Talking Under Water

by Talking Under Water

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about

On Talking Under Water, the debut LP by the Rochester, NY group of the same name, songwriter Dave Chisholm and his cohorts craft lo-fi indie rock that combines love of a big chorus with a deep appreciation of nuanced songwriting. Tinged with blues and gospel, Talking Under Water is full of harmony vocals, honky-tonk keys, and joyful horns swaying together in a celebration of everything that’s great about a sweaty rock show.

The ink was barely dry on both Chisholm’s 2013 Doctorate in Jazz Trumpet and his debut graphic novel when he found himself confronting a crisis of music faith. “I was really kind of burned-out on jazz”, says Chisholm, “and found myself again writing a bunch of songs with really painful lyrics that, at the time, I wasn't even aware where this pain was coming from.” Chisholm recruited friends Alex Patrick (guitar), Elise Hughey (cello), and Joe Parker (drums) and together they set out to make a record. They recorded in December 2015 in an old church that had been converted into a recording studio.

Music can mend a broken heart, and Chisholm wrote the bulk of Talking Under Water while navigating the treacherous emotional waters of divorce. Writing, revising, and fine-tuning these songs took on a healing role for Chisholm as the dust settled. During this lengthy process, Chisholm and Hughey came to realize they were meant to be more than just musical partners. “It's kind of a strange situation,” explains Chisholm. “Elise is good friends with my ex-wife and we all get along, there's no bad blood. In the wide world of divorces, situations like this are really extremely rare, and we all owe it to a commitment to communication, honesty, and conscious examination.” Hughey’s insight and love turned out to be integral to both Chisholm’s emotional healing and his songwriting, imbuing the record with a deep sense of self-reflection and personal honesty.

The majority of Talking Under Water was written on an antique 1800s piano with a great old thuddy sound that inspired much of the lilting blues undercurrent heard throughout the record. Recorded at Temperamental Studios in Geneseo, NY, much of the record was tracked live. Grammy winner Stephen Roessner (Saxon Shore) produced and mixed the record. Joining them in the studio were violinist Marja Alanen, Molly Werts McDonald and violist Ben Magruder, jazz trombonist Brendan Lanighan, and Matthew Sieber-Ford on tenor saxophone, all conservatory-trained.

Joyously cathartic and reveling in its internal darkness, Chisholm hopes that Talking Under Water can help listeners through their own hard times. “I think sad or depressing music, in my life, has been so much more useful than happy music” says Chisholm. “Happy music doesn't cheer me up when I'm down. Sad music, though, it empathizes with you, it sits there with you and tells you you're not alone.’

credits

released April 28, 2017

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about

Talking Under Water Rochester, New York

Mostly sad songs played by mostly happy people.

Dave Chisholm- singing and guitar
Elise Hughey- cello
Colin Gordon - piano
Samantha Thomas - vocals
Matt Bevan-Perkins - drums

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Track Name: Lost
Don't know where you're going, hardly know where you've been
They say that silence is golden, but you love that din
You put one foot before the other and you see where it leads
You'll be wherever you'll be
So maybe you can wander with me

I know that you worry that there's not enough time
You run and you hurry looking for piece of mind
Well silence your thoughts, all this fear's not for you
Don't worry, 'cause I'm lost too
If you want, I can be lost with you

Don't worry, 'cause I'm lost too
If you want, I can be lost with you
If you want, I can wander with you
Track Name: We Used to Dream
We used to laugh and play
Every day was a golden age
Imagination was all the rage
Life was defined by our dreams

Stayed up all night making comic books
With superheroes fighting crooks
Writing songs with monster hooks
The world was bigger than anything could possibly be

We used to dream
But now, we only sleep
We used to dream back then

But time keeps moving forward
I keep losing hold of
Every single thing that I love
Maybe I should give up
Wish I could go back to the start start start start
Wish I could go back to the start start start start
Babe, you know I'm falling apart

The future held on to everything
Be whatever we wanted to be
Riding bikes up and down the street
But all that melted away

The future killed possibility
Potential severed right at the knee
Oh, I can't possibly believe
That we've said everything we're meant to say

We used to dream
But now, we only sleep
We used to dream back then

But time keeps moving forward
I keep losing hold of
Every single thing that I love
Maybe I should give up
Wish I could go back to the start start start start
Wish I could go back to the start start start start
Babe, you know I'm falling apart

Still, I carry an ounce of hope
I refuse to let go

But time keeps moving forward
I keep losing hold of
Every single thing that I love
Maybe I should let go
Baby I just don't know
Hmm I need some help from above
Time keeps moving forward
I keep losing hold of
Every single thing that I love
Maybe I should give up
Wish I could go back to the start start start start
Wish I could go back to the start start start start
Wish I could go back to the start start start start
Babe, you know I'm falling apart
Track Name: Only the Strong Survive
Only the strong survive
And I ain't strong
I'm honestly so surprised
That I even got this far along
'Cause where I am, it feels so wrong

Staring down at my feet
Feels like they don't belong to me
Following the road they lead
I see only dust in front of me
And where I started, I can't see

My how time flies
Wasted my whole life
No, I don't want to die
But sometimes I don't want to be alive

Now I turn and face the sun
Force myself not to blink
Stare until my tears all run
Oh, I want to burn, but can't feel the heat
'Cause I've got no feeling left in me

My how time flies
Wasted my whole life
No, I don't want to die
But sometimes I don't want to be alive

Burn my piano
Smash this guitar to bits
I know I should let go
Of these dreams I've been so lucky to follow
It's a bitter pill some have to swallow

That only the strong survive
Only the strong survive
Only the strong survive
Guess I'll never make it out alive
Track Name: Nomad
Oh, I left home yesterday
Well, the road was calling
And when I left that place
Well, I just kept walking
I took a step
And I took one more
Now, it feels like I don't have a home

I know it's out there
Under the stars somewhere
Want to believe it
But it don't feel like I have a home

My feet are burning
My heart an endless yearning, yeah yeah
I'll keep on searching for
For the place I long to call my own

Right now I'm filled with doubt
That I'll always be without
Searching inside and out
Oh, I wonder if I'll find my home

The skys are turning grey
Not gonna find it today
I can't even hope or pray
That I'm ever gonna find my home

Right now I'm filled with doubt
That I'll always be without
Searching inside and out
Oh, I doubt I'll ever find my home

Okay, so what?
I've got no home
No place for me to call my own
I've got more love than I've ever known
And I feel my heart's just grown and grown

Guess I'm better off without a home

Without a home
Without a home
Without a home
Without a home
Track Name: Days Like Today
Days like today feel like any other day but somehow the good slips away
The sun puts out heat, but it always skips me
Don't feel bad, it's my fault all the way
'Cause I don't get out, I can't leave my house
Out there I'm oh, so afraid
The people in town, they'll just let you down
In the country, they're also this way

How'd it get so bad?
How'd it get so bad?
Sometimes it feels like I'm living in hell
But I realize with that thinking, I only sabotage myself

This here's a message to that voice in my head:
Quiet down! Please let me rest
Don't be so mean--say nice things instead
I'm good--I don't need to be the best
I'm not schizophrenic--it's just me and you
Come on, let's be friends! We can search for our own truth!
If we can agree, oh, I'll finally be free
Oh, please: just don't tell me what to do!

How'd it get so bad?
How'd it get so bad?
I think I can do this, I guess time will tell
I don't mean to bother, but I think I need your help
Sometimes it feels like I'm living in hell
But I realize with this thinking, I only sabotage myself
Track Name: Hopeful
Take a look around me
Tell me, what do you see?
I'm surrounded by pieces
Shattered pictures of what could have been
A future that burned up
Burned black instead of turning green

My world is a wasteland
Nothing that I plant will grow
Feels like I'm the problem
Maybe that I have to go
But, baby, I'm still here
I don't want to disappear
I don't want to disappear, Lord, so I won't

Even if the ground opens up and swallows us whole
I know there's a better life underground
Even if the sun goes dark and leaves us cold
I know that we'll find a way to stay warm
So let's go
And leave behind all of these pieces of my broken life
Come on, be hopeful with me!

I'm moving through the darkness
Running through it at full speed
You tell me that it's madness
Well, maybe that's what I need
The only way is forward
It's the only path to be free, so come on, now

Even if the ground opens up and swallows us whole
I know there's a better life underground
Even if the sun goes dark and leaves us cold
I know that we'll find a way to stay warm
So let's go
And leave behind all of these pieces of my broken life
Come on, be hopeful with me
Come on, be hopeful with me
Come on, be hopeful with me!
Track Name: Don't Forget Me
Pretty soon I'll disappear
My body turned to ash
I'll burn up in the atmosphere
This form will never last

Tell my momma that I love her
Tell my daddy too
If you ever get this letter
Know these words are true:

I never meant to do you harm
But now I haven't got too long

If anything's left when my body disappears
No, I won't forget you
You know, I can't forget you
I did my best but I failed you through all these years
I understand if you can't, but I hope, I pray, oh, baby please:
Don't forget me

I see the ocean, the world spinning
Miles beneath my feet
My enclosure's disintegrating
My maker shall I meet

I disconnect my breathing tube
My final breath, I think of you
I know you're mad, this I see
It's all for you now, It's killing me
It's killing me

If anything's left when my body disappears
No, I won't forget you
You know, I can't forget you
I did my best but I failed you through all these years
I understand if you can't, but I hope, I pray, oh, baby please:
Don't forget me

You'll never undersand what I did
It's for the greater good, I guess
'Cause honey, you're alive and I'm dead
It's all for the best
I said, it's all for the best

If anything's left when my body disappears
No, I won't forget you
You know, I can't forget you
I did my best but I failed you through all these years
I understand if you can't, but I hope, I pray, oh, baby please:
Don't forget me
Track Name: Gravity
Here I am, find myself back at this familiar place
However far I run, however fast I fly, no matter what I do
I'll never, ever win
Standing on the sandy beach, looking out over the ocean
Well, I'd take a step, but it's a trap, it's a trap
I just know it

And so, I fall
I fall
'Cause this gravity's far too strong

It's so familiar
Being stuck at the bottom of this goddamned hole
I always end up here
It's starting to feel like a second home
I've gotta run away
I need to fly away
But there's so much gravity
This planet is too big for me
Gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity

This planet is too big for me

I try to break 'em
But all of these habits, they end up breaking me
So I try to fake it, laughing all the time like life's some perpetual party
Standing on the edge of nothing
Wishing I was something
Wishing I could find my way
No, I don't wanna give up, No I can't give up
But lord, I think about it every single day

No I don't
Don't wanna fall
I don't wanna fall
But this gravity's far too strong

It's so familiar
Being stuck at the bottom of this goddamned hole
I always end up here
It's starting to feel like a second home
I've gotta fly away
I need to run away
But there's so much gravity
This planet is too big for me

It's too familiar
Looking up from the bottom of this goddamned hole
I always end up here
It's starting to feel like a second home
I've gotta run away
I need to fly away
But there's too much gravity
This planet's too big for me
Gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity gravity

This planet is too big for me
Track Name: Strange
My brain is an antenna
Tuned to one specific band
Picks up some strange signal
That tells me who I am

My body is a vessel
Finite in every way
Destined for destruction
Destruction that might come today

You don't have to remind me
The world is mighty strange
Believe me when I tell you:
I wouldn't want it any other way

Crack my skull and pour me out
Fill it up with awe-inspiring visions cosmic!

I wanna know what's hidden
Just beneath the surface
'Cause I've been having visions
And I know it's all worth it

Break down every filter
The stories that I tell myself
Rip open the suture
Find the only truth to tell

You don't have to remind me
The world is mighty strange
Believe me when I tell you:
I wouldn't want it any other way

Crack my skull and pour me out
Fill it up with awe-inspiring visions cosmic!

You don't have to remind me
The world is mighty strange
Believe me when I tell you:
I wouldn't want it any other way

Crack my skull and pour me out
Fill it up with awe-inspiring
Crack my skull and pour me out
Fill it up with awe-inspiring visions cosmic!
Track Name: If My Body Freezes
Don't tell me it's over now
Over between me and you
'Cause when I'm in your warm embrace
I see your face
I know it just ain't true

Don't tell me we've reached the end
This lovely daytime is through
I know we'll the see the sun again
But until then
I'll wait in the cold for you

Even if my body freezes
Always know these words are true
I'll stay cold as long as needed
I'll keep this fire for you

It's lonely out in the cold
But I can see for miles
So I just scan the horizon
To catch a glimpse
Would make the cold all worthwhile

Even if my body freezes
Always know these words are true
I'll stay cold as long as needed
I'll keep this fire for you

Guitar solo!

You walked away so long, long ago
I can't remember your face
You left me standing in the cold
Now I'm frozen to this place

Even if my body freezes
Always know these words are true
I'll stay cold as long as needed
I'll keep this fire for you

Even if my body freezes
Always know these words are true
I'll stay cold as long as needed
I'll keep this fire

For you

Don't tell me it's over now