Empty House Sessions - EP

by This Glass Embrace

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1.
This time next year Will this house be standing empty? Will the walls still speak our names? These songs we sang Have settled deep into the carpet When we're gone, will they remain? And there's no winter in Arizona Just a summer and a fall It's been maybe nineteen years since you've seen snow I know, I can't just wait and hope The world won’t change because I want it to I know there must be more than this I make the same mistakes and hope for something new This time next year Will you still be praying softly As I'm drifting off to sleep? We prayed for change For anything to break the silence Now I wish that we could stay And there's no winter in Arizona Just a summer and a fall I never thought I'd miss the mountains when I'd gone I know, I can't just wait and hope The world won’t change because I want it to I know there must be more than this I make the same mistakes and hope for something new Can I forget? Please, forget? The taste of history is bitter in my mouth If anything I chose was right If any deed was good, I can't recall it now I know, I can't just wait and hope The world won’t change because I want it to I know there must be more than this I make the same mistakes and hope for something new This time next year Will this house be standing empty? This time next year Will the walls still speak our names? This time next year I'll settle deep into the carpet This time next year
2.
The air is cold, along the windows and the walls When I breathe in, it tastes like summer But I'm exhaling bursts of snow I cut the pictures from their frames so I could see What they would look like bare and empty As unremarkable as me I am afraid, a campfire horror story fear If I said your name into a mirror thirteen times, would you appear? There are thoughts you have to turn away from quickly And pretend you didn't see Avert your eyes and keep on breathing There are reasons that you lie awake at night Things you ignore just to survive And this is one of them The lies you tell to keep yourself alive I've spent a lifetime mapping continents and seas The charcoal lines of clean divisions The fences and the ground between What if this sentence spells the end of all we know? The wind will rearrange the pages And scatter everything we wrote This is a hunter's arrow shot through flesh and bone It would destroy more to remove it than to just leave it alone There are thoughts you have to turn away from quickly And pretend you didn't see Avert your eyes and keep on breathing There are reasons that you lie awake at night Things you ignore just to survive And this is one of them The lies you tell to keep yourself alive What I can give you, I will give Take all you need You could take everything What I can give you, I will give Take all you need You could take everything This is all I have to offer Weary eyes and careful hands A voice that shakes when I am singing A heart that's full of selfish plans This is all I have to offer Though I will offer all the same A love I hope will be sufficient A promise I promise to make There are thoughts you have to turn away from quickly And pretend you didn't see Avert your eyes and keep on breathing There are reasons that you lie awake at night Things you ignore just to survive And this is one of them The lies you tell to keep yourself alive This is all I have to offer Weary eyes and careful hands A voice that shakes when I am singing A heart that's full of selfish plans This is all I have to offer Though I will offer all the same A love I hope will be sufficient A promise I promise to make
3.
I'll miss the mischievous creak Of the knob on the door to our bedroom As I was easing it shut, trying hard not to wake you… I tried And the counters too small for the groceries that spilled to the table While we sat and drank coffee on the floor anyway most of the time We will fill in the hole in the wall where the mandolin was We will take down the pictures we took and the paintings we hung When the carpets are empty, the tables and chairs set aside Place a hand on the door to our home and whisper goodbye Take this moment to decide If we meant it, if we tried Or felt around for far too much From things that accidentally touch Know the things we need to say Have been said already anyway By parallelograms of light On walls that we repainted white Sun in an empty room Sun in an empty room Sun in an empty room Sun in an empty room We will fill in the hole in the wall where the mandolin was We will take down the pictures we took and the paintings we hung When the carpets are empty, the tables and chairs set aside Place a hand on the door to our home and whisper goodbye
4.
The truth is rolled up in the hollows of our bones We are the same The truth is printed inside out beneath our skin Spelled out in veins So when they come to take you I will take your place So when they come to take you I will take your place Of course I am afraid, but fear will never be my name Our lives are wasted if all we build are barricades If we destroy ourselves to make ourselves feel safe Our love is worthless if love has driven us to hate Tell me a story where the heroes turned their guns On unarmed kids Show me where Jesus said that money matters more Than caring for the sick As long as those we kill are someone else's kin As long as those we kill are someone else's kin Of course I am afraid, but fear will never be my name Our lives are wasted if all we build are barricades If we destroy ourselves to make ourselves feel safe Our love is worthless if love has driven us to hate We will tear a father from his family Grind up the destitute in our machinery Let the strangers die outside our boundaries In the name of some imagined safety We will tear a father from his family Grind up the destitute in our machinery Let the strangers die outside our boundaries In the name of some imagined safety Of course I am afraid, but fear will never be my name Our lives are wasted if all we build are barricades If we destroy ourselves to make ourselves feel safe Our love is worthless if love has driven us to hate Has driven us to hate
5.
When the mountain gave way And buried our home Sealed all we had carried Under forest and stone You were younger than I was When I first knew the weight I had hoped you had longer Before you felt your heart break When you sleep, if you happen to dream Dream of water and daylight Dream of shadows and trees And I will be right here when you awake Always, always, I promise To the very last day When the clouds ate the sun For the very last time I watched you squint at the brightness As it faded from sight I will try to remember How the world used to be I will tell you the stories When you ask them of me When you sleep, if you happen to dream Dream of water and daylight Dream of shadows and trees And I will be right here when you awake Always, always, I promise To the very last day Don't be afraid

about

There's something about the acoustics in an empty house. Your voice echoes, reverberates, swells and blooms into space. It's never the same once you move furniture in, lay out rugs. The trappings of your real life absorb the sound and drag it back to earth.

We had two or three days between one renovation and another and I thought I'd use them to capture that sound.

I had done something similar on the final day in our old house: a stripped-down acoustic set of songs about homes and the unknown and fear of the future. We shot it on an iPhone in the hour before we turned the key in the lock for the last time. It was vulnerable and raw and my only regret was not having the equipment to record it better. After a year and a half of uncertainty we were handed the keys to our next home, and before we moved in I knew I wanted to take another stab at this.

These songs are about houses, and what they mean to us, for better or worse; or they're about fear of the unknown and what we lose when we give in to it. They're about not knowing what's next but knowing you'll be there, offering what you can.

- Matt LeFevers
December 2021

credits

released January 14, 2022

Recorded October 2021 in an empty house.

Produced, mixed, and mastered by Matt LeFevers at LeFevers Audio.

"There Are Echoes" written by Matt LeFevers. "The Paper Sky" written by Matt LeFevers and Jackie LeFevers.

"Hunters" written by Kennedy Rice and Matt LeFevers.

"Empty Walls" written by Matt LeFevers. "Sun In An Empty Room" written by John K. Samson and The Weakerthans.

"Some Imagined Safety" written by Matt LeFevers.

"Always, Always" written by Matt LeFevers.

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