Cynic's New Year

by Horse Feathers

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about

New Year's Eve always suggests a new beginning, and "Cynic’s New Year” welcomes Horse Feathers' fans with the promise of something new. To be sure, old friends return. Wrapped around Justin Ringle’s unique vocals are sparkling guitars, dancing fiddles, and smoky banjo woven through the foundation of the lower strings. But new elements are everywhere: horn, woodwind and brass appear and fade, and drums drive the beat in places, providing new texture and heft. The lyrics traverse familiar themes from natural disaster to the deeply personal, each through Justin Ringle’s uniquely American linguistic lens. New vistas and new stories are explored with deep insight and fresh intimacy, always with an abiding respect and affection. The universe rises to threaten, inspire, and sometimes punish, but always to teach a valuable lesson. Souls, lost and found, embark on thoughtful emotional journeys.

The first single, “Fit against the Country”, describes a nation where working men and women shoulder their careworn lives with neither apology nor surrender. These are words that need to be held close, owing their poignance as much to the savor of their pure sound as to their meaning. “Where I’ll Be”, another single from this brilliant collection, has an infectious rhythmic cadence that marks it as one of the great songs evoking trains, with a compelling sentiment that belies the gray landscape it travels.

Again joining Justin is instrumental coconspirator Nathan Crockett, accompanied by a gathering of gifted Northwest musicians including Dustin Dybvig, Victor Nash, Justin Power, Catherine Odell, Jedadiah Bernards, Cory Goldman, Jenn Rawling, Adam Thompson, Scott Magee, Brandon Johnson, and sound engineer Skyler Norwood.

“Cynics New Year” does not fail to deliver something beautiful and new. It navigates a thoughtful, thought-provoking expedition from the wide sky and rolling ocean to the most private corners of the human heart.

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released 17 April 2012

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Kill Rock Stars Portland, Oregon

KRS's mission is to put out exceptional records by important artists.
At KRS we believe in doing it yourself, and we see our job as helping bands to realize their visions. In a culture that rewards making mediocre music with a quick buck, we feel lucky that we get to work with artists who challenge mediocrity on a regular basis. ... more

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Track Name: A Heart Arcane
A HEART ARCANE

There was the thinnest wind dying away,
It's so cold inside you go.
It's where you mean to stay, night and day.
It won't leave or wane,
everyday was born the same.

Your starving for sure,
Your searching for words,
the last thing you heard:
You're turning a page,
They're telling you now,
You're dying of young age.

It was a year so wild not a month was tame.
It's where your friends all foul your name.
While you would drag your feet,
you're inclined to do the same.
Can you believe what they done?
Gave you half of what's left, which was none.

Your starving for sure,
Your searching for words,
the last thing you heard:
You're turning a page,
They're telling you now,
You're dying of young age.

Time don't change,
With a heart arcane.
Everyday was born the same.

Despite what I do,
every ending begins,
the start of something new.
Track Name: Last Waltz
LAST WALTZ

I've seen the end
All I have loved had broke and won't mend.
Call in the doctor the day may have died.
There's a thimble of light for an acre of sky.

Darling we play the dunce,
There's changes ahead,
coming at once.
I don't like to lie,
There's a divorcing sea.
Where will we go if there's nowhere to be?

Call in the Doctor and break the news,
We're sick in the head, our hearts' got the blues.
Where in the world, oh where is the sun?
There's a blackness that's bit, it's bitings not done.

Darling we play the dunce,
There's changes ahead,
coming at once.
I don't like to lie,
There's a divorcing sea.
Where will we go if there's nowhere to be?

Old friends withering away,
Just like the cliffs found down by the bay.
I don't like to lie it's a terrible thing.
Time's got a way to take more than it brings.
Track Name: Pacific Bray
PACIFIC BRAY

Through the walls, and the floors, and the streets,
There's a wave that came crashing down to beat,
All of the life from the coast,
In a poem where a bragging god boasts.

Well I read how this spell's been cast,
All the eyes looking up to the heaven's to ask.
Why is the sea on the shoal?
Well the sea it is coming to take its toll.

All the stories, we've heard them been preached,
Now there's bodies, there's bodies, they're found on the beach.

Who calmed the sea of Galilee?
Is it his father that caused this?

Through the walls, and the floors, and the streets,
There's a wave that came crashing down to beat,
All of the life from the coast,
In a poem where a bragging god boasts.
Track Name: So Long
SO LONG

It was I,
Poor as a baby and twice the fool,
feral and rude,
the song that I sing,
it is a tune in the key of,
a young man with means.

It was I,
Bothered to witness,
and pained to see,
wIth two failing knees,
well into her age,
every morning my Grandmother,
would work for a wage.

It's a cold blooded tale,
here's the last coffin nail. . .

So long to a life carefree,
It's passing by with each year or three,
I'll call it aloud,
I'll call it by name,
the young and the vain,
they are one and the same.

It was I,
Weathered, and battered,
and compromised.
Dull in the eyes.
The song that I sung,
it is the melody of one who longs to be young.

It's a cold blooded tale,
here's the last coffin nail. . .

So long to a life carefree,
It's passing by with each year or three,
I'll call it aloud,
I'll call it by name,
Beauty and loss,
they are one and the same.
Track Name: Where I'll Be
WHERE I'LL BE

Lonely up North,
Never in between always just back and forth.
It's there that she sees,
As her train passed the sound,
from the south,
She was trapped northbound.

I'll say it sweet,
You're younger than I have ever known how to be.
With those two eyes wide,
Every night close them shut,
To hide from this cold changing tide.

It's not a lack of will but a lack of time.
It's the road and the miles of it that's on your mind.
Come hear me out,
It's not a lease,
You can come when you want, leave when you please.

Lonely up North,
Never in between always back and forth.
You're doing time,
Another town in the pines,
Raining more,
Than the one you left behind.

So it goes out west,
It's a blurring line.
It's best that you find. . .

It's not a lack of will but a lack of time.
It's the road and the miles of it that's on your mind.
What you get is exactly what you see.

But,
If it's where you are that's where I'll be.
Track Name: Nearly Old Friends
NEARLY OLD FRIENDS

Disgusting speed,
For every word a dirty deed,
And so they say,
Take a week or month,
But you need more than a day.
For it to go away,
But it couldn't be,
What it never was.

No war was waged,
a year in silence,
No penance paid.
With a dirty tongue,
Something wicked's bound,
To this way come.

Then we'll see,
If we both have to crawl from the bottom
It's there we meet.
Eye to eye and bent on some bedlam.

The coast was clear,
Turned out to be a cynic's year.
With a dirty tongue,
Something wicked's bound,
To this way come.

It couldn't be,
What it never was.
Track Name: Fit Against the Country
FIT AGAINST THE COUNTRY

Cold weather comes with an ache,
in our knees, our hands got the shakes.
I swear our back's about to break.
But we won't howl out or cry.

We know we'll fail but we try.
In the middle of nothing asking why.

Every night we all go to a house we'll never own,
Every night we are tired we've been worked to the bone,
But nearly everyday we earn a lower wage,
Does it tell you what we're made of, or are we just what we're paid?

It's a hard country we made.

Here we are far beyond our means,
Learning how to trade love for things,
There's a debt we can't pay,
What kind of life is lived this way?

They see our hand and they raise.
Telling us the way out is to pray.

Nearly everyday was a darker kind of gray,
But the color we all knew best was the deepest shade of red.

Every night we all go to a house we'll never own,
Every night we are tired we've been worked to the bone,
But nearly everyday we earn a lower wage,
Does it tell you what we're made of, or are we just what we're paid?

It's a hard country we made.

We won't howl out or cry,
We know we'll fail but we try,
What kind of life is lived this way?
They see our hand and they raise.
Track Name: Better Company
BETTER COMPANY

The Columbia to the Puget Sound,
From the peak of Hood right to the ground.
Not and inch was dry, and every month's the same.
Winter rains are coming to drown the coastal range.
From Manzanita on towards Young's Bay,
The clouds are rolling in heavier each day.

Here it's hard to be better company,
Where the hope or the sign of summer clouds your mind.
From October through July it's the way it is.

Stretching county wide and clear up I-5.
All the towns are empty, everyone's inside.
Not an inch was dry, and every month's the same.
Winter rains are coming to drown the coastal range.

Here it's hard to be better company,
Where the hope or the sign of summer clouds your mind.

It's known to the born and raised,
up the Gorge aways,
there's a shadow, that hides the sane
In that shadow due east,
It's sparer on the plain.
Where the hope or the sign of summer clouds your mind.
You see here it's hard to be better company,

From October through July it's the way it is.
Track Name: Bird On A Leash
BIRD ON A LEASH

As crass as your mother, keen to the chance,
You would live by the seat of your pants,
And you were taught you should have all things you can take,
It's getting caught that makes you a thief.
By the skin of your teeth.

It's true you were running for cover,
the worst of the worst was not done,
You can't find comfort in any other,
Set in your ways like the sun.

Not one tune had changes like scattered leaves,
All her clothes strung out on the eves.
There's a reckoning that's coming to make something right,
There's a man here who's picking a fight,
it's on like a light.
No future or history too bright.

It's true you were running for cover,
the worst of the worst was not done,
You can't find comfort in any other,
Set in your ways like the sun.
She's worrying me,
A bird on some leash,
flying nowhere but dying to be.

A bird on some leash,
flying nowhere but dying to be.

Caught by some pride,
Only virtue will get you untied.

A bird on some leash,
flying nowhere but dying to be.
Track Name: Fire to Fields
FIRE TO FIELDS

Has November made you lose your mind?
Colic babies, a home, and a wife.
Setting off without so much as a plan,
With no wish to be an ex-family man.

Of course it's through,
You sooner leave than not be you.

As the sun gave the west to the night,
Heavy chested confused as to why,
the coldest sweat and a burden to breathe,
it's then you knew it was just what you need.

It's high time too. . .
You sooner leave than not be you.

What in the world could take this long?
The deeper the sigh the sweeter song.
However long you toed that line,
it's good to see you doing fine.

Lighting fire to fields,
from the ground anew,
the start wasn't real,
but the end was true.

It's good to hear you finally sigh.
A novice whines, a coward bawls.
He would love to weep if he could at all.

Lighting fire to fields,
from the ground anew,
the start wasn't real,
but the end was true.
Track Name: Summer for Capricorns
SUMMER FOR CAPRICORNS

I can't bear the beat of a different drum,
It holds me down and won't help me none.
When the heat begins to fade,
I know it's the time for which I've been made.
My blood it runs, cold in the vein.
I'm left empty-handed with every rhythm change.

Autumn,
do what you need,
I've had my fill
Summer, please concede.

Autumn,
hold your tongue, lose your leaves.
Winter's coming give me bare trees.

I can't bear the beat of a different drum,
It holds me down it won't help me none.

I can't bear the beat of a different drum.