ARIANA GILLIS

Hailing from just outside Toronto, Ariana Gillis began taking singing lessons at the age of six, but she was hardly thrilled. So, her father encouraged her to write her own material and learn to play the guitar. An award-winning songwriter himself, he gave her invaluable insight into the process. 

 

Gillis made an immediate impact on the Niagara music scene, and the Canadian Folk music scene, winning Songwriter of the Year at the 2009 Niagara Music Awards, followed by Female Vocalist and Album of the Year in 2010, as well as 2009 CFMA Young Performer of the Year. She networked at music conferences, which led to a quick, two-song performance for Dave Marsh in a stairwell in Memphis, following the release of her second album, Forget Me Not. Marsh then played Gillis on his Sirius XM radio show, which caught the attention of Elton John's songwriting partner which in turn, led to Buddy Miller.  

About the record...

Fast forward a year later — Buddy witnessed Ariana perform at the City Winery in Nashville experiencing first hand the conviction and power of her song writing, singing and stage presence.  This led to further conversations and ultimately brought them together to create the album, "The Maze". Recorded live-off-the-floor in Nashville at Buddy's studio – this album features lyrics and performances that feel both natural and strangely unique all at once.

 

 

 

“She will prove through her recordings she is no flash in the pan flavor of the month but a force to be reckoned with now and for a very long time.” 

– Grammy Award-winning Lyricist, Bernie Taupin 

 

 

“I’ve never seen an unknown performer with more power as when I saw Ariana….

I couldn’t stop talking about her. She may be the best new emerging artist anywhere.” 

– Writer - Rock Critic - Historian, Dave Marsh 

 

 

“I have been a fan of Ariana Gillis since discovering her music on satellite radio…something rare and unseen – genuine, un-calculated, un-co-opted, art from a soulful gem.” 

– Grammy Award-winner, Buddy Miller
 

Lyrics:


~ Dirt Gets Dirty ~


Dirt gets dirty, digging for freedom,
They buried it somewhere, somewhere, somewhere,
Fence, fence, under the fence,
But it goes down deep, deeper than you know,
Past the bones and broken arrows,
My nose is bleeding, my throat is dry,
They told me it’s dead, but that’s a lie. 

To hell I’ll go, don’t care no no,
You stand there tough, with your smoke,
But I’m getting out of here alive,
I’m gonna crawl, gonna crawl, till my knees are red,
Crawl under the wire, under the fence,
I’m gonna crawl, crawl, crawl,
I’m gonna crawl, crawl, crawl. 

Patience, patience, years go by,
Nobody’s coming, coming for me,
Holes, holes under the fence,
Gonna dig ‘em deep, deeper than you know,
While the moon is watching, and then I’ll go,
You creep up behind me to smash my face,
I’ve made my decision, I’m out of this place. 

Sirens, sirens, screaming bloody,
Waking up every, everybody,
I’m gone under the fence,
Way down deep, deeper than you know,
Inside the earth going back home,
Freedom freedom, taste on tongue,
And I shout and I fly and I cry and I run.

~ The Maze ~

His eyes glow in the dark, in the dark.
This maze will eat you up, don’t go in, it’s so dark.
He will find you there, you don’t have a chance in there,
Use the ribbon from my hair, and you will not get lost in there.

Remember when we were young, we were warned to keep away,
The ground around the maze was mute and bleak, a dirty grave,
And all at night we’d hear our fears coming alive in there,
Pull the sheets around so scared,
You’d weave your fingers through my hair.

Oh and we grew up fast, braver now, long to be strong,
But we are delicate and bendable, no armour on,
And that maze inside will pull you in and terrify,
Use the ribbon from my hair and you will not get lost in there.

You can try, to face your fears and you must,
You can try, to lose the monster in the brush,
You will find, your way back, I will be the one who stands,
Here with the end of the ribbon in my hands.

His eyes glow in the dark, in the dark,
The thing that frightened you when you were young and in the dark,
But you will find I swear, the fears you always thought were there,
You only had yourself to scare,
You only had yourself to scare.

~ The Feeling of Empty ~

I read too much, I write too much, I think too much,
When all I’ve ever wanted is to know enough,
To fill me up, to fill me up.

I fear too much, I run too much, away from touch,
When all I’ve ever wanted is to know love,
And fill me up and fill me up.

Oh, chained to me.
I’m chained to me.
I feel the feeling of empty,
I feel the feeling of just me.

I try too much, I cry too much, I’m being crushed,
By all the things I’ve wanted,
The thrill, the rush,
That fill me up, that fill me up.

I fight, I’m slashed, I drive, I’m crashed,
Too fast, too fast, when all I’ve ever wanted
Is to ditch my past, and fill me up, and fill me up.

Oh, chained to me.
I’m chained to me.
I feel the feeling of empty,
I feel the feeling of just me.

This place is void, it’s black no noise,
Not comfortable, nothing like I’m used to,
I don’t belong, it feels wrong, I don’t belong.

Oh, chained to me.
I’m chained to me.
I feel the feeling of empty,
I feel the feeling of just me.

 

 

 

~ Jeremy Woodstock ~

Jeremy Woodstock is the only man I know,
The only man I know without a heart.
They made a deep incision and cut into his cage,
And ripped the screaming organ out.

Said the heart to the man,
“I am not your enemy,
Let me fill you up, let me help you breathe.”

When the doctor’s sewed him up Jeremy was vacant of feeling
anything towards the heart.
And when they asked him what he wanted to do with his vessel,
He told them to put it in a jar.

Said the heart to the man,
“I am not your enemy,
Let me fill you up, let me help you breathe.
Let me make your veins pulse, let me make your lungs rise,
Let me make your mind burst, put me back inside,
I will be your best friend; I won’t let bad happen,
Please, please, please, please, please, Jeremy.”

But Jeremy Woodstock wouldn’t listen to the heart,
He couldn’t bear to hear its words again.
‘Cause every night in his dreams he would see his wife and daughter,
And feel it pounding inside his chest.

Said the heart to the man,
“I am not your enemy,
Let me fill you up, let me help you breathe.
Let me make your veins pulse, let me make your lungs rise,
Let me make your mind burst, put me back inside,
I will be your best friend; I won’t let bad happen,
Please!”

“Let me make your veins pulse, let me make your lungs rise,
Let me make your mind burst, put me back inside,”
“But heart!! Can’t you see? I trusted you,” cried Jeremy,
“And I will never trust in you again.”

Jeremy Woodstock is the only man I know,
The only man I know without a heart.

~ Rock It Like Fantastic ~

When the flowers on my wall start to bend and peel and sway,
See them all fall, see them crumble. 
When my vibrant tangled hair, turns dusty, neat and grey,
It’ll still be me, right underneath. 

Old like lacquer,
So old it cracks yea,
Oh it’s so old. 
But you rock it like fantastic,
And everybody’s after it now. 

I’m getting scared when I see you,
Your face looks wiser with the truth,
I see it coming, coming for me. 
And I’m lonely can’t you tell?
Well I guess I hide it well,
Where did you meet Dad?
I want someone like that. 

What do you mean when you say to me?
I’m young and full of dreams?
Will all my dreams grow old with me?

When I put myself to bed, I think about the things I know,
And I know nothing, I know nothing.
And I look right up above at the paper on my wall,
I see it all fall, I see it crumble. 

 

~ Less of A Woman ~

I’m not fixing up my hair as much,
I’m not interested in your touch but,
I’m not less of a woman,
I’m not less of a woman.

I’m not thinking of the good or bad,
I’m apathetic about what we had,
But I’m not less of a woman,
I’m not less of a woman.

There was a time when I was,
Hopeful and open but,
Maybe I’m sick of all the work it takes,
For us to stay together,
That doesn’t make it hurt less.

I’m not tired, I’m just overworked,
And I might regret it if I try to flirt but,
I’m not less of a woman,
I’m not less of a woman.

There was a time when I was,
Hopeful and open but,
Maybe I’m sick of all the work it takes,
For us to stay together,
That doesn’t make me less of a woman.

~ White Blush ~

Am I fair in the lights, can you see my feelings?
On the stage, in your arms, can you see my feelings?
I’m scared, that you think I’m the one for you,
Brush a dust on my face to cover up what’s true.

Blush, white, white blush,
White, white blush,
White, white blush.

Are you caught in a trance, did it overtake you?
Do you know, who I am or did these lights mistake you?
I thought I knew, but I don’t and now I have to pay for it,
When you looked, when you stared wanted me running through your fingertips.

Blush, white, white, blush,
White, white, blush,
White, white, blush.

In these lights, my heart is crushing,
You think I’m blushing, but I am bluffing,
In these lights, my heart is crushing,
You think I’m blushing, blushing…

As if you know me…you don’t know who I am.
And you can’t have me in the palm of your hand,
I won’t be running through your fingertips,
I won’t be running through your fingertips.

~ Slow Motion Killer ~

I laid it out on the table, a blade and a knife,
Bolted the door, no running for your life,
I set the scene,
Slow Motion Killer.

Feel the chill shiver up right into your skeleton,
Your bones are intact but baby they’ll be broken,
Slow Motion Killer.

I’m in your brain,
I’m in your brain,
All this pressure building up,
Don’t it feel so strange?

Joel taught me how the real criminals create,
Blood everywhere, fascination with decay,
I set the scene,
Slow Motion Killer.

Oh with the lights on the set and the actors in their place,
Chalk white ghost expression on your face,
Here's the scene,
Slow Motion Killer.

I’m in your brain,
I’m in your brain,
All this pressure building up,
Don’t it feel so strange.

~ You Don’t Even Know My Name ~

Cherry perfume, She sways with the moon
Do you want to be her lover?
You do.

Cuz she goes mad at night,
And she’s low in the afternoon
Maybe you see the same things in her,  as you?

She says “I sit pretty on this mountain top,
I don’t care if it rains or stops,
And you don’t even know my name, 
You don’t even know my name”.

Well if you just catch a glimpse
She will make you believe in her.
How could you be afraid of a girl
You should meet her.

She might howl in the dark
She might break every rule
But you are the half to the heart
She can’t bear to lose.

She says “I sit pretty on this mountain top,
I don’t care if it rains or stops,
And you don’t even know my name, 
You don’t even know my name”.

~ Lost With You ~

White, is this ghost of you,
Though I know you’re gone, You just walk right through.

Heart, is it much too soon?
There’s a space I saved, To hold on to you. 

I feel like I’m a bird in a cage,  

But I don’t want to fly away,
I just wanna stay locked.
I could be a boat in a storm,  

But I don’t want to go back home,
I just wanna stay lost with you.


Take all my silver tears,
They could fill a glass,  I’ll get drunk on you.


And fall asleep,  In this empty room,
Where there’s no one here, But I still feel you.


I feel like I’m a bird in a cage,  

But I don’t want to fly away,
I just wanna stay locked.
I could be a boat in a storm,  

But I don’t want to go back home,
I just wanna stay lost with you.


Everybody says to let go of you,
But they don’t know what you were like,
I think that if I stay in this state of mind,
I’ll never really have to say goodbye…


I feel like I’m a bird in a cage,  

But I don’t want to fly away,
I just wanna stay locked.
I could be a boat in a storm,  

But I don’t want to go back home,
I just wanna stay lost with you.

~ Dream Street ~

I’m going to dream, I’m going to dream street,
I said, I’m going to dream street, be a star.
Somehow I’ll get there, somehow I’ll get there.

I got a mother, I got a mother,
I got a mother in the ground.
Sometimes I see her, sometimes I see her.

But my daddy don’t like it when I wish too far,
He says I don’t got the means, but I got the heart,
And I traded all I own for a busted up guitar,
I’m going to play it so hard.

He goes to work but he does it for the pay,
He’s upset with his life takes it out on me.
Sometimes I cry at night but I get strong in the daylight.

But my daddy don’t like it when I wish too far,
He says I don’t got the means, but I got the heart,
And I traded all I own for a busted up guitar,
I’m going to play it so hard.

You with your feet on ground,
Well I got one foot on a cloud.

But my daddy don’t like it when I wish too far,
He says I don’t got the means, but I got the heart,
And I traded all I own for a busted up guitar,
I’m going to play it so hard.


 

All Songs copyright  © 2018 Ariana Gillis

 

© 2019 ARIANA GILLIS