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Grade School Records

Down in the Weeds

by Trace Italian

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1.
Straw People 04:09
You never talk to no one Their houses too far away to see You tell your kids you're no one And they both agree You were born inside a farmhouse A castle surrounded by seeds You never saw the future From down in the weeds All my friends are made of straw these days Turn to ashes every night Tell me what you'd like to hear Won't be here this time next year Stand outside and make a joke for you I'm not so sure I'm funny anyway, let me tell you Last night I got drunk all by myself and yelled and played guitar, what do you mean you're having children, some days I barely feed myself Laughing outside talking makes my throat hurt these days anyways, yea it looks like twin peaks out here, these forest fires are killing me Taking smoke breaks every hour To stand outside all by myself So ya never talk to no one Never never gonna let your secrets loose you don't know how To talk to no one Gotta gotta gotta think up some excuse, you must know I can read your mind From down in the weeds
2.
Tear up the soil for cellar hideaways Picking a spot to plant the crops Gatherin fruit to boil and hide away Clear the trees and the rust, make a path down to the fire I'm digging up flowers Eating up all their seeds Nuthin can stop me breathing in all the air that I need Are you really happy when the annuals bloom (Left to my own devices getting black and blue) You're convinced we're different now, yea I'm different now Feel like someone new They're paving the gravel into interstate I'm talking to streetlights by the dawn Yea and no one knew You'd take all the food and water Make a case for three floor walk up lives Floods in springtime, broke by March I'm Trying not to lose it It's all negative reviews in Leave the farm to banker's sons I'm trying not to lose it The rain is coming down on you Fates designed to prove you wrong I'm digging up flowers To plant where you laid your feet Nuthin can stop you tearing down anything you might need Are you really happy when the annuals bloom (Left to my own devices getting black and blue) You're convinced we're different now, yea I'm different now Feel like someone new
3.
I lost a friend today, they say he lost his mind It was a matter of time, just a matter of time Head south across the plains, I don't recognize The land that's passing me by, things are passing me by Shoot back what comes our way, whatever we can find Its what I'm leaving behind, why did I leave it behind? Stand helpless on the sideline, keeps me awake at night Just to escape with my life, did I really survive? How could I complain? I followed unquestioningly, you're no guiltier than me Dressed you up in chains and watched you bleed, too far away to see
4.
Dumont 02:31
5.
I go for a walk up your sleeves just to face you Lost the thread and stained the bed tonight As long as I go I'm leaving traces Peeling off pieces while you're looking for peace of mind You play the program, scream down the hall I stumble past after curtain call My platform manner's unforgiving, I won't ever make a living acting Like someone you once knew I try and sink into good graces Drunk on when sung along with every line I've written off all of your faces It's out of my head, too late to memorize You play the program, scream down the hall Signs all light up for applause I never know if I'm acting Am I performing just for you I never know if I'm telling the truth I never know if I'm telling the truth I never know if I'm telling the truth
6.
Cramping Up 01:00
Cramping up and yelling about this that or the other thing Lighten up don't worry me with anything Stop wondering why We're all gonna die And there's not a thing you can do about it
7.
Fruit Fly 03:38
Spitting cherry pits into your eyes I'm a fruit fly Charm offensive, sweet and sour lies Today we'll die Cough and stutter on the kitchen floor Enjoying the view Of nothing You've had enough A few days old I hope you're gone long before I let you go You slide a cigarette into your mouth Don't make a sound Blow some smoke that I can't fly around You shot me down Spiral downwards like a plane from the war Maybe next time it's you You've done it You've had enough Do what you're told I hope you're gone long before I let you go
8.
3:30 MST 04:08
3:30 mountain standard time We've spread out far and wide Coast to coast, making mountains and molehills And should you choose to take a side I won't play the part Of a highway splits the prairie apart Yea we're chasing satellites To the ground Got a selfish appetite Don't you now? I thought I’d be a jealous guy Instead i’m just a liar, it’s not poetic, it’s just being a bad person You said I should let jesus christ inside but why would I You that we're both in the dark, why find reasons to be farther apart And do you think that it’s a lie Its just taken me a while to get used to Do you ever change your mind? Not that I'd stand behind you I'll feel good without you Yea I'll feel good without you Yea and what am I gonna what am I gonna do Without you 3:30 eastern standard time Left you two hours behind I think Im scared I'm a bad person And if we pulled apart my sides Im not sure what you'd find Something you won't recognize Nothing you won't recognize Someone I won't recognize And do you think that it’s a lie (were chasing satellites) Its just taken me a while to get used to (to the ground) Do you ever change your mind? (you got a selfish appetite) I have reason to believe you won't choose to (don'tcha now)
9.
Don't say it Don't say whatchya mean to me Dont say it Be the man of the century I ran away and I cut my leg wide open At a transit stop we're screaming and my hands are bloodied and they're frozen Yea it tore me up, I know that this is not the one you love Leave a path of broken glass behind me, watch my world kaleidascopin I never talk about it Sometimes I lose control It didn't really mean anything Yea it never meant anything Didn't mean anything at all Come to the river darling, float through the reeds Kept you in stitches pouring your heart in the seams And it won't help cast yourself to sea What I've seen Carry a torch for tortured animals fleas Sit on the porch and order the rain not to freeze And it won't help to ask yourself to see What I've seen Don't say it Don't say whatchya mean to me Dont say it Be the man of the century
10.
I pulled into town at midnight Traffic lights gone dark Drive past brick and mortar shells, hotels half caved in on themselves Making tragedy from art I took two grams of mushrooms Laid outside on the lawn Spent my life inside an 8 pt font on the North Saskatchewan Mistaking tragedy for art Just drunk kids lost in the dark I think about you when I'm high I don't know how to look away Slow motion car crash in my mind We're a predator and prey We're the restaurant that closed and upped the vacancy rate A note you can't harmonize You should come on by You're a pimple on the prairie You're an ad break in the way Shall I compare thee to an old cliché, railway catastrophe Explaining how the west was won Ride off into the sun Ride off into the sun Take my memory I won't mind I won't use it anyway You fill the space I leave behind Trade the past for progress any day Why don't you buy some land, build stadiums 2 city blocks wide? Blame the homeless for the crime Why won't you come on by? Its nice in the summertime A patch of dirt, and empty sky All dressed in wheat and pine and hay I'm slowly leaving you behind Stop coming home to you someday
11.
12.

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released September 19, 2019

Music and lyrics written by Sean Newton, except where otherwise noted.

Performers:
Riley Chernoff: drums and percussion (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Shea Iles: guitar (7, 8, 9, 10) and drums (2, 5)
Kelsey Wood: bass (2, 7, 9)
Sean Croal: upright bass (1, 5, 9, 12)
Connor Newton: saxophone (6, 7, 9, 10)
Evan Oddleifson: keys and mellotron (8, 9)
Joselito De Los Angeles: piano (2, 10)
Colton Hutchinson: noise (3, 4)
Declan Paxton: guitar and synth (4)
Sean Newton: everything else

People who helped out on sessions in some capacity: Declan Paxton, Kyra Heneghan-Smith, Nathalie Parent
Engineered by Sean Newton and Cameron McLean
Mixed and produced by Sean Newton
Mastered by Jesse Northey
Recorded in Studio A and B at MacEwan University, and at Smile! Studios in Edmonton, Alberta

Cover art made by Kyra Heneghan-Smith based on an old Canadian National Railways advertisement.

This record could not have been completed without the financial support of MacEwan University through the USRI project grant.

Thanks to everyone at MacEwan for support of all kinds: Paul Johnston; Bill Richards; Dylan Cave; Jamie Philp. Jeff MacCallum and the Cups N Cakes Network for showing me the good stuff. Alex Archbold at Curiosity Inc for a flexible schedule and enabling my fascination with old things from the prairies. Jesse Acorn for fixing up countless tape machines, preamps, and interfaces. Christian Cassan and Van Dyke Parks for taking the time to speak with me about making records.

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Trace Italian Edmonton, Alberta

Trace Italian is a psych-pop band from Edmonton, AB. The band is led by songwriter and producer Sean Newton, with Kelsey Wood on bass and Riley Chernoff on drums. They've been around in some form or another since 2016.

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