Shadowlands

by Chase Fiorenza

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about

“One has to have endured a few decades before wanting, let alone needing, to embark on the project of recovering lost life…” ~Christopher Hitchens

With each passing year, I find my reliance on reminiscence to be an all-encompassing endeavor. As my yesterdays amass, I can’t help but sift through an endless sea of memories. Having recently turned 30 further sharpens this nostalgia. Looking back over the past decade, my roaring twenties, the sentiment is saccharine, even for the melancholy. It seems recollection is peculiarly remedial in its own right. But one can’t recover all that’s been lost in life until the loss has been defined, confronted, & eventually accepted. As Carl Jung put it, a man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. Far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

Is it even possible to ever fully grasp the purpose of mere being? I don’t know. But I do understand the darkness; shadows cast by obstructed light. Maybe navigating the existential conundrums of our twenty-something charades is par for the course, a right of entry to finally embark on the project of recovery. In the same way I sift through memories, I’ve sifted through shadowlands. & in wading through this inferno I’ve kept a record, in my case, quite literally so.

Shadowlands is a "little folk record" that took me 3 years to complete. With the guidance of producer/musician/songwriter/world-class badass Matthew Smith, we’ve crafted something I’m profoundly proud of. For me personally, these aren’t just folk songs – they’re manifestations from a decade’s worth of life, loss, love, laments, lessons, & levity. This collection of songs provides a tangibility that memories alone can’t attain. My hope in sharing this record is that you might, if only for a fleeting moment, identify with something expressed, something that just might provide the slightest kindling of light amid your journey through the darkness of life’s shadowlands.

Thanks for listening.

Sincerely,

~Chase Fiorenza

credits

released January 13, 2017

All material written, performed, produced, arranged, mixed, & mastered by Chase Fiorenza & Matthew Smith.

*additional credits & contributors where noted*

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about

Chase Fiorenza Atlanta, Georgia

"a man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them..." ~Carl Jung

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Track Name: Midnight Train
closure
come to find
when given time
appropriate
to fit the crime
patience
to walk that line
to walk that line

the straight & narrow
assume as borrowed
the straight & narrow
is soon to follow

faith
remaining sane
it’s like waiting for
the year to change
it’s like waiting for
the midnight train

the straight & narrow
assume as borrowed
the straight & narrow
is soon to follow
Track Name: Deal
& you know you’re getting towards the end
when your only friend is the bottle in your hand
& you know you can’t get any lower
when you’re never sober to feel the pain

so tell me how am I supposed to feel
when I don’t want to feel a thing?
tell me how am I supposed to be
when I can’t ever let it be?
I can’t let it be
it’s just the way I deal

& you can save up your whole life
but you can never buy love
because it comes for free
but is it worth the price you’ll pay?
for a heavy heart will outweigh
the cost in the end

so tell me how am I supposed to feel
when I don’t want to feel a thing?
tell me how am I supposed to be
when I can’t ever let it be?
I can’t let it be
it’s just the way I deal

in the game of life
in the game of love
it’s just how I deal
Track Name: Call It Quits
couldn’t believe you if I tried
won’t even look me in the eye
& if you did I’d have to lie
because you know it’s never fine
& if you could just take the time
because we ain’t seeing eye to eye
you know this shit ain’t going to fly
so close to the fan

everyone knows that the ceiling
could never be high enough
to keep up with where your head’s been
to tell you the truth, I’ve grown so tired
& I’m really just sick of this
so who’s going to be the first one to call it quits?
Track Name: Shell Shine
left my ghost on the Carolina coast
with the ever-fading glimpse
of a quickly dying hope
that the ghost of your love
would find me there
all the marble headstones
could make for a quiet home
because without your love
this is where I belong

I’m an empty shell of a man
trying to make his way back to heaven
because life without love is too much like hell
where the coldest of hearts
are like treasures for the devil
the more I cry, the brighter they shine

burned my dreams with kerosene flame
& a gasoline breath to smoke out the pain
of our oldest memories that no longer serve me well
sold our old townhome & paid off all our loans
I’ll do anything these days to feel a little more complete

I’m an empty shell of a man
trying to make his way back to heaven
because life without love is too much like hell
where the coldest of hearts
are like treasures for the devil
the more I cry, the brighter they shine
Track Name: On Our Way
love-drunk with the obsession
at the first sight of your reflection
you have found a way to catch my eye
feeling so high up in the clouds
with the angels dancing around
your love makes me feel alive

& if you told me
'let’s leave here tonight
in search of better places & new faces’
that’s all you’d have to say
then we’d be on our way

on a Sunday the working begins
working so hard to afford expenses
so we can make it day to day
driving out of town so far away
got to fall asleep without you next to me
but I know that’s where you should be

& if you told me
‘let’s leave here tonight
in search of better places & new faces’
that’s all you’d had to say
now we are on our way
Track Name: No Country
If I could start again & erase the years
don’t know where I’d begin
but I’d try to find a rhyme in all my reason
but it only feels like treason

when there’s no country for old men
how can we start again, with no place to begin?
when there’s no country for old men

if I could turn back time, to fast-forward or rewind
I don’t know what I’d find
but I’d try to find a rhyme in all my reason
but it only feels like treason

when there’s no country for old men
how can we start again, with no place to begin?
when there’s no country for old men
for old men
Track Name: Nashville Skyline
oh, the city lights, the way they shine
up here on the Nashville skyline
with a whiskey drink in tune to a country song
it’s how I’ll spend my time

it’s how I’ll spend my time

songs of wayward love fill the smoky air
& I can’t bear to hear the sound
when with such things I compare

it’s how I’ll spend my time
wishing you were mine

so I’ll drink to you, my dear
for when the answers are unclear
I’ll drink in tribute to my blues
the blues I have because of you

I’ll wait around until all the bar doors close
& order one last round
drink it all before I go
& make my way to stumble home

it’s how I’ll spend my time
wishing you were mine

so I’ll drink to you, my dear
for when the answers are unclear
I’ll drink in tribute to my blues
the blues I have because of you
Track Name: Fold
in the prime of my youth
with nothing at all to lose
but having nothing is saying something
when all you’re needing is a little love

& I’m too young to feel this old
& I’m too old to let it fold

so order another round
we’ll give it one more try
give myself another chance
to make me feel alright
order another round
we’ll give it one last try
give myself another chance
to make it out alright

if hindsight is perfect distance
then all I’ve seen is inconsistent
but seeing something all means nothing
if it’s not real or never had been

& I’m too young to feel this old
& I’m too old to let it fold

so order another round
we’ll give it one more try
give myself another chance
to make me feel alright
order another round
we’ll give it one last try
give myself another chance
to make it out alright
Track Name: Aftermath
our old mattress lies in the backyard
behind the shed where I keep our things
old cardboard boxes filled
with photographs, letters, & memories

makes for good firewood, if you ask me
if we all did what we could
just might be understood
but I don’t think I ever should

now another season’s passing
& I feel like I’ve been pissing my whole life away
all my dreams & aspirations
fade & die out with the days

makes for good excuses
to drink the blues away
& if we all did what we should
we just might be happy
but I don’t think I ever could

in the aftermath of ancient love
& all its faded glory
cries the heart of every man
to tell his sad, sad story

makes for good confession
to finally face the truth
if we all did what we would
things would stay the same
so find someone else to blame
Track Name: Forty-Four Divide
forty-four divide
another year gone by
but rarely satisfied
& in my life
the range is wide
the joys & pains
both different sides
of the same thing
from what it seems
to live this process
patiently

forty-four divide
another year gone by
but rarely satisfied
Track Name: Waver
Grim & I go way back
to the very day I was born
told him I’d have to take a rain check
because I wasn’t ready to leave just yet
& till this day we still talk
calls me on his cigarette break to catch up

I’m ready for you now
I’m ready for you
are you ready for me?

loveless & I have made amends
to this day, we remain close friends
on occasion we’ll share the same bed
but weighted down is not the way that I intend to stay

I’m ready for you now
I’m ready for you
are you ready for me?

all this time
life has been the danger
& death won’t sign the waver
all this time
love has been the mistake
so lonely takes her place
Track Name: Waterfall
tears flow like a waterfall
drown the pain in alcohol
there’s nothing left to fear at all
because there’s nothing left to feel at all
the cliffs will break my lengthy fall
oh, here I come
Track Name: Bittersweet
what I learned from love left a bitter taste in my mouth, but it was just enough to keep me coming back for more…
Track Name: Hold On
good lovin’ ain’t that hard to find
but it’s hard to hold onto
& what they never tell ya
the best things in life are free
but that don’t mean they’re easy
& yes it’s true
that the times, they are a-changin’
but people stay the same
& that’s just the way it is
so hold on to the love you know is true
Track Name: Twenty-Six
twenty-six & full of it
sifting through the bullshit
of my fading youth’s façade
young enough to feel the spark
& old enough to fear the dark
balancing upon the line
against what it means to burn

& still I yearn
hanging by a thread
of anything that’s left
of my innocence
alas, looking for reflection
in shards & broken pieces
of shattered glass

for all it’s worth in change
have I remained the same?
having known enough to guide my fate
while impending prospects, they wane
against a solid faith in drought
I pray & wait for rain

& still I yearn
resolved in the fires of my conviction
in spite of my condition
you found me
under heavy tide
a blinding absolution
in warming rays of light
you are my song
Track Name: Where We End Up
a few hours past midnight & I can't seem to find
a way to keep the wheels from spinning in my mind
there's got to be a better way to fix it all
without the pill & alcohol
I just never can seem to unwind

& there's nothing you can do
when the end is coming for you
& there's nowhere you can hide
when only time will decide where we end up

the thing about ease is it's fine, until it up & leaves
& then you're left with plenty, plenty of withouts
& you know you should try to stay afloat
but at that point, you're just too damn tired to swim

& there's nothing you can do
when the end is coming for you
& there's nowhere you can hide
when only time will decide where we end up

But I believe in a new day
for you & me
& I believe in a new way
for us to be