Dead Horses

by James Cronin

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Hidden Greg
Hidden Greg thumbnail
Hidden Greg So, Cronin had an idea to combine folk and synth.
A straight-up folk album would have worked in demonstrating his appreciation for a vast range of yesteryears' artists, sorely lacking in having their influence represented among other contemporary acts.
But this sound is uniquely Cronin's, and he pulled it off surprisingly well.
None better than in the seamless blend of the two in 'The Other Guy'.
The distorted punk vibe in 'He Throws Knives...' felt out of place though. Favorite track: The Other Guy.
Skrats thumbnail
Skrats Such a perfect moody piece of music. i love waking up to it Favorite track: Nighttime in America.
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dead horses - a story of friendships, failed relationships, and aliens.

this album was recorded, mixed, and mastered on analogue cassette tapes over the course of one eventful summer.

the opinions contained herein represent the views of the songwriter alone, and sometimes, not even him.


released November 24, 2014

everything written and performed by james cronin
front cover art by lucy rosenstiel

tape duplication by Tape That (Staffs) Ltd.

special thanks to jamie (for letting me use his bass), steve (for tea and stroopwafels), alex (for liking it), lucy (for using all her crayons), binny (for kate bush and the intervening 9 years), harry (purveyor of exquisite musical opinions), dowse (for nimu), jason (for stealing samples of his drum kit), yan (for embarrassing ourselves in harmony), josef kenny (because i keep breaking tape recorders), and dr jerry ehman (for the wow! signal).

the COOL JOHN recording company, #00



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James Cronin Cambridge, UK

Lo-fi indie folk, if you're into that.

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Track Name: The Space Between
seven years for breaking mirrors
love and curses go hand-in-hand
you tried to fake it, i tried to break out
called me spineless, i guess i am

something between us is placing these doubts in my heart
being so close to you makes us feel further apart
how were we stupid enough not to see from the start?
there's a space between "i love you" and "i love you too"

i'm a quitter - that's what you said so you'd look better
and you were so manipulating i tried again
and though you forced it
you know what they say about dead horses
if you had only listened more then we might be friends

i always said that you can't tear down walls without rubble
you were oblivious living in that self-imposed bubble
let's make it clear that i'm not one to cause any trouble
but there's a space between "i love you" and "i love you too"
Track Name: Space vs. Distance
emily closes her eyes as she drops her head on the pillow
she half empties her mind - she's a pessimistic kind of girl
she lets all her anxieties float away into nothing
as her head is filled with the pretty melodies of her dreams

it's space versus distance
now please take your seats for the first round
she's flew [sic] once or twice
but she's never been this far from town
hey look, she can make out the roof of her old school
the tree in the back where her friends smoked their first cigarette

it's been three hours, eight minutes, and twenty five seconds
and her body is showing no signs that she's going to wake up
though it's too hot for the blanket, she sleeps with it over her feet
still scared of the bogeyman coming for her as she sleeps

it's real versus magic
now please place your bets for the next round
she's trying to walk
but there's something that's holding her down
as though her legs are moving through some invisible liquid
she calls to her friend, but her throat isn't making a sound

now the moon is reaching his dark blue gaze
through the window
and she breathes in time to a clock she sets five minutes fast
the hot nights of summer are steadily growing longer
but the leaves can be any colour she wants in her dreams

it's time versus pleasure
now please buy your snacks for the last round
she's fighting a twenty foot tall birthday party clown
though he didn't shoot flames from his mouth back in '97
when things weren't all rosy, but at least she could just run around
Track Name: The Other Guy
once upon a time they'd sit side-by-side
ted was half the height and abe was half the size
sharing the controller of a video game
abe was pretty good, but ted had better aim
ted put up with the way abe used to scratch his nose
and abe put up with the way ted used to hog the controls
it didn't matter who won in the end
it was just a silly game with a friend

and i've been told that's what friends do
i once knew a man with ragged old shoes
i told him my stories he told me the truth
nothing we said could recapture our youth

once upon a time with a hammer and nail
they built a machine and they set it asail
ted never wanted the summer to stop
and abe never planned on growing up
but once in a while there's a beautiful girl
you'd never need another friend in the world
it came to abraham's surprise
ted put his headphones on and shut his eyes

and i've been told that's what friends do
the fun runs out and they find someone new
forcing a smile and pretending it's cool
you can't stay young however much you want to

standing where he used to be is a physical facsimile
someone who he formerly was
is it everything he hoped he'd be?
and they acted like they barely knew
just what it was they used to do
he can't turn around and walk away
but he can't make up a year in a crisp november day

and i've been told that's what friends do
you build up a door and push the other guy through
you've got all you need - there's her and there's you
take what i say with a pinch of salt
but not everything is the other guy's fault

now standing where he wants to be is a physical facsimile
someone who he wishes he was
but he knows he's never going to be
Track Name: Porlock Man
porlock man, now why are you so rude?
porlock man, why you gotta be so rude?
i'm trying to write my xanadu

porlock man, why can't you leave me be?
porlock man, why can't you leave me be?
i never did a thing to you

porlock man, why can't you bite your tongue
porlock man, why can't you bite your tongue
before you do somebody wrong?

porlock man, how much of you is real
porlock man, how much of you is real
and how much have i added on?

porlock man, a stranger in my home
porlock man, a stranger in my home
go right back where you came from

porlock man, he died all on his own
porlock man died cold and so alone
he's buried in his pleasure dome
Track Name: He Throws Knives, or The Death of Santa Claus
i wish i'd been warned
that this would be the last thing you would say to me
i might find it less mundane
but you should know
that i've been sleeping so much better since the winter came
i'm waiting for santa's sleigh

one year he just stopped
the bank foreclosed his shop
and all the elves lost their jobs

when they lower down his casket
i can't help but think time's running out
yet no one's in any rush
as the priest he feeds us wafers
while he's preaching fire and brimstone
you know he doth protest too much
i thought he knew all about love

he took me into his room
the plaster fell from the walls
and there was dirt in the sheets
a crucifix on top of his bed

i wouldn't want santa to know
that i've been crying from a TV show
but the two things aren't the same
cos i was taught that we could meet again
if i would only waste my time with wine and flames
to burn me away and light your chest

there's a ghost who lives here
he's just a young boy
but you must say hello
or he throws knives, quivering in the kitchen floor
Track Name: Confidante
stories i told my confidante, confidentially
i know you have experience, so can't you share with me?
and though our bodies aren't the same
they bruise and blister the same way

and you tell me about you
and the kind of brain
that moves along with all that you've been through
and you make it sound
so simple what you're trying to make me do
and though our minds they aren't the same
they move through intersecting waves
that crash and crumble where we lay

i am all dressed up to go nowhere
twiddling idle thumbs
and i can't quite shake the feeling
that i'm doing something dumb
and then you show up in my head
dressed from head to toe in red
that half of you is already dead
Track Name: Nighttime in America
nighttime in america
no one's watching dr ehman listening to the sky
and it replies
that's them
though he can't say for certain, and they never spoke again

jerry hasn't found them yet - he knows they're out there
though his scientific mind needs further clues, he hopes it's true
inside, a curious child dreams of distant friends
waving back at him through the lens

nighttime in america
dr ehman's dreaming
about a message that came from so far away
what did it say?
and though he's never going to know
he likes to think that all they wanted to say was hello