A Riddle Wrapped in an Enigma Wrapped in a Vest

by Ishani

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

      name your price




songs i wrote when i was seventeen and thought were okay enough to save. basically, i need to record these and get them out there so i can get on with my life and maybe write something new without this feeling like it's over my head.

incidentally this was a very tumultuous time in my life when i moved out a year early and did a lot of irresponsible and awful things to myself and to others. so i guess, glad to have that one immortalised? hey-o!


released December 5, 2016

album name by rosie murray and also the simpsons




Ishani London, UK

all over the place

contact / help

Contact Ishani

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Bicycle
you're a feather light mountain bike in my garage
and i'm a casual cyclist
i got a shotgun on my shoulder and i'm singing for my sorrow
'cause i lost my only job to my sister's ex-best friend
there's a chance that she made conversation
and her burgers tasted better
and i wouldn't be surprised

so i'm stately, that's to say
that i'm in a state today
in council estate, hooray! but
i'm dealing, but i'm doing okay for my mistakes
and i'm making all my outtakes good to go
on the next season of my life on dvd

you get trouble for your money and your guilt measures up
to one hundred and twenty
and there's nothing you can do because your basket's filled with oranges
and sugarplums and nectarines
and we put you on the road, we left you out to rust
waited for someone to steal you
and you stayed out on the lawn til the very next autumn
'cause i started to worry about my legs
Track Name: Happy Song (Oh no!)
i've worked my fingers to the bone to see you grin
i've put the pedal to the metal just to see you take a spin
and i'm wrapped around your middle finger
'cause your pinky is too small and your thumb couldn't be bigger for my feet
oh no, the memo's obsolete again
i lost all my real friends to the bends
that album's really loud, but it's soft at the same time

sometimes i feel like crying, oh no
sometimes i feel like dying, oh no
sometimes i feel like driving
so i don't feel so bad
sometimes i feel i'm stupid, oh no
sometimes i feel i'm worthless, oh no
sometimes i feel like 'sometimes' would be kidding myself
because it's all the time

every second of the day
every second week is torture
every time i take a break
every sign that comes my way
tells me i can't drive much faster

i guess that i've been
working up the nerve to ask you out for dinner and dancing
and all that that implies, because i cannot drive much faster
than i'm going, without breaking the limit
and i don't want a ticket
because i'm new to this
and i think that my heart may still be in it, oh no
my mind certainly isn't, oh no
every time i breathe i want to drive into a tree
or i just want you to leave

you’re a picture perfect mascot dressed in felt and love and plaster
and you’re covered in the remnants of my hidden teenage diaries
thought i burned them, yet I’ve got explaining to do
for the moments that i thought i’d nothing to lose
when i was younger and so much wiser
how i wish i’d died there, how i wish i’d burned the pages when i could still light them
oh no, i can’t read my writing, oh no
i drive myself crazy, colon dash capital d
wonder how i survived there
Track Name: Lone Winter
i used to stay in all night drinking colt 45 by myself
and fumbling with a gun that went by the same name
that i bought when i turned 21 just in case

it's been in a box in the basement since you started sharing the bed
i guess it goes without saying that i no longer consider death much of an option

now i sleep with four limbs tied around you,
you are a ballast
so i don't need to choose between sinking and swimming
when i feel so high that my lungs turn into ribbons
and my skin is just friction on the sea air

i come back to my parents' house and everything's immaculate
i wonder if now i've left i'm just a guest here
and if they clean up for me like they do when their friends come over for dinner
to grease them up for drinks and games of poker

if you can figure out what nothing means
you can see the wonder in anything, i guess
when i was younger i used to eat everything
with coney island relish, but i swear
i'm never ever going back to new york

i'm averse to the way the city crawls upon my skin
and digs its nails in
Track Name: Hard Feelings
you can wash your hair every day of the week
you can buy two pillows just to hug when you sleep
you can touch yourself every night just to feel like you're alive
but some days will be bad

some days will see your downward dog across the kitchen floor
some days will see your laundry done and plants growing up tall
some days will be a testament to how much you've grown up
but some days will be bad

and all your best friends will ask you what is wrong
you will not answer them, you'll cry yourself straight back to bed
and oh, your mom will call and ask when you'll come home
and you'll say, never, god! i just want to be left alone

i'd like to be a braver stronger person when the year runs out
i'd like to say i'm sorry for the things that i'm not sorry for
i'd like the local airwaves to turn their ears to me and say
i'm sorry that your dad fell down the stairs and i'm sorry that he's mean
i'm sorry that i can't stop being sad, it must seem like i don't try
i put my coat on each morning and take it off again each night
i don't know where i'm going, i just know that i'm awake
and very scared
Track Name: Khaki Kid
i traded all my messages for a soap dish and a second chance
a chance to prove my innocence, a chance to spit out all my wrongs
i pull off all my plasters with a chisel and i cast them out
into the streets where i have lived for seven awful years

all of you belong to me
but you have disappointed me
i think i saw you sneaking out after your parents said, don't leave the house
you're meant to heal my cuts
it looks like i am out of luck
you have all seen better days
i have to look the other way

i wake up every day feeling so sad and so alone
but every therapist i talk to reminds me that i'm not alone
i roll my eyes 'cause i don't need reassurance
i need medication to deal with all this anger and frustration

i know that it's not good for me
but nothing's really good for me
'cause everything i eat turns into poison, bile and sputum
but i'm told that there are pills that make
my days turn into better days
and i want out so give me a way out i can take orally
so i can write myself off formally

i ask myself that i am afraid to ask
and i get answers, that's the problem, why can't you understand?
you ask me what is wrong with me
the same thing that is wrong with me since
i started paying bills so that you could play detective

well i cannot deal with scrutiny
or ideas so new to me
the thought of changing everything is very very scary
and you know that i am on the brink
of having no more songs to sing
i'm bad at inconsistency
i think i'll end this litany
Track Name: Lemons
i am not as bitter as the lemons
you would have two of with every breakfast
all i ask is faith in my opinions
all i ask is state beyond transition

oh, how i found you in the darkness of the

somewhere there is static in the fissure
someplace we can go to hide our sutures
but the road is charming for the future
will be gone in favour of our new fears

oh, how i found you in the morning light
and oh, how you danced to heal the wreckage of my

suddenly a voice cries in the distance
it is but the voice of our creation
coming from a mother to a sister
first she cried but subsequently kissed her

oh, what a happy child of circumstance
and oh, what a victory for the elements
and oh, what a talking point this will be for our

once upon a time i heard you wonder
if the water washing down the river
was an act of god or one of logic
should i be so fragile or so caustic
then a pilot flew by in his cockpit
and we threw our spirits up like rockets
all i said was, some things are so tragic
then you laughed, your face so automatic

oh, and we walked between the lines we read
and oh, how you left me an eternal wreck
and oh, how i struggled
and i fought to fill the bowl

and everything that came after that stayed
Track Name: To You, On The Hard Days
the way that my dad drives, i'm shocked that i'm alive
you should see the way he overtakes when he thinks he's got time
i always flinch, and i'm very mary mary quite contrary very scared
my friends are all sad but they know that it's all in their heads
at least i think they know that or else i think that they'd be dead
everybody has a reason to break down, and life is a letdown
if you let it get down under your skin

let yourself go and learn how to tango
and salsa and pirouette and hustle and ballroom
and revel in how you're a virtue
you cry when i hurt you,
it's sensitivity that's your sin!

aw come on
you say i do you right but you're trying so hard to make me go wrong
sing along
you know the words i know you do
you're stubborn in your culdesac
you're black then you're blonde
i love you, do you love me too? i thought you loved me back
but i could always move on
i keep on moving back and forth and back and forth and back
and then i'm gone

i am at a loss for why i cannot fix my clock
i've had the minute hand on three for what seems like an eternity
but i know that it is daylight savings time in a few days
everyone i know says they are sad and feel alone
from time to time because their lives are not the way that they would like
and though they're fine with their families
their jobs and their money, and though i'm not done
it's the matter of the bug and the bear

once there was a bear that lived right next to a mirror
and one winter's day a beetle came and settled on the tip of his nose
the bear said, i can't breathe
the beetle said, well don't you see
your exhalation's warming me, you're keeping me alive
and then the bear realised
what's an inconvenience when you can help somebody else to thrive
inside the niceties you know that you are morally required to provide
the small and insignificant people that you happen to pass by

everybody has a reason to cry
Track Name: Teenage Anthem
i was walking off the docks one morning
all of my bones were on the edge of their seats in the front row
i jumped over the atlantic ocean
and i said, fuck you all
i'm never coming back home
you said i set your teeth on edge
but you never gave consent
said i never paid the rent
but you never took a cent

so you wrote yourself a teenage anthem
and you rested your hands on my ankles
and you tied me up and watched me dangle
from the right hand corner of your bed
keep on keeping off the railroad tracks
got your heart and your handcuffs in a leather satchel
got a beat up car with a broken axel
got a stanley knife and an alto sax in your hand

back in school i was a student counsellor
every day a girl would come and sit in front of me
and she'd say that i was her everything
because she had no job or home and certainly no family
i used to think she'd change, that she'd start to act her age
but some people just aren't made for being fourteen
they're too brave, she never lost her ways
some people just don't change

and someone told me they don't know
how to reap just what they sow
Track Name: Velvet
i start my year in velvet and i'm desperate to mention
all the rules i'm gonna break, every semblance of convention
and i say fuck you to you and you and everybody else
because i only need myself and all the books i've left unread

all my friends i didn't make last night asked if i thought i would die
before i could turn 30 and i said i thought i might
someone told me i could write and so i spent the night inside
the giant echo of a shell

and i haven't turned to alcohol, i haven't got the spirit
and i haven't sung a song in months because my heart's not in it
and i can't get a train home, i have no money for a ticket
will somebody tell my parents that i love them every minute that i grow
and the paper said your house was burning down in last december's snow

you left a velvet suit out on the kitchen table too
because your best friend turned to alcohol and cigarettes and glue
he went about his daily business with no sign of an eyewitness
because the prices were too high, and well, the next best thing was you

and everything you know is just a profit of the system
all the simple rules of trade behind my back when no one's listening
cut the crap, you're quite the act, you've got us hung on your existence
all the oxygen you burn leaves no room for welcome wisdom

close your eyes, when i'm older i'm gonna die and truth be told
that's quite alright, i've come to terms with all the terminology involved
it's fine, you'll tell my family, i want you guys to bury me in the
biggest open space that you can impossibly find

i want to rent space in my coffin to the flora and the fauna
but i hear that the agreement's just a tough reality for those who
wanna spread their roots, i hope that never prevents you
from wrapping tight around my ribcage and screaming in my face

you've got some nerve showing your face when all your parents do all day
is play the lottery to win that flight to rome you always talked about
even though you're not there we're all very very scared
you've got us terrified to come home when we know that you're not there