I Used To Be Sad & Then I Forgot

by Mr. Alec Bowman

supported by
Dietmar Leibecke
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Dietmar Leibecke „ They say that you’re larger than life
So, you live like maybe it’s true
But don’t take it from me, wait & you’ll see
Life is much larger than you

It’s never the end of the world
It just stops for a minute while you unfurl
It goes on without you, whatever you do
So, stand up for something, all the way through“

❤️❤️❤️ Favorite track: Never The End Of The World.
lean yarrum
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lean yarrum It took me some time to fall for this, but it was well worth it. It's all about the words. Favorite track: Long Goodbyes.
guitarstring1008
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guitarstring1008 This album is saving me right now. I listen to it over and over.
Thank you Mr Alec Bowman! Favorite track: Never The End Of The World.
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1.
The air is too thin to breathe, the sky’s so hard to leave It's a shame I have to come down, I‘d stay here, circling round Leave the surface behind, it’s scarred face only reminds me Of the mess I made of my head, I’d rather be flying than dead As turbines shudder and shake, leaving poisonous trails in my wake The horizon fades to black, at least physics and form have my back Up in space, made of silence, where natural science Turns the world upside down When the plane I’m on crashes, and grants all my wishes I’ll come in too hard to drown My approach is all wrong, to come down clean But the sunsets a wonderful thing to have seen This pressurized atmosphere, sterile and stale Signs all say, I should stay calm and bail For all of the forces of motion in lines Physics and form won’t save me this time
2.
I love closing doors, self-harming in bars Proving my scars are deeper than yours Bleeding on floors, my sharper claws are Drawn like the breath you can’t hold anymore I’m a heart-breaking thief and it beggars belief How a deadbeat like me could catch and release I lied without lying, give in too soon Leave without trying to stay in the room (Are you) a ditch worth dying for, not how it seems I’m an extra, in your small-minded dreams I marched for miles, never moved an inch And it’s not worth dying in the blood in this ditch I never missed you more than when you were there Never was far from a wreck You never gave me anything I couldn’t take off I won’t wear you around my neck (Are you) a ditch worth dying for, not how it seems I’m an extra, in your small-minded dreams I marched for miles, never moved an inch And it’s not worth dying in the blood in this ditch
3.
Safe Mode 03:53
When the time for talking’s over and the silences begun You can’t come up for air and the words have all been done When you’re out of time, losing every breath Out of your mind and out of more than only depth You can’t face the music so let it fade You can’t win or lose if you won’t play When the only sound that’s left is the blood rush in your ears And the phone-lit face of a stranger who won’t hear Who leaves you speechless for anything you say For all your useless power, you’re angry and afraid You can’t hear the sentence if you don’t wait You can’t do the time if you’re away Use safe mode, it’s easy that way Cut loose and hide away Pull the plug and pretend that you can’t hear It’s bad advice that won’t save your life I’m sick of losing losing fights Close your eyes and turn away from your fear Where’s the sense in messages, let them all stay blue If you try to answer, you’ll have to use words to tell the truth It’s not worth the time, bury your head Hole up in the sand, pretend you’re dead Use safe mode, it’s easy that way Cut loose and hide away Pull the plug and pretend that you can’t hear It’s bad advice that won’t save your life I’m sick of losing losing fights Close your eyes and turn away from your fear
4.
Leaves 02:29
I love the taste of my own blood in my mouth Burning like tears on my tongue It’s dried on my teeth, my nails and my clothes I’d rather be stubborn than stung My hands are too full, too tired and too cold If I leave now, I’ll be home in time To hide from the weight of the world on my own I need space to be hung out to dry I’ll survive in a vacuum but I’m only human I’m an animal, drowned in a box Thrown in a lake, worn by the wake Beaten by the waves on the rocks When the wind in my hair falls from my sails My hands have been burned before But, what else can I do? I’m not leaving at you I’m free to walk through the door
5.
Leave your words on the floor If you can’t fire them, who are they for? Weapons are wasted if you can’t wear them to war Hundreds of rounds, you won’t carry no more It’s no skin off my nose You never heard me coming and never let me go Another string to my bow You’ll live to tell the story, but now I’ll never know With my tail between my legs, my hands cover my eyes No more secrets to keep and no more long goodbyes Hold onto your tongue You scream about strength, my weakness weighs a ton Empty your chambers and let your blades dull Keep your voice still in your skull Like rain seeps in the ground Soaks in the soil not the feathers I found Runs off, it drains away Leaving me lighter, fixed, flown away With my tail between my legs, my hands cover my eyes No more secrets to keep and no more long goodbyes
6.
7.
Patience 02:31
Patience; a lie, an act, you’re a moth Fighting a fly, all odds are off Wait a while, try to not be The kind of man they’re all saying you seem Dust down your wings, head for the light Pack up your things, you’re leaving, tonight When you're next to nothing, with nothing to lose You get carried away; patience, the truth. When you live long enough with the lies in the play Reading your lines wears thin Takes its toll, your heads in a hole Cracked where the light should come in So shed your skin, swallow your pride Close the doors, it’s safer inside When you're next to nothing, with nothing to lose You get carried away; patience, the truth. From the bed that you made up for one on the floor It’s hard to remember what you fell down here for The paint on the ceiling, the stains on the wall Are prices worth paying for one more curtain call When you're next to nothing, with nothing to lose You get carried away; patience, the truth
8.
Hand In Hand 02:12
It won’t be a lake, the back of a car Lines on my arms, a crack from a bar A break in my veins, a shot from a gun A fire, warning or rays from the sun Not a virus, pollution or a fall from a height I’ll walk hand in hand with you into the light It won’t be a fall from firth of forth bridge My arms & legs froze in a fridge Savaged by dogs, swallowed by pigs Poisoned by gas in illegal digs Buried by landslides, burning on flights I’ll walk hand in hand with you into the light It won’t be old age, drown in the sea Choked on a chicken bone stuck inside me Exposure to cold, a fall from the sky This list of the ways that I hope I don’t die The next one, the chorus, that one’s alright I’ll walk hand in hand with you into the light
9.
I'm in no rush, I got forever, said the narcissist to the flower I'll while away here, stranded, but clear and meet you at the station in an hour A day or a week, a month or a year, like I said, I got nothing but time which passes so slowly between us, I can’t tell your memories from mine I’m a snowflake in a desert storm, some kind of snake with you in his jaws I'd be a rich old man if only I knew, how time works in the event horizon of you I’m slow, at letting things go, said the architect to the flame But when they’re gone, that’s how they’ll stay, and time and space are the same I’m a snowflake in a desert storm, some kind of snake with you in his jaws I'd be a rich old man if only I knew, how time works in the event horizon of you You’re still here today and I hope that you’ll stay, said the animal to the air I been flying around, missing the ground, wondering why I should care Then the dark in your eyes, reflected mine, shifted to blue and then brown And we circle away, ‘til the end of the day, I fell for you, all the way down I’m a snowflake in a desert storm, some kind of snake with you in his jaws I'd be a rich old man if only I knew, how time works in the event horizon of you
10.
She’s the same kind of demon as I am, her claws sharp as a stone If I could open my mouth, then nobody’s singing alone If I’m too proud to sing it out loud, then I’ll whisper, so only she hears I’ll spit out the words on the tip of my tongue, try not to choke on the tears She’s my kind of chaos, strong just like me Which is weaker than I ever knew a person could be Her chaos is kind and she gives it for free Her open hands fit into mine, like a dream Bigger men than me sing different songs & Steal the sleight from her hand Sticks in my throat, like the words in my lungs But strength is not the size of a man Their houses are haunted by visions that leave Shade on the walls of their rooms The shadows on mine, are the same kind I’ll try not to choke on the fumes She’s my kind of chaos, strong just like me Which is weaker than I ever knew a person could be Her chaos is kind and she gives it for free Her open hands fit into mine, like a dream
11.
If you’re free to leave, it's easy to stay But it's not always simple to do Show off your weaknesses, misunderstand & be the worst version of you A leaf from a tree in the autumn will fall Like a feather, floats to the floor Be a new one next year, we grow strong over here So hold on, you’ll be back for more It’s never the end of the world It just stops for a minute while you unfurl It goes on without you, whatever you do So, stand up for something, all the way through Take a leaf from my story Don’t disappear ‘til its time I used to be sad, and then I forgot I remember who’s on my side They say that you’re larger than life So, you live like maybe it’s true But don’t take it from me, wait & you’ll see Life is much larger than you It’s never the end of the world It just stops for a minute while you unfurl It goes on without you, whatever you do So, stand up for something, all the way through

about

English singer-songwriter Mr. Alec Bowman knows a thing or two about appearances and how they often differ from reality. As a professional photographer and filmmaker, he is attuned to the varied ways we interpret the world visually and he has a keen ear for verbal and musical nuances. These skills are combined to mesmerising effect on his new album, I Used To Be Sad & Then I Forgot.

A quick glance at the cover might give you some small clue as to what lies within. The typeface, the sunlit meadow, the hazy close-ups of buttercups: these are all redolent of a particular type of album, maybe one of those lost pastoral folk masterpieces of the late 60s or early 70s. And while Bowman is certainly no stranger to a sweet melody or a soft-focus soundscape, that is only a fraction of the story. These eleven songs occupy a world that is profoundly personal and at times, extremely dark.

It is Bowman’s first release under his own name, and accordingly its songs are autobiographical, drawn from the deep well of lived experience. In Bowman’s words, ‘it’s all me’, and while it is transfixed by moments of astonishing beauty, its overall mood, in the words of its creator, is ‘angry, fragile, redemptive.’

Above all it is an honest statement, as close to the bone as it is possible for a work of art to be. Think the literary soul-searching of Nick Cave without the gothic melodrama, Leonard Cohen’s knack of alchemising the emotional pain that often characterises human relationships, or even the raw personal trauma of the last two Mount Eerie albums.

But like the best songs of Cohen or Cave, Bowman’s sad miniatures are frequently shot through with pitchblack humour or surprising and often optimistic turns of phrase. Hand In Hand gleefully lists the various ways in which the singer doesn’t want to die while still managing to be the sincerest of love songs, and Never The End Of The World turns a well-worn platitude into a genuine, wise message of hope.

Songs like Safe Mode - which compares people to the mobile phones that have started to take over their lives - and Physics & Form are distinctly contemporary in their detail, while The Event Horizon Of You makes something tender and beautiful out of the general theory of relativity. My Kind Of Chaos sets its turbulent theme against a calm counterpoint of acoustic guitar and examines the paradox of how disorder and harmony can coexist in a loving relationship.

And musically too, the attention to detail is striking. This is a far cry from your average singer-songwriter fare: witness the dark, almost spooky effects that underpin the melody of A Ditch Worth Dying For, the detached and otherworldly organ that plays a snippet of The Old Rugged Cross at the album’s mid-point intermission, or the muted clarinets that haunt Leaves. The production - courtesy of Josienne Clarke - is quietly stunning.

Ultimately, for all its darkness, I Used To Be Sad & Then I Forgot is a redemptive, positive experience. Bowman has gone through a lot to get to the point where he felt he can release these songs into the world, and it shows. Desperation might have been the driving force of this album, but its message is one of hopeful defiance. It represents an ending of one period of its creator’s life, and a new beginning. It’s not about forgetting pain, but about claiming it, and recognising that over time it can be crystalised into something that contains a kernel of truth and beauty.

As Bowman says, his songs are ‘scar tissue on my skin, owned by me, worn on the outside, and if you’re going to judge me, then do it with an open hand in the cold light of a future day, rather than under the cover of a darkness past.’

credits

released May 1, 2020

All songs written & composed by Alec Bowman © 2020
(except The Old Rugged Cross by George Bennard © 2013)
Produced by Josienne Clarke

Vocals, acoustic, electric & bass guitar, bowed cymbal & Hammond by Alec Bowman
Vocals, electric guitar, harmonium, piano, saxophone, recorders & clarinet by Josienne Clarke
Rhodes, Wurlizter, Hammond & harmonium by Paul Mosley
Engineered by Andy Banfield at Superfly Studios
Mastered by Mike Hiller at Metropois
Cover Photography by Trevor Hamilton
Sleeve Design by <redacted>

www.alecbowman.com

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Mr. Alec Bowman Dumbarton, UK

"Mr. Alec Bowman perfectly captures the dark soil under the pastoral world of British folk with this collection of melancholy originals...'

Bandcamp Editors

"Blew my mind; unnerving & eerily comforting…"

Dean Jackson BBC Radio

"Bleak and personal, yet charming and humorous. Shades of Leonard Cohen with a contemporary English vibe."

AmericanaUK
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