by Grant Huling

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Instead of touring behind At Peace At Last, I booked a musical pilgrimage from Paris to Vienna. I would write music outdoors, reflecting the moods of a neighborhood instead of just my own. I had been a bedroom songwriter for too long. I also needed a change in scenery following the breakup of a relationship and the Empty Mirror in 2009. A chainsmoking Romanian grad student, herself new to Paris, and I began dating and found an apartment. Never made it to Vienna.

Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 8 were written and recorded to my laptop during the August-October 2010 visit. Nos. 6 and 7 were written during another visit, February 2011, and were recorded on return to Seattle. The first batch of six was billed as "Travelogue: Paris," a Grant Valdes record. The expanded set was billed as "Eight Paris Sketches." In October 2017, I remastered the record and re-released it under my real name, with new cover art and a new title: Mortals. Both the cover photo and the idea for the Mortals title date back to Paris.

Two more field recordings from 2010:

Yeah! (Marine Quéméré cover)

Days (David Bowie cover)


released March 30, 2011

Guitar, Vox.......................................Grant Huling
Violin (no. 6)..............................Jonathan Graber

Opus 7




Grant Huling Ohio

Host of the Quick to Listen podcast; bandleader of the Empty Mirror.

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Track Name: Arc de Triomphe
It’s like we never met
Awoke here in our bed
What is your name, love?
Where are you from?
Where are you going?
Want to come
along? A long “Hello”

So this is what becomes of the darkness
At the dawn
I’ve known it all along
The first of many songs

I can see how this could end today
“Au revoir,” and on my way
The crack of a nightmare
The tiniest frown
The kiss of the sunbreak
Settle down
You’re found

Living certainty wraps around

We know it already
We knew it in our sleep

The arc of every life is longing
The arc of every life is longing
End it here
Curtains pulled
The dawn is clear.
Track Name: Horsefeathers
There’s a simple explanation for us
Thirty eons’ preparation combusts

I want whatever you do
In a false start together
Do I want what
You want what
I do?
Don’t you?
I do
I do

And you know how I can ramble, provoked
Hang on while I get a handle on hope
It's raining
Train stations

I want whatever you do
Can our clean start defiled
Pull through?
Oh, I want what
You want what
I do
Don’t you?
I do

Memory scars bleed
Memory scars bleed.
Track Name: Simple Yet
There’s where you’re at home
And where you’ve begun
Is it simple yet?

Shot past the moon
To the heart of the sun
Is it simple yet?

It ain’t simple yet if you try
It ain’t simple yet if you lay down and die
Well, alright

Whatever you do
Somebody minds
It ain’t simple yet

Whenever you choose
Creation divides
It ain’t simple yet

It is simple as long as I
Float on the breeze of their dandelion lies
But I...

I have dropped my anchor pride
I have cut that shackle tie
I am steady to the light
I am ready to arrive.
Track Name: When We Are Dreaming
The victor tags the girl
The stars abide
As far as she can see
As long as I
Believe we’re dreaming

It’s where her mother died
A pause of life
Slackened on the knot
A self forgot

From dust to bone
In between we dig a home
I am to be
All the man she sees in me
When we are dreaming.
Track Name: Pluck
Flash balm exhales like the dawn
A weekend overcast
A burning off the past

All in a bench beside the Seine
There’s nothing to describe
It passes through the mind

Observes the constancy of birth
Coming round the curve
Didn’t see it first

Accepts the constancy of death
The lovers over there
Have days to decades left

I’d leave him out of it
If you’re so bright
Let’s see the light.
Track Name: Lazed
Track Name: Une Nuit en Plein Air
La da da
La da da da
La da da da da...
No one has to know

Where they met
Where they parted
Why he has to go
Was he there?
Were they truly?
No one has to know

They met outside the theater
Everything he'd known
Where every touch is plotted
Everyone is stone

The street forever bare and
Night forever white
Love, when I snap you'll wake and
Go claim your life.

Quotes "La Vie en Rose."
Track Name: From the Balcony
Grind the coffee
Time to wake her
Train is leaving
In an hour

Read the passport
Towns and numbers
Don't get trapped in
Your adventure

Drop it from the balcony
You have her
Wake her
Take her
Back to dreams.

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