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RELEASE DATE

09-Dec-2022

TRACK LISTING

  1. Addicted To You

  2. Can't Mask A Heart

  3. Carry On

  4. Be Who We Are

  5. Throwing Clothes

  6. It's In The Wind That We Run Away

  7. Our Love Is Water From A Different Well

  8. Exempt From Gravity

  9. Sensitive

  10. Colour The Sky

  11. Home

  12. I Hate How Much I Love You

ALBUM NOTES

In Feb 2020 I flew back to Austin after a year in Melbourne. My timing proved fortuitous, as two weeks later Australia started shutting shop and Melbourne earning its infamous slogan - World’s Most Locked Down City. Austin was not without the effects of covid either; it was a comparative ghost town to the Live Music Capital of the World a year earlier.

Life seemed to be slowing down everywhere, and people the world over softening into a state of reflection, more conscious of mortality than the inherit dollar-chasing rat race.

 

The covid stats rolled in daily and I was particularly taken by the death of American songwriting legend John Prine. I hadn’t previously heard of him, but the footage of him across the decades had me coming back to one thought, that a life filled with music, and music now left behind, was a life well spent. I was also deeply charmed by the clean simplicity of his songwriting, which had me quietly picking my guitar, daring once again to loosely marry chords and melodies to lyrical ideas.

It had been over ten years since I’d released an album, and I seemed to be in Karate Kid state, where years of waxing on and off playing covers gave me a sense that I knew what I was actually doing.

 

The first song I wrote, John Prine-ish in its simplicity, was a comedy song about my mate Carl’s dog, Molly. The song was positively ridiculous, but melodically good, so I adapted it into a more serious song called Love Isn’t Enough. Although it wouldn’t make the next album cut, being a little on the hilly side of hillbilly, it was a welcomed catalyst.

The flow began, and in line with Benny Andersson’s theory (ABBA) that early songs in a writing phase are like the initial rusty water from an old tap - before the water runs clear - my writing was becoming clearer and more fluent as I pushed forward. Another theory I’d recently heard, that had me generally more focused, was that songwriting is, simply, work - that although lavender candles and burning sticks are all very nice, the greatest thing a writer can do is sit their arse in the chair and get on with it - chase light until an idea grows brighter / expands / further reveals itself. Even if I sat there and achieved nothing, I would be closer to something than if I did nothing.

I was also writing without the single greatest killer of creativity - self-consciousness. As a writer of story and song, I’d too often felt like a B-lister at an A-lister’s party, worrying this way and that, but I seemed to have shaken this, quite likely thanks to Stephen King, who in his book On Writing advises to write the first draft with the door closed (for the writer’s eyes / ears only) and, if it’s any good, to edit with the door open for the world to see. Moreover, my songwriting toolbox, decades in the making and unique to me, was in its best shape to date. I seemed to know with confidence what tool to use to push a seedling into a tree, and, perhaps cooly, I couldn’t give the first fuck if I fell into the category of uncool.

 

Some days in the writing chair lead to donuts, but others, beyond Donut Valley, lead to my best ideas to date. Some songs, never to be heard by this world, were merely exercises in writing, but thanks to them the tap water was truly clearing and I was soon finding the likes of Carry On, Our Love Is Water From A Different Well and I Hate How Much I Love You.

 

5 songs became 10, 10 songs became 20, 20 became 30, and more. I was finally learning that songwriting, in its simplest description, is an audio meditation, a process of deep listening and that the primary job of the writer is to simply get out of the way.

Like John Prine and countless others gone to glory, I was treating this album as my life’s work, my greatest effort at a legacy, and, with covid-induced appreciation for mortality, potentially my final offering.

 

Each song was rough-demoed as it was written, which proved to be Obsession Point A, and after choosing which songs would make the final album cut eventually followed Obsession Point B, the Herculean task of re-recording studio quality versions as the only player, i.e., little old me re-recording (and often rekeying and re-tempoing) all electric guitars (thrice due to technical error), acoustic guitars, bass guitars, lead vocals, backing vocals, and doing / learning all drum programming on the fly, a task which took me from Austin to Florida and back. It had been a painfully lonely endeavour and by the time all the final tracking was wrapped I’d decided that this here puppy should be mixed by the ears of fresh men, cue Ron D'Argenio and Charlie Richards of Hoodoo Studio, Austin.

 

It was a great relief to hand the album over, and employ the objectivity of other minds, but the mixing job, one of their biggest to date, spanned across the full American summer of 2022, throughout which I hovered at their patient shoulders like a buzzard.

 

And so here it is, Wide Awake In The Dream, my most all or nothing album to date.

LYRICS

ADDICTED TO YOU

 

Gliding comfortably

Myself, I and me

Her diamond caught my eye

Thunder roared inside

 

Heart rate it went up

Footsteps they sped up

Together we collide

Now well and truly I’m…

Chorus:

Addicted to You

 

I stagger joyful steps

Floating on a prayer

I pledge no regret

Just wish I could forget

 

Dizzy in the dance

Obsession spins romance

I’ll quit you soon you’ll find

Til then it seems that I’m…

Chorus reprise – 

 

It’s time that I go clean

Unhook from this machine

If I had a crystal ball

I’d throw it at the wall

 

Purgatory’s end

Gone to glory friend

Dark reverts to light

Thank god no longer I’m…

 

Chorus reprise – 

 

CAN'T MASK A HEART

 

Go on rip the mask away

Coz underneath is a 3D face

That just wants to bite the rain

And eat a hole in the day

 

Tell me “what’s the time tonight?”

What difference is there dark or light?

When we’re locked up out of sight

Pawns in a global fight

 

Chorus

Tear down the walls of the prison that holds you

Tear up the paper that weighs on your name

Rattle the cage of a locked up tomorrow

They can’t mask a heart going up in flame

 

Kick in the TV of decay

That carves the lines into your face

It’s all synthetic rays

Taxing your soul all day

 

Coz the world revolves outside

Keeping promise of day and night

Seize the moment amongst the dust

Before it has blown

Chorus reprise – 

A decade younger by the day each year

You’re not alone, you’re never even not here

Chorus reprise –  

CARRY ON

 

Stars sparkle in morse code

Invitations all in glow

A million lights long to take our hand

 

Like comets twist and twirl for love

We spin in sparks, wrapped in us

But love burns up drifting towards the sun

 

Chorus

Though I’m not sure I’ll make it without you

Cannot say I will if I try to

I’ll carry on, carry on, carry on, carry on, carry on

 

A waterfall in a single tear

Eden’s waters tumbling through the years

Veins withdrawing from God’s own lust and love

 

Up and on and out to sea

There’s no drug like a remedy

Imagination resets the stars for free

 

Chorus reprise – 

 

Chorus extension – 

Though we’re freer speeding than braking

On our highway of dreaming and waking

We’ll carry on, carry on, carry on, carry on, carry on

 

 

BE WHO WE ARE

Why we ask must we be

Taken by this love

Seduction leads to fantasy

Water thins to blood

 

Maybe they won’t love me if I don’t

Play by the rules in the way I know

Maybe I’ll tune to the God within

And maybe you and I

 

Chorus:

Could be who we are

Maybe it’s easier, maybe it’s easier to flow

And be who we are

Maybe it’s easier, maybe it’s easier to flow

 

Why, we ask, must we be

Folded in a bud

All in the name of sanctity

All in the hope of love

Maybe I won’t love you if you don’t

Play by the rules in the way I know

Maybe you’ll tune to the God within

Then maybe you and I

Chorus reprise – 

 

“Rob me raw..”

 

If the only one language is the heart

And the only one creed is that of love

If the only one caste is humanity

And karma the only law

 

Then there’s more to the stars than infinity

More on the wind than a steady breeze

The centermost voice of complexity

Screams for you and I

 

Chorus:

To be who we are

Maybe it’s easier, maybe it’s easier to flow

And be who we are

Maybe it’s easier, maybe it’s easier to flow

THROWING CLOTHES

 

The open road on fire

Fills me with desire

Eyes wide, I can see

A world of possibilities

 

Like a single minded tiger

Pacing wide and wider

Who’d love to know, but hate to feel

Everyday behind the wheel

 

Chorus:

Crawl into the air

On a road to anywhere

We ain’t throwing clothes around the room

We’re throwing clothes around our head

 

The ground is all too grounding

Temples often pounding

Sunlight wakes the daydream

When you fall asleep below the knees

In a vain attempt to survive

And know the waters we dive

To stay afloat with a burning tail

And touch the gold and never fails

 

Chorus reprise – 

 

Perhaps we love the running

The going and the coming

The living fast, living lean

Dying slow, hopefully

 

If a smile could stop grinning

And skeleton stop thinning

We’d untie our hands at the seam

Shed our skin and shred our feet

 

Chorus reprise – 

 

Every day is a day you choose

Every day is a day you cruise

Every day is a day you bruise

Every day is a day you lose

IT'S IN THE WIND THAT WE RUN AWAY

So, so it seems that the path we skate

Is like a circle most everyday

Round and round, time to kick the gate

 

Ease, there’s an ease jumping from your knees

Start the score now you have left the floor

Taking flight and taking on the night

 

Turn and turning in the face of

The breaking mirror we run away from

Scale the breeze and scale the mountain

Climb the trees and climb the fountain   

Past the clouds, flaming in blue

Daylight burns for you

 

Chorus:
It’s in the wind that we run away

 

Grip, grip the key to your new heart beat

It makes you taller when you want it all

Trust your feet if you can trust the heat

 

Miles, a thousand miles in a single step

Starting now, it’ll never end

The only walls are in our head

 

Turn and turning in the face of

The breaking mirror we run away from

Scale the breeze and scale the mountain

Climb the trees and climb the fountain   

Past the clouds, flaming in blue

Daylight burns for you

 

Chorus reprise – 

OUR LOVE IS WATER FROM A DIFFERENT WELL

I met then a girl

Dripping in truth

Her eyes were like doorways

To love-flooded rooms

 

But when she dives in my eyes

Mine say what I try to hide

 

Chorus: 

Darling I know you love me

And know I love you too

But I can’t lay in fields with you

My hand is in another’s

And although you know me well

Our love is water from a different well

I know now a girl

Tangled in me

Fused by this fate

We’re curled like a tree

 

My heart it spins like a top

And lands in the same old spot

Chorus reprise – 

 

The truth like a crystalline

Never ends, never leaves

Sometimes a distance ray

Sometimes it’s every day

I run from it, then run back

To face myself, white and black

I long for red, long for blue

Adrift on the raft of the…

 

You that I knew

Gone on the breeze

Lips were like hallways

To red memories 

 

It’s clear where the end begun

When three tears the two in one

 

Chorus reprise – 

EXEMPT FROM GRAVITY

 

Hey let’s talk before we shout

Untie the knot and breathe it out

If not we’re headed south

 

I don’t want this

Nor do you

Why would you?

Chorus:

Can’t you see you’re fighting with yourself?

Punching those around the room

In the mirror is the enemy

Exempt from gravity

 

Point away your loaded gun

You got the wrong man, the wrong one

Volcanic eruption

 

You don’t want this

Or do you?

Why would you?

 

Chorus reprise – 

 

One by one they all clear out

It’s the usual self-made drought

Now you’re armed with extra clout

 

They don’t want this

Nor do you

Why would you?

 

Chorus reprise – 

SENSITIVE

 

I’ll start with the story of long ago

When we met and we could sleep on stones

When our words would fly and we’d happily hitch a ride

 

Now you say you can’t say a thing to me

You just did, can’t you hear that I can see

I’m just a man and inside he is a little child

 

Chorus:

Whoa… why you gotta be this way?

I no longer understand a thing you say

 

Did you say what I thought I felt you said?

Has my education been erased?

I fret between the lines most everyday

 

I could stand here all night and scratch my head

And try to make sense of what you said

But I guess my hair was grown for ripping out

Chorus reprise – 

How about you and I make a pact?

You don’t speak, then I won’t react

We got skin as thin as a skeleton today

 

I look in the mirror and question me

Oh, is it he? Or is it she?

It’s time for tea and we’re in the trees again

My mother loves me through and through

My father he does, he does too!

But I’m not immune to those little flying knives

 

I duck, I dive, I block my ears

I fill myself with rum and beer

But my jaw is sleeping on the floor again tonight

 

Chorus reprise – 

 

Chorus extension – 

When you say, “why you so sensitive?”

“Why you so sensitive?”

“Why you so sensitive today?”

 

COLOUR THE SKY

 

A bleeding sky, it makes me wonder

Why a dreamer dreams and a doer plunders

 

If I duck and run into the sun

Like a rabbit bouncing from the gun

Will I find you

Short chorus:
Desert to the ocean

Combing all emotion

 

Chasing rain, while hunting thunder

If I drive too hard I’ll be torn asunder

 

A thousand days, a thousand nights

A thousand twists of a hundred skies

Is where I’ll find you

 

Long chorus:

Desert to the ocean

Combing all emotion

Why are we here, if not to, not to, not to colour the sky?

Why are we here?

If not to colour the sky

 

Sifting dirt, it makes me wonder

If I dig too deep, will I be pulled under?

 

If I do not lock you in my head

My heart, I know, it will forget

Where to find you

Long chorus reprise – 

 

HOME

 

Temples shake in old empires, nothing of surprise

It’s been so long that thunder scored our lives

I stood atop a flaming tower, ran the stairs and thus

Was out of there jet plane, train, car or bus

The more they raise the heat

The more we push the door

Suitcase full of steam

Never to return

 

Chorus: 

Can I ever go home?

Can I ever go home?

Can I ever go home?

If you’re not there?

Mountains frame the great escape, valleys lead to trails

Cities buzz behind the golden veil

Inhaling cause for poetry, exhaling bark in bite

I’ll pour the sting into my guitar tonight

The more you raise the heat

The more I’ll push the door

Suitcase full of dreams

Never to return

 

Chorus reprise – 

I’ve drawn a square around the globe, searching every shelf

Making sense of the tapestry of myself

I miss the song amongst the trees, that shaped the lad in me

Eucalyptus rhythm and harmony

 

If I try to leave

Keep me from the door!

Rip the suitcase off of me

Let it smoke and burn

Chorus:

I’m gunna go home

I’m gunna go home

I’m gunna go home

Coz you’re back there

I HATE HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU

 

Don’t want to really air these words

Be seen much or be heard

I prefer to hide or smile

Keep up a stoic appearance awhile

But the vase is cracking up

I’m inside I just can’t keep this up

 

No one told I’d face these choices

Rolling the dice in a fog of voices
I face the road and the intersection

Worrying about my reinvention

If I’d turned a different way

On the road that turned away forever

There’s not a lack of love

But we can only take so much

Only you and me

Wide awake in the dream

 

Chorus:

Coz I hate how much it is I love you

It’s a cage of hope and smoke I’m blowing through

If I’m not brave enough to say goodbye I’ll never relearn to fly and die

 

There’s nothing I wouldn’t give to you

Except the things that I can’t do

Like sleep forever back to back

Without having a heart attack

Put down the phone and look at me

You and I are everything we wanted to be

Look to the sky to reconcile

Oh god this is taking a while

I’m frozen up and melting down

In every city, in every town

There’s nothing wrong as you can see

I’m footloose and flying fancy free

There’s not a lack of love

But we can only take so much

Only you and me

Wide awake in the dream

Chorus reprise – 

 

Wide awake in the dream!

I'm still wide awake in the dream!

WIDE AWAKE IN THE DREAM network

Ron D'Argenio and Charlie Richards @ Hoodoo Studio

 

Steve Berson @ Total Sonic Media (mastering)

Robert Salas (photography & video)

Glen Crawforth @ Epic Brand (sleeve design)
 

Scott Blesener (electric guitar, bass and real world drum technician)

John "Denzoid" Molesworth (digital drum technician)

 

Scott Harkness (logistics)

 

Gary Morris (technical support)