Demasquerade

by Elbury

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1.
06:22
2.
3.
05:06
4.
5.

credits

released January 17, 2015

The first shy notes of Demasquerade made their way across the mixing desk in July 2013, when Nik Strugar got in touch to ask if we'd like to record a couple of tracks with him. The standout track from the session was White Wine and we were so happy with the result that we asked him back (after a spell in Slovenia) to help us with a new folk-epic, the urban snuff-track Way Down Queen. So, our work with Nik opens and closes the album, which was also the order that these two tracks were recorded in.

Dave Fox bangs the drums in White Wine.

Six months later, we had pangs of studio-sickness and arranged a quick couple of sessions to capture Caught Out Alone - the dirgy, paranoid song-for-the-friendless, with serial sessionistas Rhiannon Fenn and Monique Bartkowiak on violin and cello.

Cam Smith (Incremental Records) tracked and mixed that one, and when the momentum started building, we called on him to do Shuck'n'Jive, too.

A chance encounter brought Nell Forster into the picture and we took her up on the offer to record a track. The Person That That Person Chose was the candidate and Nell and Cam Smith worked together (tracking and mixing respectively) to mould this one into the shape.

Mastered by the mastering master, Dom McGlinn at DOMC Mastering.

Cover image by the very talented Alice Ginger Gould.

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Track Name: White Wine
Stop off on the drive,
Say hi, I know this guy quite
Well by now.

Quick lap of the store,
My path is worn into the floor.
From every night before.

I am one, drawn, in my case,
To the chilled white wine in the ten dollar range.
But there are multiple ways.

Big Friday night,
I pause, slowly to begin,
But then I plunge on in.

Find that familiar stride,
Skip the meal, progress from beer to wine,
To gin and turpentine.

I am one, joined, in this old tale,
By a ready reserve of ten thousand or more.
We're all locked in for the night.

It's everywhere, I by no means feel like
I'm alone in this, the cities are awash with it.
What will I bear? When will this means of
Living take more than I can spare
And swallow me down along with it..

We'll all swear that we're done,
Sunday morning oaths in the blinding sun.
We'll still try to have fun!

But working days heal wounds
And vows are lost in the past by Wednesday noon.
And plans are forming soon.

It's everywhere, I by no means feel like
I'm alone in this, the cities are awash with it.
What will I bear? When will this means of
Living take more than I can spare.
Track Name: The Person That That Person Chose
Some Sunday night,
Years between sightings.
Time, in the meantime,
White-washed our warring away.
You cast your eye
Over my present-day self,
The one who you put back on the shelf.

Did you catch my appreciative glance?
Bask in the glow of ancient romance? No...
Line your victories up with those
You've imagined of mine, given the passage of time?

Evaluate my haircut and clothes,
And my companion, the person that that person chose.

An unfamiliar city street
Not on your everyday trail
See familiar buildings in a new way
And here's where we meet..
A sense that, momentarily, time
Has come unhooked with a look.

Did you read my ambivalent mind?
For a panicked moment, look for walls to hide behind?!
Line your lowest days up with mine that you've heard about
On the blue and white grapevine.

Evaluate my haircut and clothes,
And my companion, the person that that person chose.

I'm sayin' "you're looking well"
While, in the corner of my mind I'm thinking
"Hell, this guy's got an untroubled air
If he even wonders who I am, he doesn't care."
I'm just another 'never-were'
Neither cool nor debonair enough to rate a threat
To him.
And I might even begin to pretend
We were never more than friends.

So disengage and walk away
The outcome undiscerned.
Spend the day re-enacting each turn,
Parry and thrust. Once...
In a lifetime would be enough
But we'll re-do the same thing soon enough.

Now we try end this tortuous line
Of catching up and matching up our life and times.
Welcome the moment where we weigh up the meantime,
Compare your paramour and mine.

Evaluate my haircut and clothes,
And my companion, the person that that person chose.
Track Name: Shuck'n'Jive
You've been looking for answers.
I've been ducking and weaving.
We twirl like dancers,
We circle and strike one another.

You've been studying 'mate-in-three-moves'.
I'm pacing my way 'round the cautious board.
Which one am I, the blood-stained mind,
Or am I the other one?

I've been building my speed up.
Score a quick point early with a sharp retort.
You'll play defense, a little while,
You'll smile and take a breather.

I'll bring up the past, rake the old coals
Over. There's nothing fair when lovers war.
You cast the last ten years as an
Endless spring of tears.

Keep your heart out of the ring, if you can.
Don't give up anything.
He won't console you, while ever this game goes on.
He won't console you at all.

The hotel room with a view,
The corner table where the lighting reminds you
Of less belligerent days.
Now loving is gaming, it's tactics and training.

Go round after round
Become deluded by the sound of your wailing bray.
At the end of day
We all lose anyway, so please...

Keep your heart out of the ring, if you can.
Don't give up anything.
He won't console you, while ever this game goes on.
He won't console you at all.

Keep your voice lowered, your hands up, eyes open.
Lay emotional mines.
When each round closes, make your breathing slow,
Look for weakness and harden your mind.
Track Name: Caught Out Alone
I've been found haunting
Half-empty, darkly-lit dives
Where, despite my best efforts, I failed
To sneak in and successfully hide.

This will take some explaining, a lie,
I'm caught out.
Broken plans, misunderstandings
Joined to strand me alone.

A decent depth is the key,
Get some space from the street.
Or the fortunate find of a dying cafe,
Where no-one but oddities meet.

This is mine, say what you will, this time
Is invaluable, brief.
So, quick smile, but please take your
Earliest leave.

Alone but not lonely, and only for moments in time.
Are you one of these types?
Do you see me and do I
See you?

Smile, eyes lowered, keep it brief.
Change your order up, rotate seats.
Vary the time and the length of each stay.
If someone comes in, who you know, be ready with
Something to say, to chase them away.

There is a way in which being alone
Is the hardest condition to keep.
There's a feeling that anyone on their own
Must be in need of something.
Solitude sets up a sign
And it says to the world,
I'm not alright, no, not fine
Sitting alone.

This is mine, say what you will, this time
Is invaluable, brief.
So, quick smile, yes, but please take your
Earliest leave.

Alone but not lonely, and only for moments in time.
Are you one of these types?
Do you see me and do I
See you?
Track Name: Way Down Queen
Nine in the morning, hardly the right time.
Maybe the sun was too bright, almost blinding?
Maybe the driver was dulled by yesterday's wine?
Nine in the morning, hardly the right time.

A bright Monday is hardly the right time.
Maybe the working week loomed, crowded his mind?
Stepped off the curb early, to save a little time?
Nine in the morning is hardly the right time.

What have I seen?
A glimpse of a life on the way down.
Where will I be when this one
Comes around?
At the end, every word, everything you seem to be
On the road, on a Monday, way down Queen.

In my life, I always tried to find,
If not the meaning,
Then at least get close, some fulfilling post.
Live for a reason.

Never one of those star-guided folk
Always believing In the faint lights.
No, those astral cues.
Will steer you to the moon.

Steer you to the moon.
Steer you to the moon.
Steer you to the moon.
Steer you to the moon.