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The Fear

by Nathan Xander

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about

Every once in a while comes a great American songwriter. A songwriter whose imagery flows like poetry. A songwriter whose compositions delicately balance heart, introspection and faith, yet are still delivered with a raw rock sound. A songwriter whose music bravely echoes in the footsteps of his forbearers with its thought-provoking and emotionally vulnerable lyrics, while never sounding too much like any well-known practitioner. A songwriter whose music is a sincere vehicle for personal expression and the canvas for his compelling, raspy tenor and keen lyrical sensibility. A songwriter who ever so humbly lays it all on the line. That songwriter has arrived. His name is Nathan Xander. "I consider myself an American songwriter. Sort of like Tom Petty" says Xander, who was first inspired to write his own material by the music of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings amongst others. "The Fear is an honest record. That's what I'm drawn to in the music I listen to and it's what I try to do when I'm writing. I wake up and fall asleep thinking about honest songs" he says. The Fear is a stunning album which at its core serves as both a reverent nod to Xander's influences as well as a window into his own world of homespun individuality. (DER-482)

"Every so often a singer-songwriter comes along who simultaneously blazes his own path and pays homage to his predecessors. Nathan Xander fits this role perfectly. He blends the lyrical senses of a poetic Bob Dylan with the musical style of Two Gallants and vocal stylings of Jeff Tweedy. The music blends alt-country hooks with the folksy earnestness that many folk singers lack. The Fear is a special album from start to finish with the jaw-dropping "Martyr's Song" being a standout in an album filled with highlights. Everything comes together perfectly. The lyrics are heartfelt and deeply moving, the vocals are sincerely delivered, and the guitar work is certainly credible. Buy this record." - Verbicide

"Nathan Xander writes songs that are steeped in the quiet, restrained tension of what Greil Marcus called the "Old, Weird America" ­ the treasure-trove of strange, needling, often bizarre folk, blues, and country music pervasive in early 20th century rural America. With bright harmonica bursts and shadowy lyrics, the music serves as both a reverent nod to Xander's influences and a window into his own individualism. This is a delicate balance; many a young songwriter apes his predecessors at the cost of ingenuity, and perhaps even more plunge into the waters with little knowledge of the debt they owe to their forebearers. Xander walks the line ably, dancing slowly with the past but moving surely toward the future." - Daily Vault

"Simple and homespun, with a gentle sense of folksy melody and an endearingly earnest and honest sensibility, Nathan Xander's The Fear has a certain sweetly delicate charm to it that's both refreshing and engaging in equal measure. This is the type of timeless and eminently tuneful music that sounds like it could have been recorded thirty-odd years ago, but was indeed recorded recently, yet commendably doesn't adhere to any hip trends of the moment. Nathan Xander's hoarsely affecting tenor and keen grasp of poetically terse songwriting make for a potent double whammy. The bulk of the songs feature gradual tempos and subdued beats that for the most part keep things chugging along at a pleasingly relaxed, but steady clip. An excellent and impressive album." - Jersey Beat

www.deepelm.com/nathanxander

credits

released September 7, 2009

Recorded and mixed by Jake Westermann at Engine Studios

Nathan Xander - Acoustic and Electric guitars, Vocals, Harmonica
Keith Rowland - Bass
Ryan Juravic - Percussion, Vibraphone

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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: October
On the edge of that real world that you speak of, where both roses and knives are thrown as currency, the stars shine like candles on my table. In one hand I hold my future and in the other my destiny. I've watched three seasons from these windows. Their smooth skin is frosted with the dust of our days. Soon the children will be prisoners of their classrooms, just as I will give myself to the highway and the stage. So lady, take me gently in the morning. Send me off and leave a light on bright and true. Be my compass when I'm weary. Be my shadow when I'm lonely. Pray September treats me kindly and October brings me home to you.
Track Name: Colors
Over the rainbow and dead between the eyes is where you can find me walking most any day. Chased down by gray clouds that find me hiding in plain sight. Waiting for the waterfall to come and wash my demons away. Sister stares at the sky dreaming of everyone. Sister stand by my side while we dance with them all in the rain. Sister your eyes locked onto what you see will forgive you. While I set up traps for angels and filter out colors that never change. I've got everything I was ever given in a box, inside a locker, in the cage I live in. You won't ask me what I keep and I won't ask you where you've been. We can pick our lies on Friday night and put our secrets to sleep Monday morning. We'll carve our names into stone. I want to take your picture in places where your mother would never let you go.
Track Name: John Wayne
A six-gun, a guitar and I don't want you anymore. I'm feeling kind of untouchable. Kind of like John Wayne. I leave a graveyard behind as I ride into the sun. 'Cause a dead man never saw anybody steal all the silver from his wagon train. It's a hundred miles between here and the next outpost. I'll name a new horse and steal a ribbon for her mane. It's a bareback ride but I hear there's gold in California. Mixed with the silver stolen, that gold could buy me a new saddle a day. I left my lover in Chicago. She's a writer of books there, don't you see? She boarded a train going, down south, to El Paso. She snuck south of the border to wait for me. Now that I got your attention, let me offer you forty bucks a piece to sneak me down through to Juarezä hey hey. My woman's waiting for me there with two fresh horses and a rifle. We plan to trade this metal for Pesos and hide away.
Track Name: The Alchemist
Fire on the tongue of the alchemist. Standing knee deep in his elements, though all he has to use is sand, rubber, and rust. God fear the man who holds the moon and sun in one hand, who sheds tears of gold for love, and who drips silver from a paper cut. I don't wanna be like anybody standing. So, I'll just ask how long you've been around and how long you think you're gonna last. Fire on the tongue of the alchemist. Eyes like diamonds and breath like sweet incense. Running two lanes wide down a one-way street. New works from old laws as the pendulum swings, he can show you your soul, make you feel like a baby. The kings wish to meet him and the priests wish to wash his feet.
Track Name: Trial By Fire
Everybody wants to be the genuine artifact, some archetype, or like they met some holy ghost. But, everywhere around me I'm saddened by the fact that all the old masters are either dead or getting close. Leave it up to the young ones to decide who's a real one. Do you feel like a real one? Pose a couple of questions and I think you'll see; you never had a choice in the matter and there ain't nothing wrong with me. Inspiration brings a grand fortune and baby it don't come easy. Conserve you patience; conceal your pride. Wouldn't want some body to find out and tell the others what you've stolen. Lead the lamb to slaughter like you ain't got nothing to hide. You'll run the table tomorrow if that poker face don't crack by morning. Come, come, the bell has rung and curtain pulls back on the balcony. Your fate's already been decided, but for me it's a trial by fire, on the border of the frontier next to me. Look me in the eyes while my song is played and I hope you can't do nothing else. I hope you realize that I can't be thrown away. I'm tied to this world like you're tied to pleasing yourself.
Track Name: True Love Never Did Run Smooth
Nobody will listen to a word that you say kid. You know they feel much more comfortable when they know the answers to you questions. Now relax cause you never gotta go back there again. Trade your water in for wine, get dizzy and drink it in. Know they could never match yours and no, it's not their fault they play the victim. True love never did run smooth. I thought you were supposed to be wiser than your years suggest. Now pick yourself up out of that corner. Dust yourself off and throw on that coat. I thought you realized the best in rock n roll were burnt out on both ends. Now it's off to the races. Keep pushing ahead. Don't let their posture faze you. I guess it's just the price we pay for being ahead of the game that when they catch up to you, you'll realize you never needed them anyway. Now everybody's listening to every hushed word you write kid. Deep down, though they may not show it, you know they love this.
Track Name: Emerald Cities
Leaves on the wind seem like boats, skimming water on fire. All my favorite magic comes from darkness to throw light on my desire. I'm finding my home, Halleluiah. Out where my feet don't feel cold, where my head fits. Open the door, Halleluiah. There ain't nothing inside. But what did you expect to find? I could fill a thousand shelves with something precious, always on guard. If there's anything here you like, you can have it. We can always make more. Just leave your bags by the door. We don't need them where we're going. Hold on to my arm. You're safe with me and you know it. It's a holiday in the breeze and me and my baby ain't ever coming home. You can come and see whenever you're ready. I know you get lonely all alone.
Track Name: Dark Horses
It's hard to wake up in the morning, succumb to your vices and then wait for the trouble of the nighttime to swing down and clean house again. That's all I've taken for wandering and watching my friends faces cave in. I see no good prophet on this landslide and those that can beat it believe they'll never win. It takes time to fall and you know you got too much of it when you don't got much of nothing else at all...I've got friends that think they're dark horses, friends in the armed forces, friends that claim they'd kill a man. They do a lot of talking and telling strange stories, revising that master plan. If they took the time to look back the next morning, climb out of that hole we've been digging, they'd see that too many hours go by while we're just getting high and drinking.
Track Name: Martyr's Song
The moon spills out over the water and it's light has never shined on me. She bleeds from her side, though her skin's not been broken. Says her salvation lies ahead, so hopefully. An easy way to ride. I can't help this saint along but I can place the pennies on her eyes and sing this martyr's song. Five boys left alone for the first time. She's says goodbye and I'll see you soon and turns out the light. That big white moon snuffs out today's last sunlight. To the west, now men, these boys readjust their eyes. She saw herself as the hammer came down. The candles float on the water. The roses dropped in and the drum began to pound and the Lord prepared a place for his daughter. A hole in the wall, punched through by the ivy, lets me watch this saint patch her wings before she moves along. That big white moon strolls out before me and explains he's only a mirror and until you get your wings, you'll always be an orphan of the sun.
Track Name: A Long One
A door slams and, instantly, I'm stranded inside my war. No superstition compares to the trenches before me. I always held firm to what I thought I knew. Was told all that can harm you is nothing. Now nothing dropped out, hissed a little and all training is through. Not many want to know, let alone, try and understand the backside of this life or the dark side in every man. Past miles of brick steps and many open doors. Past halls of mirrors dissolving. From the noise leaking outside it's hard to believe we won. I light a book of matches as I come upon a shelter and I burn it to the ground as I silently pass on. Nothing you have can save you after all that you want has fell through. After years of clawing tears a hold and you're told to dig a new one. Now you leave your wall uncertain and try find a window with no bars and you tell yourself, if you can find it here, your work will soon be done.
Track Name: Every Rainy Day
You can't write a new song on every rainy day but you can try and sometimes something will start to grow. I'm the kind of person that will never run out of lines and I'm sure it's the same for every Pisces I know. I thank you for coming. I thank you for your time. Thanks for giving me what you've given and thank you for accepting some of mine. The great white wonder has given me what it could. Now the rest is up to me. With so many singers in this great big world, I'm so happy the sky breaks every once in a while and shows me some pity. And I intend to take it all home. Take delight in every number on the dice I roll. Push back against the dark night that's become my shadow.