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.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Apocalypse Songs via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 15 Aaron J. Shay releases available on Bandcamp and save 50%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Trust Song (Single), Tonight Will Be Different (Single), More Unfinished Sketches, Eldritch Forces (Single), Make It Through Tonight (A Benefit Single), Time Ghost EP, Apocalypse Songs LIVE, Abandoned Homes (Single), and 7 more. , and , .

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  • The Album
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    12-songs in a cardboard sleeve, featuring artwork by Juan Santapau and Wonder. Photography by Lou Daprile

    Includes unlimited streaming of Apocalypse Songs via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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1.
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
2.
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
3.
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
4.
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
5.
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
6.
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
7.
Replace Me! 02:39
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
8.
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
9.
The Forecast 03:22
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
10.
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
11.
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
12.
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

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

He/him.
Sci-fi storyteller and banjo balladeer. I believe in the good kind of apocalypse.

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