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Choses Obscures

by Ryan Traster

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1.
Bury me in some tragedy, so I don’t have to be me. I can be a brave protagonist, fighting to be free. Free of god, free of government, free of my friends, and free from the bullshit. Most importantly out of my mind. This place is a deathtrap and it’s all mine. Lord knows, what I’m after. I grew waiting around to die. You grew up with a better mind, oh lord. The truth is, we’re not making it out alive. Some old town way down south. Some old man running his mouth. Some lovely dream that didn’t belong to me, waiting to be seen. Passionate lovers, star crossed. Passionate soldiers detonating bombs. Old world visions, present tense, clinging on to me. Lord knows, what I’m after. I grew waiting around to die. You grew up with a better mind, oh lord. The truth is, we’re not making it out alive.
2.
New Again 03:17
We were leaving an idea that I once had. We were rolling down a coast you’ve never seen. And all of this time thought we could outrun all those years we shared. But the hard time were catching up to us fast. Let’s floor it to that county line. You tell me everything will be alright. Just 60 more miles and we’ll be new again. You were all wrapped up in some new big idea. I remember the night the two of you met. You were telling me all about some get rich quick scheme. I know that it meant it was curtains for me. Let’s floor it to that county line. You tell me everything will be alright. Just 60 more miles and we’ll be new again. Let’s book it to that next party. Just a few more friends to see. A couple more connections and we’ll be rich and happy. Big ideas, can’t blame us for them. A couple of hearts that wouldn’t last. Let’s floor it to that county line. You tell me everything will be alright. Just 60 more miles and we’ll be new again. That’s not how it works out in the end. If there ain’t no heart it ain’t gonna last. You gave it a shot I’ve got to commend you for that. Big ideas, can’t blame us for them. A couple of hearts that wouldn’t last.
3.
Haley, why don’t you let your hair grow long? Like the way it was when we were together in the fall. Maybe, I moved on a little fast. But you don’t know where I’m at, how dark it’s been. The dreams we have will die. Die with our closing eyes. Let’s just keep them all inside. It’s the only thing that feels right. Lately, I’ve been thinking the same damn thing. About happiness, and what it would bring. Would it be prosperity? Some kind of mystic truth? Rooted in love. Would it be just sitting around with you? The hopes we have are alive. Alive in our tired minds. Let’s just let them out tonight. Before they end us both. Haley don’t you sleep too long, or you’ll miss out on everything. Don’t you stop dreaming or you’ll lose what’s true. Yeah, you’ll lose you. Desperate, I know that’s what you said. But baby I’m a desperate man, hanging by a thread. Deliver me, some kids of reverie. A place I can be honest and functioning. The last night we had was fire. Now our bodies are getting tired. That winter it’s getting closer. And we’re closer to the end.
4.
Harmony don’t leave me, I’m losing my grace but I’m weekends away, from my great escape, to some far-off place. Tragedy don’t hinder me, I’m losing my faith but I’m moments away, from my big break, and lord knows I’ve been waiting for so long. Can you help me carry on? When I’m lost in a sound, pick me up off the ground. When I’m scared of the truth, just don’t be cruel, And I’ll stick with you. Destiny you’re fooling me, my will is thin but I’m too far in, to turn back, I’ve gotta stay on track. Piety consume me, I’m scared of god but I need someone, to lean on, cuz lord knows I’ve been standing for so long. Can you help me carry on? When I’m lost in a sound, pick me up off the ground. When I’m scared of the truth, just don’t be cruel, And I’ll stick with you. It feels like this world has gone sideways. My dear, I think that you can turn it the right way. When I’m lost in a sound, pick me up off the ground. When I’m scared of the truth, just don’t be cruel, And I’ll stick with you.
5.
Libra 02:07
Eager libra stepping up to pick another fight, thinking of a time when she was free. Pretty barefoot women walking in the sand, How were you to stop his eyes from wandering? And they called him by his name, loved him in their own way. And the whole time you just thought you were the only one. Quiet Aries looking for some semblance of the truth, Thinking of a time when he was confident. All the late-night blowouts have left him a wreck, Searching for happiness in her bed. And she called him by his name, loved him in her own way. And the whole time you just though you were the only one. All those nights they left you sitting there, thinking it was the real thing but knowing it was over. And the love you had was faded. And your body was wasted. And you’re helpless now with only your self to reveal.
6.
Down the one just passed Malibu, We found a place underneath the cliffs. Where the mist hits the shoreline, made our hair sticky. Put us back on earth. We were living in Echo Park. I was smoking dope in the backyard. You were listening to all those “Mary Chain” records. We had the endless summer blues. Remember the night we got drunk and walked down Franklin. We saw that hotel where Janis died. We were so fucked up, couldn’t keep our eyes dry. We had the endless summer blues. We were living off Cahuenga. You were throwing my shirts out on the lawn. Charlie was out back shooting up under that giant cross. We had the endless summer blues. Flat broke, hanging on. Made some friends, now some are gone. Had my feet on so many famous avenues. Backs of clubs, Bukowski bars. Women I lived and ones that stole my heart. Months have passed, it’s felt like days. Oh those endless summer blues. Sometimes they just get to you.
7.
Kansas 02:28
A petty search for a piece of mind. One that lasted most of his life. Kansas was dry in the summer of ’09. Andy got bored up and left one night. It’s a cold hard road when you’ve got nowhere to go. County lines pass but you’re stuck in the past. Bloodshot eyes set their sights on lies. Looking for a little sleep at night. Met up with Kat out in Washington. She’s an old singing friend of mine. Shacked right up and met the needle there. Swore she found heaven in her lonesome life. It’s a cold hard road when you’ve got nowhere to go. County lines pass but you’re stuck in the past. Bloodshot eyes set their sights on lies. Looking for a little sleep at night. Buddy I can’t fault you. It’s been a hard life trust me I know. But man, I just miss you. I’d like to know right where you are. So you can tell me all about… That cold hard road when you had nowhere to go. Those county lines you passed as you outran the past. Those bloodshot eyes that set their sights on lies. Hoping for a little peace in life.
8.
Walk with me we can get some tea, down on Hennepin, there’s a fire going. You can tell me all about those awful games, he played with your heart, tore it clean apart. And I don’t mind if we talk about you all the time. You’re not too dark for a man like me. Sun shining down on me, filling me up with a whole lot of crazy. Got a busy mind and lazy mouth, scheming all the time, you’d never know. I don’t mind if we talk about me for the last time. You’re too bright for a man like me. Lady I know you’re scared to go, We don’t know what the future holds. Got a couple of coats and great big plan, ain’t no telling how the story ends.

about

The upcoming new album by Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter Ryan Traster (July 19th, Slow Start Records) features that warm, worn-in vibe of an album that’s been in your cool parents record collection since you were a kid. Eventually, it gets passed down to you to take along into “the real world” and is there when you need to be reminded of being a kid again.

It’s that gem of a find in a milk crate of vinyl at the local tag sale on a Sunday afternoon. The kind of album that becomes an all-time favorite, only discovered there by the person who knows what they’re looking for and has the time to dig for it.

Choses Obscures (the title translates from French as “obscure things,” and implies a “dark energy”) is both of those things, and that implied darkness provides a subtle mask that contrasts and deepens the sunny images above.

When Traster throws curve balls with lyrics of places and times that don’t abide the most famed of singer-songwriter eras (the kind that even the album’s cover art evokes), things get real.

It comes as a jaw-dropping surprise to hear Jesus and Mary Chain name-dropped on “Endless Summer Blues” when Traster sings, “We were living in Echo Park / I was smoking dope in the backyard / You were listening to all those Mary Chain records / We had the endless summer blues.”

According to Traster, the album’s cosmic-country, straight outta Laurel Canyon feel is heavily influenced by Skip Spence, Bert Jansch, and Judee Sill, all of whom passed before their time. That “beyond the grave” murkiness pervades Traster’s lyrics in a profound way, even down to that JAMC reference.

Choses Obscures is “born from the subconscious in troubled times, both personally and globally,” Traster explains.

“I wrote a good chunk of this record while traveling the east coast, following a few years of international touring,” he says. “I ended up in Nashville, going to dive bars alone, and hanging out in a dingy bedroom.”

After that long world-wide stretch on stage, Traster was actually unable to perform when he got to Nashville, as he had sustained a vocal cord injury on the road.

“My focus was solely on crafting the best material I could with the plan to record it when I regained full health,” he says.

It was a dark period for Traster, but he managed to find inspiration while working at Nashville’s world famous Ryman Auditorium, where “listening to old timer’s tales, and being submerged in song, helped me create what I believe is my best material to date.”

The album’s first single “New Again” backs up that claim, a sonic re-birth as its title suggests.

The song lands in that friendly Traveling Wilburys, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne zone that makes it an instant earworm. It’s just that kind of song that you hear as a kid, sticks with you, and is there when you need to be reminded of being a kid again. Choses Obscures, the second full-length album by Ryan Traster, arrives July 19th from Slow Start Records.

credits

released July 19, 2019

Produced by Ryan Traster, Recorded by Ryan Traster and Kris Johnson in St. Paul, MN and Vancouver, WA.

Mixed and Mastered by Ed Ackerson at Flowers Studio in Minneapolis.

Musicians:
Ryan Traster - Vocals, Acoustic Guitars, and Bass
Michael McGarthwaite - Electric and Slide Guitars
Nick Johnson - Bass and Vocals
Alexander Young - Drums
Peter Anderson - Drums
Savannah Smith - Vocals
Willie Wisely - Vocals
Ed Ackerson – Keys

C&P 2019 Slow Start Records

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