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Begin Again 04:27
A few tiny movements, and it begins. The needle drops, the record spins. Lately I've been giving in to these primitive machines. Back when I barely knew who you were, we were both precious and obscure. Sat together in a park. You tossed a coin out into the old pond and snarked at the young man and his courage, and the ghosts in every hotel room. They keep claiming they could begin again. Then you got up just to change the sides. There, on the fourth chord came a lie. Once I could tell them apart; a twist of fate or a change of heart. Blood on the tracks, it skips a beat. As he sings a solemn eulogy for the old man in the courtroom and the stray dogs in the parking lot. They're all thinking they would begin again. We'll begin again. With lies still stuck between our teeth we'll taste the bitter irony of the stranger in a subway station unsure of her destination. Only knows she will begin again.
Foreverest 07:19
A dry stone, no sound of water I’m coming home through the wasteland And I am searching for that memory Among the trams and the dusty trees There it is: My first memory When you were young, as young as I am now Were you humming on some melody That you then planted deep in me? Pigeons circling the mall Forever rest the months you never called Soon this fog will turn to night But i’ll try to trust the stubborn daylight With all their loss enunciated They’re holding on to whatever they can While I’m holding on to your memory It’s somehow planted deep in me All those words I could use Forever rest the life you didn’t choose And when all these towers fall Forever rest your work in the drywall Now I walk out into the night Forever with your name next to mine Oh, what do I do now, what will I do now? Snowy crests, the trees are tall Forever rest the paths your feet walked And when all these towers fall Forever rest your work in the drywall Forever rest the shaking in your legs Forever rest your bones in the muskeg Forever rest the stubborn daylight Forever rest the fog in the dark night Forever rest the words I could have used Forever rest the life you didn’t choose Forever rest the hoarfrost on the trees Forever rest your memory in me
No Reception 04:01
All of a sudden it was overcast. Descending from the final mountain pass, I am only about a third into this year’s novel. And I only read when I travel. We arrived, it's summer/somewhere in Norway. There's the fjord, there's the freeway. You lit another one, the world is your ashtray. And so did I. I rode in here in the backseat of some car, with the windows down, and the music loud, but we don’t really make a sound. ‘Cause I'm still trying to pretend I'm tender. You claimed your hazy days have now ended. I said “it's all love”, and you rolled your eyes. So here's to new and better lies. Guess I approached you under false pretenses. An amalgamation of several people answered: “Something tells me you have dropped your defenses, well so have I”. I pictured you riding shotgun in that car. It’s a sight to see, but the thing you need is far from where we are. ‘Cause I don’t want to pretend I’m tender, or chained to the last few things I remember. Here all is love, but those words weren’t mine. So here’s to hope and better lies. Danced to “I Love You, Fuck the Government”. Or was it the other way around? We spent another half an hour trying to answer that question. ‘Cause out here there's no reception. Got up, tripped over a tent. I smelled like single malt mosquito repellent. Someone told me you had lost your senses. Well, so had I. You ended up in the backseat of some car. It’s a sight to see, but it’s not with me. I’m only a passing star. The fog was low, now it glows like ember. And there in the slow sunrise I remembered how love is all, and I still do. So my lies are old, but my hope is new.
“We're a wave and this is a crescent”. That's how you describe the present. Of course I want to feel fluorescent. Live only for tonight. His obsession with being alone, only he knows where it came from. Though I just wanted to go home, you pinned me down, I let them loose. But we're more than the drinks we choose. We are bordering on too obsessive, oh, looking for truth in the smallest decimals. Like the pesky weather. Or that things will get better. You've read all my letters. And you always check them twice. Well, so do I. Between the pompous and the boring I dwell. While you keep exploring the center of the universe. I'll catch the last bus to the suburbs. Are we more than the lives we choose? Are we something bigger and better? I think I'll spring for the latter. Your choose the former, and you'll get what you ordered. 5% less water for the kid in the corner. There, I said it. Seconds to minutes, and I'll wait it out. I’ll wait.
I'm lost and afraid. I think I might change my name: Aimi. A clear construct, but still uneasy. You're building an argument. While I'm trying to make sense of it all. Waiting for the final curtain call. It starts with an open ending. I'm still pretending this reads like a novel. Third world wars and helpless animals. I suppose this is love, when my soaked garden gloves give shelter to the june bugs and the spiders. Wish I told you to your face. Had a plan, but it got erased by a hand that tastes like polyester. If we're building a monument to these past few years. It depends on your view. Mine half as cute as Einstein’s shoes. I broke, like the dawn. Placed my second foot on the lawn. Just to prove to you the grass is greener. While I can't prove God, only irony when you nod, and say “Sjur, didn't we know better”. Like the roots that wait under the snow Or a song for someone I don’t know
I'm not the Fred Astaire of words. I just dance about architecture: The home we built to calm your nerves, plus your desk job in the public sector. I fill four columns weekly, a sharper pen for my softer heart. A judgement passes easily, I dissect them into smaller parts when there's a plane, no address, no terrain. And I’ll point it out. They would run, had a plan, got a gun. And i’d point it out with my cold, dead hands. Cause I'm half empty From ABC to XTC, I pulled them out and rearranged. With a nod to High Fidelity, how I once could hear the full range. The piercing highs, the rumbling lows. All the details in between personas and characters. They would all relate to me. Here’s a hill, here’s a rock, show your skills. And I'll point it out. Rinse, repeat. Glue your drums on the beat. And I’ll point it out with my cold dead hands. New clouds overhead, as we watched the rose parade. “There's a rumoured possibility of rain" is what you said to me, Then you sighed. ‘Cause I'm half empty. You're half empty. We’re filled with reason and regrets and irony. You help yourself, though I need your help. I understand it, I’d just rather be anywhere else.
Now the length of the summer day feeds a darker blue I watch the Metropolis set in a silver hue I know nothing is bottomless I’m leaning into a wall Another snowy winter waits at the end of a fall I would patiently tap the keys, while you would quietly sing Water filled the reservoirs every spring Before the bees began to flee Before you said you were leaving me How you would have my sympathy if it wasn’t me I've been down the road before, ca 1984 Your sister said we could teleport to a new world Then we passed the high water mark of what they thought I could sell They called it literature at the bottom of a well Before what was once canals had turned yellow and pale We watched the Adriatic sea from an abandoned hotel Before the cities of shelter tents Before the right wing governments Before I just wasn’t making sense And someone told you to call Before a name on a tiny screen was how you'd remember me Not for my nuance or empathy for the new world Dystopian sci-fi released me from the life I thought I had in front of me Maybe this is an apology: I want to know how to live. I want to know how to love I gaze up at the night sky, thinking everything must go!!! I’m here in a cul-de-sac. Are you coming back? Dystopian sci-fi for everything I lack Well, it is what it is, I guess; the new world The world was old and cowardly Had Phillip K and fresh batteries in my flashlight and suddenly: A new world
When I cleaned out this place, I found a small leather pouch under layers of dust behind the living room couch. With things I’d forgotten I actually own. And a note with your name from when we were still unknows. I am what I am or pretended to be. Threw the bathwater out with accuracy. Now I paint my maps from memory with an aerosol can. Let the rough edges proclaim I am a better man. Maybe I am, I’ve been doing what I can, but you know how it’s easy to stray from a plan. They’re making gravestones in the basement while I rule in the control room. Keeping warm in my sheep’s clothing while you're out howling at the moon. When you had first stumbled upon me and my lies, you had a halo of sadness and twinkling eyes. I forgot that this place has revolving doors. I held on to your bag as you hit the dancefloor. My outlook may need further explanation. See, my first love, she got married in the Appalachians. That might sound pretentious, but actually it’s true. Unlike most of these things I’ve been telling you: I’m bitter and blue, there’s no beauty or truth. And where timelessness comes to an end, there’s solitude. They're making gravestones in the basement, while I'm cutting down on my metaphors. Grazing on the green grass between us, while you're out dining with the carnivores. Oh wait, my apprentice. I still have stories to tell. Like when we went to the crossroads, but had nothing to sell. So if you wake up at night, thinking everything must change, just means there's something still pounding behind the bars of your ribcage. They’re making gravestones in the basement while I rule in the control room. Keeping warm in my sheep’s clothing while you're out howling at the moon.
In this northern town we are getting old, united by our love for John K. Samson and our disdain for the cold. It’s how you replied, clear avoidance, crooked lines. When all I need is straighter answers, overtures and hope, you said “I believe in accidents and time. Promises, conversation and wine”. Yet the marks on your skin pull me into the dark. The continents drifted further apart. We were Mid-Atlantic swimming, divided islands, states of the art. You were always bent on finding something else than this. Oslo’s awkward kinesis is always easy to dismiss. While I believe in accidents and time. Broken trust and condescending lines. Yet the light on your skin pulls me into the night Where the black matter eats every line and I tie them to knots. There, when daylight descends without rhyme I was trying to disconnect the dots. And I was right on time. I've got words that could make you spin. And a box I put them in. But we are right on time.
I touched ground and let my brain make its demands Sometimes you know they aren't true Beneath the neon signs I saw shadows holding hands Blinked twice, then reviewed Here on the south side of the park there are tourist traps and dive bars We know, we've walked these streets before Without knowing what we're looking for In this city that you've claimed as yours Just to dull our senses to the core But forgive them and please pretend That you don't share my growing sentiment that all of this soon ends And forgive me if you can still breath Though there's this itching in your throat that you can't shake or even try to put at ease Now there's a tug-o-war straining on your vocal chords And only spite is slipping out But forgive those foul and bitter nouns Forgive the verbs you can't pronounce Forgive the buildings, then the trees And forgive me I can still breath Though there's this itching in my throat that I can't shake or put at ease And forgive them They're still your friends Send those memories into orbit Let's watch while they burn as they descend 'Cause by this time last year everything will seem younger And you will be on to me the way I'm onto you By this time last year Every beat will feel stronger And you will make peace With the buildings, then the trees


released April 3, 2020

All songs written, produced & recorded by Sjur Lyseid.

Additional recording by Nils Martin Larsen & Kenneth Ishak
Mixed by Sjur Lyseid, except No Reception, mixed by Øyvind Røsrud Gundersen. Mastered by Espen Høydalsvik.

Performed by Sjur Lyseid, Nils Martin Larsen, Morten Myklebust,
Morten Kvam, Jørgen Nordby, Eivind Almhjell, Eirik Kirkemyr
Elizabeth Morris Innset, Tonje Tafjord, Rudi Simmons & Eivind Bøe.


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