Standstill

by Conor Mason

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1.
(free) 04:12
Made more sense, behind closed eyes we were making plans, not taking advise things become disconnected everything you say, is taken the wrong way Don't need a stamp of approval, from anyone you can take it or leave it cos when the air is clear, they'll be saying it again Misunder, Understood Is at your side filling in the blanks for everyone Yesterday stays with you its like a heavy case, of deja vu every step a reflection, of another day, its like watching a replay need no persuasion, to abondon the simple things as they lay under starlight, staring up we'll be saying it again Misunder, Understood Is at your side filling in the blanks Misunder, Understood Is at your side filling in the blanks for everyone
2.
04:00
Your face in the mirror less familiar as you step nearer questioning the routine that drains the time like a machine Go out for a remedy until you sway heavily you don't mind the cycle cos you know its not final Over your head, i see the lights now coming on Over your head, i see the lights now coming on Theres a shift in your attitude embracing what cannot be understood scared your heart into the corner of the room your just somebody the loses track of whats going on rolling with the punches struggling to find the words Over your head, i see the lights now coming on Over your head, i see the lights now coming on
3.
(free) 04:32
A shadow of the clouds moves on the pavement among the people in a hurry to leave their mark On this planet it spins, it rotates regardless of the heights you hit, oh the failures that go with it you cross off the seconds, like days of the calender and visualise, a decline in slow motion daylight returns, while you're finding your feet you're still finding you're feet these words, they're not useless but they won't work on their own this part of you, that means something is still standing alone words, can't be useless but they won't work on their own Now turn off the distractions and walk right through this avalanche with hope intact of the outcome who can be exact so laugh it off for good, for good these words, they're not useless but they won't work on their own this part of you, that means something is still standing alone words, can't be useless but they won't work on their own
4.
03:23
A timeline that leaves you for dead by the wayside, scratching your head should i have made more use of the time all those days spent standing in line its easier said than done seems easier lost than won from this blinding point of view that your faith could have fallen into Everything stands still on your way back downhill Everything stands still on your way back downhill A future you have in your sights you just wait for it to take flight convince them all that, you never had a doubt that the good days would soon come about Everything stands still on your way back downhill you think of it less and less now you're happy with what you possess everything else rushes past as you prepare yourself for coming last Everything stands still on your way back downhill Everything stands still on your way back downhill
5.
The new year, came out of the blue I'm not complaining, cos its well overdue promises invade every sentence but you break them in an instant moment of weakness somewhere between between the head and the heartache sincerity hides somewhere between between the heart and the headache sincerity hides you're patience is losing every battle up against this symphony of pretence everything on your mind disappears its lost among the cheers of new years somewhere between between the head and the heartache sincerity hides somewhere between between the heart and the headache sincerity hides
6.
03:47
The days are dissapearing recently i've been fearing that our paths will never cross again but its just 5AM talking Set myself up at the table I can't sleep no i'm unable a broken record i've become cos its 5AM talking Repeat, repeat until the words fall out over and over until the words fall out there's no reaction to the morning as it hits you without warning shield me from the outside cos its 5AM no more these letters in the post yeah the kind you hate the most there a living breathing city at my door now that it's 5AM no more Repeat, repeat until the words fall out over and over until the words fall out
7.
02:41
Carried forward by an ivisible force as the hours take hold faces come and go but they're not staying you know, oh you know there's no doubt we'll see the blackout and feel the morning return to wake the ocean put things in motion again once again we gathered round a beautiful sound as the sun went down on a day, over this town you grow tired of what's required for a change of direction but these bittersweet reminders fade out as the colour drains from this place your steps you try to retrace back to the start we gathered round a beautiful sound as the sun went down on a day, over this town we gathered round a beautiful sound as the sun went down on a day, over this town
8.
Been on a mission to lose a day expecations fade away out into the background waiting for a secret revelation a well needed consellation that they won't take from you its like living in a competition were some jokers made the rules and forced you to your line been trying your hardest to become somebody who just gets these things done without a second thought Is anybody foolish enough to wait for me while i'm messing things up is anybody foolish enough to wait for me Which side of the exit are you on one foots in the others gone to pick up all the pieces still trying their hardest to become the people that just won't be outdone be waiting for a while Is anybody foolish enough to wait for me while i'm messing things up is anybody foolish enough to wait for me Its only time passing, its only time fading away Its only time passing, its only time fading away Is anybody foolish enough to wait for me while i'm finding these flaws is anybody foolish enough to wait for me while i'm clutching at straws clutching at straws clutching at straws
9.
Any day now you're gonna fall out of this dream and back into the place where your head hurts this journey its all a reocurring theme seperated by the sun and the moonlight step out into the cold air take a breath, just to make sure you're still there cos they'll all leave guaranteed when the silence is like falling debris standing in the doorway we forgot what was real standing in the doorway we forgot what was real There's some kind of shape in the distance it attracts you, you've got no resistance there's an anchor tied to the side of your ship you may throw overboard what you packed for the trip and fall through the ocean to get home a memory is drawn in this sea of emotion you soon find that it carries on standing in the doorway we forgot what was real standing in the doorway we forgot what was real
10.
Took the history and put it inside a box full of your prized possessions treasured the seconds that it took you to walk to the door one last time a familiar landscape is gathered round you on each side as you leave Its a picture of farewell the wind it pushes the pavement cushions your every step to someone else we set out in search of a sign we set out in search of an explanation all this stillness and all this steadiness has left you here alone its cure in every sense of the words that you don't speak so much anymore anymore we set out in search of a sign we set out in search of an explanation we set out in search of a sign we set out in search of an explanation

about

Armellodie Records proudly presents the delectable talents of Conor Mason with his new album, Standstill released on Monday 19th March 2012.

Born and raised in the old walled city on the banks of the River Foyle, Conor Mason has been brought up swimming in musical heritage with both his parents heavily involved in local choirs and music jamborees in his beloved hometown of Derry, N. Ireland.

“My da ran a choir (as his father did before him) and they used to rehearse in our home, my ma sang in the choir too and I used to listen in from the next room. Then around the age of 8, after my parents heard me playing by ear the music of an Irish mass my da had written, they dutifully sent me off for classical piano lessons. They were both music lovers, to the extent that even the small boat my da would take me and my brothers out fishing in was called „Iolanthe‟, named after the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera.”

Standstill is in fact the third album from the Irish songwriter, with two previous offerings, Let It Unfold (2007) and When It’s Over (2009) suitably home-recorded and self-distributed through cyberspace, earning Mason a solid reputation in his native land with a host of television and radio support from BBC Northern Ireland. Standstill retains the mellow, home-grown, quality perfected on those records albeit with some new found scope, inherently familiar whilst always remaining fresh and extrinsic.

When the opening bars of „Misunderstood’ complete with muted trumpets and unhurried acoustic strumming make way for the driving rhythm and rumbling piano, there‟s a glowing immediacy before the first lines leave Mason‟s lips, “made more sense, behind closed eyes, we were making plans and not taking advice”, sang in an unashamedly colourful yet seductively subtle brogue, the song boasts an alluring punch-the-air quality without ever sounding forced.

‘Lights’ reinforces this plaintive but hopeful raison d‟être, and on „Words’, Mason‟s gorgeously nuanced vocals, fragile but beautifully phrased, are particularly well served by the production, sitting right in the centre of the mix, every subtle inflection clear to the listener.

“Standstill represents the big race up the hill of self-actualisation, some get to the top no sweat and some get so far and plateau, others are constantly going back down to begin the climb again”

With a crisp vision of beautifully arranged dynamic landscapes Mason excels on the album‟s sparse title track – an acoustic version of which is available on vinyl from Never Records - lending a clarity to which his vocal hooks are delivered with sweet sincerity. He floats over simple and compelling melodies, intricate instrumentation and whimsical, but never trite choruses with an ease bordering on ambivalence.

It‟s with this gentility that Mason comes over so charmingly genuine as on the harmonica led, „Out of the Blue’, an ode in itself to sincerity and what it means to people (“somewhere between the head and the heartache sincerity hides / somewhere between the heart and the headache sincerity hides”), and the breezy pace of „5AM’ where swirling synthesizers enter into the fray and delicate brass enrich the sonic template, complimenting Mason‟s mellifluous vocal.

Lush flowing melodies continue to take flight on the introspective lullaby-like „Sundown’ and the startling „Last To Leave’ with it‟s minimal but wonderfully transcendent sound leaving plenty of room for a melody so natural sounding, it glides along with a touch of class.

Understated and refined Standstill doesn‟t reveal all of its treasures at once, the songs augmented with tastefully layered instrumentation and playful, inconspicuous production. Unperturbed it plays out in no rush, possessing a relaxed, pastoral feel comparative to that of The Shins or Badly Drawn Boy‟s finest work.

The final two songs, the lilting waltz of ‘In The Doorway’ and the contemplative ‘A Picture of Farewell’ reiterate the themes that permeate the record. That of the cyclic humdrum that hypnotises so many, and the niggling insecurities and attachments - be it a lover, a family, a town or a job - that so often thwart people from seizing the day.

“All this stillness, and all this steadiness, has left you here alone”, he sings before offering up some hope with the closing lines, “now we set out in search of a sign / we set out in search of an explanation” as the gorgeous harmonica coda-line takes over, the record befits it‟s moniker and comes to a standstill, downbeat but affectionately uplifting.

It may seem somewhat foolish to be peddling a press release for an artist that proclaims, “I don‟t need a stamp of approval from anyone, you can take it or leave it”, as Conor Mason does on opener „Misunderstood‟. Yet despite this strident declaration, the quality and warmth of Mason‟s voice and the obvious care taken in his song-writing serve only as a counter to his claim, instead revealing a tunesmith with a collection of songs so tender that they could turn even the most cold hearted cynic into a hopeless, desperate romantic.

credits

released March 19, 2012

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Conor Mason Londonderry, UK

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