Aims (2013)

Released: September 24, 2013

1  Level Up
2  In the 99
3  Landsailor – featuring Glen Phillips
4  Close to Home
5  The Hymn of Acxiom
6  Oh Mama No
7  Copenhagen (Let Me Go)
8  Flyweight Love
9  The Breaking Light – featuring Alex Wong
10  Never Look Away
11  Goodnight New York


Lyrics

 

Level Up

 
so come out.
you have been waiting long enough.
you’re done with all the talk talk talk with nothing on the table.
it’s time to come on out.
there will be no sign from above.
you’ll only hear the knock knock knock of your own heart as signal.

if you are afraid, come out.
if you are awake, come out.
come out and level up.

begin again.
dynamite the dam on the flow.
your body feels the tock tock tock of time as it hammers.
lord we are all cinders
from a fire burning long ago,
but here it is the knock knock knock of your own heart that matters.

if you are afraid, come forth.
if you are alone, come forth now.
everybody here has loved and lost,
so level up and love again.

call it any name you need.
call it your 2.0, your rebirth, whatever –
so long as you can feel it all,
so long as all your doors are flung wide.
call it your day #1 in the rest of forever.

if you are afraid, give more.
if you are alive, give more now.
everybody here has seams and scars.
so what. level up.

let your faith die.
bring your wonder.
yes, you are only one.
no, it is not enough
but if you lift your eyes, I am your brother.
and this is all we need.
and this is where we start.
this is the day we greet.
this is the day, no other.
 

In the 99

 
am I the one to praise?

collide with faces veiled in paper
reading line by line the pain there
but for the grace of code and capital
we’d cry out side by side

so why am I the one to praise?

calculate the Ponzi pension to avoid
unintended consequences of a choice
now am I so confident I am the one
earning every pretty sum and deserving every toy
am I selling broken bonds or innovation?
someone’s yelling get a job out of a Lincoln
but the human microphone will find a voice
and a change is gonna come, said the signal
   to the –

remind me in my western chamber
what this plan’s designed to save here
I haven’t come to say I’m sorry
but I swear I’m on your side

oh I am not the one who preys

betting on the best semesters you can buy
digging out of debt, sequestered, unemployed
underwater empty nesters in a slum
television for the bums, helicopter for the boys
marketplace of multi-culti competition
building out the fossil fracking operation
careful of a bird blacker than a swan
‘cause a change is gonna come, said the signal
   to the noise

were you never in the 99?
you are ever in the 99
we are ever in the 99
we are ever in the 99

am I the one to praise?

collide with faces veiled in paper
reading line by line the pain there
I haven’t come to say I’m sorry
but I swear I’m on your side

we are ever in the 99
 

Landsailor

 
landsailor
landsailor, sail on time
rain or shine, I know you can
cloudraker
cloudraker, share your finds
all your wonders at my demand

lightbringer
tamer of night
blossom of hours unleashed
make me a lawbender
all equalized
saved from the chill and heat
your power flows through me transformed
here’s where I was born

landsailor
deepwinter strawberry
endless summer, ever spring
a vast preserve
aisle after aisle in reach
every commoner made a king

earthbreaker
noble and prized
feed me beyond my means
hello worldmaker
never denied
build all my wildest dreams
but there’s a storm outside your door
and I’m a child no more

headless and faceless
tireless and seamless behind these walls
this is my progress
when you don’t notice my lines at all
I split the world open
delve ever deeper in my alchemic arts
I crack the ciphers to free up your mind, your life, your heart

oh landsailor    I’m your landsailor
in the bed that we’ve made    in the bed that we’ve made
may every nail be shown    may every nail be shown
great lifebringer    great lifebringer
the price that we pay    the price that we pay
time that you made it known    time that you made it known
I want to be your bride in full    oh be my bride in full
shield my eyes no more    shield your eyes no more
oh I am altered now for good    altered now for good
shield these eyes no more    shield these eyes no more
 

Close to Home

 
lay your head where they hold
hide the demarcations of your soul
and play your silent scream role
harmonize your own worth to what you’re shown
normalized and nowhere close to home

claim the truth that gets lost
in the miles of memory and open folds
so change these rules and let’s cross
all the sacred boundaries we’ve overgrown
build a brave new foundry close to home

here’s unbroken bone
it’s a psalm from the book of lies
language you don’t recognize as part of your own
leave that alone
leave that alone

this is the taste you were forever chasing
there is no way to contain it when it comes to set
   you off
accept the shame on some shaky basis
admit that you were mistaken about it after all
but oh the ache, the fantasy forsaken
the alien and adjacent you would give anything to
   take off
this is the claim that you’ll keep on making
this is the point of the breaking
here it comes to set you off

we won’t be sold
any song from your book of lies
language we don’t recognize as part of our own
leave us alone
leave us alone

pay them all to sign on
diagnose some fault line most will know
and raise your life a new dawn
tyrant of your cells now overthrown
never have you felt so close to home
 

The Hymn of Acxiom

 
somebody hears you. you know that. you know that.
somebody hears you. you know that inside.
someone is learning the colors of all your moods, to
(say just the right thing and) show that you’re understood.
here you’re known.

leave your life open. you don’t have. you don’t have.
leave your life open. you don’t have to hide.
someone is gathering every crumb you drop, these
(mindless decisions and) moments you long forgot.
keep them all.

let our formulas find your soul.
we’ll divine your artesian source (in your mind),
marshal feed and force (our machines will)
to design you a perfect love—
or (better still) a perfect lust.
o how glorious, glorious: a brand new need is born.

now we possess you. you’ll own that. you’ll own that.
now we possess you. you’ll own that in time.
now we will build you an endlessly upward world,
(reach in your pocket) embrace you for all you’re worth.

is that wrong?
isn’t this what you want?
amen.

 

Oh Mama No

 
all day,
one long tethered motion:
sweep, stir, sow.
this is her kingdom,
an inheritance that you can’t deny.
oh mama no, oh mama no.
oh mama no I will.

come down, child,
from your gates and connections.
sleep, slur, slow.
this is where you come from,
the anchor that you can’t leave behind.
oh mama no, oh mama no.
oh mama no I will.

so mama learns your tribal lingo,
tolerates the time between calls,
catalogues the years and makes a note of all
   your endless goings-on.
when her sentences start to repeat,
and her voice in the night is reaching –
oh mama please don’t leave me.

and then one day,
in the boxes upon boxes:
grieve, give, go.
maybe you can learn how –
if you never feel the dark, never see the light.
oh mama no, oh mama no.
oh mama no I will.
oh mama no, oh mama no.
oh mama no I will.
oh mama know, oh mama know –
mama you know I will.
 

Copenhagen (Let Me Go)

 
call out what we’ve become
the news has turned to numb
locked in nearsight
on the latest device
let the yet-to-be pick up the tab
say we can’t escape
though there’s plenty of space
barring holding on to what we used to have

in your head, where we’re headed
you gotta let it on by, let me go
and get it in your head, where we’re headed
you gotta let it all die, let me go

we lay it out on the map
debate it all in caps
lock our eyes on
distant horizons
where we will shift to some informed accord
in another town
settle up, settle down
we insist on the option or we’re out the door

so get it in your head…

gone, it’s gone
gave in again, now let me go
gone, it’s gone
gave in again, now let me go

or maybe this is a test
maybe this is a course correction
oh I said it, no no don’t let it get out of control

in your head, where we’re headed
you gotta let it on by, let me go
and get it in your head, where we’re headed
you gotta let it all die, let me go
this hope, it begins to know
we could return again, don’t let me go
I get it in my heart, I know we could restart
we can begin again, don’t let me go
gone, it’s gone
return again, don’t let me go
gone, it’s gone
begin again, don’t let me go

 

Flyweight Love

 
ride on
glide down
hide out
my flyweight love, flyweight love

took a train to the stubborn coast
off-season towns half shuttered
said hello to the rising breeze
made a note of the setting sun
we fell asleep in our three-day clothes
one tilted head on the other
felt a hand like the hand of god
heard a voice like a seed of song

ride on…

took a crowd down the avenue
to send a senator home right
going viral on the handheld screen
I’m the diode, you’re the kerosene
we’re separate circles in a crowded hall
debating this debating that and then another
and then the scent of you alighting on my
   shoulder
hey there, oh hi, hey there, oh hi, oh my

out loud, go on and sing it out loud
go on and sing it out loud
we wanna be a flyweight love, flyweight love

and now
the years surprise us
how all our times apart
have become our vows

took a flight far across the globe
found a calling sweet as a lover
through the wilderness you find in me
you are in love with all the world
and in the evening I arise
when the sun creeps on your covers
here I am
here you are
breathing a hello
my flyweight love, flyweight love

took a train to another coast
took our time and the time has flown
oh you never have belonged to me
or should I say not to me alone
 

The Breaking Light

 
watch the shadow lines fade away
brother you will return
let your lion heart cleave the waves
brother you will return
in the breaking light

leave the battlefield, leave her hand
brother you will return
for we are a woven thread, find the strand
brother you will return
in the breaking light

so listen to the darkness, listen to the patterns
listen to the breathing sea
listen to the colors, carry them inside you
they will bring you back to me
in the breaking light

feel the ground beneath sweep and sway
brother we will return
feel the hollow dream slip away
brother we will return
in the breaking light

so listen to the darkness, listen to the patterns
listen to the breathing sea
listen to the colors, carry them inside you
they will bring you back to me
listen to the sirens, listen to the heartbeat
listen to the turning tide
listen to the murmurs, carry them inside you
‘til we’re on the other side
in the breaking light
 

Never Look Away

 
detect my sudden existence on your sonar
you feel the echo
electrify the resistance in your broken heart
and burn it up, oh
we’re gonna photosynthesize and drink up the sunrise

so do they ever shut up because you said so or
do you overthink ’em all
somebody ought to corrupt you on the dance floor
and take you home
show you all your daemons and desires and dark sides
all of your colonies and continental divides

let me uncover the silver in your dark hair
the weight of your bones
I want to witness the beauty of your repair
the shape you’ve grown
for you are made of nebulas and novas and night sky
you’re made of memories you bury or live by

so if you’re out there in the cold
I’ll cover you in moonlight
if you’re a stranger to your soul
I’ll bring you to your birthright
I want the storm inside you awoken now
I want your warm bright eyes
to never look away
don’t you ever look away

some nights we open up the flood
and some nights we are lost
and some nights we’re choking on the words
but some we light on fire

if you’re out there in the cold…

I want your warm bright eyes
to come back to me
and hold on to me
you know I won’t lie
I will never look away
 

Goodnight New York

 
goodnight, New York New York
goodnight, goodnight
I’ll see you all on the other side
after I am a different man with different eyes
goodnight, you canyons of steel and light
twist and turn where your alleyways hide
swaying trains sheltering dreams and little white lies

goodnight, goodnight
may you be always heartbreaking
take a little more than you give
yeah but when you give, oh my
goodnight, goodnight
I walk away to remember who I am

somewhere in the woodland
somewhere in streams
little life shuffles into the day
folded wings into flattening veins and fluttering eyes
somewhere my lifeline still hums and sings
in the mess of all I have thrown away
hungry now, I am gathering seeds to throw wide

goodnight, goodnight
may you be always breathtaking
cold winter, sink your teeth in me
June sun, beat me blind
goodnight, goodnight
I’m on my way to remembering who I am

and in your way you remain
you will claim all this space
in my way I’ll remain
even as it takes my place
in your life, at your side
you were right
I’ll say goodnight but it’s never goodbye

goodnight, goodnight
goodnight, goodnight
goodnight, goodnight
may you always start breaking my heart again

good morning, lover
give me your hand
today begins and it’s all that we have