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Empty Country

by Empty Country

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Emmanuel Castillo
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Emmanuel Castillo Up there with Joe's best -- it feels like it pulls from every record he's done before while still being completely distinct from any Cymbals record in the way it combines the psychedelia and accessibility with some of the lushest, most ornately arranged music I've heard. Plus the guitars still rock, the solos fucking slap, and the ballads somehow slap just as hard. The narrative based lyrics also hit a sweet spot in Joe's lyricism -- direct but inventive, descriptive and endlessly compelling. Favorite track: Diamond.
Norm Fischer
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Norm Fischer Just good rock n roll, man.

Favorite track: Becca.
Scott Thiessen
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Scott Thiessen This is an rock album that isn’t afraid to aspire to beauty, mystery and transcendence. Favorite track: Marian.
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Marian 06:05
Drunk and invulnerable Driving home in the snow The pikeʼs a time tunnel, honey lamb Wonʼt bother quitting Already seen the way it ends for me The mine collapses in spring of ʼ67 I was a bastard anyway But feigning tenderness I left you something dreadful And you didnʼt know She was a blue baby Hole in her heart From the start Came two months early Call her Marian for grandma She grows up fast and moves to new Babylon Watches the plague take her pretty friends Flash to her middle age The storm on Jupiterʼs abating Sheʼs our blue baby Hole for a heart From the start Her whale song wakes me Reach for your warmth You know that I am with time, honey I ainʼt in time And I see these arcing streams Tracing something grander than you can imagine If you want I donʼt mind Iʼll whisper the date and time A phase change Condensate Reason to be afraid Now and then The light bends After my accident ‘Round a room Where I hide In a sea of Virginia pines A burnt bus Further in McDowell County District I climb up Take my blade Start carving the name of my blue baby
Diamond 03:54
The day bled rain I’m more than my thoughts Beech trees shake water off Like colossal dogs I leave a me-shaped tunnel in the tawny fog Let’s head upstate when I get my advance We’ll build our studio Or just shoot at cans You know your home is wherever I am I say awful things ‘Cause it makes you smile With the empty glint Of a diamond mine “Life is mostly shit You make it seem alright sometimes” We’ll be East coast til It all hits the fan Gave us this world Never said it was fair Move to console you But I’m nailed to the air I say awful things ‘Cause it makes you smile With the empty glint Of a diamond mine Life is mostly shit You make it seem alright sometimes The yard is an ancient garden in a future age Above the flagstones she’s hovering Dreaming this present She is tall and thin and totally terrifying Hey, the distances
Ultrasound 03:22
Time felt When sunʼs rays rake us On Loveladies sands weʼll lay A baby grand hanging over my babyʼs head In five business days Weʼll know Body horror Never thought Of all the things that could go wrong We try to sleep Weʼre spinning ‘round A shadow on the ultrasound I would never leave you darling No Wanna take this weight off of ya No Fear TM Yup, I grew up here Mudding trucks with dixie flags The yawning void in the shadows of ball caps The ancient glacierʼs path made the valley Body horror Pace the hall Waiting for the morning call We tried to sleep Weʼre spinning ‘round A shadow on the ultrasound I could never leave you darling No Wanna take this weight off of ya Between depressive episodes Weʼre living in the golden zone Just fleshy things Electric lives A universe expands inside us Body horror Realized The million things that all went right To lead me here Weʼre side by side Letʼs leave this house Letʼs take a ride
Untitled 04:40
Ate LSD today We like the way it makes trees breath and sway Just like they always have Walking hand-in-hand onto stained glass Hazel Ave We fell in love on drugs Other epiphanies bleed and blur But this one never did Now we watch soft shadows of leaves on the buildings Never soul sick On this new trip Ivy wither River shimmer On the coal pier Only you dear Keep all the flags half mast Worse even than we feared and twice as fast “You’d think this life is a dream”, dad said And cued up “Bobby Jean” Long ago Hieroglyphics on the houses I got shivers Afterimages On Europa An ocean It’ll strike you deaf dumb and blind Every lifer’s life ends sometime
Chance 06:13
Bobby, send me a memory Stalling on Ringling Bridge Causeway Old light Living and mythic Ghost of a dead distant system Starlings swimming in a helix (Starling swimming and murmuring) I was ashing in a tambourine On the passenger seat Now I’m sleeping in the screen house (Sleeping, dreaming of waterspouts) Dreaming dancing pairs of waterspouts I’ve been laying off the soft packs Ever since our human angel appeared A smile and a tear Little fingers bending ghost notes I sing “Green, Green Rocky Road” Entropy slows Debbie laughing with the camera She captures everything My Claddagh ring Making someone out of nothing We gave our own secret name To this painted world
Emerald 05:44
Pack of kids blast by On quads and dirt bikes Rachel’s sedated I’m disassociating Kenzo has cancer They used to smelt lead here Trapped in this sprawling dream Glow, emerald city Had choices ’til I chose Scorpios don’t have souls (But we can take them) Love watching you watch the sky flood the highway (At the horizon) County fair Woodwind band Never let go of my hand (I’ll have to sometime) Let’s leave it for a while Hope our hearts halt softly It’s all been a gift The crescent sun shadows In the solar eclipse It’s two hours to Cape May Or the Pine Barrens Always crossing the river To see all our friends (Doesn’t make sense) I think we’d best get back West Seemed we were happy Left all our memories Left our reflections there Way up on B street
Becca 02:54
Becca didn’t sleep a single wink last night She was busy working the X-acto knife Trimming squares of tinted plastic carefully During the eclipse she will be Downtown Disney Her license was revoked and so she calls a car Stakes her spot at Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar Sipping Hpno-tinis ‘neath the blank blue sky Handing paper shades out to the passers by 3 o’clock approaching Soon the moment will come Becca’s given glasses out to everyone Beholding the celestial phenomenon She’s the only one who isn’t looking up Folks won’t notice right away that something’s amiss Strange the way the setting sun blurs and bulges Waking in the darkness to their crying kids Feeling for the light switch They will hear the ocean
Clearing 03:44
Accutane Dried my brain It cleared my skin Now my hair is thin It’s clearing up And it’s not enough It turned my bones to dust It turned my bones to dust It turned my bones to dust Days of glass I just let em pass A supercell With the face of an angel Golden is her countenance Bereft of blemishes Bereft of blemishes My soul is smooth as a river stone A trillion voices told me so It’s clearing up But it’s not enough It’s clearing up But it’s not enough
I’m a swallowed colony A jetliner vanishing But there is no mystery at all I ride this sine wave See steel in the saplings The years keep passing And all the while I’m free To reject the misery The rotting family tree outside In the changing light Leave the ground This Southern Cloud I’m never coming down When the panic’s gone What will remain I’ll never feel the same The voice inside Wrong every time Wrong every time Doom was predicted Cyclonic conditions His wife had visions that night From the Mascot Aerodrome Over a sea of cortisol There was no radio Just the taste of driving rain No suffering just pain The full moon starts to wane again Now I left the ground This Southern Cloud I’m never coming down Southern Sun What will remain? I’ll never be the same If you tell yourself You’re still a shit You’ll start believing it And the voice inside It’s wrong every time Wrong every time
Swim 06:12
Got a tattoo on my ribcage Of the second plane hitting Had it done while I was doing time up in Ossining Got my game down in the shore towns With the boardwalk trash 22, I was a blue eyed sociopath Black out often, not sure Think I might have hurt someone Always, same dream Moonlight silvering the pine trees I’m guilty Maybe you could come and live it down with me As we’re crossing the Walt Whitman Catch my startled reflection Don’t think I’ll ever feel like myself again I’m an Okie from the ‘30s but it’s 2020 The black blizzards on the blank prairie Casing places Packing the pistol that my dad left me Tubs of street chalk You draw messages for yuppies We’re evil, baby sorry I guess some people have to be Come and live it down with me


released March 20, 2020

Produced by Joseph D’Agostino and Kyle Gilbride

Engineered by Kyle Gilbride

Mastered by Ryan Schwabe

Music and lyrics by Joseph D’Agostino

Joseph D’Agostino- Guitars, keyboards, vocals

Charlotte Anne Dole- Drums and percussion

Patrick Dole- Bass guitar

Zena Kay- pedal steel, electric guitar

Rachel Browne- vocals

Zoë Browne- vocals

Kyle Gilbride- synthesizer on “Chance”

Charles Bissell- vocals on “Ultrasound”

Azer Damirov- violin on “Chance” “Becca” and “SWIM”

Lorenzo Mazzamuto- violin on “Clearing”

Emma Method- viola on “Clearing”

Shannon Merlino- viola on “Chance”, “Becca” and “SWIM”

Justin Yoder- cello on “Chance”, “Becca”, “Clearing”, and “SWIM”

Thank You’s: Rachel, Zoe, Chance, Debbi, Robin, Joe, Phyllis, Dave A., Dave B.


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