Growth And Squalor

by Accents

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ACCENTS came out of nowhere...and in a big way with an astonishingly mature debut that oozes with indie rock bliss. I live for surprises like this. It's quite stunning how brilliantly Growth And Squalor is constructed...the combined result of the genuine, honest and often heartbreaking songwriting of TJ Foster matched with production wiz Benjamin Hemingway's keen knack for making the sweet sound even sweeter. "Alright With Me" and "The Fog" showcase the duo's ability to craft hooks that can't be denied. They take risks on up-tempo rockers like "Routine Movements" and "Divide," while also demonstrating they can piece together stripped-down, emotion-laden tunes like "Storms" and "The Low." When the angelic chorus enters the last verse of Storms, you're left utterly shattered...a moment tender enough to bring tears to the toughest of men. But it is the last track on the record that truly dictates Accents are much more than a one-trick pony. "Sorrow" builds up with an epic arrangement of atmospherics, gang vocals and pounding rhythms that sends chills down your spine. The words make you keep coming back, continually revisiting the album as if it were a call to action for the disillusioned, the jaded and the hopeless. But you'll find comfort in these songs no matter how you feel because of the worn, almost surrendering authenticity to it all. Accents has a masterful ability to juxtapose themes of frustration and detachment so perfectly with hopefulness and encouragement, leaving you content in the peace that indeed...there is a love that will find us all.

"This is one of the best albums of the year [9.5/10]." - Absolute Punk

"It's overall indie-folk musical masterpiece." - Heavy Petal

"More than enough moments of indie rock bliss..." - Bandcamp's Best


released May 8, 2012

Accents are TJ Foster (vocals, guitars, keyboards) and Benjamin Hemingway (bass, drums, keyboards, vocals). They reside in Albany, NY and Dublin, VA, respectively. Lauren Alexander also sang vocals (Sorrow, Divide, Around, The Fog) and performs with the band live. Both TJ and Benjamin are founding members of labelmates and post-rock outfit The Cast Before The Break. Benjamin also has a solo project called Living Chivalry. Jordan Stewart of The Cast Before The Break played guitar on Sorrow. Growth And Squalor was produced by Accents and recorded over the course of a year in two separate studios several states apart...never both band members being in the same room. Mastered by Mike Kalajian (Moving Mountains, Ace Enders, Athletics). Artwork by Matthew Bull.


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Track Name: Divide
The shelter I have is not enough for where we are
The moon hides its face every night, afraid to die
The calendar tells us to wait inside our cage
I'll laugh as they send me to hell for what I've done

The frames on the walls they come right down
And the light seeping through warms the ground

We carried ourselves to the rooms we were born in
But the doctors had nothing to say on a planned escape
I followed a hole in the earth to wait it out
The flames came to eat us alive and here we are

The frames on the walls they come right down
And the light seeping through warms the ground
The lines in the sand are all that's left
Of our divided land, so now we rest
Track Name: Way Out
I'm digging my way out for you
I'll find a hole and pummel through
To try and change the moon from half to full to new
I've been underneath for weeks
Finding ways to punish me
For acting like a child here

You say, "All eyes on me, don't you leave for anything"
And the room is yours
'Cus I've seen a lot of simple things
that keep a heart from fluttering through an open door

I think we oughta level out the sound
There's beauty in the unannounced
So darling, hear me out: "I'll never let you down"
It's hard enough for two
When time takes a hold of you and turns you upside down

You say, "All eyes on me, don't you leave for anything"
And the room is yours
'Cus I've seen a lot of simple things
that keep a heart from fluttering through an open door

We carry a weight I can't ignore
Love is just an open sore waiting for air
Clearly I was too fucked up, but now I know I have enough in this time we share
Track Name: The Fog
There's a silence, like an empty sheet of paper that I stare at
And the sunlight, it gets weaker as we crawl along the foreground

Do you remember the fog?

This is my heart
It's the only artifact that I've held onto
(The music brings me back; I've waited long enough to find out this is where I want to be)
Not the letters that I never sent to home when I was growing
(A simple poetry, so many lines that I can't let go to waste, to waste...)

Do you remember the fog?
Do you remember the fall?
We miss it after all
Track Name: Storms
There's a hole in our chests that tells me love is no victor. It stays where it is and then heads south just for the winter. All the birds in the sky watch it float on home to its kingdom. I know there's a storm that will find us all. The sun's beating high while the moon's on the opposite side. Like a couple of lovers who sleep well half of the night. The thrills come and go but you can't let the boredom surround you. Yes, I know there's a heart that could warm us all. It's all just a game, though improperly played by my standards. The penalties fall from the lips of innumerable cowards. If you were a friend, then where the hell have you been? God I know there's a love that will find us all. God I know there's a love that will find us all. And god I know there's a love that will find us all. And god I know there's a love that will find us all
Track Name: With The Light
Fall in line, far behind
Gone is the light
Our pace is quick
We plant our kiss
Steady into the night
Leave your sin behind
The fever spreads
A panicked trend
Heads hang in the night
The dead hang in the night
The kids left with the light
Track Name: Alright With Me
There's a light on from underneath our doorway
Like the light that still flickers in your head
I won't blame you for trying to find darkness
That's alright with me

If you climb down from where your heart escaped you
We could travel the world in second hand
I'll try keeping the devil in the rearview
If that's alright with you

We'll fade into it
Put our faith into it
I've got this company that pulls me from my seat
If I'm alright for you, I'm alright for me, I'm alright

I've been wandering for years among the statues
Of beings with much more sense than I
But time isn't endless and it could leave us soon
So if you're alright with me, I'm alright with me
Track Name: The Low
I fell behind within a version of myself
I drew a map so you would know where to go
Like waves ashore I tried to drown out the sound
Of all the voices spilling, "You should've known"

It sounded like a lake was forming in me
So I built a raft for you to navigate around
Uncharted land is such an opportunity
Like when your voice starts singing "Don't let me down"

That was not the changed man I want to be
If you swim your way to me and lay your body down in my hands
I'll show you who I am, you'll be in all my plans
I'll have a lot to say if not too late
Because every time I try to make a better life and focus on the good, I start to weep
Once my head allows, I'll put both feet on the ground with you

I see the low again
I let your love come in
I am the low again
Track Name: Around
We were talking for months the same, in a way
When I got to thinking about the pain
So many fools change every day
I saw my future become my past - are there things to save?
They keep comin' around

We were talking for months the same, in a way
Then I got to thinking about the games so many fools play
Would you say there's a science to closing doors or unlocking them?
They'll keep comin' around

(Somehow it seems that all of our plans are dead where they stand
Somewhere there will be a place for the meek to grow tall and be seen)

So now I know apathy, 'cus it's been a friend to me
There's nowhere to go now but down
And I'm all out of compliments
Your heart's the contraband
I'll leave you with higher ground
Track Name: Routine Movements
We're all victims of bitterness
The age is plagued with discontent
And when we meet youth, we never wait
We're neither young nor innocent
We're not as lost as we pretend

Our conversations are a rush of air
We only breathe well half the time
Imagination's a leaking tap
Left to dry up like the Rhine
We can swim or we can die

God knows your head just isn't big enough for two
You get motion sick from chasing tails
God knows your television feeds right off of you
But it feels like nothing else is alive
It's all routine

Sometimes I feel you in my mind
You always look before you leap
That's why my eyes follow you
It's like you've found a place to be
A place to fall, a place to leap
Where all our movements aren’t routine
Track Name: Sorrow
Sorrow's a weight
I know that you've said the same
Our arms get weaker with aging
So lover, I know it never strikes only once
Because time teases all of us

You can't be the one if I am not for you

Heaven's around in a most unlikely place
If we run, we might miss it
So put on your shoes with the laces extra tight
Because we've got a world left to cover

You can't be the one
No, you can't be the one

Don't wait 'til tomorrow, let's turn this sorrow into steam
Because this time that we've borrowed, it amounts to more than what we need
Track Name: Seeds (Bonus)
Follow the wolves, give them your hand. Tell them to quit and get out while they can. But they won't; it's so much easier to die. Swallow the air that tickles your neck. Throw your head back and refuse to forget. That we all change before we know. And we all repent before we go. Borrow a map, get to the coast. The water is warm but it's deeper than most. And they're all diving to get clean. So you'll be a brighter human than me. 'Cus I'm here to bury what I can't grow. And you're here to water the seeds you've sewn