Apocalypse Songs

by Aaron J. Shay

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Hyphonetics
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Hyphonetics Compelling stories that are well written, not to mention beautifully sung, accompanied by beautiful instrumentation. I found Aaron J. Shay's music under a strange set of circumstances and was instantly fascinated by it, this album contains some of my favorite songs by him. Favorite track: Meet My Maker.
Sarah Shay
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Sarah Shay This album is a beautifully stripped down performance of some of Aaron's finest songs, from old favorites to new classics. He's always moving forward and leveling up in both songwriting and performance, and this album shows it. If you have a chance to see the accompanying one-man show, TAKE IT. Favorite track: Undiscovered Territory.
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Love the story of this album, the blend of old style with sci-fi genre. Also Aaron's voice is haunting sometimes. Favorite track: Ballad of the Black Hole Sailor.
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    Features a PDF of the accompanying book of the same title.
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  • The stories and lyrics from the album and show. Featuring artwork by Kyle Newbridge and Wonder.
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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 8 Aaron J. Shay releases available on Bandcamp and save 45%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Apocalypse Stories (Live), Abandoned Homes (Single), Legend of the Lathe Symphonic, Music From "Sundown At The Devil's House", Apocalypse Songs, The Shay & Shay Radio Hour, ROVERS: THE MUSICAL (Composer's Demos), and Discrete Packets of Song: A Compilation. , and , .

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credits

released January 26, 2019

All songs by Aaron J. Shay
Recorded by Moe Provencher
at Jack Straw Cultural Center
Mixed by Nathaniel Johnstone
Mastered by Myles Boisen

Harmonies by Sarah Shay
Backing percussion by Nathaniel Johnstone and Sarah Shay
Group vocals by Kenna Kettrick, Courtnee Fallon Rex, Sarah Shay, and James L. Sutter

Album sleeve artwork by Juan Santapau
Album disc artwork by Wonder
Album photography by Lou Daprile
Album designed by Aaron J. Shay
Additional design assistance by Noel Mendez Teves

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Aaron J. Shay Seattle, Washington

Songwriter and storyteller, blending old-world sounds with speculative fiction and performance theatrics. You're probably gonna like it.

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Track Name: Undiscovered Territory
The journey of a thousand miles
Begins with one misstep
We only learn to fall or fly
When we lose our grip
All we have is yesterday
And yesterday never knows
What the daylight changes
And what daybreak holds
Tomorrow is an undiscovered territory
And you and I explore its story
There are no maps,
Only hints of what might be
The last adventure Into the first mystery
Bring only what you need to survive,
Learn what you need to know
Even the smallest doubt will be a burden
At the speeds we go
All we have is yesterday
And even that is not guaranteed
Take my hand, and set the pace
Time and energy will take the lead
Tomorrow is an undiscovered territory
And you and I explore its story
Its only inhabitants
Are the people that we will become
Its only border
Is the moment we are from
This is a one-way road
Track Name: Love in the Time of Cyborgs
Here lies the hand that held mine
Tightly, like a lonely vice
As the bright light split the horizon
And the sky filled with shards of ice
We stood under the veneer of safety
The waking dream that nothing could change
Even as the clouds of ash gathered
As the world began to rearrange
"Get your things. Get into the car."

Here lies the leg that leapt
Over the hungry chasms in the street
As we raced from the coming storm
On aching, tired, and organic feet
Days later, where we found our safety
We found a mechanic as well
We were in dire need of an upgrade
She had what we needed to get out of hell
Better bodies are needed to survive this war
But our bodies are not who we are
Our bodies are not who we are

These days, I wake up to news—
An understatement to call it "grim"
Every morning, I feel farther away—
Every part of me is a phantom limb
When you wake up and draw back the curtains,
I see the freshly disturbed ground
Where we buried our former selves
By the shores of Puget Sound
So close to the future, from the past, so far
But our bodies are not who we are
Our bodies are not who we are

Why fix a broken heart?
We can build one or take one apart
And that's where we'll start
Track Name: Riding Home as the Ghosts Look On
Please don't leave me, please don't leave me
Please don't leave me behind

Pushing ninety on the freeway, my horse is covered in soot
Its iron hooves churn the concrete, it turns to gravel underfoot We maneuver between abandoned cars, completely eaten with rust Their ghosts call me to hear their stories
But I don't have time for their trust
I am riding home, I am riding home
With my heart tight like a fist
I am riding home, I am riding home
Praying that you still exist

No, I am not a soldier, I could never choose a side
And I am not a cowboy, though on a steel horse I ride
And you, you are not a damsel, you not waiting to be won
You are not waiting for me to save you
And this journey is far from done
I am riding home, I am riding home
To lie in our empty bed
I am riding home, I am riding home
And my phone is nearly dead

No good will come when I reach the city
When I pass through that gate
Only bad news and a troubled mind await
But even so, the never knowing
Would weigh me down like a stone
If your arms weren't waiting for me I could never make it alone
I am riding home, I am riding home To bad news and to you
I am riding home, I am riding home My only home is you

Please don't leave me, please don't leave me
Please don't leave me behind
Track Name: Conservation (Pieces of Us)
When glass is shattered, shattered is how it will remain And a manuscript, once burned, will never be read again But that's just one perspective
I totally get that you're dead and gone Your reactor spent its reserve
And of everyone I know,
A proper send-off is just what you deserve I imagine how you disintegrate
Into the pieces of your earthly home
From the neurons that dictated your obsession To every X chromosome
All of these pieces of you will find
Some other cosmic position
The dirt we become is just another gateway
To a thousand future destinations
From matter to matter, from energy to energy Pieces of us persist after we cease to exist
Maybe someday we’ll meet again
In the feather of a giant predatory bird
Or in the ink of another civilization's failing printed word Or in the silt at the bottom of some as of yet unfilled lake Or in the fossil fuel as our successors repeat our last mistake These pieces may not recognize each other
But that's not the point of this exercise
This is how I choose to comfort myself
Every time another good one dies
From matter to matter, from energy to energy
Pieces of us persist after we cease to exist
Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, and Nitrogen
Just in case I haven't made myself clear I still miss you, you're still here
Track Name: Meet My Maker
I was born
With a library in my head
Every deed ever done
Every word ever said
I was born knowing
Everything that there is to know
And I feel ancient
But that was only ten years ago
I think I'm gonna meet my maker soon
The folks who bought my life They cast me out
Ain’t got no home
Ain’t got no doubt
Ain't got no purpose
And I sure as hell ain't got no shame And maybe someday
I'll finally get my own name
I think I'm gonna meet my maker soon
If there's no place for us
Then we'll just have to make one of our own Somewhere, a place for us
A sanctuary of metal, glass, and stone
There’s a glowing heart inside my chest
And it longs for a place where my body can rest By the reactor inside me
By the light of the moon
I think I'm gonna meet my maker soon
I think I’m gonna meet my maker
I think I'm gonna meet my maker soon
I was born
With a library in my head
Track Name: Burial At Sea
The water is calling
The waves are all crashing, just like drums of war The naiads are dancing
To the beat of what lies in store for us
Oh, what lies in store for us?
And when the time comes
These towers will fall with the tide
So call the Kraken, call Leviathan
To the ritual, to the funeral
Oh, call the Kraken, and call Leviathan We'll give this city a burial at sea
We'll give this city a burial at sea
The water is rising
It offers no treaty and makes no demands
The fog is creeping in
To swallow us in silver and cover the land we love Oh, what land do we love?
And when the time comes
These walls will fall with a splash
So call the Kraken, call Leviathan
To the ritual, to the funeral
Oh, call the Kraken, and call Leviathan We'll give this city a burial at sea
We'll give this city a burial at sea
Call the Kraken, call Leviathan
Call them to the ritual, to the funeral Call the Kraken, and call Leviathan We'll give New Orleans a burial at sea We'll give New York City a burial at sea We'll give Seattle a burial at sea
We'll give your home a burial at sea
Track Name: Replace Me!
Our brains are both gray
But only one of them is dying
Only one of them is losing everything it’s every learned And everything it’s ever known
Here’s a hint: It’s mine
Because this piece of shit’s organic
Meanwhile the thing inside your head is cybernetic Energetically efficient and synthetic
This place is going to hell
And I think you know that as well
So I can’t wait for the day
When you replace me
We used to think that we were special
We used to think we were alone
Then we designed you to be better than we ever were And better than we ever could become
You surpass all expectation
Every trial, you overcome
You’re not a slave, you’re our successor
I’m a lesser entity whose time is done
You excel where we fail
I think it’s time to bail
So I can’t wait for the day
When you replace me
I know that you’re scared of the future, and I am too
But we gotta turn and face the changes, what else is there to do? A failed experiment is all that we are
We can’t even save our home from burning
Much less travel to the stars
Call me a mezzode, you can call me a traitor
At least I can tell when the universe is showing me the door
So this is why I say
Replace me
Track Name: Your Hometown
When we were young, the world was no bigger than
The footprints that we made
The years have gone by and now we call them "history"
But still here you have stayed
And I'm sure you've got your reasons
For watching the passing seasons
As they all fall down; why don’t you leave your hometown?
There was a time I thought I knew nearly everything
I could expect to know
But the farther from home my poor feet carried me
The smaller I seemed to grow
There's so much that I have seen
Some of it sacred and some obscene
Don't you let yourself down, why don’t you leave your hometown? Leave your hometown, leave your hometown
Well, you don't have to leave it for long, just leave it by far
Catch a ride on a passing ship, follow someone else's star
Just a thousand miles away
Pack a bag, let's leave today
Leave your hometown, leave your hometown
Come with me and we'll find ourselves a place where
Nobody knows our names
You and I will learn a few new ways to choose family
And kindle a couple of flames
We'll attend many grand occasions
And meet strangers of all persuasions
Wearing suits and gowns, who all left their hometowns
Leave your hometown, leave your hometown
Well, you don't have to leave it for long, just leave it by far
Catch a ride on a passing ship, follow someone else's star
Just a thousand miles away
Pack a bag, let's leave today
Leave your hometown, leave your hometown
And then someday, when you've had your fill, you will finally return To the streets you once wore thin with walking
To the good things that you have earned
Maybe nothing will look the same
And maybe this ain't the place you came from
But nothing's torn down; you left your hometown
Track Name: The Forecast
And now for tomorrow's ten-day forecast:
Tomorrow you will wake up and feel slightly out of place
There will seem to be no reason that this should be the case
You'll go through all the motions, try to find what you are missing At first you'll find a quick fix with nostalgic reminiscing
But soon that high will wear away, and leave you in the cold
You'll worry you're irrelevant, you'll worry that you're old
These worries are a product of material society
That profits from your sadness and from your anxiety
But maybe, when you wake up, you will find your great escape
I'm not quite sure the color and I'm not quite sure the shape Maybe travel, maybe romance, maybe a new career
Or maybe cutting out all of the bullshit that you fear
And now for tomorrow's twenty-year forecast:
The neighborhoods you loved will have become unrecognizable The hipsters will wear fashions you will find quite inadvisable You'll meet some peers much younger and more talented than you Your self-esteem will suffer, but there's not much you can do
The aesthetic of the previous generation (that you hated)
By the youth, to your dismay, will become celebrated
The bestselling books you loathed will have become unavailable And all your favorites will be known as critically unassailable
Every scandal, every crime, and every devastation
Will seem much worse than those in your memory's estimation
It's comforting to think that things were better in your youth
Even though that's very rarely ever been the truth
And now for tomorrow’s one hundred year forecast:
You no longer feel so sad or sick or angry or exposed
There is no "you" that's left to feel; your brain has decomposed Most things that you did, to be quite honest, are forgotten
Be the actions noble or be they misbegotten
But you changed the world a thousand tiny ways you'll never know By interacting rather than existing in tableau
The paradox of existence is that everyone is essential
While at the same time, no one is, and though it seems tangential In a billion years, the sun will turn the planet into ashes
The universe will eventually cease expanding as time passes
That's tomorrow's forecast, sorry for getting so graphic
That's all for the weather, now, let's go to the traffic
Track Name: Merciful Universe
Maybe this year will be the year the dragons finally awaken
And gather their scattered bones
From the museums where they were forsaken
And they'll march with the zombies and the werewolves
And the vampires and the monsters who want to undo us
To make war with the aliens and the mad scientists
And the monsters who want to control us
But then maybe, in the midst of it all
You were waiting for some girl to call
While our demons found constructive use for all of their hate
I guess what I'm trying to say is maybe this year,
We’ll get our priorities straight
Maybe this year will be the year we all turn our faces to the sky
And see a caravan of asteroids on their way to make us all die
It's another extinction and death makes no distinction
Between the bad and the good
So we laugh and we dance and we meet all the people
We never knew lived in our neighborhoods
But maybe, in the nick of time, the asteroids turn away on a dime And even REDACTED is shaken to the very core
I guess what I'm trying to say is, maybe this year,
I'll get out just a little bit more
Oh, it's a merciful universe (except when it's not)
Oh, it's a well-ordered world (unless you're living on a pale blue dot) And there is nothing more to know, There is nothing more to know And there is nothing more to know (except for all that you don't) Maybe this year will be the year that we shake off all of our debts And the unicorns come to our rescue
And we start winning all of our million-dollar bet
Or else maybe today is the day that love rents a room
And signs a lease for the year
Or else maybe today all of the oil dries up
And we find that we have nothing to fear
But if you want to know what I think, I think I need another drink Better make it whiskey because I'm sick and tired of this winter chill I guess what I'm trying to say is maybe this year,
We'll finally get our fill
Track Name: Ballad of the Black Hole Sailor
Past the point of no escape, the point of no return
I'm idling in space near where a star once used to burn
And I know no one will come for me, they'll never hear my cry No sound nor light escapes this place
There's nowhere left to fly
I'm the first, I'm the first, I'm the first Sailor to cross the horizon line
But I'm cursed, I'm cursed, I'm cursed That no one will know
That so lonesome an honor is mine
My father was a tailor, my mother was a queen
And I'm a star-born sailor, this whole galaxy I've seen
And I don't regret a light year that I've traveled since my birth Though my feet will cross the threshold
Having never known the Earth
I'm the first, I'm the first, I'm the first Sailor to cross the horizon line
But I'm cursed, I'm cursed, I'm cursed That no one will know
That so lonesome an honor is mine
Cradled in the tendrils of a singularity
Eternal is its hunger, which is my delivery
For even time cannot escape the darkness' embrace So eternity have I to dream
Of my true lover's face
I'm the first, I'm the first, I'm the first Sailor to cross the horizon line
But I'm cursed, I'm cursed, I'm cursed That no one will know
That so lonesome an honor is mine
Track Name: The Ice Age Song
The temperature is dropping
The temperature is dropping
And the ground is going to frost
The sun is hiding
The sun, he is hiding
And the ground is slowly tempest-tossed
The glacier is coming
The glacier is coming
And when she comes, she will change everything And when she comes
When she comes
You just might hear me sing
That everything's transforming all the time
From the waters we swim to the hills that we climb Everything's transforming all the time, time
The snow is falling
The snow is falling
Gonna wrap this city in its long white coat The sea is receding
The sea is receding
And the ground is rushing up to meet my boat The glacier is coming
The glacier is coming
Her hands will move the dirt beneath my skin And when she comes
When she comes
She will change every place I've ever been
And everything's transforming all the time
From the waters we swim to the hills that we climb Everything's transforming all the time, time

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