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At This Age

by Signals Midwest

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credits

released September 2, 2016

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Signals Midwest Cleveland

we are a punk/indie band from cleveland, ohio. we've been doing this together since 2008. we will play in your kitchen or anywhere really.

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Track Name: You're Gonna Be Golden
We rode our bikes downtown to the river. Tried to build ourselves a home. Between rusted rapid-transit stations and whiskey ginger revelations, there’s a magazine open to a full-color spread with a girl trapped in grayscale who looks back at me and says: “You don’t get to look at me like that. You don’t get to tell me ‘Aw, it ain’t so bad.’ ” So I don’t.

I set a spark to my suffering city and fell irresponsibly in love. Chris says, “Hey kid, you’re gonna be golden. You’re gonna go places that you never even dreamed of.”

She says “You don’t get to look at me like that. You don’t get to tell me ‘Aw, it ain’t so bad.’ ”
So I don’t. I said, “I hope I leave this earth focused on more than my self-worth.” A legacy comprised of more than “This is all that we could afford.”

There will be islands with nobody on them. Remnants of houses will drift away in the sea. And names carved in tree trunks and footprints left in concrete will leave better proof of our existence than my body could ever be.
Track Name: Should Have Been A Painter
We watched the sun set from an industrial apartment complex. I was congested. You probably killed half a pack. And as the smell of smoke and sweat wove itself into our clothing fabric, you spoke a sour truth that I wanted to give back. Come on, give it back.

Radiator hiss and the pipes that ping inside our hollow walls. Felt like the first kiss after coming home from a war when you opened the side door from the driver’s seat and beckoned me in.
So tell me exactly: What do you think I came here for?

I should have been a painter. I should find a way to live a little better now. Tell me why we don’t end up where we expect to. I should have been a painter. I should balance out the common & the colorful. Tell me why the two of us could never share a frame.
Track Name: West Side Summer
I guess I feel it most in the summer months, when the city realigns for a new love. You can breathe a little deeper, you can see so far. There are things to which I never could assign a price: a quiet street, a smile shimmering in soft light. They’ll never find us. They’ll never find us here.

So give me an endless west side summer. Give me all the strength I need to stay. Give me an endless west side summer.

I guess I got a little rust in my blood. A splash of red to complement a setting sun, to split the clouds like a prisoner out of a cell. So where’d you get a city made entirely of concrete?
Did you just need a place to store up all your summer heat? Hide out for nine months and get born again? I’ll get born again.

Into an endless west side summer. Give me all the strength I need to stay. Give me an endless west side summer.
Track Name: At This Age
I spent a sober January under a blanket of thick, wet snow. I spent some time combing contact lists for somebody who might know how to traverse the terrain and the traffic without getting lost in the glow of a phone. How to align all the stars in our eyes and whether it’s worth an attempt to follow them home.

Always thought at this age I would be settling in to a major city. Always thought at this age I would be further than I am now. Ana and I drove the length of Nebraska and talked opportunities we couldn’t pass up, about the idea of movement as purpose and wanting to capture it all.

You’re draining your battery down and calling your friends back home. If everyone’s out in the weeds, that’s where you’ll grow.

You’re draining your battery down and calling your friends back home. I know I perpetually owe you a phone call, but talking is either a bridge or a brick wall. Caught in the context, stuck on the subject. Draining your battery down.

This city’s bent out of shape, still treading water in the greatest lakes. Comparing notes on time and space and where we should be at this age.
Track Name: Alchemy Hour
I was wasted out west. Exhaling smoke between breaking waves. Slight pain in my chest. Heavy with hunger and hope for days spent so content in attempts to document it. I could never get it all down.

The summer found me barefoot in a public bathroom, scraping salt from my skin in whispered half-truths like “I don’t think about you except when I want to and sometimes when I don’t.”

So let the dishes pile up in the sink. Let those collections collect dust. Let that distracted, derivative drivel all just fall right out of us. When midwestern skies reflect the roads that run beneath, find me out on the water spitting little streams through my two front teeth. And I’m halfway between nearly home and almost there. You could spend a decade, spend a life just trying to get somewhere (else).

You’re such a strange familiar. A part of speech I can’t define. A pattern I can’t quite place. Pick any point and I’ll get there. Let my location locate me. I’ll locate me.

So tunnel straight down past the foundations of former homes. Let knowing hearts pound to the beat of the turn signal metronome. And rest cause you’ve earned it. Every perfect flaw out there on display. In our alchemy hour, we will not wash away. In our golden hour, we will not wash away.
Track Name: We Drive Forever Like It's Nothing
There are places you go and there are places you end up, but I’m still unclear on the origins of the force or the fortune that brought me here. So I piss off bridges in the rain. Spoil white t-shirts with coffee stains. Less a bed than a nest, a perpetual guest making calls back home from the academic west. And it hits me somewhere dumb like halfway through a crosswalk and the students all just smile and shit-talk. So when you’ve got a million ways to go, you get going.

So was I missing it all? I was spacing out listening to Jason Molina and staring holes in the wall,
thinking of how…

We drive forever like it’s nothing. A distance-fed romantic. The goal is just to get there. In some monolithic movement where traffic turns translucent, we crest a hill and exhale: “There’s the city that I missed.”
Track Name: Autumn Breaks
Autumn breaks and I get spit back out into a world where I should not have stayed. Now you’re changing faster than I can comprehend. Gather scraps, try to reconstruct the past. I don’t think I want to be the kind of person who could ever live like that.

I stood alone in the last spot that we spoke, thinking about how time’s a current and the past is just a hole to fall into. Walls all lined with notes on how to live my life but the pages stick together and our expectations block out all the light.

Slowly sinking sun. shake this ground I’m on. I will be the one left to rebuild here when you’re gone.

I’m wide awake. Early morning, for a change. Stuck in my ways. Swimming in a figure eight.
Track Name: Spillover
I could get the call and drive drunk to the hospital, car left idling in the parking lot. Hurried hallway steps, huddled waiting room attempts not to get too lost in my own thought. And you’re alright, just a little shaken up. Doesn’t feel quite right, but you can’t always decide who you love.

Coastline overspill. Weekday nights with time to kill, and the room that you grew up in feels too small. Skies that open up into orange summer lust. Give me a season soaked with sweat so beautiful. And you’re okay with the principle of change. Still, it feels so strange pushing pins through short cut days. So we spill over into September.

Traded our layers for short sleeves and bare feet and scratched our names into fresh slabs of new concrete. Cause everything’s fading but somehow it fits to be permanent here. So I’ll keep that picture of us by the water taped to my wall as a constant reminder that you gave me a second home.
Track Name: Who I Was Before We Met
Ana, I heard you calling. You were saying something I couldn’t make out. Wasted when you were eighteen and I was lonely and running my mouth.

Think of all the things you helped me discover. Don’t think I knew who I was before we met. Dreaming of endless west side summer. A future of sugar and sweat.
Track Name: Song For Ana
You kept me out ’til sunrise. Calling my school, faking sick on a Tuesday. You weren’t the best, but you were the first. That’s what made it special, what made it hurt. Then one day you cut your hair and boarded a plane. I should have put a crumpled $20 in your pocket before they sent you away.

Ana, I heard you calling. You were saying something I couldn’t make out.

I think you said, “I’m terrified cause time is finite.” You drilled an hourglass into your arm to try to make it stay. As for me? I think I’m pretty much the same these days. I get obsessed with distance, stuck on space. Maybe no one gets lost anymore, just comfortably displaced.

When you pictured it, did it look anything like this? Was there some detail that you might have missed? When you pictured it, did it look anything like this? Did it all turn out in a way that you might have wished?

Ana, I heard you calling. You were saying something I couldn’t make out. Oh, I heard you calling. What were you saying?