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

by Hemlock Smith

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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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Track Name: Seconds, Hours, Days
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
Track Name: The Worst
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
Track Name: Grow, then Self-Destruct
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…
Track Name: Saints, it's Alright
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
Track Name: The Alternate Chaos
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 ?
Track Name: I May Be
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 ?
Track Name: Even Less
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.
Track Name: A new Life
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
Track Name: False Friend
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.
Track Name: Useless
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.

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