First Second Chance

by Flightless Fairy

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This gothic-tinged collection by the Flightless Fairy, Dani Pickering, fuses folk textures to an occasionally more pop-oriented song structure while maintaining a dark thematic underbelly, inspired by their struggles to achieve a stable sense of identity – even into adulthood.

“With First Second Chance I’ve sought to tackle anxieties around feeling like I just don’t seem to have a coherent identity, which I do by looking at how I relate to other people and places,” they said. “Each song is a step in a journey toward my unsettling realisation that identity itself is dependent on these pretty fundamental relationships.”


released April 12, 2019

DANI PICKERING — vocals, guitar, instrumentals, lyrics, composition, production
KIRSTIN CROWE — supporting vocals, vocal coaching
S. MADDOX — production, instrumentals (Purgatory)
ZAK "BADGE" RAPHAEL — warbling, instrumentals
BRIGHID HURTUBISE — New Zealand Gothic consultancy

Special thanks: to MIRKY TANNIT for help crossing the first few hurdles; JACK MELLS for the eleventh-hour advice at the finish line; DR. KATHLEEN KUEHN for the motivation to see Flightless Fairy through; and FLORENCE WELCH for being the QUEEN OF PEACE.


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Flightless Fairy Wellington, New Zealand

I live in Wellington and write music about anxiety in Aotearoa. Bring on the Kiwi gothic!

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Track Name: Jaws
See what's to come
Sharpen your teeth
You're what is whispered of
You're what lies beneath

Sleepless nights.
Under the sea
In anticipation of
What else life could be

Can you feel it?
Tides are a-changing
Rise up to the surface
And prepare to feed

Become the villain
That you were always
Meant to be and
Embrace your darker side
Compel them to set you free, by
Eating all the enemies
That you can fit
In between your jaws

Submerge again.
Devour shoals
Don't jump through hoops
That's never been the goal
Don't entertain
Set your own terms
Don't have to kill, but
Your bite must be firm

Validate the myth
Expose its veins
Smell a drop of blood
From miles away
And hunt

Honestly rather be
Seen as nonthreatening
Instead of always re-
-duced to teeth gnashing
But that's the hand that you've been dealt
It doesn't matter what you've felt
You've been told not to bite back
But don't cut any more slack, just
Eat all the enemies
That you can fit
In between your

Track Name: Purgatory
Show me a permanent state
Of the self, I will not wait
For help
I gotta be my own

And show me how to say
What it is I truly mean
To say
So I don't push you away

First mistake, first second chance
Always ask for one last chance
To prove
What you can and can't do

Where did I go
Where have I been
When were my ashes
Lost on the wind
Cos I've been here before
I've been here before
Never wanna go forth
But never stay behind
Left in the dark
But not this time
Gonna find the truth
I'm gonna find the truth

What does it mean to
Fight and fight until the bitter
When it never ends

And what does it mean to
Rise above in wings and flames
When I've lost another friend

Next mistake, next second chance
How's it said in your parlance
Cos I won't go your way?

Lost my sense of self
Along the way
Purgatory day by day
By day
Need another reason
To stay
Track Name: Into Gold (feat. Kirstin Crowe)
There was a storm brewing inside
As we tried to clear the air
Before a collision of clouded thoughts
Could strike us down.
Never in the same place twice, they say
But at once
We were reminded of what our roots look like.
Several seconds later came the thunderous realisation
That while together we could illuminate a room,
It was never meant to last.

Once the hourglass was flipped
And the cycle began anew
It was all I could do not to shatter its glass
And send every grain
Our time was up; you knew it, and I knew it too
But now I know too it'd never be worth the pain
To tread over the shards of the mess I would make
Just to feel snowflakes on my face again.
I may never see another white Christmas,
But I've never been one to resent the rain.

The mountains still call out to me
Coaxing me back home
Whispering all my names on the wind
My skin laid bare in the snow
Ready to receive each one
Ready to welcome them back into my being
Ready to melt into spring
And bloom once more.
But each of these names carry secrets
Not even an avalanche could conceal
How many times have you reinvented the wheel
Only for it to roll downhill?
There are only so many ways to descend a slippery slope.

But I have been in the presence of alchemists,
Unaware that they were teaching me everything they knew
How to turn blood into elbow grease
Sweat into cum
Tears into laughter
And fear... Into rebellion.
How to find love in the night
And life in the void
And peace in the fight
And kind in the scorn
And wind in the kite
And calm in the storm
And quiet in the white...
How to produce a spark of my own
That can turn anything
Into gold.
Track Name: By Any Other Name / Reset
The neighbourhood you knew
The house is gone
Familiar faces few

Nothing's quite the same
And yet. you seem to remain
So does this place
That once felt like home

The sounds
And the smells
They comprise
Your personal hell

You miss them so
The ebb and the flow
Fauna and flora
The touch and the go

Left out in the rain
Two arms, four walls one and the same
Where is this place
Who feels like home?

Where's this place
Who feels like home?

Turn your back
On everything you know
To reset
To resume your growth

Forgive yourself
For all your disgrace
Earn yourself a place
That one day could feel
Like home
Like home

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