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i was sent to collect balsam
in a thicket beside a lake
filled my bucket to the brim
as i whistled lazily
boiled it down into syrup
stirred it with a wooden spoon
eyes rolled back into my skull
reeling from its sweet perfume

i carried that golden sap
wrapped in a jar of glass
sealed tightly with a lid
i needed that scent to last
from mountain peaks
into valley towns
across the plains to the sea
where i'm forever bound

gasoline, coffee beans
armpit hair, cigarettes
horse manure, wisp of smoke
coming from the chimney bricks
rosemary on the lamb
fresh dug soil 'tween my hands
an old man pushes out a breath
could that be the scent of death?

buttered onions in the pan
to wake those in the bed
i watched that scent climb up the stairs
go thru the nose into the head
there's chewing gum infused with mint
puked spewed onto the sidewalk
there's the smell of grass
the smell of flowers
the smell of condoms
the smell of cock

balm of gilead
in the air - i smell
balm of gilead
everywhere i go

balm of gilead
reminds me of what i once had
the scent of things that have gone
and of those
yet to come


from bcac sessions // dress b​/​w gilead, released April 20, 2017
Written by Owen Dacombe Steel

Produced by Howard Bilerman & Owen Steel
Engineered by H. Bilerman, Anders Kapur, Shae Broussard

Mixed & mastered by Shae Brossard

Recorded during a songwriting residency @ Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, AB, Canada, March 2017.

Owen Steel: Guitar / Vox
Fats Kaplin: Pedal Steel



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Owen Steel

Tied to curiosities such as wild animals, time travel, hobos, food, and lust,
O sings his way through an assortment of idiosyncratic garage / folk material, occasionally
popping up in random corners around the globe, making his way under the radar and into your (h)ear(t)
... more

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