Pink Objects

by Treephones

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1.
Matches 03:45
I sit down and light another And though I know I shouldn't smoke I just stare at the ember I breathe it and watch it fade out I breathe in and then I stand up I look out at the streetlight And I fixate on the one that burned out Three days ago but now it flickers I breathe in and wonder if you Realize that you Left your matches on the nightstand And all your cigarettes too I look up at the moonlight And I fixate on the face I see It's been three days and now I wonder If it's looking back me If she's looking me
2.
Fuzzy dream machine Your eyes are glued asleep But I can't see without you here with me And I don't know what that means I don't know what that means So could you tell me what there is to know Cause I've lost sight of it years ago Please drive slow And take me to the place I think I need to go It's obsolete and in between It's disappeared from my screen And now it's gone I don't recall a thing And I don't know what that means I don't know what that means So could you tell me what there is to know Cause I've lost sight of it years ago Please drive slow And take me to the place I think I need to go I think I need to go I think I need Tell me what there is to know Cause I've lost sight of it years ago Please drive slow And take me to the place I think I need to go I think I need to go I think I need to go I think I need to go
3.
Chord Shapes 02:17
4.
You and I are a swarm of bees On a long walk tonight We stop to look at a row of trees And then dance to songs still buzzing in our minds We dance as all the branches sway in time You and I are a winter night With nothing else outside But moonlight and a blanket of Freshly fallen snow Until the morning comes To cover everything Just like it's always done And sing away Our dreaming minds It lays us out And clears our thoughts Like fallen snow in the morning sun Covers everything like it's always done Freshly fallen snow in the morning sun Covers everything like it's always done
5.
I've been waiting Patiently now For the whispers that sit upon my lips To just float to you It's all I can think to do But if we go past today With a part of The way we hope could make light of And stand next to a place for something new A space right here where we can just Let it all unwind Let it all unwind You've been sitting On your hands now Putting pins in all of the things That you would like to do The feeling is coming back to you But if we go past today With a part of The way we hope could make light of And stand next to a place for something new A space right here where we can just Let it all unwind Let it all unwind But if we go past today With a part of The way we hope could make light of And stand next to a place for something new A space right here where we can just Let it all unwind Let it all unwind Let it all unwind Let it all unwind
6.
Seeds 03:40
I planted sunflower seeds for the third year in a row And once again it seems that None of them will grow Not a single one will grow Not a single one And why? I just don't know As we hung our clothes in the sun to dry Out on the line that we hung last Thursday night On the hottest day of the year I think about those seeds And I fear That they were dug up in the middle of the night Or maybe they didn't get enough light Or enough water There was that one weekend I left town to help my brother Yeah that's probably it Yeah that's probably it I remember on the third floor near a stack of cassettes I was asked by someone if I could settle a bet And if she was right about the phrase nipped in the bud I just laughed and said I'm pretty sure she was And then I dug up in the middle of the night A flashbulb memory of you in the garden That was so bright With a sunflower dress on Nothing under Dancing like a rain god to the sound of thunder A sunflower dress on And that's probably it And that's probably it And that's probably it And that's probably it
7.
A Map 03:15
We drove to New York City Nine hours to a show I asked some kid with a smart phone To tell us where to go Three songs in it started to rain so hard we couldn't see So we slowly put our heads down And gathered up our things I slept as you drove back And woke to the sound of the horn Blaring at a fox standing in the road Unfazed by your scorn You said "He came out out of nowhere" I said "That's the first fox I've ever seen" Then a few minutes later I slowly fell back asleep
8.
Oh where have you gone? I find I miss you still I long to feel you in my pockets But they round up at the till Is this where we are headed? Another tale of checking out I waited for something to happen But then nothing came around And if you saw me now Would I add up to be? Or would you turn around and just say You never saw much use in me And as this all is spinning Could you call it in the air? I waited for something to happen But now I just don't care Cause without you Nothing's adding up Without you How can we be tough? How can we be tough? Without you Without you Without you I don't remember how this all started Could we even stop it now? I waited for something to happen But then nothing came around I waited for something to happen But then nothing came around We waited for something to happen But then nothing
9.
You've got your head in a book I look up the title on my phone Just like me you would rather be alone That's fair In fact I wouldn't dare As you sit there and read I just look down at my screen I wouldn't know where to begin Looks like there's no end in sight Is this wearing you thin? Are you travelling light? The sign displays That our flight has been delayed But you don't even engage And just slowly turn the page I think of how you used to say you could read me like a book And how you'd always write these little notes In every one that I would lend to you And once across a whole page You drew a portrait of yourself Then closed it Without a word And put it back up on the shelf I'm always scared to fly I wonder if you're afraid too They say it's safer than driving I'm not sure if that's true And just as I start to look it up to see A loud speaker intervenes To call us to our seats I think of how you used to say you could read me like a book And how you'd always write these little notes In every one that I would lend to you And once around a whole page You drew a portrait of yourself Then closed it Without a word And put it back up on the shelf We're finally on the plane You start to take your seat And it turns out it's right next to me You look down and stop because you see That your book is on my screen And we both just freeze And I sink into my seat
10.
A Photograph 03:41
We were together when people still printed their photos And I hate that as I think about it now I've never thought to trash them Cause I do not feel angry but somehow It feels like a burden To have to be the one to keep them around I wish you'd have taken some of them But I guess it's just as well Yesterday I went looking For a book I hadn't finished I couldn't quite remember this one line And the thought would not relinquish And in a box under the stairs That's where it was found And when I opened it up A photograph fell out Of us laughing on a camping trip I hadn't thought of that 'til now But it all comes back into focus Just sitting by the fire Laughing until the night turned out it's lights It was so dark in that tent that I couldn't see my hands So peaceful No movement No motion Nothing but sound And the night slowly buzzing like a light That hadn't thought of burning out We were together when people still printed their photos And I hate that as I think about it now

about

The ten song titles on Pink Objects read like an inventory of things found stashed away in a closet or neglected drawer. It is the second concept album from Treephones — the musical moniker of Stephen Trothen — and takes the approach of a short story collection where each song is a vignette involving an object, often focused on the interactions and relationships of characters centred around these items.

The album was written and recorded by Trothen over the last few years in his Waterloo Ontario home and saw him performing all of the instruments and vocal duties except for the baritone sax and vibraphone parts. The ten songs weave evolving textures and Trothen’s voice around acoustic guitars and pianos, 12 and 6 string electric guitars, Fender Rhodes, bass, drums, sparse synths and percussion into a carefully arranged sound that matches the directness and understated complexity of its lyrics.

Pink Objects was mixed by Calvin Hartwick (Daniel Caesar, METZ, Cadence Weapon) at Dream House Studios and mastered by Phil Demetro at Lacquer Channel. The album is a great leap forward for the self-recording Trothen in both songcraft and production, with each of the 10 songs being as full sounding as they are intimate and personal — never getting lost in their own conceptual ambitions as they flow from from one object/song to the next.

And why pink?

“I actually came up with the title early on after becoming fixated on all things pink" says Trothen. "Pink is so vibrant and striking it sometimes seems unreal when you see it on a flower or bird. Pink noise is fascinating and nice sounding too. The colour also encodes so much culturally, particularly as it relates to emotions and the body. So for Pink Objects as a title, the colour pink to me suggests a liveliness like it is pulsating with some life-force."

And why objects?

“I read that an object becomes a thing when it stops working for us. So, in other words, the object is meant to go unnoticed while serving us in some way, and becomes a thing when it breaks or fails. I was interested in how these terms were being defined according to their relation to humans. I wanted to invert that idea with these songs and describe objects that elicit less controlled effects in us: evoking suppressed thoughts or concerns, memories, or facilitating awkward encounters. I think that’s why a lot of the relationships described in the songs are at a moment when they have stopped working or are in need of repair.”

credits

released May 7, 2021

© 2021 stephentrothen (socan).
All songs written, performed, produced, and arranged by Stephen Trothen in Waterloo, ON.
Mixed by Calvin Hartwick at Dream House Studios in Toronto, ON.
Mastered by Phil Demetro at Lacquer Channel in Toronto, ON.
Design and Layout by Johny Bekavac.
Saxophone on 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 performed by Michael Borkovic.
Vibraphone on 8, 9, 10 performed by Chris Hull.

This album couldn’t exist without the people listed above, as well as many unlisted ones.
I would also like to acknowledge the support of the Waterloo Region Arts Fund.

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Treephones Waterloo, Ontario

Treephones is Stephen Trothen (recordings, songs, live), Ahmad Hachem (live), Michael Borkovic (live).

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