The Worst; Transatlantic Death Songs (with Goodbye Ivan & les Poissons Autistes)

by Hemlock Smith

/
1.
Seconds, Hours, Days Well I fought a thousand dragons Fought witches – fought an elf Fought the good ones and the bad ones ; I mostly fought myself Seconds pass Hours – Days And nothing is remembered – nothing’s ever gained Hello Past Come what may All the embers turn to ashes – All in vain… Yes, I caught a thousand lions Many butterflies, so frail They broke like my illusions So I mostly caught my tail Seconds pass Hours – Days And nothing is remembered – nothing’s ever gained Hello Past Come what may All the embers turn to ashes – All in vain… And if all I had was one second left to live I’d throw it high up in the air and catch it as a gift- And if all I had was one second left to live I’d throw it high up in the air and catch it as a gift- And if all I had was one second left to live I’d throw it high up in the air and catch it as a gift- And if all I had was one second left to live I’d throw it high up in the air and catch it as a gift- Seconds pass Hours – Days
2.
The Worst 05:24
The Worst I tried my best, I did my worst Unsatisfied, and desert thirst I tried my best, I did my worst Others died and I came first I tried my best, I did my worst I denied and I coerced I tried my best, I did my worst With no respite, my bubbles burst A tired verse, quite well rehearsed I died the best, I deserve my curse Lead the parade there in the hearse I tried my best, I did my worst I tried my best, I did my worst I tried my best, I did my worst
3.
Grow, Then Self-Destruct There ain’t no force that can’t be tamed There ain’t no answer to the flame When it burns us to the core and lights our fears There ain’t no love that can’t be killed There ain’t no answer to the will To destroy just everything that we hold dear Oh Save me from myself Oh Save me from myself If you want to… There ain’t no soul that can’t be torn There ain’t no demon that can’t be born Out of jealousy, out of hate Out of my own poisonous plate There ain’t no blood left, just a drop There ain’t no life that can’t be stopped With the barrel of a gun Want to quarrel, anyone ? Oh Save me from myself Oh Save me from myself You’re not meant to… There is this force that means to maim There is no answer to its claim When it burns us to the core, leaves us consumed We’re made to grow, then self-destruct A burning fuse, long overlooked Let the ashes so discuss it with the fumes Oh Save me from myself Oh Save me from myself If you want to… You don’t have to…
4.
Saints, it’s alright Saints have fallen Saints have fallen from the sky And I don’t know why Saints have fallen Saints have fallen on my lawn today The forecast didn’t say The forecast didn’t say St. Peter on the back door Don’t know what he’s here for Judas in the basement - Misery and torment Devil rising Devil rising from the ground He’s gonna turn my world around Left to center Right to enter, part or whole And in the middle is a black hole Moses on the showboat Sacrifice, the small goat Satisfy the small folks… No thoughts to save from My mind dissolving The more I probe My frontal lobe World revolving Things evolving Come spin the globe And in the middle is a black whole Saints, I guess it’s alright You won’t save me – tonight. Maybe tomorrow ? Saints, it’s alright Maybe tomorrow ? Saints, it’s alright Since it’s alright
5.
The Alternate Chaos I roam the streets and they are empty My inner universe a void Walking Slo-Mo Silently Just like a shell-shocked boy I see the dawn of yet a new loss When like the sun, my doubts arise Is there no end to this here Chaos Experience That is life ? The sidewalk surely has a rhythm But it owes its luck to chance Arbitrary Random Noise To which the witches dance Behind the windows all is silent A laughing Moon that shrouds the sky Is there no end to this here Chaos Experience That is life ?
6.
I May Be 05:44
I May Be Lying in the grass Looking at the trees All the holes there in the leaves And the centuries beneath All that lives shall pass Without reason or degrees The sorrow when we leave Shall wither like the leaves I may be I May be maybe I may be I May be maybe --but beware the traitor June— --and July’s decaying Moon— I may be I May be maybe I may be I May be maybe --October sober in its gloom— --but November’s coming soon-- Strolling in the woods The moss reveals to me All the sobbing in its roots The pain it takes to breathe I seldom understood We’re collecting only woe And the clay upon our boots Will be dust the day we go I may be I May be maybe I may be I May be maybe --but beware the traitor June— --and July’s decaying Moon— I may be I May be maybe I may be I May be maybe --October sober in its gloom— --but November’s coming soon— I may be A knight in shining armour The ever reliable constable I may be the hustling apostle The saddened prophet of the inevitable I may be, all of that… But, for how long ?
7.
Even Less 05:40
Even Less I’m not human. I’m not human. Even less Even less there since I’ve been Without address I confess I confess That it’s been hard. Even less Even less there since I’ve been So depossessed I confess I confess That it’s been hard. Even less Even less there since I’ve been Without a clue I confess I confess That I’ve been blue. Even less Even less there since I’ve been Completely without you I assess I assess What you’ve been through. I’m not human. I’m a pig. What a mess What a mess Since you’ve shown me what I did, oh I confess I confess That it’s been me… I’m not human. I’m not human.
8.
A new Life 07:02
A new Life I bought myself a new pair of shoes A helmet and a bike Bought some cigarettes and booze There’s noone I really like Whatever substance flows through me Still the evenings can get rough I bought myself a new TV There’s noone that I love I bought myself some brand new toys To help me float before I sink But none that I would enjoy There’s noone to make me think But what I want What I want Is a new Life I caught myself there on the bridge With a ladder, just in case And in the icebox ; in the fridge I hid my gun to press « erase » I found myself there in a race In which I never could compete And in the blankness of my face Lies the key to press « delete » Lies the key to press « delete » Lies the key to press « delete » But what I want What I want Is a new Life But what I want What I want Is a new Life
9.
False Friend 04:14
False Friend Beware the false friend That’s knocking at your door Beware the false friend Comes by and tells his lore Beware Beware. Beware the false friend That’s knocking at your door Beware the false friend Comes by and tells his lore Beware Beware. Beware the false friend That’s gnawing at your heels Beware the false friend Comes by year after year Beware the silent enemy Le Grand Muet – Le Bel Ami The one who only speaks When it’s too late When it’s all done When it’s over. And once he’s noticed He’ll be gone He’ll be gone.
10.
Useless 04:32
Useless And I’ve been keeling over, sideways In this ghost world of mine I’d throw away the years And I’ve been running into silence In this sorry skin of mine I’ve been fighting back the tears. And I’ve been carving out these sketches But whatever face I’d draw They’d slowly turn to grief Oh, I’ve been rough around the edges And whatever final straw Holds no air to let me breathe. I’ve been keeling over, sideways And this ghost ship of mine Will be gone before the morn Oh, everything was useless And everyone’s decline Starts the day when we are born. Everything is useless And everyone’s decline Starts the day when we are born.

about

After "Three Times Dead" (2008). this is Hemlock's Smith second collaboration with les Poissons Autistes. As they were joined by Goodbye Ivan, they gave this project a new name.

credits

released March 6, 2015

Michael Frei : voice, piano, keyboards
Arnaud Ivan Sponar : acoustic guitar, drums, keyboards, laptop
Philippe Simon : trumpet, baritone horn, electric guitar, field recordings, laptop
Stéphane Babey : 6-string electric cello, electric guitar, field recordings, piano, voice, laptop

All sounds recorded at home in Brooklyn, Lausanne, Geneva & St-Légier by Arnaud Ivan Sponar, Stéphane Babey, Philippe Simon & Michael Frei, except :
- Piano on « Useless », « Saints it’s Alright », « « Even Less », « Grow, then Self-Destruct » & « The Worst » recorded by Christian Diggelmann in Michael’s cellar (St-Légier).
- Piano on « A new Life » recorded by Fabrizio di Donato, at school in Lausanne, during lunch break.
- Drums on « The Worst », « Even Less » & « False Friend » recorded by Julien Grandjean at Jetlag Studio (Vevey).
- Original Drums on « Saints it’s Alright » recorded by Christian Diggelmann at « Le Pont Rouge » (Monthey).
-Frédéric’s instruments on « The Alternate Chaos » recorded by Frédo himself at Studio 603 (Vevey).

All songs written and arranged by Arnaud Ivan Sponar, Stéphane Babey, Philippe Simon and Michael Frei, except :
« Saints, it’s Alright », written by Michael Frei, Stéphane Babey, Philippe Simon, Gérald Rochat, Christian Diggelmann & Julien Grandjean.
« The Alternate Chaos » written by Michael Frei, Philippe Simon and Frédéric Merk.
Words by Michael Frei.
Mixed and Mastered by Julien Grandjean, in Vevey (CH).
Produced by Arnaud Ivan Sponar, Stéphane Babey, Philippe Simon & Michael Frei.
Photographs and Cover by Didier Oberson.

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Hemlock Smith Lausanne, Switzerland

Hemlock Smith come from Lausanne (Switzerland). Since 2002, they’ve released 6 regular albums with intelligent pop, as well as 2 soundtracks for silent film and 2 collaborations with Noise duo Les Poissons Autistes. Fronted by singer-songwriter Michael Frei, Hemlock Smith's distinctive voice is complemented by the ambient guitar playing of Fred Merk and the delicate piano work of Emilie Roulet. ... more

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