The Distillate Self

by Burlap for Bear

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about

In late 2012, Ian Neack made a seemingly whimsical wager with Scott Baldwin -- "get a gig and I will fly out, learn the songs, and play the first Burlap for Bear show." Ian was living in Columbus, Ohio and Scott in Gorham, Maine, and though they had recorded an album together in a different band while attending Ohio State, they had never played a show together -- and Scott had never played a show period.

Ian proved the wager was not a whim but rather a promise, and the first Burlap show took place at Slainte in Portland, Maine in February 2013.

This show ignited a series of whimsical actions. In Summer 2013, Scott quit work, moved to Columbus, and devoted full attention to forming Burlap for Bear in Columbus and completing an album. With multi-instrumentalists Jesse Braswell and Jack Doran joining the band, Burlap rushed into Refraze Studios in Dayton, Ohio to record 16 rough demos of incomplete songs in March 2014.

After hearing the demos, Matt Baldwin, armed with a novel of critiques, warned the four that they were not ready to record. Critique sessions with Matt focused the band and changes were made to every song, some changing entirely and others being let go. However, the four were determined to record a full-length record, and the booked time at Refraze with engineer Nathan Hook remained penned on their calendars.

Working fourteen hour days and sleeping in the studio, Burlap for Bear and Nathan Hook recorded a thirteen song album titled The Distillate Self in four straight days.

After overcoming some nerves about the band’s vision and the mixes of the songs, Scott revisited the songs in January 2015. With a few track retakes and mixing sessions with Nate, thirteen songs were cut to ten. The Distillate Self released on February 20, 2015 with a release show at Rumba in Columbus, Ohio.

credits

released February 20, 2015

Scott Baldwin - vocals, guitar, piano, percussion, lyrics
Jesse Braswell - drum set, accordion, trombone, percussion, vocals
Jack Doran - piano, drum set, percussion, vocals
Ian Neack - bass, vocals
Matt Baldwin - arrangement

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Nathan Hook (refraze studios)
Album artwork by Kate Morrissey

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Track Name: In Peace
Tonight I’ve got the rest of my life
Caked onto my eyes
Your thoughts are cold on mine
They must’ve been dead now for quite some time

I always thought this was supposed to happen
So much later in life
But the late night shakes and the stuck-awakes
Must’ve sped up time
Because I thought this was supposed to happen
So much later in life

(But now come on...

Hmm how much do I make in a year?
Purpose in life, ya
Come in let's talk about your pay raise
Vacation days...)

Well this actually feels quite pleasant
Embracing all of life's lessons
Go peacefully
This is perfectly normal
A cool breeze to keel you over
Go peacefully

Someone call the mob he’s gonna get away
Let me out, let me out
Hey there fat face, eat the key to his cage
He’ll never get away
Let me out, let out
Track Name: The Problem Of
I watched God directing traffic of spiral staircase
Sirens sound, five forever smiles in a fallen town

I watched God teaching us true love
Filling up the bathtub
We’re all choked up
Two hundred thousand when the plug is pulled up

Omni-benevolent
All powerful

Please make sense of that
Track Name: Everything Will Be Alright
Morning creeps in
Are you still sleeping?
I was up all night
My mind needed to catch up on life

Your eyes open
Are you still hoping?
I gave up last night
But now I cannot remember why

Oh lately I find it so hard to concentrate

Morning coffee
Warms my guilt daily
Feed me the good lie
Whisper everything will be alright

(Everything will be alright
You've said that so many times
But I love it when you lie
So feed me again that line)

Your cold advice
If you frown, then smile twice
Just lock it up in your mind
And tell everyone that it is fine

Oh lately I find it so hard to concentrate
Track Name: Dreaming of Home
Summer hangs from West Virginia Mountains
That open wide to the road that took me to you
Oh that old Ohio road kept whispering
“Come back home”

Autumn is awaking on the banks of the Mississippi
I can feel her breathe on a cool Memphis breeze
A couple hundred miles from home
Where I’ve awaken all alone

‘Cause that other me caught sight of me
And I don’t want his company
When I’ve got this sweet, sweet girl
In every thought
I want that other me forgot

But winter will return ‘cause Portland I can’t unlearn
You gave me my last thoughts on your streets I finally got lost
But I kept dreaming of being home
And prayed she’d know me in her arms

‘Cause that other me caught sight of me
And I don’t want his company
When I’ve got this sweet, sweet girl
In every thought
I want that other me forgot

Dear April, please bring your Carolina blue spring
‘Cause with her beside me I’ve never felt so frightening
On this strange, rolling road
I hope she’ll stop with me at home
Track Name: When I Fell Asleep
I see blue, neon blue
And yellows too
Trickling through

Icy sky, crystal sky
Red, yellow light
Yellow, green light

When I fell asleep that night
I was more or less alive

I see green, neon green
Light spinning breeze
Spun lit-up breeze

Icy wake, froze in place
Colors repaint
Mirror cooled lake

When I fell asleep that night
I was more or less alive

(You think you are alive
I say you're merely dreaming
If I have not clapped twice
Then who did the revealing?
Your ache, your need, your lust
I devise these feelings
Your sweat has long since dried
Evaporated meaning)
Track Name: Morning Mist
Slow your IV drips from your eyes across your lips
And so, the end has this
Our sad as spit that spans our lips
Like a bridge tossed in the wind
Like a wind-tossed, wooden bridge

Slowly your fingertips dance on air like ballet steps
I go to meet you there, but you condense on fingertips
Like the kiss of morning mist
On the kiss of morning mist
Track Name: In Phase
So brother your story holds
My echoes have returned home
And each has picked up foreign tones
Which repeat “you’re not alone”

Let me show you how I know

Last night I snuck into an empty park
And I laid down under the stars
And I spread out my open arms
And for a minute I phased with infinite heart

So brother I faced belief
I fought it so it fought me
But when I won I faced defeat
As cold sweat in eternity

Let me show you what I mean

Last night I snuck into an empty park
And I laid down under the stars
And I spread out my open arms
And for a minute I phased with infinite heart
Track Name: Snow Cadence
Winter is distance
You're too many missteps ago
I trace them backwards
But I can't pace faster than snow

Wind betrays memory
Through dusted ice thick on the clear
A trance stirred up aimless
Then buried white, still, and austere

'Cause in every word we say
Our memories displace
In everything we do
Our memories dilute

Winter is slow hope
The reverse of love grown in us
Each step I take blindly
Time further unbinds me from love

Your image is resting
On distance I steady collect
A soft sun asks "may I?"
Through flakes which in reply reflect

'Cause in every word we say
Our memories displace
In everything we do
Our memories dilute

I don't remember what I was so upset about
I don't remember what all the fuss was about
Track Name: Oh Why, Ohio?
Emptied out on a cold, drunk floor in the kitchen
That’s where I sleep
Figuring out how the grown, little boys make a living
Ain’t that sweet?

But I can’t tell you now just where I’ve been
Since I’d figured out all them things I’d always been
Cause I don’t know
Why we go so far from home

Oh why, oh why, oh why, Ohio?

Emptied out in my cold, dense arms in your basement
That’s where you sink
Figuring out how the grown, little girls end up facing
What makes them weak

But can you tell me now just where you’ve been
Since you had figured out all them things you’d always been?
Cause I don’t know
Why we go so far from home

Oh why, oh why, oh why, Ohio?

Emptied out in your soft, warm arms in your living room
That’s where I weep
Figuring out how the grown, little lovers end up missing
The ones they need

Cause I don’t know
Why we go so far from home
Track Name: Ache
God got caught in the clocks
Come in, sit down, stare at your watch
This building is hollow
This building is hollow

I’m still one of the good ones
Still aching for humans
Aching for us
For keeping us
Us

Love got cut as a cost
Man up, lover, no time to be soft
This body is hollow
This body is hollow

I’m still one of the good ones
Still aching for humans
Aching for us
For keeping us
Us

We all here are in a fog
Life should feel next to God
We’re all here in muzzled mouths
Life should be singing loud