The Light That Shines Into Our Graves

by This Glass Embrace

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Cartesian 02:37
There is a ghost in the machine. There is an ‘I’ behind my eyes. If soul and substance are the same, then there’s no truth, and no one’s right. We all take everything on faith, so let’s be honest with ourselves. The earth will swallow our mistakes. The dust will grow over our doubt. And we are no one’s keepers, you and I... the truth is we can barely keep ourselves in line. We may be broken but keep watch and hold out hope. Past the horizon line there dawns a distant light. There is a fear we cannot name between the words of whispered prayers, yet from the moment we are made we close our eyes and shield our ears. There is a ghost in the machine. There is a love inside your eyes. The earth will swallow our mistakes but what we are will never die.
Marrow 03:33
I am not tendons and lungs, not just marrow and blood. There’s a self to myself no machine can perceive. If our memories and dreams make us more than mere beasts, then is a world beyond this one too much to believe? There is faith more than feeling and grace more than grieving, I know. There are still deeper waters than these shallows I’ve sounded so far. There are things that no man’s ever seen just as real as our bones. But we draw a line in the sand, swearing we’ll not be sold on a God we can’t see, on a heaven we can’t reach alone. There is love, there is fear, there is reason, but there can’t be a soul. There is faith more than feeling and grace more than grieving, I know. There are still deeper waters than these shallows I’ve sounded so far. Lead me not to the edge, just to draw back again... please don’t go. Beneath the stone and the wood, behind the stars and the sun, there is more than we’ve been shown.
The Atlantic 03:37
Our love is not the stars, nothing so fragile. It is not the Earth, to break so easily. Though the Atlantic lines its floors with sunken vessels, even it knows there are some things vaster than the deep. So don’t be afraid. My love, just stay. There could be nothing more than this, and you are safe now… you’re safe. Don’t be afraid. Why should we fear? Let the world wear down its weapons on our gates. They’ll never reach us here. Our love is not the walls of Troy, so meager, that held an army’s wrath at bay a mere ten years. It is written in a word older than language. It will endure beyond the breaking of all things. So sing of joy, sing of redemption, but let these songs of worry falter on our lips. The night will end, the sun is rising, and I won’t let go, however long it takes.
There is something in the dark, behind the glass. Beneath the window’s pale reflection of your face, it’s drawing back. Someone is crawling where the floorboards meet the walls. A creaking doorway sound you know you didn’t hear – could not have heard. The truth is worse: there is reason for this fear. There is cause enough. Erase the borders from our maps. Restore the missing edges, we only thought we’d found the end. There are things out there beyond where the light fades, and we were all misled as children. No, these covers will not keep us safe. There is a desperation to our questioning. They taught us how to say the word ‘why’ and we’ve never stopped repeating it. There is a horror in our bones where we can’t reach. We weren’t wrong to be afraid, we were only scared of the wrong things. There is no shelter in this place, and there can never be.
All the windows were dark as I drove past the house. I was gathering dust, but I'm much better now. It's not about getting older, it's about giving up, and I refuse to believe they're the same. I know I've been quiet, I don't mean to be. Every time that I've tried to I just couldn't speak. But you told me you loved me and I could suddenly see that was all that I'd needed to say. This life will steal our voices if we let it. Don't ever stop... please don't stop singing. We can let the world silence what we love – silence a part of us – or we can smile and go down fighting. Shannon moved to Texas, the last time we spoke, and she wasn't the first or the last one to go. But the coffee shop's quiet, the studio's cold. I'm not sorry if I'm sorry sometimes. I wrote about Graham once, and his newest song. I'm sure that dozens more followed that I never heard. I hope he's headlining somewhere, it seems like someone should be. I hope it's him, if it can't be me. It's not just this, it's everything. But don’t worry, love, you are all that I need. It's not just this, it's everything. But we are so much more than we've been led to believe. It's not just this, it's everything. But Jackie, I promise, you are all that I need. And all these songs I can't not sing were never as wasted as I used to think.
You faced the devil in the wilderness for forty days. If I withstood for forty seconds that would be something. Among the angels and the animals the throne and crown forsake, while I still falter, I still stumble in Your wake. Why weren’t You the hurricane, why not the fire? Why aren’t You the fractured earth, something I can’t ignore? Your voice is shrouded in the stillness, a whisper lost within the sound. Why do I fight so hard to hear You when You are closer, closer to me than myself? This absent faith has less of dying than of dying down. Not blood and breaking but a sinking slow into the ground. Who could have known these ropes and cables that I mistook for ties that bind were but a lifeline cast to save my drowning pride? (I once could see but now am blind.)
My heart has never doubted You before, but lately my mind is not so sure. What if these prayers are only words? A dialogue between myself and the empty sky above? Is there a love behind this world? A voice beneath the static’s roar? I can hear it now. There was no silence, just the sound – the white noise I used to drown You out. You never let go, my hands were just too numb to feel You. I was not lost, just turned around, my eyes fixed firmly on the ground. The sky was never empty, I was only looking down. I am faithless, I am false. My certainty shot through with doubt. I paint shut the windows, bar the doors, then cry out for light inside these walls. Is there a love behind this world? A voice beneath the static’s roar? I can hear it now. O God, won’t You come down? There was no silence, just the sound – the white noise I used to drown You out. You never let go, I just tried so hard not to feel You.
Grab a handful of this dust. Let it sift between your fingers before the hollow casket thump, before you open and release it. There are reasons for these rituals: so we remember what we've lost. I scrawled the words onto the door frames but by morning they were gone. And we are good men as men are reckoned, but as angels we fall far short of the mark. If it is ours to climb to heaven then in the cellar we will sleep and dream of stars. Grab a handful of this dust, let it sift between your fingers. There is kinship with this earth... do you feel it, son of Adam? Though we walk 'til we are weary, then drag ourselves along the road, we still cannot outrun this knowledge that to the ground we will return.
The sky is making me dizzy. I’m holding on to the door, scared of all that infinity between the stars. Just the thought that there are some things that never end keeps me wide awake at night. So now I’m waking up and going through these motions again. I’ll do all the things I’m supposed to – well, more or less. I guess I’m falling behind, but it’s so hard to care. Does all of this mean anything? On days like this, I think I know how you feel. It’s like that door in the wall on the old mill downtown, three stories up, that leads nowhere except a cruel, heavy fall to the ground. Don’t let me close, I will only break your bones. There’s this dream I keep having where I’m trapped in a room and the air is so thick that I can barely move. And my eyesight is blurred, I can hardly make out what these shapes are, all around. Now it’s two in the morning, and I’m driving home from John’s house again on this long, empty road. And the streetlights that curve form a canyon so deep that I cannot escape. I will only let you down. Don’t let me close, I will only break your bones.
O, I am but a rogue and peasant slave! An empty vessel with a mouth stopped up with clay. Of one part wisdom and three parts cowardice I’m made. I may have cause and will but can’t seem to summon strength. And who can know, save Heaven, where our souls may stand? This hesitation holds me fast; the roots close in above my head. And tell me, who above the ground can see the end? Even the angels are not told the day and hour. We dare not waste this moment. We are worn down not by the days but by despair. Entombed by calendars and clocks we gasp for air. The weight that drags us to the dust will break us worse than even three and twenty years beneath the earth. Come, gather oil to burn… the night is falling fast. Cast off this clinging doubt, the time has come to act. Come, wake the watchers, we will not be caught asleep. Stand up and raise your eyes. Discard this disbelief.
Empty Walls 01:31
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.
There must be an end, but from here I can’t see it. And I’m sorry, for all that it’s worth, but I am worth more than this. I am better than this. I know there is light, but my God, I just can’t seem to reach it. Beneath the weight of these failings my back is beginning to bow. Don’t turn yours on me now. (This is not what it seems. You are more than you think.) Brother, I’m lost, and sinking down. A voice crying out, an echo without a sound. Father, I’m far from home and from heart, and my only hope is that hope is enough. There will be a dawn, but this dark is more pressing. You can detail my weakness, but you preach to the choir with each word. Yes, I’ve heard this before. I am far from disowned but I’ve never felt further from safety. How could this be the moment you’ve chosen to leave me alone? How dare you let go? If none of this meant anything to anyone but me, then isn’t that the same as meaning absolutely nothing? If all you want is victory, then take your pound of flesh and leave. I already gave up everything. What else can you demand from me? And we are no one’s keepers, you and I... the truth is we can barely keep ourselves in line. We may be broken but keep watch and hold out hope. Past the horizon line there dawns a distant light.


This Glass Embrace's third album opens with a declaration: "There is a ghost in the machine. There is an 'I' behind my eyes." The prologue's ethereal strains have not yet died out when the visceral 'Marrow' continues its theme. Over a bed of growling bass and electronics, siblings Zoey and Matt LeFevers scream, "I am not tendons and lungs; not just marrow and blood. There's a self to myself no machine can perceive."

The quartet are no strangers to duality and split identities. Their last full-length, 2011's "Brother, We Are Devils!", was split into acoustic and post-hardcore halves, and the band's newest offering continues to travel a broad range of sounds. The album's central theme, however, is the disconnect between matter and soul, the dual nature of a body destined for the earth and a self that may not be.

Woven throughout these explorations of mortality, life, and love, it's also clear that the band's musical repertoire has never been more varied. The foursome wear many hats, with drummer Zoey LeFevers layering violin and banjo and bassist Kenny Rice adding glockenspiel and percussion. Frontman Matt LeFevers' mandolin lines pick delicately through the folk-infused confessional 'I Was Gathering Dust', while his wife Jackie's' eerie didjeridu sets the stage for the ominously gothic 'Here There Are Lions'.

This Glass Embrace steadfastly refuses to be pinned to a genre. 'The Atlantic' breaks through the darkness with a message of reassurance and love, set to uplifting power-pop. 'Three and Twenty' fuses propulsive alt-rock and literary depth to make something both familiar and new. The record's arc reaches its pinnacle in the explosive closing track, 'The Distant Light', as all three vocalists trade verses between cascades of menacing piano and guitar.

Drawing from punk and death metal, country and indie rock, "The Light That Shines Into Our Graves" is both diverse and unified, a record that tackles universal fears with honesty and faith.

Watch the music video for "I Was Gathering Dust" here:


released October 1, 2013

Matt LeFevers: vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo, keyboards and programming, glockenspiel, harp, percussion.

Kenny Rice: electric and acoustic bass, percussion, glockenspiel.

Zoey LeFevers: drums, screamed vocals, violins, triangle, banjo.

Jackie LeFevers: vocals, ukulele, didjeridu, flute, glass harp.

All lyrics by Matt LeFevers. All music by Matt LeFevers and This Glass Embrace. Copyright 2013.


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