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So It Is With Us

by Horse Feathers

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about

Some quick true/false facts about the band Horse Feathers and their new album, So It Is With Us:

1. The record was partially recorded in a barn in a beautiful pastoral setting in rural Oregon
(true, but hasn’t everybody done this now?)

2. The band lives in Portland, OR
(also true, and they are consciously and unconsciously living breathing stereotypes just like the ones portrayed in Portlandia)

3. Horse Feathers last album charted on Billboard by selling fewer records than they had in the past
(true, but maybe more a comment on the music industry as a whole?)

4. For this album, the band was influenced by the following: Pentangle, Talk Talk, Paul Simon, The Band, Van Morrison, John Wesley Harding era Bob Dylan, Desire era Bob Dylan, and Abner Jay (not what you would have guessed, right?)

Justin Ringle, the man behind all ten years of Horse Feathers, has the following to say about the making of this album, and the current state of his band:

“I wanted to stop. I did all the touring for my fourth record – "Cynic's New Year" – and ended the year 2012 disillusioned and defeated. I didn't touch my guitar for months, which was the longest I had gone in about 15 years. I thought that my career in music was over and wondered if I even wanted to do it anymore. After an arduous period of self-doubt and discovery, I finally arrived at the enlightened idea that maybe it should just be a little more fun. I had grown weary of talking to people after shows who said that my last record “helped them through their divorce”. I have always been flattered by that sort of thing, but I realized what I wanted to hear was how my last record helped them “have a great weekend”. If you have heard any of my previous records you will realize that this transformation from “divorce” band to “weekend” band would be a tall order. And it was! I wouldn’t say we’ve become a “party band” overnight, but I certainly tried to change things a bit.

I enlisted friends to play with me that I trusted and had known for years. Along with longtime bandmates Nathan Crockett (strings/mandolin) and Dustin Dybvig (percusion/drums/keys), I threw Justin Power (bass/vocals) into the mix to have an honest to god rhythm section for the first time. With Lauren Vidal on cello and Brad Parsons singing harmonies, we played an impromptu show at Sasquatch and people liked it. We liked it, and the unusual feeling that I had after that show – which I think is referred to as “joy” – became something I wanted to experience again. I shared more. I stopped editing myself as much. The joy of playing live became its own reward, and I dared myself to allow that joy to shape the songwriting. In the end, I was able to let it go, and I don't own it anymore. Which also feels like joy. That's the way it was, and so it is with us.”

credits

released 21 October 2014

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Track Name: Violently Wild
WHY'S MY MIND, TWISTING UP AND LEAVING THOUGHTS BEHIND?
I WAS GONE BEFORE I'D GO,
THE DIRTIEST DEEDS JUSTIFIED,
MERELY BY THE NEED,
TO SELDOM LAY DOWN ALONE.

YOU DON'T SPEAK,
AWAY FOR LONG,
LOVER'S RARELY SLEEP,
THEY ARE BOUND TO THE PHONE.

YET ON A DAY PLAIN AND MILD,
WITH A SMILE VIOLENTLY WILD,
WE HAD JUST BEGUN.
WE'LL BLAME IT ON THE SUN,
WE'LL BLAME IT ON OUR SIGNS,
WE'LL BLAME IT ON A MISSTEP,
LACK OF RHYTHM, OR LACK OF TIME.

THERE'S NO PEACE,
THERE'S MORNING NOISE,
A NEW FOUND LACK OF POISE,
THERE ARE LIES AND DECEIT.
THE DIRTIEST DEEDS JUSTIFIED,
MERELY BY THE NEED,
TO SELDOM LAY DOWN ALONE.

YET ON A DAY PLAIN AND MILD,
WITH A SMILE VIOLENTLY WILD,
WE HAD JUST BEGUN.
WE'LL BLAME IT ON THE SUN,
WE'LL BLAME IT ON OUR SIGNS,
WE'LL BLAME IT ON A MISSTEP,
LACK OF RHYTHM, OR LACK OF TIME.

WE'RE OUT OF TUNE,
AND YOU'LL BE GONE,
AND I'LL BE LEAVING SOON,
WE WERE BORN WITHOUT A SONG,
AND WE DO NOT BELONG.

YET ON A DAY PLAIN AND MILD,
WITH A SMILE VIOLENTLY WILD,
WE'LL BLAME IT ON OUR SIGNS,
WE'LL BLAME IT ON A MISSTEP,
LACK OF RHYTHM, OR LACK OF TIME.
Track Name: Thousand
A THOUSAND MILES AN HOUR,
EVERY CLOCK WAS TIRED,
'CAUSE WHEN THE SUMMER'S YOUNG,
IT'S NIGHTS SPOKE IN TONGUES,
IT'S CALLING OUT OUR NAMES,
AND DRAWING MOTH'S TO FLAMES,
ALL IT'S NOUNS WE'D SING,
IT'S VERBS WOULD BITE AND STING.

WHISPER SWEET YOUR HAND IN MINE,
HAD WE MET BEFORE OUR TIME?
A KISS THAT'S NOT REFUSED,
A PROMISE THAT WASN'T TRUE.

AS EVERY EVENING SOURED,
WE'RE COUNTING DOWN THE HOURS,
'CAUSE WHEN THE SUMMER'S YOUNG,
IT'S NIGHTS SPOKE IN TONGUES.

WHISPER SWEET YOUR HAND IN MINE,
HAD WE MET BEFORE OUR TIME?
A KISS THAT'S NOT REFUSED,
A PROMISE THAT WASN'T TRUE.

PLEASE DON'T STOP OR REFRAIN,
AS CAUTION WOULD COURSE THROUGH OUR BRAINS,
WE KNOW TO THIS THERE'S NO RULES,
A LOVE THAT SUFFERS NO FOOLS.
Track Name: Dead End Thanks
BANKRUPT IN BED LET'S NOT CALL THIS LOVE,
WHILE WAVING A FLAG THAT'S WHITE AS A DOVE

WE'D LAY AND NOT SPEAK,
WE'D CRY AND NOT WEEP,
I'M WIDE AWAKE,
AND HAVE HONESTLY SEEN OUR MISTAKE

WITH THE CHANGING OF MINDS,
A NEW TUNE MUST BE SUNG,
WHILE CHOKING ON OLD AIR,
THAT'S UP IN OUR LUNGS.

WE'D LAY AND NOT SPEAK,
WE'D CRY AND NOT WEEP,
AND NOW WE'RE HOLLERING,
MURDER FROM THE STREETS?

SLEEP FRAGILE DOLL,
IT DON'T LOOK LIKE YOU'RE MINE AT ALL,
WE HAD WALKED BEFORE WE'D CRAWLED,
AND RAN STRAIGHT INTO A WALL.

AND NOW WE'RE HOLLERING,
MURDER FROM THE STREETS?

I'M WIDE AWAKE AND HAVE HONESTLY SEEN,
BY DREAM AND BY SIGN,
TWO PEOPLE JUST RUN OUT OF TIME
Track Name: Why Do I Try
I WILL NOT ALLOW US
TO ROT, WITHER, FOUL, OR TO FADE.
ON ACCOUNT OF YOUR DREAM
THAT A BABY WOULD BE LIKELY MADE.

I'LL FATHER ALL THIS WEIGHT,
I'LL TAKE A POUND OR TWO,
THAN LAY IT ON A SON,
TO LIGHT ANOTHER FUSE,
I WILL NOT ALLOW HIM
TO ROT, WITHER, FOUL, OR TO FADE.

ALL THE THOUGHTS,
BEDDING DOWN FOR THE NIGHT

HELP ME OUT,
I WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO
EVERY NIGHT,
IT WAS BLACK OR WAS BLUE,
MAKE HASTE LEAVING,
MAKE HASTE, LEAVE OR GO
ON AND ON…….

TELL ME WHY DO YOU TRY HANGING ON?

I HAD BOUGHT INTO THE THOUGHT
OF A WISH, PLAN, AND STATE,
ON ACCOUNT OF YOUR DREAM THAT
OUR MEETING COULD BE MORE THAN FATE.

I'LL FATHER ALL THIS WEIGHT,
I'LL TAKE A POUND OR TWO,
THAN LAY IT ON A SON,
TO LIGHT ANOTHER FUSE,
I WILL NOT ALLOW HIM
TO ROT, WITHER, FOUL, OR TO FADE

HELP ME OUT,
I WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO.
EVERY NIGHT,
IT WAS BLACK OR WAS BLUE,
MAKE HASTE LEAVING,
MAKE HASTE, LEAVE OR GO
ON AND ON…….

TELL ME WHY DO I TRY HANGING ON?
Track Name: Small Melody
DECEIVER'S THEY PLOT AND SWAY,
FASTER THAN YOU'D BELIEVE,
I TAKE THE TIME TO READ BETWEEN THE LINES,
NOT RECEIVED.

IF LOVER'S SHOULD NOT COMPETE,
WINNERS SHOULD NOT BE LOVED,
I TAKE THE TIME TO READ BETWEEN,
THE LINES I'M SPEAKING OF.

BUT WE DON'T SPEAK OF WHAT'S TO COME,
WE JUST RUN FROM WHAT AILS,
AS WE ARE MINDING OUR MOUTHES,
BLUE BABY QUEEN,
YOU RUN,
EVERY DAY AND EVERY NIGHT IN BETWEEN.

NOT A SINGLE THING WAS LENDED,
YOUR KARMA'S JUST BEEN SPENT,
HERE'S THE TWENTY DOLLARS,
FOR THE JOKES OF YOUR'S I RENT
THE FUTURE DOES NOT EXIST,
THE CLOCK IT KEEPS ON FEEDING,
WHY IS THE TIME OF OUR LIVES,
JUST A PLACE THAT'S NOT AN EDEN?

YOU WERE GIVEN LESS,
WITHOUT THE GALL TO ASK FOR MORE,
HE LAID IT ON THE TABLE,
AND YOUR JAW WAS ON THE FLOOR.

'CAUSE EACH AND EVERY DAY,
I HAVE LOST MY TASTE TO PRAY,
I REFUSE TO PAY THE FINES,
TO THE PLACE THAT WE DESIGNED,
IN MY SLEEP I GRIND MY TEETH,
HOLDING BACK WHAT'S UNDERNEATH,
ALL THIS ICE BETWEEN THE SHEETS.

SARAH,
I HAVE COME TO CHANGE YOUR MIND,
YOU CAN'T DIVIDE A HEART,
WITHOUT THE CROSSING OF SOME LINES,
SARAH,
I HAVE COME TO CHANGE YOUR MIND,
THE FACT YOU'RE ASKING WHY,
WAS THE WHITEST OF LINES.

SARAH,
I HAVE COME TO CHANGE YOUR MIND.
Track Name: Old Media
TO THE NEWS THAT WAS RIPE WITH DISEASE,
IT'S A SICKNESS TO SAY WHAT THEY PLEASE,
AS THE SYCOPHANTS TIRE OF THEIR WORTHLESS WIND,
AND REALIZE THEY'RE PLOTS FAR TOO THIN,
AS THEY VYE FOR THE RIGHT SIDE OF AN AISLE,
WITH THE BLACK AND WHITE THOUGHTS OF A CHILD

SAYING,
SHE MERELY IS,
AND HE MUST BECOME,
THEY'RE WASTING OUR TIME,
TALKING OFF THEIR TONGUES

AND SEEN ON A SCREEN,
OUR LIFE AS WE KNOW,
IT'S COOL AS IT COMES,
AND FEELS TEN BELOW

COULDN'T FIND THE FOREST FOR THE TREES,
TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER I MEAN,
AS WE BRUISE WITH THE THINNEST TYPE OF SKIN,
DO THEIR PICTURES OR WORDS DO US IN?
AS THEY VYE FOR RIGHT SIDE OF AN AISLE,
WITH THE BLACK AND WHITE THOUGHTS OF A CHILD

SAYING,
SHE MERELY IS,
AND HE MUST BECOME,
THEY'RE WASTING OUR TIME,
TALKING OFF THEIR TONGUES

AND SEEN ON A SCREEN,
OUR LIFE AS WE KNOW,
IT'S COOL AS IT COMES,
AND FEELS TEN BELOW

COULDN'T FIND THE FOREST FOR THE TREES,
TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER I MEAN,
IT'S THE DEEPEST AND DARKEST OF SEAS,
IT'S THE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOU AND ME

IT'S COOL AS IT COMES AND FEELS TEN BELOW

IT'S THE NEWS THAT WAS RIPE WITH DISEASE,
IT'S A SICKNESS TO SAY WHAT THEY PLEASE,
IT'S THE DEEPEST AND DARKEST OF SEAS,
IT'S THE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOU AND ME.
Track Name: Irene
SITING ON THE BED LIKE BIRDS OF A FEATHER,
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT MORE THAN THOUGHTS ON THE WEATHER,
I'M TELLING YOUR FATHER I'M UP TO THIS TASK,
I'LL OFFER HIM NEVER MORE THAN WHAT HE ASKS.

DEAR IRENE,
HEAR MY SCHEME,
I'M TELLING YOU THE NEWS,
'CAUSE YOU ARE ONE OF THE FEW.

SETTLED ON THE THINGS YOU KNOW THAT YOU WON'T DO
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE ONES YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANT TO,
I'M TELLING YOUR FATHER I'M UP TO THIS TASK,
I'LL OFFER HIM NEVER MORE THAN WHAT HE ASKS.

DEAR IRENE,
HEAR MY SCHEME,
I'M TELLING YOU THE NEWS,
'CAUSE YOU ARE ONE OF THE FEW.

DEAR IRENE,
PLEASE HEAR MY SCHEME,
I'M CALLING YOU BY NAME,
'CAUSE WE ARE JUST THE SAME.
Track Name: Middle Testament
IF HAVE YOU TEARS,
PLEASE PREPARE TO SHED THEM NOW,
I'LL TELL YOU WHY IF IN TRADE YOU SHOW ME HOW,
TO BELIEVE OR BEHOLD,
A LOVE FOR SENSELESS THINGS,
TAKE YOUR TIME,
ALL ALONE YOU WOULD SING.

IT SEEMS TO ME,
THAT YOUR PRAYERS BECAME A VICE,
IT SEEMS TO ME,
THAT JESUS CHRIST WAS LIKE A KNIFE,
HE WOULD CUT AND HE WOULD TEAR,
HE'D LOVE TO OWN YOUR SOUL
DRINK THE WINE,
TASTE THE BLOOD,
OR PAY THE TOLL.

ARE WE LIVING LIFE INCOMPLETE?
READ THE WRITING ON THE WALL,
ITS SMALL AND NEAT,
THERE IT WAS A LIE LIKE A SHOUT,
SCREAMING LIVE YOUR LIFE,
JUST TO DIE TO FIGURE IT OUT.

TO BELIEVE OR BEHOLD,
A LOVE FOR SENSELESS THINGS,
HE WOULD CUT HE WOULD TEAR,
HE'D LOVE TO OWN YOUR SOUL,
DRINK THE WINE,
TASTE THE BLOOD,
OR PAY THE TOLL.
Track Name: The Knee
WITH SPEED JUST RUN THE DOOR'S ABOUT TO CLOSE,
HER MAN JUST WORKS TO PUT HIS PAY UP HIS NOSE,
THERE'S NO BABY TO LAY UPON HER CHEST,
THIS MAN'S ATTACHED TO HER HIP AND WORSE HER BREAST

ABOUT TO TIE A KNOW THAT JUST WON'T HOLD,
SO I'M TOLD

HER WHITEST DRESS HAD WORN TO A GRAY,
THEY LIVED ON PENNIES AND HEELS OF BREAD EVERYDAY

ABOUT TO TIE A KNOW THAT JUST WON'T HOLD,
THEY'RE DOING ALL THE THINGS THEY COULD,
EXCEPT THE FEW THEY KNEW THAT JUST SHOULD

AS THEIR T.V. WOULD WHINE,
THEY'D LET THE RACKET PASS THE TIME,
WATCHING BETTER LIVES JUST OUT OF REACH,
AS THEY'RE FORECASTING GRIEF,
THEY'RE PICKING POCKETS FROM A THIEF,
WHILE SOFTLY SCREAMING WOE IS ME

TO MY WIFE TO BE,
WE'LL TAKE OUR TIME,
I'LL TAKE THE KNEE,
A BETTER LIFE'S WITHIN OUR REACH,
THERE'S NO FORECASTING GRIEF,
OR PICKING POCKETS FROM A THIEF,
OR SOFTLY SCREAMING WOE IS ME

THERE'S NO BABIES TO LAY UPON HER CHEST,
THERE'S A MAN ATTACHED TO HER HIP AND WORSE HER BREAST
Track Name: What We Become
IT'S NOT BECAME,
BUT WHAT WE BECOME,
THE CRUEL CAN BE KIND,
THE TRUE CAN LIE,
IT'S NOT HOW MUCH YOU LOVE,
BUT HOW MUCH YOU TRY

ASHAMED OF BEING WRONG,
BUT RIGHTEOUSLY WILD,
ASHAMED OF WASTING A LIFETIME,
BEING A CHILD

IT'S NOT WHAT WE BECAME,
BUT WHAT WE BECOME,
THE WORDS CAN BE CLEAR,
JUST AS MUCH AS THEY CAN BE COLD,
IS IT NOT ALL THAT YOU HEARD,
BUT ALL THAT YOU'RE TOLD

ASHAMED OF BEING WRONG,
BUT RIGHTEOUSLY WILD,
ASHAMED OF WASTING A LIFETIME,
BEING A CHILD

WHEN I'M OUT OF MY MIND,
I DO AS I PLEASE,
I WON'T BE DOWN ON MY LUCK,
WHILE DOWN ON MY KNEES.