Child of My Sorrow

by The Chairman Dances

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EJ Olsen
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EJ Olsen For listeners looking for a thoughtful exploration of heartache, Child of My Sorrow is an essential listen. The lyrics are intimate and immediate, and the production appropriately amplifies the emotion of the songwriting. Read my full review here: wp.me/pbqE3E-16L Favorite track: Iridescent.
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1.
In the fetal position, wondering what comes next In the supermarket, anxiety comes Trying to breath Trying not to think about breathing Trouble getting up in the morning Trouble staying asleep I dream of sleep In the supermarket, reading to distract myself Endcap special: Three for four!* *Must buy three or more In my car when I fall apart Turn the radio loud Trying to breath Trying not to think about breathing
2.
03:32
From six to ten on weekdays, you stood out front of the Chick-fil-A giving samples to kids who were cute. Passed out once from the heat in your cow suit. It was a sad scene—you spread out on the floor, all those kids crying, running for the door. From eight to nine on weekends, you called to check in, to make amends with your sister living on the east coast. You in a cow suit, her writing for the Washington Post. It was a sad scene—you spread out on the floor, all those dads crying, you crawling toward the door. It was a sad scene—you spread out on the floor, tired of wanting, wanting more.
3.
04:00
Grief, I sit beside him—monochromatic. Relief, I have seen her, all iridescent, from her heel to her shoulder. Daughters, they will keep you, and sisters, they might save you. Grief, when I outstrip him, he turns to meet me. Relief, I have seen her, all iridescence, from her heel to her shoulder. All iridescence, idle and blessed.
4.
Blackest sky above Dewy ground below Walked the runway of the backyard You were doing your work while we were asleep And when you were in over your head The ground gave way an inch at a time You kept plodding, sirens calling You looked up to get your bearings The light of the moon faded from view Now it's blackest sky and blackest earth Still following the sound An army man lashed to the sail And a singer, once, sang his way past the sirens' wail No compass, no map Us pleading, hands folded in our laps Trinkets in cigar boxes Mementos saved for the next life Or the next move Your life fringed with glory Thoughtful words rolling off your tongue But when you heard the call, an about face Saints with wrong marching orders A short circuit in your brain, in your heart A soldier tied himself to a tree And a poet, once, sang his way past blackest seas You went wading, called home Your life fringed with glory Memento for the next life Blackest sky above, dewy ground below Blackest sky above—wading home Saved for the next life
5.
6.
The rain came suddenly, the wind blew open the curtains. My heart it swelled up inside me, the water covering all surfaces. And when my wife came home—the carpet soaked, my desk dripping, me staring blankly at the wall, her wondering what she could be missing. The thought came suddenly. I was walking round the town. I stopped at the baseball field, rested right there on the pitcher’s mound. We rushed to pack our things. You left your job, we burned the landlord. We left our storage locker full. You were suffering—frankly, you were bored. And a half-mile from Allentown, you press your face against the window and watch the water coming down. You trace both sides of a rainbow. Sleep came slowly. I was staring into black, surveying the last several years. Spool a memory, play it back, then play it from the start. Find the moment on the screen. Pick apart a single gesture, try to understand what it means.
7.
When we were kids, we made a promise We crossed our hearts And for a while, it was settled We’d leave this place together No one can hurt you like a friend can hurt you When we were kids, we made a promise We’d leave this place Together And for a while, it was understood I would lead You would follow But here’s the thing You never know when you’re the one Who’s doing it And the worst part? You never know when it’s you You never know when it’s You who’s doing it When we were kids, you cast a spell "No one can hurt you"
8.
There’s a picture of you I call up often. It’s you, it’s you in your wedding dress, arms akimbo. There’s a memory of us I replay often. It’s us, it’s us on the westbound bus, headed nowhere. There’s a promise that I had trouble keeping. It’s me, it’s me. You say, "we weren’t made for misery—you were made for me." Hannah, I know it wasn’t always easy. I know it wasn’t always good. There’s a lesson that I had trouble learning. It’s you, it’s you when you’re sad and blue. "We need space," you said. There’s a station we sang, late in the evening. We sang, we sang along to most every song.
9.
The screen door slams and I’m upstairs. Heavy footsteps on the landing. I’m in the tub hiding, the curtain closed, the baby on my knee. What’s left for me? As far as I can see, through this plastic liner, the hazy image of a friend, the sound of dresser drawers opening. Two suitcases packed, a car seat for the baby are all that’s left for me. He turns the key and leads us down the driveway, out of the lion’s den and into the lion’s maw, or so it seemed to me then. Purple bruise on my wrist, rug burns on my knee. Nothing to see, nothing to see but all that’s left for me. My husband puts his hand through the window. "I’ll be damned if this happens to me." He throws his weight against the door—an empty room, clothes on the floor. Now he sits. And he thinks. "There’s nothing left, nothing left for me."
10.
I remember watching you dancing, letting loose, light forming a halo round your head, and you laughing at nothing. You were two weeks out from leaving our hometown, and when I mentioned what I had meant to say, you tugged at my shirt. I remember watching you dancing, letting loose, light forming a halo round your head, and you laughing at something. You were two weeks out from leaving our hometown, and when I mentioned what you had always thought, you tugged at my shirt. I was laughing at nothing. You pulled at my shirt, you were laughing at nothing. I remember watching you dancing, letting loose. Light all around you.
11.
I sat down in a folding chair and we formed a semicircle. We formed a human chain full of smiles, full of care. I wouldn’t let go. And if he would call to me, well I would gladly leave. I would gladly believe in just about anything. And I wouldn’t let go. I remember my mother’s voice, her kind and quiet way. And when her heart stopped, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t let go. When Jesus finally comes for us, I will gladly go. I’d be glad to know there’s more to life than pain. Jesus, be near me.

about

Released by Black Rd Records

credits

released September 7, 2018

Words and music by Eric Krewson / Recorded and mixed by Daniel Smith at Familyre Studio, Clarksboro, NJ / Additional recording by Eric in Philadelphia, Luke Pigott and Eric in Chattanooga, and by Ashley Hartman in Galicia, Spain / Mastered by KRAMER at Noise Miami / Cover art by Samantha Soifer / Photography by Bob Sweeney

Arrangements by The Chairman Dances

Dan Comly: analog synthesizer, piano, organ, wurlitzer, mellotron, glockenspiel

Dan Finn: analog and FM synthesizers, piano, organ, wurlitzer

Ashley Hartman: vocals

Eric Krewson: vocals, electric and acoustic guitar, trumpet, analog and FM synthesizers, piano, organ, mellotron, vibraphone, glockenspiel, electronic drums, percussion, violin and cello arrangements, saxophone arrangements, field recordings

Luke Pigott: electric guitar, analog synthesizer, organ

Will Schwarz: bass guitar

Kevin Walker: drum kit

with

Maria Mirenzi (vocals, baritone and alto saxophone), Tom Howley (vocals), Sara Macro Forrest (vocals), Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner (lap steel, bass lap steel, and pedal steel guitar), Andrew Pereira (alto saxophone), Madeline Bell (violin), Ezgi Yargici (cello)

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