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We Live On Cliffs

by Adam Haworth Stephens

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about

The solo debut from Adam Haworth Stephens, lead singer and songwriter of San Francisco duo Two Gallants, spotlights his ability to craft compelling and intelligent songs that have forged an intimate and emotional bond with fans and captivated critics with words so personal they're universal.

From beginning to end, We Live on Cliffs is a shimmering blend of alternative folk with a pop sensibility, full of first-person narratives that when combined, create a marvelously eclectic collection. And while there is a natural bridge between Two Gallants and Stephens' solo work, these songs contain an introspection and musical diversity that has not been touched on before. "These songs are about desperation," says Stephens. "The desperation to make something of living, to find a sense of ease, to find someone to love and to maintain that fleeting feeling of love." The record is Stephens' most ambitious work to date and his storytelling is as illuminating as ever, further establishing him as a talented and important songwriter.

Produced by Grammy Award-Winning producer Joe Chiccarelli, We Live on Cliffs features Stephens on vocals, guitar and piano, and a host of guest musicians including Patrick Hallahan and Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket), Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Joey Waronker, Cody Votolato (Blood Brothers / Jaguar Love), Mike Daly, Petra Haden, Andy Cabic (Vetiver) and current band members Jen Grady, Matt Montgomery and Omar Cuellar.

credits

released September 28, 2010

2010 Saddle Creek

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Adam Haworth Stephens San Francisco, California

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Track Name: Praises In Your Name
didn’t they tell you that it ain’t no use
soon enough we all just settle for the truth
did they bring you furnish you with lies
the dreams out of your mind the sleep out of your eyes
of all the boys who dangle from your wrist
and vie for every word that falls off of your lips
that boy he don’t mean you no good
all he wants in life’s to be misunderstood
and all those days on the lawn when the hours passed slow
you turned and then they were gone but no one let you know
well i hold the candle while you dance upon the flame
and all the children will sing praises in your name
and there for every one who knows just what I know
i’ll hold the candle and watch you burn so slow
Track Name: Second Mind
oh the light the blessed light that blinds us all
it comes and goes but no one knows when it will fall
but oh reckless love don't hang around my door
you leave me undone more than i was before
please stay away
oh the rose the blushing rose you waste your scent
upon them all they rise and fall they came and went
but oh reckless love just look what you have done
you push and shove and send me on the run
please stay away
now they say that you’re just wasting away
a picture frame around your neck
but i don't listen to a thing they say
your pride i must protect
but if i let you down treat you unkind
no that’s not me just my second mind
Track Name: With Vengeance Come
oh no this living ain’t for the faint of heart
no this living is just a dying art
talking so low in words we were told to use
we pity ourselves for enduring such self abuse
and in your trembling chin beauty wields a blade
as daylight stumbles in through the windowpane
but all the doctors keep us so reassured
they’ll find the sickness as soon as they find the cure
once when you were we were oh so young
we mourned for each and every dying sun
now they march off like children called to war
each like the next each just like the one before
and we place wagers upon every one
if it returns i’ll bet it’s with vengeance come
Track Name: Heights Of Diamond
grave-maker lay down your spade
come again some other day
i'd rather watch the colors fade a while
from pawn shop shades to balconies
i’ll paraphrase eternity
and all the evolutions of your smile
cause i’m still becoming
and the day’s just humming
though the feeling fades away
but the bells are chiming
in the heights of diamond
as i’m trying to find my way
and silently your secret’s scrawled
on paper cranes and bathroom walls
but no one’s ever dared figure you out
so you held me like a sinking stone
the one you wish you’d never thrown
but it’s too late it’s too late to dry me out
cause your touch still lingers
on my shaky fingers
though the feeling fades away
and the bells are chiming
in the heights of diamond
as i’m trying to find my way
it’s sundown on the western sea
and this one sinks in infamy
as i watch you watch me while i walk away
and it’s pale light on the patio
did they forget to let you know
that everyone needs someone to betray
my lodestar’s beaming
but i might be dreaming
as the feeling fades away
but the bells are chiming
in the heights of diamond
as i’m trying to find my way
Track Name: The Cities That You've Burned
so amused the sixth street peddlers come to sing your blues
and money’s spent to damn the rivers of your discontent
you got your invitation to the bachelor’s ball
and you stay out till the sun comes creeping up your bedroom wall
ivory tower you sit and while away the idle hours
skin and bones the city streets below just weep and moan
but from your window above you only hear the rain
you touch the world through a glove it’s so much easier than feeling pain
and they’re inventing hunger in the grey of dawn
as i sit among your parliament of pawns
slowly growing younger with every yawn
and in the ashes of the cities that you've burned
we'll sit and wait for your return
so composed you wake on the floor in your designer clothes
so refined you think that country’s just a state of mind
switch like a switchblade my love you cut the young men down
you’ve been to heaven above but your feet have never touched the ground
and we’ve brought you roses in eternal bloom
while you stand before us in your royal gloom
holding a torch beneath your silver spoon
but in the ashes of the cities that you've burned
i'll sit and wait for your return
Track Name: Elderwoods
where will you be when the gavel falls
polishing the statue of the man who built the mall
he was a man of vision a man of grace
just an honest country boy with empire in his face
who went off chasing destiny beyond the pasture gates
then came the morning when his shadow fled
woke up alone all alone in his own head
screaming oh no there’s no escape
and as the walls came creeping in
he sucked his thumb pulled the cover to his chin
suddenly it’s much too late
and the rain don’t fall but the sun don’t shine
on dear mother’s backdoor where she still must do her time
just sitting around wondering what she missed
visions of her childhood love with farewell on his lips
who went off seeking gravity beyond the western cliffs
then came the morning when her shadow fled
woke up alone all alone in her own head
screaming oh no there’s no escape
and as the walls came creeping in
it’s hard to find a reason to begin
suddenly it’s much too late
take me down to the elderwoods my darling
take me down to the elders everyday
have you found what it was that you were after
have you found what it was that you had lost
Track Name: Southern Lights
the southern lights are on the run
we spent all night painting pictures that disappear when morning comes
the blizzard blows the bottles drain
and though i beg you not to make me walk home in the southern rain
don't let the morning catch me here
i'm not the man that i appear
you find your heart you lose control
you know everything lasts forever as long as you can let it go
you find your mind you lose your faith
you know the sweeter the candy the bitterer the aftertaste
so turn up the border radio
one last dance before i leave though
i'll be dragging my feet home to bed
seal your lips and hush your laughter
this kid don't know just what he's after
don't believe a single thing he says
Track Name: Angelina
when the revolution comes i’ll be slaughtering the lawn
but when they sing their anthems i’ll be sure to sing along
and if i should fall shot through the breast
send my love to the one i know the best
you talk to no one so unimpressed by them all
and you do your shopping in the shadow of your shawl
but the news is out all over town
that the ring is off and you've gained ten pounds
every time i need you i don't even need to try
you're always in the checkout line just feeding me the eye
and i'd take you home but i'm so weak
i'm ten cents short but you'll be there next week
angelina leave me alone you wear my body to the bone
every time you pass me by with those diamond studded eyes
i read the headlines on your face oh all the scandal and disgrace
but your secret's safe right here among my magazines and tears
Track Name: Everyday I Fall
spring comes the cornets of april raise up their songs to the sky
the infant rocks in the cradle the day goes wandering by
and i guard the flame they started oh so long ago
for the bruised and broken hearted with nowhere left to go
so we took a walk through the orchard and plucked the fruit from the limb
oh how your lips left me tortured as the juice dripped from you chin
through the dust and shadows through the lust of mallows
to the center of your heart that’s where i was bound
but if i ever get there i’m sure i’ll turn around
so we took a walk through the graveyard and carved our names in the stone
you tried so hard to act so hard so i just left you alone
among the blue silence that circled around your eyelids
and so our love ended but the world went tumbling on
and i began my lifelong quest to shape you into song
i’ll be searching for you forever if it’s true
that you will get me through somehow
this love i’ll allow to
lead me lead me onward
somewhere where there are no words
to tell how it feels to fall
and everyday i fall