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Vocations

by Early Riser

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1.
Vocations 02:24
What do you do? What do you really do? With your time and your friends and your anger too Are you working it? Does it work for you? What do you make? What do you really make? With your hands and your mind and your heartache Do you change the rules, do you raise the stakes? If I asked you right now to be honest, would you just run away? If I told you right now that you’d make it would you leave here today? What are you doing What are you doing with your life What are you doing with your life for the next 24 hours?
2.
Skeleton 03:53
Do you know at all times how far you are from the door? Do you plan your escape for if it isn’t what you bargained for? ‘Cause I do Yeah I do Do you find yourself stuck on the motion of their eyes Wondering if you’re the game or even worse the prize? ‘Cause I do Yeah I do I’m not trying to be one of the guys I’d just like to be one of the humans When you look at me I hope you see a skeleton ‘Cause that’s what’s inside And we all have one When you look at me I hope you see the light go off ‘Cause when I shut down You are the reason Will you just walk away from the biggest chance of your life If you see in their eyes that you’ll pay a nauseating price? ‘Cause I will Yeah I will Will you know that you’re strong even if they don’t support you? Will you know that you’re right even if they don’t believe you? ‘Cause I will Yeah I will I’m not trying to be one of the guys I just want to be one of the humans When you look at me I hope you see a skeleton ‘Cause that’s what’s inside And we all have one When you look at me I hope you see the light go off ‘Cause when I shut down You are the reason I am an equal Not an opportunity
3.
When I'm nervous I talk like the SATs Trying to ameliorate the obfuscation of something, or something Motormouth, slow down, they say I've heard it all before Do you really think that I want to be this way? I can't connect, I'm at a different pace I never win, I'm in a different race I'm terrified, they see it on my face When I'm nervous I run like I'm fleeing bees Trying to avoid all the things I’d have to feel just by standing in one place Forrest Gump, slow down, they say I've heard it all before Do you really think that I choose to be this way? I can't connect, I'm at a different pace I never win, I'm in a different race I'm terrified, they see it on my face Every traffic light and stop sign in the world put together wouldn’t be enough Thank god for drums ‘cause the metronome of my racing heart keeps speeding up
4.
The kids who valued being different, but only in one way, were always the worst Tolerated me for liking the right bands But then mocked me for not knowing them first And then there was me, the wallflower in red lipstick Asking permission to exist When you're convinced you're doing life wrong It's so easy to collect the evidence The price of being yourself can’t be more Than the cost of being someone else The toll of toxic of company Is never worth avoiding loneliness And then there was me, the wallflower in red lipstick Asking permission to exist When you're convinced you're doing life wrong It's so easy to collect the evidence I wasn’t trying to be visible I just wanted to be seen I wasn’t asking to be looked at I just wanted to be me I’m not trying to be visible I just want to be seen I’m not asking to be looked at I just want to be me So now here I am, the wallflower in red lipstick Not asking permission to exist When you accept that you have value Then you finally can collect the evidence Are you willing to collect the evidence?
5.
I threw a penny in the fountain And I wished I could get your attention Not a crush, per se I just wanted to exist within your orbit Now it’s ten years later And you’re pretty famous And we’re still not friends Now it’s ten years later And I’ve kind of realized Looking up to you is hurting my neck Drop the torch Let it burn You’ve seen all there is to see here Learned all there is to learn Cut the cord Stop the curse If you still believe they’re better then you’ll still believe you’re worse I put my eggs all in a basket Of one question and whether you’d ask it Waiting patiently for you to find The storyline I’d written Now it’s twelve years later And you’re really famous And we’re still not friends Now it’s twelve years later And I’ve finally realized Looking up to you is hurting my neck Drop the torch Let it burn You’ve seen all there is to see here Learned all there is to learn Cut the cord Stop the curse If you still believe they’re better then you’ll still believe you’re worse Pedestals are for statues, not people
6.
The Narrator 02:28
I came of age in the scene with boys in eyeliner and girls’ jeans Each one a better, bitter version of me They made it very clear who got to tell the stories And I knew all my idols were something I’d never be Do you need your narrator to look like you? Will you still sing along? Do you stop to notice who is singing And who gets to own the songs? We got a lot of practice belting songs with female villains Mentally blacking out words but “holding onto the feelings” Caught up in catharsis and the sense of belonging While half-understanding that it was ironic Do you need your narrator to look like you? Will you still sing along? Do you stop to notice who is singing And who gets to own the songs? Show me the people with something to say Let’s amplify the voices of those who feel left out and afraid Let’s normalize being yourself and letting go of the noise that stands in the way Do you need your narrator to look like you? Will you still sing along? Do you stop to notice who is singing And who gets to own the songs?
7.
I call it the gnawing When my stomach tells me that it’s missing something But it’s never full I’m feeling the wanting While the faces on the podium are smiling With their gold medals I knew what I wanted Just to prove that I could be the best at something But it’s not enough Cause I didn’t love it Like I love playing three chords in someone’s basement How it lifts me up It hurts too much to be up at night Over what is and is not mine They can keep their accolades keep their fame Other people’s riches aren’t mine to claim I thought I’d be a failure if I didn’t reach the top Hated every minute but believed I couldn’t stop Every miserable competitor needs someone to tell them There’s something else, there’s always something else It hurts too much to be up at night Over what is and is not mine They can keep their accolades keep their fame Other people’s riches aren’t mine to claim
8.
Pleasantries 02:38
Yeah, I know how this goes already You’ll call me up and I’ll say I’m busy Then later I’ll show up when I’m feeling lonely But we’ll just argue about each others’ favorite movies ‘Cause you hate romance and I don’t care for action I never told you anything But I would if I thought you’d listen You never tell me anything But somehow I’m still here I want to be honest Because I can’t tell what you’re thinking And there’s so much that I need you to know I’m sick of the surface And all these pointless conversations Can we let the pleasantries go? Yeah, I know how this goes already I’m fired up and my mood is heavy I’m ready to dig up seven years of history But you’d rather tell the waiter all your funny stories So I just shut down, and we keep moving backwards I never told you anything But I would if I knew you’d listen You never tell me anything But somehow I’m still here I want to be honest Because I can’t tell what you’re thinking And there’s so much that I need you to know I’m sick of the surface And all these pointless conversations Can we let the pleasantries go? You wouldn’t believe the people I’ve met Talked all night in eight cities, we’ve got no secrets left I want less of this and more of that Reciprocity and total respect I want to be honest Because I can’t tell what you’re thinking And there’s so much that I need you to know I’m sick of the surface And all these pointless conversations Can we let the pleasantries go?
9.
Corners 02:30
Show me a ship that's leaving shore I'll show you the wreckage Take me out of my element And I'll find the exit I'll show you a different side of me, then run away And I will not sleep for days You can take the girl out of the corner Can you take the corner out of the girl? Sing now of youth and cruelty Yeah, we're the experts “What did the Heathers do to you?” Oh, just forget it Asked me to sign her yearbook, like we were friends Then she closed it on my hand Only you can decide If you'll be in high school for the rest of your life With everything the world demands, There will be days that leave you broken And even as your world expands, There will be corners to hide in But tonight, I'm all here Tonight, I'm all in Turn our failures back into choices Turn these choking sounds back into voices We always knew that we would figure it out With everything the world demands, There will be days that leave you broken And even as your world expands, There will be corners to hide in But tonight, I'm all here Tonight, I'm all in
10.
Are we artists, are we fighters, are we all of the above? Are we clear now on what matters, are we doing what we love? Are we lacing up our gloves to finally show the world and ourselves what we’re truly made of? I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t need to You wouldn’t hear this if I didn’t bleed through I’m giving everything until all that’s left Is blood on the canvas Are we artists, are we fighters, are we all of the above? Are we clear now that what matters are the people we love? Are we holding on and holding tight and holding out for what it is we always dreamed of? I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t need to You wouldn’t hear this if I didn’t bleed through I’m giving everything until all that’s left Is blood on the canvas What if all your heroes had just quit? What if your favorite songs did not exist? What if this is your do or die moment? This is it We are artists, we are fighters, we are all of the above We are clear now on what matters, we are doing what we love We are holding on and holding tight and holding out for what it is we always dreamed of I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t need to You wouldn’t hear this if I didn’t bleed through I’m giving everything until all that is left Is blood on the canvas We are artists, we are fighters All that’s left We are clear now on what matters All that’s left We are artists, we are fighters All that’s left Is blood on the canvas

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Vinyl copies are available from A-F Records (see link in sidebar).

$1 from each purchase on Bandcamp will benefit the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund for independent venues.

credits

released March 26, 2021

Kiri Oliver - vocals, guitar, keyboards
Heidi Vanderlee - cello, vocals
Nicole Nussbaum - bass, vocals
Mike Yannich - drums, percussion, vocals
Featuring Chris Krasnow - trombone on tracks 1, 2, 6 & 8

Produced by Eva Lawitts and Early Riser
Engineered by Eva Lawitts and Chris Krasnow at Wonderpark Studios
Mixed by Chris Krasnow at Wonderpark Studios
Mastered by Sarah Register

Artwork by Kiri Oliver
Design and layout by Nicole Nussbaum

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Early Riser Brooklyn, New York

Early Riser plays cello-driven pop-punk with soaring vocal harmonies, catchy hooks and uplifting lyrics.

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