We Were (t​)​Here

by Aaken / Tôn Thât An

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06:12
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05:18
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05:23

about

Third album by Aaken. written between 2010 and 2016, after he left his home city of Paris to settle in Taipei. The songs are little vignettes of moments caught as his new life was unfolding, moments of solitude, questioning, struggle and glimmers of hope.
The musical landscape still find its roots in slow cinematic songs, but contains more rock elements, thanks to his encounter with Taiwanese indie rock artist Sam Liao. Lyric-wise, Aaken furthered his collaboration with Bibbe Hansen, who wrote the lyrics of four songs, with Portuguese singer-songwriter, who penned beautiful words for two songs, and Japanese graphic artist Maki Felicia.

credits

released September 14, 2017

Arranged and produced by Aaken
2, 5, 6 written by Aaken, 1, 7, 9, 12 by Aaken & Bibbe Hansen, 3 & 8 written by Aaken and Bévinda Ferreire, 4 written by Aaken & Maki Felicia, 10 written by Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai, 11 written by Eden Ahbez.

Recorded at Flying Studio Taipei & Paris. Mixed by Aaken & Sam Liao

Musicians:
Aaken: Vocals, piano, synths, rhode piano, synths, bass synth, beats, percussion, programming
Sam Liao: Guitars
T i n : Vocals, Guitar
Heng Han Hou: Violin
Christophe Boissière: Cello
Emily Chang: Cello
Edric Chang: Violin
Allen Yeh: Erhu
Christophe Saunière: Harp
Remi Chatton: Bass
Allen Wu: Percussion
Josh Gary: Drums

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about

Aaken / Tôn Thât An 台北市, Taiwan

Aaken is the stage name of Tôn-Thât An, a French born Vietnamese singer, composer, songwriter and pianist.

He blends his love for classical music, an indie pop/rock sensitivity, electronic sounds and beats to his Asian roots and a cinematic approach to music.

His field of action spans music for contemporary dance, theatre plays, film score, and many, many songs
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Track Name: L'Appel du Vide
The empty page
gaping hole
all are grave
insults to our
now
how else could we be
but here
always here
in this place
face to face

All I hear is my sad heartbeat
all I hear is my sad heartbeat
I walk to the line
(This love) it shone on my face
passed out on the floor
all I hear is the sad heartbeat

Our empty page
relegated to dream
love is a sigh
in the heart of God
the time it takes
a child’s tear to fall
to fall from grace
to fall from you



Words by Bibbe Hansen and Aaken, 2015
Track Name: They Lie
How did I get to learn
To listen to my speech
How did I survive
And follow this dance
The words are incomplete
The repeats make me scream
How I am the king
How can I be the king...

With a crown of flames
Sadness follows me
My smile and my sting
My memory is blind
It’s a monochrome
The words come too late
They won’t change a thing
Come down
See that
Burn

They Lie
I lied
They lie
And I…

Wrong, you were never wrong
Cause you rarely would speak
You’ll always be right
Cause you’ll no longer speak
The sun is tiring you
The moon is your guide
You remember their words
You forget and you’re free

What motivates my drive
And my line of thoughts
I remember your words
And the man in disguise
Starting, shaking, shaking, crashing
Try to just understand
It’s spreading endlessly

They Lie
I lied
They lie
I lied

I… lied
I promised to promise
I promised nothing
Those who can speak
Now remain so silent
You’re waiting for the next feed
But you’re stuck and I’ll keep
I’ll keep us running
And the answer is lost

How do I get to touch
This face bursting with pain
Time is calming me
Happiness precedes me
Behind those words
Can I see any way
They promised to promise
They run and
I lie

They Lie
I lied
They lie
I lied

At the right time you’ll leave
To the original light
I’m daring in vain
The irony of the fight
My sadness is tied
To time
And I lie

Words by Aaken, 2013
Track Name: To the Sun (feat. T i n )
L'autre et l'un rêvent de Paris
Ils sourient, sautent dans les flaques
L'un et l'autre ensemble imaginent
La belle vie loin de ce cloaque

Que c'est doux d'errer dans la ville
Rêve d'y voir Voltaire, Bardot, Baudelaire
L'autre et l'un ensemble, ils imaginent
Et si j'étais, si tu étais
Et si j'étais, si l'on était...

And just for one minute
Come, let's dream away
And just for one minute
Come, let's dream away
We're so far, so far from the sun
We're so far, so far
Des lumière de Paris

Ils s'enfuient courent à perdre haleine
Dernier métro, faut pas que l'on traine
Insatiables, ils font de longues phrases
Pouvoir palper cette nouvelle atmosphère

Et si j'étais, si tu étais
Et si j'étais, si l'on était...

And just for one minute
Come, let's dream away
And just for one minute
Come, let's dream away
We're so far, so far from the sun
We're so far, so far
Des lumière de Paris

Words by Bévinda Ferreire and Aaken, 2011
Track Name: Fight for One Better [命が燃える]
Listen to the news
And if they don’t exist
Be a hero for the not so obvious
Live an easy life
都合のいい身体
tsugou no ii karada
(Egoism my body)
行き場の無い
yukiba no nai
(There is no place to go)
否定して蹴り散らそう
hiteishite keri chirasou
(Reject it and kick away it)
息を吐く
iki o haku
(Take a breath)
Yeah


届かない想い
todokanai omoi
(Feelings don't reach)
乾いた心臓
kawaita shinzou
(Dry heart)
記憶を辿る
kioku o tadoru
(Follow memories)
Online all the time
Positive and negative
知ってしまった
shitte shimatta
(I have known)
Waiting for the next wave
ため息一つ
tameiki hitotu
(one sigh)

The secret is out
Pretend you understand
The secret is out
Just pretend you understand
命が燃える
inochi ga moeru
(Burning my life)

I’m gonna fight for one better
I’m gonna fight
I’m gonna fight for one better
And the rest is noise

Don’t think they are that knowable
Fantasy become a prison
雪に埋もれた生命
yuki ni umoreta seimei
(The life that was buried among snow)
そっと思い出して
sotto ‘omoidashite
(Quietly remember me)
So now the mood is turning sour
不穏な平穏
fuon na heion
(Threatening peace)
何も言いたく無い
Yield me to the night
nanimo iitaku nai
(I don't want to say anything)

あなたの目に映る現実
anatano me ni / utsuru genjitsu
(Reality to be reflected in your eyes)
Offer me delights
Unobtainable outside
真実の朱殷
shin-jitsu no-o shuan
(Bloody red of truth)
飾らない歌
kazarana-i uta
(Not grace song)
Wealthy and freaky
It’s ok to look porn

The secret is out
Pretend you understand
The secret is out
Just pretend you understand
命が燃える
inochi ga moeru
(Burning my life)

I’m gonna fight for one better
I’m gonna fight
I’m gonna fight for one better
And the rest is noise


Words by Aaken & Maki Felicia, 2015
Track Name: King Dowt
Drifting by
Or blending together
Like two streams
From the mountain peak
Parting unwillingly
All is imperfect
In this intimacy
Where I exalt and humiliate myself

You picked the parts
Of my unrest
So what is next
Too much love
Dazzled my eyes
On that moment in time
So anxious to connect
But there’s a river to cross
Oh how, oh how
The past weighs on your side
Hope can make fools of us all
But I know
We didn’t try enough

Resign yourself
To the forbidden love
You understand so well
Who you’ll betray
Who you can save
With all your prayers
Your cynical innocence
Knows that there’s no more looking back
I don’t know how or when
Something of love has got to end
But I know
We didn’t try enough

Is it a goodbye?
No more to say
The secret is gone
Another and one
And so it’s goodbye
No more to say
Your secret is gone
I’m another and one

A faraway song
A lonely voice
From the nightly peace
Another dawn
Awakens me
Then I cry
I cry the days gone by
Like so many shadows
Flying by
I don’t know how or when
Something of love has got to end
But I know
We didn’t try enough

Is it a goodbye?
No more to say
The secret is gone
Another and one
And so it’s goodbye
No more to say
The secret is gone
I’m another and one

Your secret has gone
I’m another and one


Words by Aaken, 2014
Track Name: Watch your Back
Surely,
Progressively
Climbing the steps to perfect beauty
Who are you now
What of you now
What of you is there?

Uncanny
You made it big
You were that charming, funny gentle one
It seemed so easy
You grew it quick
Is this your paradise?

But you've got no more desire
But you've got no more desire

Na na na, na na na
Watch your back
Na na na, na na na
Watch your back

(But you've got no more desire)

Fleshing out
What others want from you
You cannot give it
Not anymore
Oh did you say
That’s where you want to go?
Make yourself look good

But you've got no more desire
But you've got no more desire
(The face that feeds your needs)

Na na na, na na na
Watch your back
Na na na, na na na
Watch your back

There’s certain satisfaction
To be unnatural
Couldn’t always stay like that
And you flash an overdone grin
But the tears really start to flow
When reality is hard to keep
Did you say that’s where you want to go?
(Look at they body)

The face that feeds your needs
Make yourself look good
The face that feeds your needs
Make yourself look good

Na na na, na na na
Watch your back
Na na na, na na na
Watch your back

Look at they body

Words by Aaken, 2014
Track Name: Linchpin Lover
We’re not
Here or there
Up or down
In or out
On or off
But all places at once
We’re all places at once

We’re not
Out of time
Out of rhyme
This or that
Together and apart
But all places at once
We’re all places at once

Different tunes are played
In their minimal world
I use the dream I can’t explore
And the lights come again

You clench your
Fists in fury
Pout, rattle, shake
In the night (in the night)
Fearful we cling
To one another
And to our lies

Remember us, remember now
Beyond agony
We’re aching to catch up
With the best things in life

And then
Time is drifting
Slips and falls
Like my ass
Year by year
Tear by tear
Madly searching faces
For traces or clues
Of our lives

Season after season
We go on
My linchpin lover
Season after season
We go on
My linchpin lover

We’re not here or there
We’re not up or down
We dash everywhere
In and out
We’re all places at once

We’re not here or there
We’re not up or down
We dash everywhere
In and out
We’re all places at once

Words by Bibbe Hansen, 2013
Track Name: Un Espace Vert
moi j'attends / so I wait
moi j'attends / and I wait
mon amant / for my love
je n'bouge pas / I don’t move
j'reste là / I stay there
j'attends / I wait

un signe un son un pas / a sign, a sound, a footstep
non il ne viendra pas / no, he will not come
mais patient j'attends / but I am patient, I wait
j'ai le temps / I have time

moi j'espère / so I hope
oui j'espère / yes I hope
le Levant / for the new rise
le moment / the moment
d'changer d'air / for a change of air
et de vent / and of wind

un frisson sans raison / a thrill without reason
je le sens il est là / I feel it, he is there
impatiente j'espère / impatient, I wish
son nom / for his name

silences ensommeillés / slumbering silences
ça je ne le veut pas / that I do not want
oublier mes passions / to forget all my passions
non non / no, no

mais j'ai rien d'autre à faire sur terre / but I have nothing else to do on this earth
je me dis / I tell myself
l'amour c'est pas fait pour les chiens / love, this is not made for dogs
mais j'ai rien d'autre à faire sur terre / but I have nothing else to do on this earth
je me dis / I tell myself
l'amour n’est pas fait pour l'oubli / love isn’t made for oblivion

oui, quelque chose à faire / yes, something to be done
dans la vie, cette chimère / in life, this illusion
un coin de paradis / a corner of paradise
un espace vert / a space of green

un lieu pas ordinaire / an un-ordinary place
une lunaire clairière / a moonlit clearing
une lumière, un ami / a light, a friend
un prince c'est tout / a prince, that’s all

moi j'attends / so I wait
moi j'attends / and I wait
mon amant / for my love
je n'bouge pas / I don’t move
j'reste là / I stay there
j'attends / and I wait

silences ensommeillés / slumbering silences
ça je ne le veut pas / I don’t want any of that
odieuse trahison / odious betrayal
non non non non / no, no, no, no
silence ensommeillé / slumbering silences
ça je ne le veux pas / don’t want any of that
oublier ma passion / to forget my passion
my septembre / my September

mais j'ai rien d'autre à faire sur terre / but I have nothing else to do on earth
je me dis / I tell myself
l'amour est pas fait pour l'oubli / love isn’t made for oblivion

moi j'attends / so I wait
moi j'attends / and I wait
mon amant / for my love
je n'bouge pas / I don’t move
j'reste là / I stay there
j'attends / I wait

Words by Bévinda Ferreire, 2013
(Translation by Aaken)
Track Name: Shiny Heart / Dirty Mind
Remember that high heel life
and party hair nights
the kid glove lies
and hat tip smile
all those high tension wires

(then as) a shining heart
with a dirty mind
she moved slowly
through the world of the blind

Walking those street ribbons thoughts
seeping down sleeping alleys
looking left and right as though it were night
watching the clock hands slowly
moving time across its face
(and) up out of the gutter,
she cries out to the skies

If I could only know you now
as I will know you then
If I could only know you now
as I will know you then

There would be no gaping wound
no absent heart lung
where love and breathing are pain
and dumb numb regrets

Little small and tall sometimes
too big is not enough
and atomic is a bad
spill thrill overkill

A billion souls without bodies
hanging off manikin heads
and lamp posts making thought faces
to scare the devil

Casting glances across the room
as the night is taking place
In the land of exhausted desire
pushed to a new day

(then as) a shining heart with a dirty mind
she moved slowly through the world
of the blind

(then as) a shining heart
with a dirty mind
she moved slowly
through the world
of the blind

If I could only know you now
as I will know you then
There would be no gaping wound
no absent heart lung
where love and breathing
are pain
and dumb numb regret

Words by Bibbe Hansen, 2016
Track Name: Love Profusion
There are too many questions
There is not one solution
There is no resurrection
There is so much confusion

And the love profusion
You make me feel
You make me know
And the love vibration
You make me feel
You make me shine

There are too many options
There is no consolation
I have lost my illusions
What I want is an explanation

And the love profusion
You make me feel
You make me know
And the love direction
You make me feel
You make me shine

I’ve got you under my skin
I’ve got you under my skin

There is no comprehension
There is real isolation
There is so much destruction
What I want is a celebration

And I know I can feel bad
When I get in a bad mood
And the world can look so sad
Only you make me feel good

I’ve got you under my skin
I’ve got you under my skin

And the love profusion
You make me feel
You make me know
And the love intention
You make me feel
You make me shine

And the love profusion
You make me feel
You make me know
And the love vibration
You make me feel
You make me shine

And I know I can feel bad
When I get in a bad mood
And the world can look so sad
Only you make me feel good

I’ve got you under my skin
I’ve got you under my skin

And the love intention
You make me feel
You make me shine

Words by Madonna Ciccone
Track Name: Nature Boy
There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over lands and sea
A little shy
And sad of eyes
But very wise
Was he

And then one day
One magic day he passed my way
And as we spoke of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me
The greatest thing
You'll ever learned
Is just to love
And be loved in returned


Words by Eden Ahbez
Track Name: Dark Blue
Old man
you are old now too
but still
you dance in the center of town

With your
name in lights
above your head
daring Happiness
to find you

Riptide tear you out
from the safe and sure
far from shore

Take you into deep water
dark blue
with the unknown
out of breath
out of your depth

No world
left
no world
left
no world
left
but
sea
and sky

Old man
you are old now too
but still
you dance in the center of town

With your
name in lights
above your head
daring Happiness
to find you

Words by Bibbe Hansen, 2016

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