The California Recordings

by Laura Tuthall

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1.
03:59
2.
05:43
3.
05:04
4.
06:15

credits

released April 11, 2018

All music and lyrics composed and performed by Laura Tuthall
Engineered by Lee Ray at Joe Weed’s Highland Studios
Los Gatos, CA
August – September 2017

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Laura Tuthall New York

A self-taught songwriter and musician, Laura is also an accomplished poet, visual artist, and dancer. She graduated from the Boston Conservatory in 2015, while coming to terms with a life-changing medical diagnosis, Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Now a disabled artist, Laura lives in Brooklyn, where she manages her condition and generates multifaceted work with her distinctive set of skills. ... more

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Track Name: Unchartable
Unchartable (2015)
midnight on Claremont street
late in May
the sway of the flowerless branches
against my petal skin
I’m finally in
a story worth singing about

but pink is just shy red
yeah pink is just shy red
you used an anchor
instead of your oars
but I’m just the tide
I won’t stay by the shore

midnight at the crack park
hiked up to the rock on the hill
fit my body parts into
the hollowest minerals
lying on top of the world
tied down to this course
by the core of the earth

you know that sink is just
shy swim
and I am the bucket
your poured concrete in
you made me an anchor
instead of a storm
but inside I’m the tide
I won’t stay underneath the boat

jingle bells
on convenience store doors
they mark the space
between my place and yours
I gotta kick off the shoes
that the past four years
were travelled in
and yeah it hurts hurts hurts
that I never heard you
knocking at my door
and now you’re taking
the whole damn city with you

you thought you knew
where the x was
where to point your compass
and where to dig in the sand
I tried hard to be
a major key
to stay still on the map
but oh well I got trapped
in the pull of it
in the weight of all these words
that seem to separate my sway
from yours
I gotta sync up
gotta chart this thinking
while I can
before it lands on

forever parallel streets
back in June
the truth buried somewhere
but I don’t care
you are the no to my nowhere
my levee to break
not a moment to lose
not a second to waste

‘cause pink is just shy red
and without the white paint
I’ll stain with each breathe
with each note
with each step down
each summer street
yeah I’m me;
what can tide do
but drown back into the sea
Track Name: Dry
Dry (2015)
moon over clay
cracks in the ground
where there used to be waterways
I curled up
so safe in the mud
and woke to find dust
stretching for miles

neon lights
over condo complexes
trash in the streets
where there used to be
no directions
gridwork
pressed to the earth
‘til it’s flat, mathematic, and mild

don’t look back
I already erased all tracks
with the wind in my lungs
if you find yourself
lost in the desert
just know I left no melody
to guide you home

I lost my wings
two winters ago
but I tried very hard to stay me
wake up at dawn
with the parking brake on
stuck at the end
of a dead end road

I took off my shirt and told
you to count all the stars in my skin
but you thought they were scars
in the whole damn sky
and I believed you

fuck my life
I wasted so much time
giving all of my raindrops away
when I should’ve been saving them
surrendering dirt
to metal and bone

at the edge now
looking down
at an obvious absence of green
you tried to blame me
for flooding the fields
but you never wanted the trees

I like
to stay in
on Friday nights
dance alone in my room
drink red wine out the bottle
and listen to Blue
reminding myself
this is “only a dark cocoon”…

tune over time
I keep trying to rewrite the world
so I fit inside
but each word I rain
on ungrateful terrain
ends up bleeding it dry

sometimes I like me
and sometimes I don’t
but I’m done having to decide
between worthless and worthwhile
done counting the days
‘til I grow back more able
to fly

that’s that
I’m never coming back
I’ve got mountains to build
I’ve got valleys to hollow
and rivers to fill
not one note left to
undo this desert
Track Name: Daffodils
Daffodils (2016)
dark red lips
on a crowded train
feeling pretty
gets her through the pain
strange men
that reek of bad cologne
and good cocaine
think she was put there for them

trying on
different personalities
like outfits for a date
nothing’s quite right
I wear it anyways
scuffed up, fucked up
never really good enough
these pieces I have put together

but I’ve got a job to do
can’t stop to dig back through

I just can’t quite see
who is as blamable as me
but then again, I’ve always
been quick to stick the blade
in my own gut
before considering
who really earned a cut
I wonder if the fix
I’ve been fishing for
is stuck under the cicatrix, but

I’ve got a job to do
can’t stop to dig back through the wreckage
I’ll just keep shaping plans
and watch each castle turn to sand
until the hole that I’ve been building from
is deep enough
to bury

the mess I made
with my dreams and vain
attempts to bring them to fruition
maybe I was drunk
when I decided to pay them attention
who was I to try
to make the outside match the in
think I was worth discovering
and possibly worth sharing

sometimes I can see
that you’re as blameable as me
or maybe more
they tell me
I’ve got sense enough
to bet right
when it comes down to it
but I’d like to know for sure
if the narrative I’ve put my faith in
is fictional self-vindication

no, I’ve got a job to do
can’t stop to dig back
I’ll just keep shaping plans
and watch each castle turn to sand
until the hole that I’ve been building from
is deep enough
to bury the mess

I put my brain in dirt
and took my body back inside
to wait blindly for spring –
they tell me
I’ve got time enough
to bet on getting better
but it’s a risky, reckless play
putting all my pieces back into
one game –

daffodils
I sit alone in Madison Square Park
I write some good shit down
I walk around
I hold my face up to the sun
I dare the light to run
I guess that these are good enough
these pieces I have put together
Track Name: Darkroom
Darkroom (2016)
same t-shirt for days
I’m looking out my little window
with my tired little eyes
thinking of getting out
getting outside
getting my hands
on everyone else’s time
getting to move

it’s like being locked in a darkroom
with nothing to develop
but your own dark thoughts
and some old pictures in boxes
that’s me I see running free
on the golden hills
but I don’t remember
going there at all

I woke up from a dream
with the color of a melody
I laid it out on the keys
poured over and over
I worked with dull hope
for weeks and then months
but the paint dried up

the negative me
that’s all I’m exposing
a miniature, inverted version’s
all that they see
but that’s not enough for me
I know what I could be
and it’s so much –

more
a funny word for
a bridge without its mainland
out from the island edge
to a foggy end
lamenting at four in the morning
a wish only death can free
they say it’s like falling asleep
but I’d have to stop dreaming
trade in velvet synapses
for blank abandoned staves

same day on repeat
I’m looking out
I’m looking in
I am remembering
that paracosm girl
she’s dead
I miss her head
the liquid thoughts
the clouds beneath my feet
being happy to be
locked in my darkroom
with nothing to develop
but the landscapes inside me

I went back to the dirt
to the dry and worn out riverbeds
I poured all my water down
cried over and over
I wet the dormant red
it deepened and bled
and I almost touched
a delta but

the negative me
that’s all I’m exposing
a miniature inverted version’s
all I can see
but that’s not enough for me
I know what I could be
and it’s so much –

more
a funny word for
a structure not yet heard by
years
out from the neuron edge
to a network of unknown gears
composing at four in the morning
a gift only life can leave
and trusting that time will expand
what now is still stuck in
REM sleep
and incomplete conduits
like swallows bent south
like seedlings bent skyward
that’s how I’ll be making myself:
day by day by day

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