Monuments

by Balto

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1.
04:29
2.
03:40
3.
(free) 04:46
4.
03:36
5.
04:30
6.
05:48

about

Monuments was tracked live in an old, repurposed church near Woodstock, NY during 3 days in June, 2012. We hung big marching drums from the ceiling, stayed awake day and night and half of us got salmonella poisoning, and we're delighted at what happened.

These are deliberate songs, introspective songs, songs that live in the Technicolor dream of memory. Boats in a bottle-green sea, fire up on a dusty red shoreline, a young man with one foot on the bow, sailing out, sailing back, self-immolating on the endless road between the existant and the ideal.

credits

released 18 September 2012

All songs by Daniel Sheron
Arranged by Balto

Balto is:
Daniel Sheron
Andrew Sheron
Philippe Bronchtein
John Glouchevitch
Charlie Freundlich
Sam Budish

Produced, Engineered, Mixed by Jeremy Backofen
Mastered by Ed Brooks at RFI Mastering

Recorded June 2012 at Dreamland Studios
Additional Recording at Treetime, Popachi, and Badlands

Trumpet on tracks 1 and 6 - Eric Hennies
Trombone on Tracks 1 and 6 - Catherine Budish
Violin on Tracks 1 and 5 - Adam Moss
Artwork by Laura Ritchie

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about

Balto Portland, Oregon

A few years ago, Portland-based songwriter Daniel Sheron left his job and went alone into Siberia with a guitar and no change of clothes. The songs he wrote became Balto's debut album - gritty, dynamic americana with undeniable melodies and heartfelt lyrics. From strange roads in even stranger places come whispered songs of loss and stomping folk anthems, technicolor psych-folk and a few surprises ... more

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Track Name: Smokestacks
Smokestacks breathe fire on the skyline tonight
And down by the docks I’m standing on the starboard side
Anne, she is crying
Anne, she is right
“You don’t have to run anymore”

Concrete and Squalor, mud and tire tracks
Drunks in the fog tipping empty bottles back
Anne at the bus stop
Anne’s looking for change
Threadbare and cold in the rain
----
Greyhound you starcrossed diesel limousine
For five quiet nights she turns her child’s eyes on me
Anne you’re a dreamer
But Anne you’ve got to know
Please don’t look back when I go
----
Did she make love a jailer
Did she lock up the hope inside her chest
Call it a burden she'd bear all alone
And wait for the world to go cold

----
“Wake up,” she smiles we’re getting near the coast
Anne’s making plans, the future offers so much more
Eyes on the twilight she’ll ask me where I’m bound
For years now I’m on my way home

Highways go tumble to drown in choppy seas
And where I went sailing, Anne could never follow me
Down by the lighthouse it’s shining down her cheeks
Silhouette that sticks in my dreams
Track Name: Gravestones
I keep a letter in my drawer
Postmark from several years before
A headstone etched there on the page – a name a place a dying day
But god, I’m never sure

I guess three years ago last week
A ghost-girl drifted down to me
And left the outline of a timid face then slipped away without a trace
Through space between the graves

------------------------------

And then I fell down on my knees
I placed a kiss on stony cheeks
I feel that grit between my teeth
Why won’t she stay, love never stayed with me

---------------------------------

Something like eighteen months ago
I chased a rumor chased a hope
That at St. Peter’s church the clock strikes twelve and ghost girls tend to show themselves but this one would not come

-----------------------------------

And then I fell down on my knees
I placed a kiss on stony cheeks
I feel that grit between my teeth
Why won’t she stay, love never stayed with me

---------------------------------------

The years get longer counting days
I’ve got some private holidays
But when I burned my words by candle-light I saw her standing there behind
“Go on,” she said, “I’ll wait.”

----------------------------------------

And then I fell down at her feet
I laid a kiss on bloodless cheeks
Escaping steam between my teeth
Why won’t she stay, love never stayed with me
Track Name: Airplanes
As a child I looked at airplanes
Learned all their technical names
I never could guess what they’d do

And I spent my youth waiting in airports
Convinced of a purpose
I’m lit up, I’m love, I’m a man

And I’ve rented rooms that change with the seasons
I forget the reasons
The bottom falls out, I’m alone

I hid in the corner, the tanks on parade down below
Looking back homewards, shedding old tears for you
-------------------------------------------

But can I stay with you just for a little while
Been trouble all behind
And lying here beside you
Hell I want to get it right this time

---------------------------------------------

When I make it home I’ll hand out key-chains
And souvenir ashtrays
But I’ll save the full story for you

When I make it home, get a house like my brothers’
And be a good husband
All simple and static and whole

I’ll probably be older, when the fever burns out of my mind
But I gotta tell you, I’m lit-up, I’m filled up and trying
Track Name: Cavalry
I stalled in recalling

The way I lived before
I went away and sparked the Winter War

Some brightness, once lightness
Now sits heavy beneath my ribs
Collects the weight of everything I did

Oh but I had me a cause
A good cause I thought

The Bleeding drum beating
Its time under my skin
The cavalry goes riding out again

Then lost and exhausted
In that desert in my head
I put my lips to water, tasted sand

Oh but I had me a cause
A good cause I thought

------------------------------

So if you see me start retreating
See the shadow cross my eyes
I’m gonna place a bet on wine, I'm gonna take my own advice
And if I’m lucky I can see your lantern shine

-------------------------------

I came back to find that
The truth I knew as sure
Doesn't seem so certain anymore

The past lies in fragments
that slip out of my dreams
And follow me down all these crooked streets

I Guess I’m haunted and lost
chalk up a loss

Now I’m Given, a vision
That I’m not sure I can trust
Of a woman throwing her dice down in the dust

And a house made of mortar
And I wish this house my home
To hang it up and burn my uniform

But what is the cost
when I give up the cause
Track Name: Doves
The white dove at morning called out to warn me - don’t Breath in
The wind carries fire you knew as a child it'll lure you in
And all the vultures sit on wires waiting for lightning to strike where you stand
With your arms upon your chest and rapture heaving in your breath at the end

In spite of the threat I decided to let my guard down
I stood there for hours with three frozen flowers and watched the crowd
I saw blind children throwing darts sticking into all four walls and themselves
I saw their mothers watching sadly, scatter ashes like red petals on the ground

---------------------------

Tell me what’s the harm
In looking back, in holding on
Endless hope sure takes long
To quiet down, to let you out

----------------------------

The white dove of longing calls from the falling snow tonight
I'll cover your footsteps, I’ve turned out the street lamps just come on outside
So I went down to the river broke the ice and sang the saddest song I know
And with the water to my waist I came to know I was afraid to turn and go
Track Name: Monuments
My friends and I were sailing down
To find out what the world’s about
Driftwood, ships, and monuments
To how the young man beat his breast
And how his love is tied to death

See lily fronds like lace upon
The silver girl, her distant arms
The words that issued from her lips
A turn of phrase a parting gift
Like “You’ve done wrong in abandoning
Everyone and everything.”

We’ll meet again someday is the longest of the lines
That slip the hands of drowning men and go slowly with the tide

Somewhere there’s a border town
I hardly ever mention now
Where young girls lock themselves inside
And claim they’re never worth our time
Because the flesh is not divine
Because we’re never satisfied

See empty chairs in Heaven high
A disembodied voice decries
Says “Of all the seething mess I’ve made
nothing here is fit to save”
So I’ll call for endless rain again

Could we have sailed
Off into
A better land
Two by two?