Aromatic Bitters

by Feral

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Kisston Gorgeous This album is so what I need right now. "Songs Are All We're Left With" speaks to me. Music is my life & I don't know what I'd do without it. Favorite track: Songs Are All We're Left With.
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    One fall night under a full moon, three musicians with a love for old country songs and obsession with danger and beauty met to play in East Oakland. Thus, Feral was formed. They began singing their beautiful songs about horrible people whenever and wherever they could, sharing whiskey, wine, and music during bad times and good. The first half of their upcoming full-length, Aromatic Bitters, was written in an Airstream trailer in Austin, Texas, during SXSW. The rest was cobbled together on nights of whiskey and burn barrels, in dive bars and small cafes, and on tours with rowdy Canadians in between incidents with border patrol.
    Aromatic Bitters mixes the dust of the desert with the heart of the rust belt, stirs it up with heartbreak and struggle, and tops it all off with a dash of bitterness. “Done and Gone” is a country weeper, and the interplay of Cindy’s sweet and sultry voice with Norman’s gravel-gargling rasp will knock you to your knees. “Loose Ends” brings to mind a cowboy who listens to Nick Cave singing about the ruination that love can bring. “Impala” is a hell-raising tune about good cars and bad love. “About You” is a ballad that will make you smile, because sometimes people that don’t seem to match fit together best of all. And “Songs Are All We’re Left With” is a tearjerker you can dance to; an upbeat tune that belies the sorrow of the lyrics. Listening to these songs, and the nine other tracks on Aromatic Bitters, is like taking a late-night drive in a classic car with no idea where you’re headed and a driver who might be half-drunk. The car might crash before you reach your destination, and you might be going straight to hell - but you’re gonna take the ride anyway, and enjoy every minute of it.
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1.
03:19
always wanted to be as Johnny and June stars at our feet howling at the moon careening and carousing through this old weary life nothing could touch us if you were my wife CHORUS but it all seems done and gone and it's all gone to seed you know that I love you why can't you see what you need maybe there's a magic in these old songs of mine could they turn back your heart could they turn back time when you slid your hands around me oh so tight we were on fire with love those nights In this old car I'm dreaming of you not sure where to go not sure what to do I just wanted to be as Johnny and June not an old tired soul with my heart on your shoes
2.
07:02
Falling into bushes song drunk on wine tomorrow we're driving and we're just losing time Too tired for your old ferris wheel your round and round it drives me right into the ground CHORUS: I wanna love you like a fire loves a flame like I don't even know your name I wanna love you til I can't even stand to breathe the air you breathe I'd do better just to lay off the sauce I bought it and I fought it but who's the boss You always knew just, how to ruin me How to ruin me If the future could've been seen never fall in love with a queen Oh baby why'd you have to be so mean To me you were something else but you ain't no royalty no longer on my bended knee will I serve fool to your bullshit and lies CHORUS I don't miss smoking it's an ugly vice instead of cigarettes you should've rolled the dice But time moves fast none left to waste So I'll just keep rolling down my own lost highway CHORUS Never was just a moment never was just one lie Oh baby you didn't even stick around to try You got your stories straight then you changed the rules If there's a truth to tell it's you who ruined you CHORUS
3.
04:16
Still had that new car smell. As you drove us straight to hell. In your 64 Chevy Impala You stole it from an Ed I know. You sat there and told me so. With your spirit dangling out the window. Sitting in line at a taco bell. Just one short exit from hell. Sharing gordita's, with stories to tell. As you ask your magic mirror, who's the fairest one you hear, answers a reflection of you. Answers you don’t want to hear, like throwing every stitch my dear answers, a reflection of you. you got that seven year, Itch in six months time. I remember, church on Sundays I remember holding hands. Vilified for being in your thighs, Demonized for your demon eyes. Crocodile tears you cry way too long. My dear. It takes a lot for me to sing. You never even got a ring on the finger next to the ones you love so much. As you ask your magic mirror, who's the fairest one you hear, answers a reflection of you. Answers you don’t want to hear, like throwing every stitch my dear answers, a reflection of you. Dreamt I had a drink with Townes. Asked me if you were around, jukebox played send in the clowns and you sat down. It only took five minutes of time, before you turn and dropped the dimes on me and another life time. As you ask your magic mirror, who's the fairest one you hear, answers a reflection of you. Answers you don’t want to hear, like throwing every stitch my dear answers, a reflection of you. Still had that new car smell, as you drove back from hell, in a 64 chevy impalA
4.
02:52
Ain't got time to wait for you I don't know what you're gonna do I aint got time to wait for you while you break my heart in two i don't know where you're gonna go i don't know who you're gonna blow I aint got time to wait for you while you break my heart in two times may go and times may stay times we never run away I aint got time to wait for you while you break my heart in two i don't know what i'm gonna do i don't know what i'm gonna say i don't know how i'm gonna make my heart not go astray Ain't got time to wait for you aint got time to see you through I aint got time to wait for you while you break my heart in two i wander near i wander far i wander out to the next bar Ain't got time to wait for you while you break my heart in two
5.
05:18
You can’t stand the hell I raise don’t understand my wicked ways and I don’t even think you like my many evil turns of phrase and on any given day neither one of us could say just what the hell you see in me or why the hell you stay CHORUS Maybe I’m not what you expected too cynical and disaffected somehow I seem to have won your heart and I’d die to protect it I walked my own path all along drinkin drinks and singing songs I know your mama she warned you but i think she got me wrong Must be more than lack of pluck that keeps you from loading up your truck and heading down the road to see if you can’t change your luck it’s not that I ain’t man enough it’s not that I treat you rough it’s just that no one else has ever called your bluff CHORUS A recipe for disaster you’re a bitch and I’m a bastard we fought like cats and dogs til I fell hard but you fell faster You’re too damn smart and full of sass and I can never let things pass folks with half a lick of sense they say we’ll never last CHORUS doubts nagged at me demons taunted ghosts come calling I been haunted cuz I figured out you’re everything I never knew I wanted CHORUS
6.
04:02
I’m watching your crinoline fall into the fire again I’m watching your crinoline fall into the fire again And all these dreams they never needed me and all these stars they know that I’ve lost my heart No one’s drinkin the whiskey we bought at the duty free store I just want to talk to you but you don’t hear me anymore And all these dreams they never needed me and all these stars they know that I’ve lost my heart We started playing songs by the fire by the river and rocks all these goddamn people they just want to hear themselves talk Watching the fire turn my heart to ashes watching the trees turn away their eyes Watching the fire turn my heart to ashes watching the trees turn away their eyes I’m watching your crinoline fall into the fire again I’m watching your crinoline fall into the fire again
7.
I have no wishes upon which to think The triggers released The bulleit stings Cupid is out laughing at me again His cohort the queen Takes her cut from the top One more to the perfect crime Toasts her flask full to love the perfect crime CHORUS You never were a princess how could you be a queen You’re always leaving with the best parts of me You never were a princess how could you be a queen My hearts broken embers are rolling down the stream The only thing I had left to lose You took from me with grace and aplomb Dancing your twostep In fluevogs and bourbon Sharpening your blade on the callous of my heart Stopping mid-pirouette My favorite part CHORUS You never were a princess how could you be a queen You’re always leaving with the best parts of me You never were a princess how could you be a queen My hearts broken embers are rolling down the stream We met in the blur of your victimful crimes Of shattered truth and the allure of white lines We loosed those chains and started again Or so your stunning green eyes said Looking back from the rear view mirror Lipstick smeared on a crumpled tissue Never used for tears CHORUS
8.
04:12
I remember my daddy's breath, Mixed with urine and cigarettes, I remember mamas vodka kisses It brings me back whenever I touch your lips You're always working on your life long suicide and I'll be watching from the outside You just keep drinking bulleits ‘til the day you die and that lone ice cube still looks you in the eye We’re a doomed waltz, on a sawdust floor. We’re a toxic two-step and I'm showing you the door. There ain't no right, and there ain't no wrong. Just this old broken heart, and this love song. You pulled into my life one day full of truck stop laughter and a spring rain. I chased you little for a lot of years, I never thought you'd leave me for cocaine and fear. Can't face what you can know, And I’m sorry baby but I gotta go No you can’t face what you can’t know And I still love you baby but I've gotta go We’re a doomed waltz, on a sawdust floor. We’re a toxic two-step and I'm showing you the door. There ain't no right, and there ain't no wrong. Just this old broken heart, and this love song. Some are going to say that it’s a good thing but they don't know what you’ve done to me. I’m wanderin’ this world from the right to the left and I still hear your name on my sleeping breath. If only one time I could hear you say, I love you baby i'm coming back today. But your love is silent and your passion gone and I'm rolling like a train wreck through this old ghost town We’re a doomed waltz, on a sawdust floor. We’re a toxic two-step and I'm showing you the door. There ain't no right, and there ain't no wrong. Just this old broken heart, and this love song.
9.
Cherry tobacco rolls through the air I'm laid out on the sidewalk there knowing you're not around TV on Sundays in the rainy gloom nothing was better than that old dark room in a trailer, I'm sittin, with you CHORUS Sometimes all you know is a hand on yours Sometimes all that matters is what came before the future ain't got nothing on now the future aint got nothing on us now Lipstick butts in your old ashtray running around on old rust belt days and I knew it couldn't stay like this Running red lights out in the rain it was salt and slush and snow for days but you, you kept me warm CHORUS So I'm dippin my feet in the water again missing those days when I called you friend and sometimes so much more Our love it just went up in smoke like the cheap old Basics I used to smoke when I was too broke to be cool CHORUS
10.
on the second to the longest night of the year drunk on old laughter and american beer you touch my shoulder that sunburned flesh thirsty from stars that were reaching for breath CHORUS whiskey and burn barrels under an almost full moon in a back yard in northern california singing old songs of fate love and booze fills up our nights off from working we sing in off time we sing out of tune never knowing the answer but we've got that old country tune makes sure we keep dancing CHORUS fern forms a circle our hands form a song love comes on like thunder ambers got whiskey she's passing it round dust kicks up this adventure CHORUS BRIDGE roachie made cake maggie sang lead sailor plucked out a sad tune [pause] but under this dusty old oakland sky we can all laugh crazy o'er those things we do CHORUS
11.
02:54
Just played a show in Santa Cruz and you know you should call me cuz it’s finally raining and the night it’s all empty I know we drank a lot and there’s no more wine I know we sang those songs and I’m feelin fine I’m totally fine It’s at night in Santa Cruz and you know you should call me cuz you’ve moved out there to where no one can ever find you they can’t find you Your punk rock friends say Emch “hey how’s he doing” Your punk rock friends you know once they were mine too they were mine too They call me up to ask me how you are all I can tell em is you got a kid and you run a bar I’m all alone in Santa Cruz and you know you should call me cuz this was the tour we always dreamed we’d be doing… so why aren’t you doing it? I’ll take some pictures and I’ll send em on my phone in such a crowd I never felt more alone Just played a show in Santa Cruz it’s at night in Santa Cruz I’m all alone in Santa Cruz and you know you should call me
12.
07:56
I'm not a holy man. Never make it to the promised land. I'm not the nicest guy, sure as shit I'll make you cry. I won't throw the first stone, but I'll pick up the second and drive it home. Together we built, a tower of Babel, above the jerks, the whores, and rabble. When I saw you teetering on adage will baby here's my pledge. I'll reach out and I'll give you a shove, and I'll watch you fall from up above. Like road runner watches Wiley hit the ground, first the dust, then the sound. I'm not a holy man, never going to make the promised land. I won't throw the first stone, but I'll pick up the second and I'll drive it home. After a minute, I'll walk to the edge, and baby here's my revenge I'll meet you at the gates of hell, saying devil I have a story to tell. Devil said son don't you see she has a seat here right next to me She introduced the snake and the Apple she holds the lease on your Tower of Babel she told Lot that she needed salt I still don't know what that's about She gave Moses the wrong direction out of spite so I reckon. From her garden so carefully grown, Jesus wore her crown of thorns. The devil said son I've known her longer than you, she cut the deal at the crossroads too. Im not the nicest guy, sure as shit im gonna make you cry. Devil said son, you got to know, it's time you let this go. She played you like a banjolele this one here she is no lady. Go live the life, she never wanted to be the one to be undaunted. I WON'T THROW THE FIRST STONE BUT I'LL PICK UP THE SECOND AND I'LL DRIVE IT HOME I'M NOT A HOLY MAN, NEVER GOING TO SEE THE PROMISED LAND.
13.
Still a stab when I pass your place remembering those time we used to waste finding love inside the chords but you don't live there anymore CHORUS Songs are all we're left with Songs are all we have Songs keep me believing in something we never had Songs are all we're left with Songs are all we have You kick your one spurred heel and you turn that key in the lock wishing somehow that you would return my heart but you threw it out the window as you drove away CHORUS Grinning and a singin in that old double wide grey on the out with songs on the inside it was just an old rusty place on Michigan Street CHORUS I sit alone and think of you I sit alone and drink who knew so much life could be so cheap we had all this magic but you threw it away CHORUS
14.
02:40

credits

released October 14, 2015

Cindy Emch - vox, guitar
Norman Carley - vox, guitar
Ed Cagnacci - backing vox, upright bass, slide guitar

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Feral Oakland, California

beautiful songs about horrible people.

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