Add A Day Going West

by Susurrus Station

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about

"J. Breeden and Sara Johanne of Susurrus Station have found a way of harmoniously combining the experimental vibe of the Mars Volta with the retro-rock sound of the Raconteurs. But wait, up pops urban Greek folk music and moody vocals you’d expect from Nick Cave. Breeden and Dyberg bring to the table a phenomenal display of culture and expansive instrumental talent that makes Susurrus Station and its songs almost mind-boggling." -Magnet www.magnetmagazine.com/2009/09/27/mp3-at-3pm-susurrus-station/

"Add a Day Going West is the third album for Portland, Oregon’s Susurrus Station, but I can’t put it in context because it’s the first I’ve heard. I was luke warm on it at first, but I found it grew on me with successive listens. Perhaps it’s because the album has a grand reach, which occasionally exceeds its grasp. In addition to a melding of too many genres to mention, there are lots of sounds here; in addition to keyboards, guitar, drums, bass and vox, there’s a kalimba, tuba, cello, viola, horn section, and a lot more. This can make for ambition that difficult to access. But it can also make for great drama, and more often that not on this album, it succeeds." -Berkeley Place berkeleyplaceblog.com/2009/10/08/susurrus-station-add-a-day-going-west/


J Breeden and Sara Dyberg are the emotional and physical core of Susurrus Station, reaching out of Portland, Oregon with whisper rather than a scream. Multi-instrumentalists and vocalist, both, Breeden and Dyberg mix styles and sounds in unusual and surprising ways to create some of the edgiest and darkness Avant-Folk in the business today. As Susurrus Station, Breeden and Dyberg have released two albums, and step forward with their third, Add A Day Going West, on November 10, 2009. Folk, Garage Rock, Industrial, Cinematic compositional styles and a dark countenance make up the heart of Susurrus Station's music. Unlike past albums, Susurrus Station was recorded over the course of a year (rather than in a rampant frenzy of creation and recording). The building of songs was deliberate and intentional, and it shows on the album.

Add A Day Going West opens with Driven, a song which seems written in contradiction to its title. Breeden sounds like Jim Morrison on serious downers here, giving a somnolent, drugged sounding vocal reading that's inured in Smiths-like pathos. Musically it's more a collection of sounds and musical passages than a composition, right down to the heavy rock portion that kicks in around 4:15. Midway Shuffle shows an energetic, neo-surf guitar opening that descends into the hypnotic depressive state of the first tune. Sara Dyberg takes over vocals on The Bellwether Din; a fuzzy trance-like performance where they key shifts and things like tone don't seem to matter. The song ranges over four-and-a-quarter minutes but at times seems like it will just keep going.

Barnstorm takes on a Middle Eastern flavor in a song about yearning for "The One" to come along. The style and arrangement are highly moveable, even interposing a "Beatles in a funhouse" passage at the end. b reminds me of a band like The Butthole Surfers trying to cover one of Pink Floyd's more spacey instrumentals; Susurrus Station descends into an absolute chaos of noise that essentially chokes any musicality out. The album closes out with Talking With The Wind and Long Tomorrow, leaning more heavily into the hopeful ether of overly-affected Folk/Rock. The end result is an album that decreases in listenability throughout its course even as it rakes in the pathos.

Add A Day Going West will find folks into this sort of thing, but they're not your typical music fans. Anything that sounds almost wholly unhinged from reality and ethereal at the same time is bound to garner some attention. Susurrus Station attempts to bridge the gap between listenability and discomfort and fails in significant portion. Add A Day Going West takes a high constitution. Make sure you have yours handy. wildysworld.blogspot.com/2009/09/review-susurrus-station-add-day-going.html

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credits

released November 10, 2009

All songs by Susurrus Station
Recorded in Copenhagen, Denmark and Portland, Ore. 2007-2008
Mixed at the Color Lab & Supernatural Sound
Mastered at Golden Mastering
Vocals, guitars, clavioline ~ Jason Breeden
Vocals, hammond, violin, saw ~ Sara Johanne
Drums ~ Pontus Torstensson, Matthew Morgan
Saxophone, Clarinet ~ Jeppe Hojgaard
Double Bass ~ Tomas Rae
Acoustic guitar ~ Jacob Falk
Trumpet ~ Jack Green
Trombone ~ Geoff Cecil, Toussaint Perrault
Saxophone ~ Mia Dyberg
Vocals ~ Andre Coberly
Electric guitar ~ Pat Bayliss
Viola ~ Maja Linde Christiansen

Additional engineering, facilitation, production ~ Matthew Morgan
Thanks to Martha Davis for lending us her studio & the Babbs Bros. & Co. for making the Color Lab possible

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Track Name: Driven
Struck out for the capital, but couldn't find a high road
borne by a silty of a shoal, saw some people that I know
Though I never had a grudge to hold,
though I never could come in from the cold,
I held out hope to reach an atoll,
to go further afloat to steady my roll

They said you gotta pick & choose your fights,
but it was more like starting them in your own right,
where before we were sustained,
they said you can't be drinking the rain,
cause it's pure as the driven snow
pure as the driven snow
it's as pure as driven snow
but it was driven some while ago

& you know we've got to look out for our own,
even if it means the end of the road,
We know you're gonna go it alone,
but we're gonna build a dam and a series of holes
& try our best to control
the frenzy that's sure to unfold
upheld by a break in the tow
unriven when all is told

It was nothing if it wasn't succinct,
but it may prove much longer than you think,
hearken back to us in your thirst,
let a drop fall in your mirth,
though we've stopped a river to flow,
& covered years of what's come before,
the rocks will make their way to the shore,
& the floods will seethe once more,
pure as the driven snow
fierce as was ever known
inherently in store
to upwell beyond the lore
to chisel by matter of course
pure as the driven snow
with new confines to behold
Track Name: Midway Shuffle
Rushing in with your saws to beat the deadline,
bringing in one last haul,
foraging through the last of its kind
No cat was ever so besotted as to leave tracks like that,
just following orders, popping Dilaudid,
& hacking patches fraught with samizdat

Went & slash & burned it all with a clearcut resolve
First hand was your only school—

Only type of accord is an orphaned off ward,
twisting the rope or tempering the sword,
knocking rocks off the divide,
sleeping on the roof of a washed out ford

Come on home to a place you've never known!
Stepping out of the doghouse a little uneasily,
dragging your catch of bluefin & helicopter debris
We could've swapped stories, you & me,
instead of musing on how to censure & force pleas
There used to be adventure on the seas,
untold leviathans beneath,
but who accepts intentionality?

Every man is a poacher,
& every woman was always true
Our problems aren't upon us,
they are in us through & through
Tunnel under & crawl!
I'll meet you midway at the Crooked Barrel stall!
You'll have more fun with chump change
than you'll have at the ball!
Track Name: The Bellwether Din
the lights at the dock shine up from below
come on make haste to the downstream shore
it's crystal clear above & used to be my home
all the way across....

the dismay of a dark horse....
the barges just drift by with no chance of recourse
done drilling collapsing ground
we sail on floating doors....

the warden's in the water, come on have another
we'll try and break yr fall
we'll always be there for you
sending you courage from out beyond the walls

come on, come in, we've been waiting
behind the fence in yr backyard

you oughtta see the things I've been pulling up
like something's afoot that we can't help but push
subterfuge wrought by the mind of a child
the rats all hopped freighters
and the cats returned to the wild

it's just mortar in the altar
we'll bless you when you falter
don't hesitate to call
we'll make certain that the tides will turn
golden that the sun will burn
yr dollars worth nothing at all

come on, come in, we've been waiting
behind the fence in yr backyard
there's nary a face shorn of disgrace
we'll always hover above all of this waste

born on the clear day's flood of nought & '22
& rafted to the bay in half an ostrich egg
like whatever's written in that faded tattoo
our rules are in the spin of chaos and deluge
Track Name: Taking the Air
said best displayed less concealed
in the veld at the end of the reel
but I got a desperate pitch for a crooked deal
same old foray for a brand new feel

you might be laying low, but you're still getting rolled
horizon's holding forth enticing you to go

clipping the heels of triumph
silver don't account for much
fighting to breathe to sit to rust
crumbling nails cold to the touch

c'mon leave yr hat on, there's no time to be coy
I can hear the rest departing & I was just getting started
crashing through the gates of an abandoned state

the waiting's getting to me
yeah sure I'll return to my seat—
be dealt my last reprieve for a hackneyed mutiny
taking off my skin
something like akin
to just taking the air
Track Name: Barnstorm
There was a fire in the barn
and now it's time to go away
Our neighbors never fall asleep
but we'd've spared them anyway
The fire's spreading to the town
there's nowhere left to run away
and we must gather all our things
it's bound to follow wishes made

Where do the lines of our boundaries go
dislodged by seldom nights alone
A few sheets to the wind is still dry as bone
betraying signs of abandoning hope

It keeps repeating the same way
I wake composed and lay down frayed
& we must never fall asleep
there is a fortune to be made
We used to go another way
but shortcuts soon became a plain
Our forms would disappear and change
but who's to say what has remained

How does the psalm of the quandaries go
Diminished and rote inhabiting roles
but what you condemn and what you condone
intentions bereft of immaculate homes

Now I'm getting old and grey
but I'm still hoping that one day
I'll come across my one true love
and he'll look at me and say
My love it's time to go away
cause there is nowhere left to stay
Our neighbors borrowed all our sleep
and now this debt they will repay
Track Name: b
He's just a little child, but I'm not comin back in from the wild. I'm not a figure of time, I'm a figment of light. I'm not a man, I'm dyna....
Track Name: Talking with the Wind
Friends are all gone, just acquaintances here
Mudlarks tarry on the doorsteps, crows just bark as they leer
Air swoops to whistle through the courtyards
Memories coagulate and return to shards
Fleet-footed through interstices in the beams,
spurned to infer with minimal means
Newspapers cover the walls from before anybody left around was born
The world has started creeping back up through the floor
never needing reasons to carry on for. . . .

Somebody broke in in the middle of the night
& fixed the dilapidated grandfather clock
Altered symbols and chimes to undulate & rhyme,
& now a countenance follows you walk
The patrons sit around & brood back to the past,
picking all the winners that slipped from their grasp
It's impossible to talk as organs knock & grind,
unheard of birds emerging from inside
Even if I've held out & run up a tab,
don't always gotta want what we can never have

But maybe I'm drinking alone,
maybe I've offended &'ve yet to atone
There's always someone waiting to lob the first stone,
shrines to the sun transferred to bone. . . .

Ain't got nothing that's top of the line anymore,
was just this morning that you went & drove it home from the store
Embroiled all yr time in speculation & scams,
in heightened sensitivity to others' demands
Like buzzards on the range cracking open tin cans,
home cooked stew shipped from faraway lands
I think it's heavy water sold at that roadside stand
Anything of value slips into the wrong hands

But maybe I'm drinking alone,
maybe the bridge is drawn, but maybe it's blown
Maybe I got nowhere to go
maybe the only sin is just lying here prone. . . .

Well the commandant's never wandered through here before,
hell he doesn't even bother with a shirt anymore
With an escort of hookers lighting cigars,
what's left of his ranks pushing what's left of a car—
He's talking with the wind that lacks the words to explain
how it never needed bearings to get lost on its way
"This rum was born in the sky! I'm not getting in till the jeroboam is dry!"

Maybe we're drinking alone
Maybe everybody loses their home
Maybe we cast the first stone
just by asking to be born

When Hetch Hetchy's getting sprung we're gonna drive to the park,
coming over to the Tenderloin to pile in the car
The right headlight's dragging like a black dwarf,
the back wheel is wobbling & wandering aloof
Heading up to the hills gonna drop by the coast
There's a patriot's act that's inviting us home
A corrugated tin roof, convertible like a lean-to!

But maybe I'm drinking alone
while others are clamoring ascending their thrones
Maybe it's all overblown,
fissures that close the gaps into the unknown
Maybe everybody's supposed to get stoned,
but I'm just wandering on my own. . . .
Track Name: Long Tomorrow
Kicked over the soapbox
let the cross be driven to spall
Scraping my legs on sacahuista
my love is without parallel
I got a secret that you never can tell
The front lines are overhead
We've eloped on a trainwreck
when morning sweeps in
With the rye catching flaking paint
soaked up the gutter on the interstate
I waited til you never came

We're going all the way home
where mosquitoes rain down in the storms
I'm gonna polish your car with the feldspar from under the yard
I'm gonna polish your heart with the light from a long dead numinous star

They're dredging up the river on another run
looking for evidence that'll never come,
Jesus walked the waters of the Rio Grande
He said you better not be makin no plans

cause her feet stay warm, walking where the mantle rises up from the core
A cabaret scent in a sloe gin wind, akimbo charms, but very slightly bent

Meet me where the cities turn back into towns
Meet me where the avalanches cascade down
Meet me where the storms burl 20 miles high
Meet me where the hurricanes twirl through the night
Meet me where the lightning assuages the sky

Meet me downtown like a forgotten breed
Meet me at the shipyard inventing yr creed
Meet me on the roof with a bottle of steam
Meet me on the net beneath the trapeze
Meet me where calumny is a trifle to the breeze

Meet me in the ditch rolling stolen wheels
Meet me where the steering's coming down to feel
Meet me where the streets buckle & keel
Meet me morning after they served you your last meal
Meet me where the the quarry is our only stele