Year of the Bear

by Norwood

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03:25
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03:45
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04:09
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06:08
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03:09
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03:08
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credits

released June 3, 2015

Chris Norwood on guitar and vocals
Nastasia Green on back-up vocals
Hajnal Pivnick on violin
Keith Michael Pinault on bass

Recorded by Phil Duke at Continental Studio Recording in Long Island City, NY

Mastered by Morgan Sizer at Mozu Mastering

Cover Design by Haskel Bravo Studio

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about

Norwood New York, New York

BOOKING:
Christopher.Norwood@gmail.com

facebook.com/norwoodtunes

"Tasteful and refined, Chris Norwood’s 'Year of the Bear' represents the future of folk."

-Skopemag.com
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Track Name: Afterglow
The ceiling fan stirs
And I am coldly aware
Of the short, shirkened shocks running up from my bile
Straight through my hair.
Last night was a victory.
Today is a curse.
Mark each lash on the lids before mine,
Wonder which eye will open up first

You are heaving homemade sonnets,
And tasting the back of my hand.
Your silence and rhythm fill the unwashed hours
With fragile, fierce demand

I steady my fingers
Sweep up my scruples
Focus my love on the rings 'round your pupils
And I become bright again.

The sun streams cherry blossom into my lungs
I give what warmth I have to thee.
We trace Sanskrit on our bodies with fingertips and tongues
So our secrets can be hidden but free.

And every blood-beat feels like chanting.
And I have forgotten my last breath.
We hiss through the skyline, screaming wild in free fall,
And cheating death the only way that we've got left.

I kick out the airlocks
Scoff at the weather
Burn all the scripts I've been reading forever
And I become bright again.
Track Name: You're Standing in My Place
Hooded sweatshirts and slacks wrinkle the light.
It's late July and the stars are all out playing tonight.
The teeth of your smile are glittered with a light-hearted glow
As we crumple the grass and fall out of sight.

I will fall tonight.
As the people around me gnash their teeth
And beat their breast.
Yeah, I will fall tonight.
It's you, and me, and our tattered hearts three.

Well, how've you been?
I'm doing just fine.
It's late July and the years have all veered
From our futile design.
You with your shining smile, I with my panic-stricken brain.
There must be a cafe or something nearby.

I will fall tonight.
As the people around me gnash their teeth
And beat their breast.
Yeah, I will fall tonight.
It's you, and me, and our tattered hearts three.
It's you, and me, and our tattered hearts three.
Track Name: Sorry 'Bout That
Tilted yellow sunrise
And I'm circumventing thoughts about the spring.
You and I are cuttin' out.
I swore I'd never hurt you
But here you are with eyes aflame.

Well, maybe we'll find love next year.
Maybe once my head is clear
I'll write a good old three-chord song.
Maybe it's the time of day.
Maybe we're best off this way.
But then I could be wrong.

Heads up, I'm flying a little too low
Again.
Those baby blues have got me in a sway.
I wish I'd more to give you
But here I am with no one else to blame.

Well, maybe we'll find love next year.
Maybe once my head is clear
I'll write another three-chord song.
Maybe it's the time of day.
Maybe we're best off this way.
But then I could be wrong.
Yeah then I could be wrong
Yeah then I could be wrong.
Track Name: Power Through
Woke up sick but on my feet.
There's a buoyant chorus screaming down the street.
Coffee's burnt and cold
Tastes just fine.
And it don't matter
It don't matter if the safeties switch.
And it don't matter
It don't matter if the bleeding breaks the stitch.

Gerry says hi
Nana thinks there'll be rain
Drew's talking up a flick
And Hannah's bursting in pain.
Hike up my socks and plant a kiss on her thigh.
Forehead's ablaze as her brow touches mine.
She asks for the three-hundred-thousandth time:
"Will this change or is it always this way?"
I say

Just make it through the Goddamned day.

Hold her hand, just not your breath.
Take an inventory. Pawn what you've got left.
Keep the beer for home
Stick to wine.
And it don't matter
It don't matter if the edges fray.
'Cuz you can't batter the twelve-tone splatter
Of the voices in the gray.

Gerry gets by
Nana dances for rain
Drew's flippin' out his shit
And Hannah's boiling in pain.
Open my lungs and drink a burnt caramel sky.
Choke down a luke-warm Corona with lime.
She screams for the Nine-Hundred-Thousandth time.
Bleed me out, scrape me clean, rip me raw in a new way
I say

Just make it through the goddamned day.
Just make it through the goddamned day.
Make an effort to stay.
Just make it through the goddamned...
Track Name: God Willing
Three months in
We've told all our friends that you and I are happier.
And it's been decided
You'll keep the house and I will keep my pictures.
Our daughter will wobble her bike down the street.
I'll take a deep breath and you'll say something sweet.
God Willing.

And she will be so glad to have a weekend with her dad.
And I'll feel lucky to see you.
But she won't understand why you won't hold my hand.
So I'll tell her it's just a grown-up thing we do.

Torn up postcards.
Tickets to some romantic movie we loved to hate.
Extra fish in the freezer.
The voicemail that you left when I was running late.
Yeah, Daddy's new life is far from sublime
But it'll work out if he gives it some time.
God Willing.

The laundry will get done, and the bar tab will be run.
I'll keep my methods far from view.
I will toss and I will turn
As I watch our daughter learn
All the twisted, sordid, damaged, morbid, vain, and childish
Grown-up things we do.
Track Name: Via Valencia
I am salty bittersweet.
I am black tie whiskey neat.
Tear the meat from off the bone
But keep the roaches from my feet.
A hand-rolled cigarette for the long, hard road ahead
And I've got one last wish to pray.

I don't know these trees
I don't know this dirt-packed road.
But it's better than the fall
Better than this winter I've been sold.
It's getting hard to say if I'm gladly on my way.
But that won't force these legs to set.

Move the furniture again
Torch the effigies and then
Fake a lack of concern.
Force the face to fit the frame
Bind the blemish to the blame
Watch the tensions break and burn.
These walls are speckled grit and smoke,
Plaster curdled, windows broke.
And I can't recall what made them so dear to you.
To you and me.

So now I'm sun-kissed autumn wheat
I'm still black tie whiskey neat.
Holding down the western tides
Shifting sand dunes with my feet.
And it's really just my style casing memories for a smile.
So kiss me sweet and set me free.
Track Name: Spittin' Sugar
Mary Anne with her deep orange tan
Singing "Woe, oh, woe is me."
Egyptian eyes, and a killer in disguise,
But such a pretty sight to see.
Well, she hit me like a bad, bad cold.
Left my shoes, took my gold.
She's a hipster now, or so I'm told.
But who's keeping score?

She walked right out the door.
Not a fan of our rapport.
Another woman I adore has got me spittin' sugar on the floor.
She fucked me but I'm holding out for more.

Carol had a bright idea.
Her thoughts, to me, were crystal clear.
She had a brand new crisis everyday.
She talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked away.
Well, it was too much nectar for my cup.
She asked if I ever spoke up.
I told her I was just a quiet pup.
Nothing more.

She walked right out the door.
Thought that I was such a bore.
Another woman I adore has got me spittin' sugar on the floor.
She liked me but I'm holding out for more.

Friends of friends and OKCupid
A kick between the thighs.
Can't I meet one decent person
Sans the crazy eyes?

Janey had a simple heart,
Enjoyed her meals above her art,
Reminded me to take my time.
Didn't care for money's sake,
Didn't care for people fake,
Didn't mind my clutter and grime.
"I'll find a home." she's say.
"But that's for another day.
Right now I've gotta find my own way.
Settle down, what for?"

She's walking out the door.
Time to find what the world has in store.
Another woman I adore has got me spittin' sugar on the floor.
She loves me but she's holding out for more.
Track Name: The Seagull
"Walk slow." she said.
"Stand tall." she said.
"Keep your gaze from flittin' 'round 'round 'round and
Don't forget to smile."
He tied his shoes.
And combed his hair.
Kept his eyes turned down down down and
Forgot to smile.

And the girl in the moon, she don't care
As he sings

Can I feel you tonight
When the heartache comes, surrounding my bed?
Can we please leave off the light for now?
Will I feel more or less alive
After all is said and done in this town?
And will I feel you tonight?
Feel you tonight

Rain comes down.
Pages soaked through.
She says in her sweet, sweet way that
"It's not me it's you."
Mama says "Stop.
She'll break your heart.
She'll wait for one sweet, sweet day
When your footing is firm but your back's up against the wall
And she's fine.
You scream "You're throwin' it all away. Tell me

Can I feel you tonight
When the heartache comes, surrounding my bed?
Can we please leave off the light for now?
Will I feel more or less alive after all is said and done in this town?
And will I feel you tonight?
Feel you tonight

She's faded and fooled
Hopelessly drained.
Followed that fox, looking for what she's gained.
And he hopes that she'll stay, that the past can be cut and rewound.
But she, she doesn't even notice his blood on the ground.

And he, he can't trust his sight.
Like he can't trust a word of his plays.
He just holds her hand tight for days.
And he feels more-or-less alive,
But in none of those saccharin-soft ways.

Can I get through tonight in this place?
I can't stand the moonlight in this place.
I won't live through tonight in the place.
Track Name: Firework
Okay, pretend I'm a firework
Soaring through clouds, kicking ass, taking names
And I fly without knowing what I am.
Blurring and streaking and searching and streaking
And shattering the sky in a burst of disappointment and flames.

And it's cool being so tightly packed
Sitting ready to burst.
You can try to hold on, tear the paper off.
Cut off my fuse, inhale hazardous mixtures,
That is if I don't take an arm, leg, or hand from you first.

And these girls give a handshake and smile.
They don't care for that personal shit.
They remember what mother once said.
You never go back to a firework
Once it's been lit.

Alright, let's say I'm a polar bear
With my paws, and my nose, and my fur made of snow.
And it's cold pretty much everywhere.
There's north, and there's south, there's this way and that.
There's no place with sufficient warmth or space
For this hairy klutz to go.

Yeah, maybe I should try living somewhere else.
Instead of the arctic fucking circle.
But that's who I am, meant to be, I guess.
I seem to enjoy it.
The long, lonely winter keeps me from tearing hearts that want love
Out from unwary chests.

And these claws are a pain to control.
No matter how I twist and turn, they break skin.
If I survive my long sleep in this hole
I swear i will never lose sight of the sunshine again.

Let's pretend that you're in love with me
Or once were, or will be, however it goes.
Am I already the man you'd want me to be
Or just potential in un-trendy clothes.
I'm not a firework or a polar bear.
I'm just a guy who barely knows how to breathe.
I'll either find some peace in the citysphere
Or I'll muster some strength,
Throw the hope from my back,
I'll let you forget all about me,
And leave.
Track Name: Before
Soft and slow as the winter snow
I awake on the living room floor.
Now and then, as a joke, I ask myself
"What are you waiting for?"

I look up, I freeze, and fend.
I ask my heart if it can pretend
To be normal like before.

I wash the sheets again
And wonder why I leave them crumpled by the door.
I wait to sleep for days
Hoping to hear your light and steady snore.

The wind breathes; It heaves and bends
But you will not breathe with me again
Like you breathed before.
Track Name: Wishful Thinking Song
Shout my name into the wind and see how far it flows.
Lace my scent into your skin, tell me what you think God knows.
Forget the times your simple rhymes
All failed to aid the uphill climbs
And trust that rhythm singing in your toes.

Saw the news today, but kept my spirits high.
Stopped to kneel and pray, but felt the spirit fly by.
Guess I'm on my own, no matter how hard I try.

But you don't need to find home to lead a fruitful life.
I don't need to be your husband.
You don't need to be my wife.
What we're gonna do
And all I'll ask of you
Is you and you and you
With me.

I remember hot nights, dancing on rooftops and peering down.
Late september with cold sights,
Striking up matchtops to light the town.
Tell me how the here-and-now could make you break a calloused vow
And toss it in misfit lost-and-found.
Well, so be it. Crush my heart and free it.
Just listen to that hopeful sound.

Well did I treat you right?
Or was it all in my head?
Did we need to fight?
Or was it better left unsaid?
Thought I'd sealed my fate with a kiss but now the Miss is gone.

And I'm movin' on.