After Talons'

by talons'

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uselessankh thumbnail
uselessankh i love it because it's the best
Dorosoto thumbnail
Dorosoto It's hard to put into words how emotionally resonant Talons' music is, because it usually doesn't need explained once you start listening. Mike mixes the sad and mundane story of life with beautifully melancholic backdrops, creating somber but optimistic pop songs that tend to connect with heartfelt humans. It's hard to pick a favorite...It's all classic.
Jeremy Wade
Jeremy Wade thumbnail
Jeremy Wade It feels right to feel sad. Favorite track: Tired of IPAs.
PatternBased thumbnail
PatternBased This album is impossibly beautiful.
kriebelvisje thumbnail
kriebelvisje a great gift @ the end of 2017, biutiful versions and some new songs, wonderfull to hear from you again, wish you a biutiful 2018 in this weird world, your music makes it a little bit better, thnx Favorite track: 5 Years Ago.
jon & liam
jon & liam thumbnail
jon & liam "Talons’ capture the futility and hopelessness of a content life in a creaking hyper-capitalist society, an existence often devoid of meaning and full of shame at the hypocrisy in caring about the world but doing little to change it. But it’s also kind-hearted too, its glowing core of humanity somehow comforting despite the heavy subject matter. In other words, there’s no optimism here, but there is hope" - Favorite track: The Plane.
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An album about looking back because looking forward is too confusing in such a weird world. Songs about the strange melancholy of mid-30s contentment, a sadness that is only kept from descending into raw despair by having a partner to stare into the darkness with.

Thank you for sticking around for this one. This is the best I can do.

Dark Age:
After the world didn't end
We came down out of the woods
and couldn't remember where we parked the car.
When we got home the house was a mess.
We didn't exactly think we were coming back.

I checked my Instagram
and you put away the Go Bags that we bought off Amazon.
"I guess I better mow the lawn."

And will we ever find our places in this fucked up world?
Hold on to me and we'll feel our way through this dark age.

Breaking Bad:
Should have rode my bike, instead I roll up in a cloud of smoke,
like some old man, but at least I got here.
And in between bands I nurse my one beer and stare at the floor
wishing I had an iPhone so it wouldn't be so clear
that I'm not talking to anyone.

And didn't we go out just to find someone to stay home with?
And now that I've got you, I never wanna go out alone again.
Never wanna go out alone again.
Just wanna stay home watching Breaking Bad in bed.
Never wanna go out alone again.

I'm losing my memory of my life before 2005.
Old photos on a crashed hard drive. Pictures that I can't find.
And I hear the sounds of things going away.

The Plane:
When the plane went down, you were at home.
But then the phone rang, but it was just me, checking in from work.
It slid across a road and into someone's back yard.
And when it stopped-

No one we knew died.
No one we'd ever know died.

But then the phone rang,
but it was just me, checking in from work.

Driving home from shows:
That winter, I didn't make a sound.
I put my head down and waited for the warmth to come.
But I swore that on the first nice day that I was off,
I'd pump up my tires and ride out to the lake and just stare out.
And somewhere out in the blue, I'd learn to feel like I did when I was 20,
when everything was new, when everything was huge.
That heavy hearted hope, like driving home from shows at night.
Like driving home from seeing Low for the first time.

But I can't go back
and I'm looking for something to fill that hole in my heart.
That heavy hearted hope, like listening to Know By Heart three times in a row, on the way home.

5 Years Ago:
5 years ago, we'd run to the bar at 1:50,
just to do shots, turn around and walk home.
It would be the worst year in all of our lives but we didn't know it yet.
Seemed like it should have been the best.
5 years ago, it was OK to be lost, now its not.
Is "growing up" just learning not to talk?

Three days into April, how can it be snowing still?
Well I'm still broke and now I'm just getting off work,
just about the time you've gotta get up an go in.
And in your absence, I sleep in late and bounce between
breaking up and moving in, and somehow I wish that you'd just leave
so I wouldn't have to live with the sin of breaking it off again,
giving love away two and a half years to the day.

And as we build our lives from the lines in TV shows,
we try so hard to buy away all our sorrow.
And as we slowly grind ourselves to dust, we give up everything.
How can anything be worth that much?
Just to die in debt in a retirement home.
Unloved, unhappy and alone.

The engine light is on again, I cover it up,
Cuz I can't deal with this right now.
No that's a lie. I don't wanna deal with this right now.

Let's pretend we're 19 again.
Spend our paychecks on records and weed
Call off work to go out.
And we'll swear we're never gonna settle down.
Never gonna settle down.

I got off work at 10, drove 9 hours to Richmond.
I knew I wanted you then, I still don't know if you were sure yet.
Listening to Boxer back to back to back to back
"In the Guest Room", oh
"in the guest room, where we'll throw money at eachother and cry"

As the sun rises somewhere in western Virginia,
you're the only thing that's in my head.

And I won't lose you again.

All that hasn't burned is drowned:
The house across from us is burning down,
I woke up with the heat on my face.
I guess the wind must have been blowing the other way.

Now the water's running in through the roof
all over the couch and the new TV.
And the light from the flames is flashing on you while you sleep.
And there is calm at the end of all things.

Milwaukee tonight smells like the mall in middle school.
Not that I care.
Not that anyone cares.
Not that anybody cares.
When you're gone I don't know what to do with myself
so I eat trash and drink a ton,
I don't know, probably end up sleeping on the couch.
After scrolling through Netflix for half an hour, I finally admit to myself that
there's nothing I'm gonna watch.
It's funny how life can be se rad sometimes.
And then it's not.

But for now, I'm just wandering around,
wondering if it's too early to drink.
Past the Bucktown graystones, type of places we'll never own,
kinda makes me sad but I don't know.
I guess I'm somewhere between relief and despair
but the more I think about it the less I care.

What happens to punks when they grown up?
Do they still dress punk do they still listen to punk?
Do they show off their old tattoos or cover them up?
I heard about New York Hardcore from an article in the New Yorker
and it reminded me being a teen,
playing bass in the mirror to Rage Against the Machine.

Raging against the machine.

But it's better to be angry even when you don't totally understand why.
No wait, that's a total lie.
Never thought I'd end up like this,
generally trying to ignore the fact that the world's going to shit.
Rolling my eyes at the kids.

Tired of the IPAs:
I got tired of the IPAs I was drinking every night,
that Summer that I stayed inside in a city with no friends.
I'd get off of work at 10,
take the train home and we'd watch Lost
on our mattress on the kitchen floor, I've never felt so close to anyone.

I got tired of irony when I was 28.
Of making fun of everything,
realized I actually thought that Fleetwood Mac were great.
But when I stopped laughing and tried to "grow up",
I just saw the stupid and the sad.
And I got cold and lost inside my head.

Now I'm missing my wife's pregnancy
working overnight at a job that I hate.
Just to keep our healthcare.
I guess these are the choices that we've gotta make.
Are these really the choices that we've gotta make?

Should I take Lake or North?
It's 3am, I guess I'd better take the freeway.
Half asleep in the car, listening to the BBC on NPR.
But fuck the World News, I'm worried about money
and our 20 week ultrasound.
I used to write songs about being 21 and lonely,
guess I'm an old man now.
What am I doing?
What am I gonna do now at 32 without a plan?
I guess I'll keep making things, try to make do
and find the good where I can.


released December 29, 2017

Recording Notes

Recorded at home in the room above the garage on Music St. in Novelty, OH 2015-2017.

This recording is meant to sound like that room, the natural reverb of the wood floors and sloped ceiling. The sounds of the insects at night, the rain, the generators in the nearby allotment after a wind storm. They are all night sounds since this recording was made entirely at night, between 9PM and midnight, a half an hour at a time over 2 years.

Recorded on a 2010 MacBook Pro using the Reaper DAW. Reaper’s EQ plugin was used extensively as was the Ozone mastering suite. No other software or software instruments were used. The songs “19” and “All that hasn’t burned is drowned" were recorded to click tracks (at 100 and 83 BPM, respectively). The other songs were recorded without tempo reference.

Recorded one track at a time with an Apogee Duet (FW) interface and a Rode NT-1000 large diaphragm condenser microphone. Some sounds were routed first through a Tascam M-208 mixer. No other outboard preamps, compressors, etc. were used.

Songs/music by MT. Sommer T sang harmonies.

Instruments used:

Primarily recorded using a 1966 Gibson ES-125t guitar (modded to be left-handed then modded back and refinished natural). Also a 1966 Fender Musicmaster ii (with a bridge pickup added) and a 1959 Silvertone U1 (shark-fin headstock) electric guitar were used. A recent model Taylor acoustic was also used for “Tired of IPAs” and some incidental guitar. A borrowed no-name 12-string electric guitar was used briefly. Bass parts were recorded with a 1978 Fender Precision Bass.

The guitars were mostly played through a 1972 Fender Pro Reverb (pre-master volume, blackface modded). Some sounds were recorded through a 60s Harmony solid state 5w amp, a Roland JC-55 combo, and a Fender Blackface Vibro-champ clone (built by Joe Golden) with 1x12 cabinet (Weber Ceramic Speaker). Bass was recorded direct but it was first run through the preamp of an Ashdown ABM 300 C110 combo.

A Wurlitzer 200a electric piano was used (though it does not do well with the garage’s dirty power and radio interference can be heard when it is used (Cleveland's Z 107.9)).

A Casio MT-100 keyboard was used for all organ sounds.

A Korg MS-20 Mini synthesizer was used for sub bass and mono synth sounds.

A Korg MS-2000 was used sparsely for synthesizer pad and string sounds.

A ramshackle drumset was used for the small amount of drum recording, consisting of no-name gold sparkle snare, Pearl green sparkle floor tom (formerly used in 6/7), no-name sizzle cymbal and late-50s Slingerland 20” bass drum.

A variety of effects pedals and processors were used for guitars and keyboards, including:

Electro-Harmonix HOG and 2880
Moog MF-101
Strymon El Capistan
Maestro EP-4 Echoplex
Montreal Assembly Count to Five
Digitech PDS 1002
Roland RE-201
And a number of pedals manufactured by my coworkers and I at EarthQuaker Devices, including the Dispatch Master, Pulse Machine, Zap Machine, Avalanche Run, Transmisser, Speaker Cranker, Data Corrupter, and Disaster Transport Jr.

Sounds were also processed using a Panasonic Slimline cassette recorder and 2 home made cassette-based tape delays.

Many songs on the album include samples from previous Talons’ releases, notably:

“Dark Age” contains a sample from “Rowboat” and “Old Kayak” from the “Songs for Boats” 12” vinyl LP (Positive Beat 2012) and “September” from the “First Songs” 5” lathe-cut single (2016).

“Sounds” contains samples from “F the World”, “Rustic Bullshit”, “Conversation with my grandpa…” and “Plants & Animals” from the “Rustic Bullshit” 12” vinyl LP (Bark and Hiss, 2012; Broken Circles, 2016).

“The Plane” contains samples from the “MIDI Pillow (edit)” 8” lathe-cut single (2016).

“Driving home from Shows” contains a sample from the song of the same name, released on a 6” lathe-cut single in 2014.

“5 years ago” contains a sample from “Angela” from “Songs for Babes” 12” vinyl LP (Bark and Hiss, 2008)

“April” contains a sample from “Juice” from the “Songs for Babes” LP

“19” contains a sample from “Natalie” from the “Songs for Babes” LP

“All that hasn’t burned is drowned” contains samples from “The Cleveland Rocks” and “Sailboat" from “Songs for Boats” and a sample from the song of the same name on the “Chicago EPs” CD (Luau, 2016)

“New York Hardcore” contains a sample from “Fools’ Gold” from “Rustic Bullshit.




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