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Recorded Spring/Summer 2014 @ On Pop of the World Studios in Greensboro, NC. Mixed and Mastered by Randy Seals.


released August 29, 2014

Mike O'Malley: Vocals, Bouzouki, Piano, Drums, bass guitar.
Randy Seals: Drums
Jeremy Harris: Piano on "Golem," "Garden," and "Spark"
Charlie Humphrey: Trumpet on "Garden" and "Eat"

All songs by Mike O'Malley.



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Track Name: Garden
I was halfway out the woods
And things were looking good
A herd of goats and babies
And a fence made out of wood
And horticulture's not my thing
But mercy me you had a pretty garden

In a happy, stupid blur
We weren't and then we were
And weren't again - thank god -
It was for the best, I'm sure
And ne'er would we collide again
But I made constant visits to your garden

Now, frivolous is one word
Another word is young
Another word is virtuous
Another word is dumb
There's a difference between you and me
But don't think I don't envy you your garden

So time was once
the light was more
than a pinhole that I sometimes see
But time is lately
I get moving
As soon as it outpaces me
So all I ever do is leave.

Now, I'm not a fan of choosing
I've always deeply felt
That a choice can make you harden
into something you can't melt
But I'm already hardening
Soon I'll be a statue in your garden

But if I stay with you
I'll petrify you, too
I'll reduce you to a symbol
Of the things I couldn't do
And they'll arrange us holding hands
Cause everyone misunderstands the garden

Now righteousness is one word
Another word is vice
Another word is imbecile
Another word is nice
There are grounds on which we may relate
But that all turns to quicksand in the garden


Now I know you've got your puppets
And the poetry you produce
And a pocketful of fireworks
With a perilously short fuse
And a man
And a dog
And a car
And a tent
But all the love I bear you will no longer me prevent

From finding me a lighter
And throwing back six beers
And lighting up that fuse
And covering my ears
And make all of glenwood reverberate
As bits of us now fertilize the gar ar ar den

Track Name: Golem
Those who know me well will tell you that I'm not too good with secrets
And true enough with most I'm liberal to no end
But there are certain things I'll never say
The creature, after all, was made of clay
and only things unspoken keep it sucking wind

And true, it started clay, but as it walked it changed its composition
I mean, the air alone contains a million different things -
So I saw fit to split it into dozens
Laughed at purity and all its cousins
Beastie's now a little bit of everything

And it's scattered in fistfuls to all the four winds and the current may guide it to certain old friends who still have a sliver of me in their memory
And one might tangle in your hair and, darling, trust me - it ain't there to scare you
Nonetheless - when it's there, I hope you scream.

When it comes and come it must I hope it comes with bells and bones a-janglin'
With mason jars of blood and feathers it arrive
When it come I hope it come with eyes of ember
Rictus-grinning, kind, remembers
When it come and come it must, I hope it come alive

O when it come and come it will
I hope it come with ancient nets entangling
The moon conduct it ever higher up the cave
When it come it lift you from the floor in incraments of more and more and more
And when it come and come it will I hope it come in waves

And I hope when it come that it splashes round you in
Luminous pools of holiest blue
Hang on to yourself or surely you'll wash downstream

When it come -it come, I know - I hope a second later it just go
And when it go, I hope it go like steam

Those who know me well will tell you that I'm not too good with secrets

The sky cracks
The ocean glows
All jet black
You couldn't know

A coughing fit to rid my organs of a coat of purple glitter
That throws light round my ribcage to this very day
A taxing effort on this throat of mine
cause something came up, but it didn't shine
Instead - the red and living carolina clay.

It never sleeps
It doesn't even blink
And it sure don't listen to me
But if you want the creature not to stay then simply wave the silly thing away and watch as it dissolve just like a dream
Track Name: Noble Rot
What bends you at the knee?
What fell into your lot?
Through what holes in the sea?
Through what chink in the plot?
A daydream deferred
Or altogether forgot
Ah, gloried absurd
All of barbary blurred
Ah noblest rot

The what is good, the when is awful

Oh your blood approves
Still your mind can't make things move
The worst is true

Something's making you real
Something sticks you in time
After how little feel?
After how short a climb?
Something's making you big
But it casts a pall
A predilection to swig
And a marketing gig
Who are you, after all?

The mud is good, the wind dissolves you


Someone thinks that you're good
Someone loves you a lot.
Someone knocks you on wood
In a way you forgot
Some things still scream in you
You hope they'll never know
Because once those sound through
There's not much you can do -
There it goes
So it goes.

You grow old
This, at least, you know.
Track Name: Interlude 1: Mania

Lord don't let this city make me mad
In quiet, shuffling, neighbor-hating ways
In the rags of desperation clad
A trail of failures following for days
With impotent anger rattling around
Dragging my feet, running aground
Canceling glances, thinking debris
Thinking confetti, thinking decrees
Mumbling north, mumbling right
Mumbling nonsense, try though I might
Features atwitch, features aflare
Nothing to do with what's going on upstairs
Track Name: Hang By A Thread
You hang by a thread
Wound round your skin
As light and as thin
As the hair on your head
It's dark all around
And you hang in the wind
Still you force a grin
As you hang by a thread

There's no one up ahead
Not a soul left behind
Did their ropes unwind?
Did they climb up instead?
You can't see the ground
And the top's up too far
So here you are
With the last of the thread

Ah, you recall the ceiling
How it seemed so serene there
The scenery sent you reeling -
One million lightlines enlaced
One in specific moved you -
Shot off at an angle
The others blinked their approval
So you gave breathless chase

Now you dangle by thread
That you chased off the world
It's fibers unfurl
It fills you with dread
So you choke it down
And you think of the moon
And hum a tune
Ever lodged in your head.

As you flew off the ceiling
The thread in your fingers
You found the change revealing
No longer lit from above
You thought your troubles ended
Now see how they linger
Look at you now: suspended
By the one thing you love
Confer with the thread
Say I'm not letting go
But what is the world
That we cling to it so?
Did we fall up or down?
Once we were sure
But not anymore
You know what to do
It's coming unwound
But you aren't vexed
Cos you want what comes next
So you bid it adieu.
Track Name: Eat!
O you know what you want
And it's red with your beefsteak
And white with your oysters on ice
And some grand marinier
With your cafè au laìt
And some fudge lava cake
That'd be nice

And god help the sucker
Who forgets the sugar
Or brings the wrong sauce for your meat
You worked hard to get here
The gods swoon at the sheer
Raw artistry with which you eat

And it'd better be right
Cos you have it all timed
And if it isn't right, what the hell are you up here for?

And at the end of the night
there's a wad of cash waiting
Whose size depends solely on whim
Still, I'm loath to complain,
For whatever I gain's
More than Jaime or Raj
Just ask them.

And it's real late at night
Nothing open but bars
And I could opt just to sleep
Or to think
But the former leaves a bad taste
And the latter's a waste
Small wonder all I do these days is drink

And if the conditions are right
I could stay all night
And if I don't stay all night, what the hell am I up here for?

I may never again be
Assured of the goodness
Innate to the whole human throng
I may never get out
Of this dread line of work
And I'll sure never finish this song

But if I yelp angrily from my chair by the window
And fume
And stomp both my feet
Some poor soul who came up here
to watch their dreams disappear
Will bring exactly what I want to eat

And it'd better be right
And it'd better be on time
Because if it isn't right, what the hell are we up here for?
Track Name: Interlude 2: Piety
Lord don't let this city make me yours
Or laid bare to your omnipresent charm
Let not dread or desperation force
Me helpless to your ever-grasping arms
Smiling thinly, resting assured
That my reward is safe in the word
Yelling in trains or keeping it mum
Either way knowing the world ain't the one
Which in the best case sees my ascent
To wherever all the pious folks went
Then I look down - friends all aflare
Burning for what? Somebody's law upstairs.
Track Name: Spark
I wiped the final bit of handiwork off on my jeans
I had to think a bit about what the word sanguine means
For here, in rich manhattan's attic,
I'd call this financier phlegmatic
But clearly I was wrong about it
Cause look how he bleeds!

And I come from neighborhoods blown open
And shuttered quite tight
And neighbors all fed up with coping and wading through spite
But on the train home from park avenue
(740 - you've heard of it, haven't you?)
Having indulged my one bad habit
I'll sleep well tonight
If only tonight.

Mister mayor, I do declare
I've never seen you so turned out
All pretty on a spit with a granny smith
In your snout
Everyone will want a bite of you
Barbecued and cyanided
If they all come, who you invited,
We might save the south
We might purge the south

And I come from opulence and splendor
And silver, it's true
I lived without regret off the fat of dixie
For a few
It could've been anyone, I reckon -
Who picks to whom dumb justice beckons?
McCrory wasted his last seconds to ask who are you?
I told him, too:

I am a spark
I light the dark
I light up the fog on the roof
It punctures the night
As hot as it's bright
As small and as hard as the truth

I was never good enough at arguing
to win a fight
Never good enough at science to
Rub out a blight
But I guess that I'm okay at history-
If I tilt my head it easily
Seems the young white man's main legacy's killing, alright - and saying it's right.

And when I first tried it, my senses were freed
A steely, fluid cold
Erupted and spread to my extremities
A chill in the blood that could only be me
It could only be mine
It could only be me
It could only be
Only be me.

Track Name: Come Low
May your bad habits make you bold
May the loves you know be manifold
May you mystify, unmoor, confuse
May you have and lose and have and lose

May your sorrows send you far and wide
May your blind persistence cleave the tide
May your envy gild your walking shoes
Light your pockets, bright your blues.

May your smallness make the world more vast
May death come late, come soft, come fast
May you know desire's warmest glow
May death come late, come sweet, come low.

May your misadventures overlap
Your anxiety a detailed map
May your pacing grant you iron heels
May your panic grant you rolling wheels

May your old ghosts inflate your sails
May their groaning be your nightengale
May your anger be your marching tune
Your lunacy the rising moon


You're afraid
You're afraid cause you're alive
You are saved
You are saved cause you're alive

Track Name: Lost You Well
I lost you well
And I love losing things, so I can tell
That in the context of the vast
Volumes of my losses past, I lost you well

It was done with class
With sensitivity and with panache
But - darling - don't take it from me
Any critic, they'd agree
I lost you well

A feather thinks
I'm not suited to supporting wings
So it holds itself erect
And its removal is correct
However cold the comfort correct brings
And while on the wind
It may miss the warmth and miss it's friend
And it may think itself a fool
Think it brutal, think it cruel
That it's best hope is to stay aloft
On changing winds
But - I lost you well
And I love losing things, so I can tell
That in the context of the vast
Volumes of my losses past
I lost you well

So I can't cry about it

But who wouldn't mourn?
It was beautiful since it was born
Who'd have know what clove the sky
What heated breath twixt you and I
Was actually a meteor?

Whatever it was not, it was not a home
Whatever it had not, it had not alone

And reliably
I feel it most when I'm off work at 3
Because I could creep back into our tower
And no matter what the hour
You'd roll over and talk to me.

Still, I can't cry about it

My well-lost dear
I haven't been completely honest, here
For while misplacement is my field
For a time, you wouldn't yield
That is, you'd turn up everywhere.
And I've no excuse
Except that you're sincerely hard to lose.