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The Cost Of Living

by David Singer

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Veering from tender ballads and swirling samples to intellectual pop and tape loop experimentation, The Cost Of LIving is an album of exquisitely crafted rock songs, lush orchestration and sophisticated lyrics. From the psychedelic wonder of "The Accident" to the fragile beauty of "Hawaii," from the ornate loops of "That's Not Me" to the bruising sincerity of the title track, it's an incredibly varied yet cohesive record. David Singer's lyrics are penetrating and poetic to the core, but fragile and unpretentious in a way that makes each song unusually personal to the listener. With subject matter including car crashes and one night stands, existential longing and evolution, introspection and hopeful sweetness, this is undoubtedly one of the most sincere records of 2001. (DER-398)

"A record that so beautifully unleashes the essence of pop, this is the promise of the debut solo album from David Singer. The Cost of Living begins with the dreamy piano rock tale of the surreal experience of wrapping your car around a tree in the middle of the night on an empty highway. The Accidents' brilliant, melodic songwriting, reminiscent of Stephen Merritt of the Magnetic Fields, is perfectly complemented with David Singer's sleepy falsetto and in-awe lyrics: 'I pulled myself out through the windshield and saw that/the night was as wide as the sea/I brushed all the flecks of glass out of my hair and/I counted the stars I could see.' The effect nearly turns your heart inside out and rockets you through the cosmos of an unspoken flood of emotion. The title track shows off Singer's pop prowess and knack for Beatles-esque horns, 'Base of My Skull' would fit nicely alongside Bob Mould's sugary, heartfelt rock confessionals and 'Will' reaches Elliot Smith's range of late Beatles love." - All Music Guide

"The Cost Of Living is a remarkably good album. It's lush, warm sophisticated orchestrated pop...exceptional songs, crafted so well. Perhaps like The Beatles via Pavement or very tender Deus, David Singer shows intellectual restraint and sweeping understatement, introspective fragility and existential longing. A fine, fine album from a singer on the level of Elliot Smith, Steven Malkamus and Beck. Beautiful." - Organart

"David Singer writes songs that conjure up that eerie edge between nightmares and sweet dreams. It's a funky melange of pop, electro-hip hop with a rock sensibility, and a small dollop of shoegazing for those of us who aren't quite over that. Singer's voice is quite diversified, conveying everything from simpering doubt to ironic retrospection." - MetroMix

"The Cost Of Living serves as a perfect spotlight for David Singer's particular and impressively developed songwriting talent. Freed of the inevitable compromises one makes in the context of a band, Singer's classic pop sensibility flourishes, proving him to be as skilled with a Beatlesque hook as he is with more textured, songwriterly twists of melody and phrase. His strongest suit, in fact, may be his lyrics. Singer is undoubtedly a young songwriter to watch." - CMJ



released May 22, 2001



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Deep Elm Records

Now with over 225 releases in its catalog, fiercely independent Deep Elm Records continues to build a better label - one that operates for glory, not gold. Deep Elm is about bands and fans coming together as one and experiencing music's awesome ability to inspire, comfort and console. We're not just making music together, we're making history. We are proud to be 100% independent for 20+ years. ... more

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Track Name: The Accident
out on the highway all over the shoulder. the car wrapped itself round a tree. its wheels were still spinning its radio on. and somewhere inside there was me. the song i remember was crimson and clover. my turn signal blinking in time. and off in the distance an ambulance sang. i'm fine. i said. i'm fine. i pulled myself out through the windshield and saw. that the night was as wide as the sea. i brushed all the flecks of glass out of my hair and. i counted the stars i could see
Track Name: The Cost Of Living
amy's not having any fun. fishing for compliments from anyone. searching the room for ammunition. pretending her feelings aren't hurt. raising the hemline on her skirt. calling it women's intuition. she swallows some confidence. extracts a cigarette. a gentleman lights the fuse. that dangles from her fingers. it may be last call. but amy isn't finished yet. she feels herself warming. where his blurry vision lingers. at his apartment on the couch. she kisses the corners of his mouth. prepares for subtraction and addition. she quietly gathers up her clothes. thanks for the drinks you paid for. looks out at the houses in their rows. i've gotten what i came for. there's always been part of me. that no one really knows. and so it goes. i never could have lived that life. a mannequin. somebody's wife. the cost of living's worth it i suppose. she walks through the lobby. with her panties in her purse. she's asking the doorman. for directions to the subway. she doesn't need magazines. to tell her what she's worth. she left him a note that said. i'll call you maybe sunday maybe monday. amy revolves through the front door. she's never been anybody's whore. she gets what she wants. it makes her happy
Track Name: That's Not Me
i tried not to wake you up. i took my shoes off in the hall. i watched the blinds divide you inches at a time. felt the silence in the air. knew i'd wither in your stare. say you'll be fair. maybe i'll stop shaking. checked the mailbox every day. saw your briefcase in the hall. dug your nails into me inches at a time. rub my nose down in the dirt. cauterize me make it hurt. you say it first. maybe i'll stop shaking. if i breathe will the chandelier fall and shower us gently. if i leave will the governor call and pardon us. let me speak and i'll take everything on me. that's not me. and tasting my bravado. gave you back your key. i don't need another partner. in my efforts to destroy the kid in me. that's not me
Track Name: I Need To Be Able To See You
you may notice a difference in the pressure. but don't try to change anything. just notice. a little higher. higher in relationship to you. i need to be able to see you. everyone is having such a hard time settling down today. does it feel centered
Track Name: Base Of My Skull
a sad and lonely race. drifting out through space. afraid to think we are alone. is god directing us. is god protecting us. don't you think he's got some problems of his own. you think he sees you. but he don't. you tell yourself he'll save you. when you know he probably won't. but gravity commands us with its pull. i feel it in the base of my skull. if i should die before i wake. it's not for heaven's sake. the galaxy stretches on. two hundred billion suns. are burning in its spiral spray. deposits of sediment. are we so arrogant. to think that god has time to listen to us pray. you think he hears you but you're wrong. he'd like to help you baby. but he isn't very strong. but gravity commands us with its pull. i feel it in the base of my skull. if i should die before i wake. it's not for heaven's sake
Track Name: Hawaii
outside. snow turns to slush in a day. the taxis drive by in their elegant way. i could take it. if i knew april was there. in oahu. the orchids arranged in her hair. i think of us out in the ocean at sunset. the saltwater stinging our eyes. i drink from the image of april at sixteen. i wish i was leaving tonight. i gather my courage. and send myself off on a flight. hibiscus so high that it blocks out the sun. do we ever know love like we do when we're young. i found her where rock is eroded by waves. as i left her. asleep in her watery grave. i think of us out in the ocean at sunset. the saltwater stinging our eyes. i drink from the image of april at sixteen. my lover. my hero. my life. i've never recovered. i miss you so dearly tonight
Track Name: I Don't Mind
i don't mind
Track Name: Will
come on will. break 'em off something. one last before you go. one last before you go. come on will. take 'em for something. don't act like you don't know. don't act like you don't know. clear it out. to see him really try. just flash that winning smile and then goodbye. and when he shoots for it. it's always do or die. we can run 'em back another. we can shoot for it. it's do or die. and when he shoots for it. it's always do or die. we can run 'em back another. we can shoot for it. until we do or die
Track Name: Madonna Complex
pencils and erasers. never tell the truth. waiting on the table in the corner booth. hour upon hour. skin absorbing stains. the thing you learn about the tips is. when it pours. it rains. there are times when i feel daring and then. others i feel dumb. it's a struggle to maintain my equilibrium. you can't have any more coffee if i take away your cup. i'm afflicted with madonna complex. i just can't give up. butter knives and saucers. vinegar and oil. keep your wishes fresh with aluminum foil. confidence deserts you. nothing you can do. years go by and hand to mouth can get to you. it can't be that awful for me. if it only makes me numb. it's a struggle to maintain my equilibrium. you can't have any more coffee if i take away your cup. i'm afflicted with madonna complex. i just can't give up
Track Name: Table Of Elements
the horses escaped. they jimmied the gate. and left though the stable was warm. any port in a storm. the flames licked the hay into cinders and ashes. the saddles were burnt and deformed. any port in a storm. the sound of burning timber. is the sound of breaking bones. there's blood on the doors of our homes. the shadows of corpses extend into daylight. their skeletons plated with mother of pearl. your life is an instant. the earth lives an hour. the table of elements