Retroactionary

by Liam Kingsley

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about

This album is a collection of demos, covers, and unreleased material of mine spanning from July 2011 to June 2014. The various places, times, and people with whom I've written and recorded these songs act as a sort of emotional map guiding me through my experiences over the last three years of my life, and to me this album is the fruition of that. My obsessive documentation of all things musical due to my increasingly poor memory helped, too. Most of these songs were eventually or soon will used in various bands that I've been a part of. I'll break them up in to groups by timeline.

"Arson" and "Night I" were written in Bucharest, Romania during the summer of 2011. I was there with two of my bandmates from Gentleman's Favourite (Eddie Maurer & Teddy Razvan Stanescu), and in the upstairs bedroom of our bassist's house we wrote and recorded acoustic demos of the songs that would eventually make up our first and only EP, "Distance." An absurd amalgam of things have occurred since then that have prevented that EP from being released long after the band broke up to go to college, but it should finally come out by the end of this summer. "Arson" will be on it in full band, electric form. "Night I" only exists in this demo. We recorded on a shitty laptop through Audacity.

"Euthanasia" was recorded in a Hughsonville studio by Josh Rapala during the August 2012 recording sessions when Gentleman's Favourite recorded the "Distance" EP. He later picked up a drug habit and refused to give us our recordings unless we paid him an inordinate amount, so it took us a almost a year to get this one back, thus why the EP still hasn't come out. When it's released this recording will be on it, albeit probably mixed differently. This song was written in the studio during those sessions explicitly for the purpose of going on the EP, the only song on it that wasn't written in Romania.

"Squid Understanding" was written and this demo recorded in November of 2013 inside the Indie Love Cave aka when Devyn turned her SUNY Potsdam dorm room's beds into a massive blanket fort for a week. It was one of the first songs we wrote for our band josie & THE NEVERENDING SADNESS, and the full band version will be on our first EP. I recorded this on my phone immediately after we finished writing it.

"Amputeenager" and "Palmistry" were each written in about an hour over the course of the first two months of 2014 in the common room of the suite at Potsdam I lived in all last year. I recorded these demos on my phone immediately after completing the songs. Since then, they have been turned into full band songs for josie & THE NEVERENDING SADNESS, and "Amputeenager" will appear on our first EP. "The Shower Song" was written around the same time and under the same circumstances, but was then recorded and mixed by Mike Bruns the following March. He and I had previously collaborated on it, adding acoustic guitar. abbyeyesore (Abby Cowan) wrote and added her harmonies during the recording process. It was recorded in a Crane rehearsal room on Mike's rig. It's likely going to be re-recorded for the upcoming Ghost Dads full-length. which is slated to come out by the end of the summer.

"Notes for 2:30" was written following an extensive and intense several hour long conversation shared between Mike Bruns (Boy Goliath) and I late one night in April of 2014. He went home and immediately wrote the first verse, recorded it, and sent it to me the next morning asking if I wanted to help him write the rest. We met up the next day in my suite's common room and I wrote the remainder, in addition to adding banjo. As soon as we finished writing I recorded this on my phone. It will likely be turned into a josie & THE NEVERENDING SADNESS song.

"First Saturday Ives Park" was based around a guitar part I had written the preceding fall and had never been able to do anything with. I finally pulled it together and wrote the first verse one night in my suite's common room in May 2014. I wrote the second verse in my head while walking around campus in Potsdam and getting lunch with Izzy Payero-Cabral (my belated apologies for being distracted!). The final section was written during a josie & THE NEVERENDING SADNESS recording session at Devyn's Potsdam apartment. I recorded this demo on my phone the following day. This, along with ""I am."" will appear in a more fleshed out form on Ghost Dads' full-length.

""I am."" was written in June 2014 in my bedroom in New Hamburg, NY, in the dark, while my dad's band practiced downstairs. I recorded this demo on my phone immediately following the completion of the song.

The covers were recorded randomly whenever I was feeling inspired/productive/bored. I recorded "Pastoral" in August of 2012 in my bedroom with Garageband on my Macbook. "Radio War" was recorded with Audacity on a Mac during the summer of 2013 at my home in New Hamburg. "papa ed's out of body experience" was recorded with abbyeyesore in a Crane practice room on a rainy day in October 2013 for the purposes of submission to something or other that we never wound up doing. "CENTER" was recorded on Garageband on my phone in the middle of the night in my kitchen in May of 2014 while my mom slept in the other room.

Anyway, I'd firstly like to thank everyone in the bands these songs went/are going to. That's Eddie Maurer, Teddy Razvan Stanescu, and Juan Espinosa from Gentleman's Favourite, Eddie (again) from Ghost Dads, and Devyn Halter, Izzy Payero-Cabral, Sam Lasky, Mike Bruns, Zach Sandecki, and Bobby Rosato from josie & THE NEVERENDING SADNESS. Thanks as well to Abby Cowan aka abbyeyesore for everything, and to Mike Bruns aka Boy Goliath again for knowing how to mix and record beautifully, a skill I lack miserably, as evidenced by the eminently lo-fi nature of this album. It amazes me that there is such an intense concentration of astonishing musical talent among my friends, and I'm going to post links to all of these peoples' music at the bottom. Thanks to the bands whose songs I covered for being dope. As always, my sincerest apologies to all of the people I wrote songs about. I know how weird that is, and I'm sure you all know exactly who you are, which must be weird, too. Thanks to everyone who tolerates or even enjoys my music, and particularly those who put up with the noise I make at weird hours of the night when I'm writing and recording stuff.

credits

released June 16, 2014

I stole the picture for the album art from my sister Hannah, so...sorry about that and thank you! It was taken in a state park in Cape Cod in July 2013.

Gentleman's Favourite
www.facebook.com/pages/Gentlemans-Favourite/150210311041

Ghost Dads
ghostdads420.bandcamp.com

josie & THE NEVERENDING SADNESS
josieandtheneverendingsadness.bandcamp.com

abbyeyesore
soundcloud.com/abbyeyesore

Eddie Maurer
soundcloud.com/eddiemaurer

Boy Goliath
soundcloud.com/boy-goliath

Sam Lasky
samlasky.bandcamp.com

Dead Languages
dead-languages.bandcamp.com

The Drinking Buddies
www.facebook.com/thedrinkingbuddiesmusic

Meridian
meridianband.bandcamp.com

tags

license

all rights reserved
Track Name: The Shower Song (feat. abbyeyesore & Boy Goliath)
Held to down in ink;
swallow away.
I drown it it in the sink
to repay.

Holes in doors
you punched inside my dreams.
But will it bleed?
I guess we'll have to see.

You grind inside my teeth;
charming decay.
I wear the clothes you need
to love me anyway.

Piss me clean.
Mark me, I won't leave.
We fuck and fall asleep.
I kill you in my dreams.

Always, always,
always, always,
always, always,
always, always,
always, always,
always, always,
always, always,
always, always.

Remember when
you kissed me on the mouth?
What slipped in,
I'll never let it out.
Track Name: papa ed's out of body experience (feat. abbyeyesore) (WHATEVER, DAD Cover)
Two weddings // On separate occasions,
two bathroom floors. // this phenomenon occurred.
Too much sweating // My second body
too much pork. // left my first.

I stared at myself in // I sighed at my side, but
a suit, on the tiles, passed out. // no party outside heard; how
what the hell was that about? // strange it felt when i returned.
Track Name: Night I (feat. Teddy Razvan Stanescu & Eddie Maurer)
Nighttime on the lawn.
Trapped beneath a rock, but you caught me
and didn't let me go
till the day after tomorrow.

The first time that somebody didn't leave me alone.

And when you kissed me I could feel your warmth rolling down my cheek.

You said you loved me without telling me so.

I'm not going home.

Maybe if I play a little louder and you just don't let go.
I've got these three songs and your arms around me
and somehow you know all these things about me
but I still make you happy.
You told me so.

I still remember you.

They told me to go.

I still remember you.

I still remember you.

I still remember you.
Track Name: Amputeenager
Catch the spark, inhale the ghost.
We sit around, it blows out smoke.
Our fingers fumble in the dark.
You lay me down, I leave my mark.

You say to me, "Love, take off your clothes."
You use your mouth to tell me so.
We hide in tunnels in your room.
You dirty me, I dirty you.

Your father calls, I grab your phone.
"Sir, I found your daughter under snow.
I took her shaking hands in mine
and we
prayed for heat we'd only feign to find.
Track Name: First Saturday Ives Park
Home.
warm in our shame,
tired.

She kissed me,
humming my name,
singing, "I'll try."

But we showered,
filthy and shaking,
terrified.

And we sat there
draining our eyes,
going blind.

I
want to walk to the place
where you cried

and walked me through
the first time
that you tried to die.

And I
grabbed your fingers and
choked them with mine,

and I made you promise to never again.

Well, you promised to never again.

Well, here I am at your hospital bed.

Please just promise to never again.
Track Name: Squid Understanding (feat. Devyn Halter)
You're a drive-by shooting in a quiet place.
You're a loved pet in a shallow grave.
There were children playing in busy streets,
but you insisted on following me.

I am my sister drying out on the lawn.
I am the palms of my father burned raw.
I am the stones that all my grandfathers gave,
but you are my mother's voice calling my name.

I bury boxsprings in the back of the yard.
I sleep in tunnels when the floors are too hard.
I left my favorite jacket on your bedroom floor,
and you couldn't help but to tear through the drawers.

You dream in day-glo in the rear of the car.
You climb trees just to stare at the stars.
You stood in silence as it started to rain,
but I still remember the taste of your name.

Have I told you how it sounded when my father used to say,

"Don't be afraid."
Track Name: CENTER (QUARTERBACKS Cover)
Saw your bike
on your front porch.
Saw the light
up in your window.
Thought about knocking
on your door,
but I was concerned
you had somebody over;
I was concerned
you were alone.

The night
I first met you
we were dancing
in the living room,
and we kissed
in front of everyone.
I had waited two years
to talk to you.
Helped you move
into your new house.
Left handprints in the closet
before we moved you out.
Looking up
at that room now
still half hoping that you'll come down.

Because there's such
relief in coincidence;
a universe that finally works
how you always suspected,
with yourself near the center.
As I get older
I recognize that love
is mostly situational.
Track Name: Palmistry
Tell me,
how far's the fall?
Cause I've climbed this tree
and you'll not talk me down.

But I caught you
staring at me
through the pine beams
where I'd been staring, too.

Did you love me
when you told me so,
or simply lonely?
Well, you were scared,
I know.

Well, I held you
as I drowned in snow,
and I'm sorry
that I won't let you go.
Track Name: Radio War (Iron & Wine Cover)
Did the wine make her dream
of the far, distant spring?
Or a bed full of hens?
Or the ghost of a friend?

All the while that she wept
she'd a gun by her bed,
and the letter he wrote
from a dry, foundered boat.

And the train track will take
all the wounded ones home,
and I'll be alone.
Fare thee well, Sara Jones.

Now we lie on the floor
while the radio war
finds its way through the air
of the dead market square,
and the beast, never seen,
licks its red talons clean.
Sara curses the cold:
"No more snow, no more snow, no more snow."
Track Name: Arson (feat. Eddie Maurer & Teddy Razvan Stanescu)
July fires grew dim
while you changed the locks on my home.
Now you won't let me in.
And I refused to turn away
as I watched the flames borne from within
slowly burn you away.

You left me with no place else to hide.
The tunnel we built started to crack
and bury me alive.
Please don't stand so close.
You've been watching me die day by day,
I'm done pretending that it's not your fault.

Another numb night in New Hamburg
wishing I had stuck through till the fall.
It's times like this I get the feeling
there's really nothing to get at all.
And you,
you say it's me.
And I
am shaking on the floor.
And I
wish I knew what I felt so sorry for.

July fires burn low.
It gets hard to live in a house
when there's nobody home.
And I stared you right in the eyes
as I dropped the match at my feet,
my own gentle suicide.

I hid between windows. You faded away.
It's a challenge to live in a tunnel when the world's up in flames.
And no, I can't just leave.
I've been watching you die day by day
while the exact same is happening to me.

Another numb night on my cloud
wishing I had stuck through till the fall.
It's times like this I get the feeling
of wanting to feel nothing at all.
And me,
I say it's you.
And you
are what I wish I was living for.
And you,
you were all I wanted, nothing more.

Another numb night in New Hamburg // Another numb night on my cloud
wishing I had stuck through till the fall.
It's times like this I get the feeling
there's really nothing to get at all. // of wanting to feel nothing at all.
And you, // And me,
you say it's me. // I say it's you.
And I // And you
am shaking on the floor. // are what I wish I was living for.
And I // And you,
wish I knew what I felt so sorry for. // you were all I wanted, nothing more.
Track Name: "I am."
Fell asleep with the lights on again,
and woke to a note that read,
"I couldn't sleep. I need some cigarettes."

I spit blood in the sink again, and wrote out a note that said,
"The dayglo you dreamed in is oozing out my skin.
I've stopped letting people in."

I lied when we fucked again.
She asked, "Are you good? I said, "I am.
I love you, I promise. Now let's just go back to bed."

I dreamed that I died again.
I dreamed I did it with my own hands.
It's not the falling that scares me, it's how desperate I am to land.
I'm afraid of who I am.

She said, "Liam, just go back to sleep.
I'll be here for you if you're here for me."
Track Name: Euthanasia
While you were away
I wrote a song to tell you everything I always meant to say,
but I forgot to write it down,
so it joined you where you always are:
in memory, never quite off the ground.

Dreams of sleeping on the floor.
Point your finger north, remind me that it's all that I'm good for.
Always the same on the return:
projecting holograms from smoke
to sit and wait to watch it burn.

Have I broke your sense of shame?
Do you remember when she taught you all the letters in my name?
The way your lungs just rearrange
to spit some truth about a year
I wish I'd swore to never change?

"The greatest things are left unhad,"
she whispered quietly as I spit out, "I'm not doing so bad."
And I will lie and lie and lie and lie and lie and lie and lie
so I can stay.

I will
let you die.
I will
be the hand that take you
silent in the night.
I will
not
ask
why.

Today I lost another tie.
It must have slipped out in the morning with the color of your eyes.
I made a point to crack the doors,
and I'm learning arson, setting house fires
till there's nothing left here to ignore.

I bet you're lying on your bed
pushing away the trains we hid from that still found you in the end.
Please promise me you won't remember all those words I didn't say
so I won't stay.

I will
let you die.
I will
be the hand that take you
silent in the night.
I will
not
ask
why.

I will
let you die.
I will
be the hand that take you
silent in the night.
I will not ask why.

I will
help you die.
I will
wash my hands of you.
There will be no fight.
And please
don't
ask
why.

While you were away
I broke some words over my knee,
and I want so badly
to
feel
sorry.
Track Name: Notes for 2:30 (feat. Boy Goliath)
It's 2:30 in the morning on a Wednesday night,
and the setting settled in while we swapped horrors from our lives.

The fucked up shit we grew up with that made us feel alright.
Yea, let's talk about our exes, trading sex for feeling fine.

And the pills we might have swallowed or forgotten yesterday
are lost amidst the futon, the black holes, and pillow spread.

We're both fucked up and we know it, and we know that it's okay,
so screw the grand design. I'm not aligned, and I'll never be that way.

I
don't care
what I did
last year.
And I
don't care.

You're falling from the bedside and I'm falling in the ground,
beneath the pines, the frozen soil, and the ice in dirtied mounds.

And in those moments where I realize there's no other place to go
I shove my fingers down my throat to purge my sick into the snow.

But you said to me that you once had these pills inside you, too,
and of the red tracks that would follow as you blindly staggered through.

How can we wake up every morning while we feel the way we do?
I'm not sure, but I'm awake now and just sitting here with you.

And I
don't care
how I got here.
And I
don't care.

And some nights it's just dreams of the proper way to grip a knife,
but it's 2:30 in the morning and I think we'll be alright.