philadelphia in 1892 (source)
We have cried,—and the Gods are silent;
We have trusted,—and been betrayed;
We have loved,—and the fruit was ashes;
We have given,—the gift was weighed.
We know that the heavens are empty,
That friendship and love are names;
That truth is an ashen cinder,
The end of life’s burnt-out flames.
Vainly and long have we waited,
Through the night of the human roar,
For a single song on the harp of Hope,
Or a ray from a day-lit shore.
Songs aye come floating, marvelous sweet,
And bow-dyed flashes gleam;
But the sweets are Lies, and the weary feet
Run after a marsh-light beam.
In the hour of our need the song departs,
And the sea-moans of sorrow swell;
The siren mocks with a gurgling laugh
That is drowned in the deep death-knell.
The light we chased with our stumbling feet
As the goal of happier years,
Swings high and low and vanishes,—
The bow-dyes were of our tears.
God is a lie, and Faith is a lie,
And a tenfold lie is Love;
Life is a problem without a why,
And never a thing to prove.
It adds, and subtracts, and multiplies,
And divides without aim or end;
Its answers all false, though false-named true,—
Wife, husband, lover, friend.
We know it now, and we care no more;
What matters life or death?
We tiny insects emerge from earth,
Suffer, and yield our breath.
Like ants we crawl on our brief sand-hill,
Dreaming of “mighty things,”—
Lo, they crunch, like shells in the ocean’s wrath,
In the rush of Time’s awful wings.
The sun smiles gold, and the planets white,
And a billion stars smile, still;
Yet, fierce as we, each wheels towards death,
And cannot stay his will.
Then build, ye fools, your mighty things,
That Time shall set at naught;
Grow warm with the song the sweet Lie sings,
And the false bow your tears have wrought.
For us, a truce to Gods, loves, and hopes,
And a pledge to fire and wave;
A swifter whirl to the dance of death,
And a loud huzza for the Grave!