Dark Light

by Andy Wagner

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1.
03:50
ABOUT YOU Tell me ‘bout your life Would you ever let it go? Would you ever let it go if you had the chance? It’s hard to walk away From the things that people say and the promises they make shouldn’t ever break You don’t know anything about me and the ways that I believe in you I don’t want to be the one with the bullet in the gun when it’s time for me to learn the truth about you Next to me you lay and I know you’ve seen me age We both begin to fade I know I’ve come too late When you ask me who I am I know you’re not my friend but I know you’ll come again when I’m finally straight You don’t know anything about me and the ways that I believe in you I don’t want to be the one with the bullet in the gun when it’s time for me to learn the truth about you So sleep forever please but save a dream for me take only what you need and let the rest escape Heaven is a place where lonely hearts are saved no one can be named but I’ll see you there You don’t know anything about me and the ways that I believe in you I don’t want to be the one with the bullet in the gun when it’s time for me to learn the truth about you
2.
YOU DON’T DIE After all these years we’re finally standing here I could never make it out but now it’s all too clear I was always wrong you fooled me all along and now you’re coming back to me when I was almost gone You don’t die do you? No, you never will Time keeps moving on but you’re just standing still I had my peace of mind it wasn’t easy to find I’m not some tape you pick up later just to hit rewind I’ve lived a hundred lives there’s nothing I can’t survive everything else has disappeared but somehow you’re still alive You don’t die do you? No, you never will Time keeps moving on but you’re just standing still I want to do what’s right don’t want to put up a fight you’re never really out of mind just cause you’re out of sight These things will come around we can’t just take them down you shouldn’t ever try to hide cause there’s no escaping now You don’t die do you? No, you never will Time keeps moving on but you’re just standing still
3.
UNSET THE SUN I took a walk downtown I had a look around No one ever saw me no one even made a sound Do all these hand held phones save us from being alone? I should have sent a picture I should have called to say hello I know now we’re never going back I need more time but it doesn’t work like that I remember the days when everybody would say we gotta make it faster we gotta throw the old stuff away Now everything’s brand new what good does any of it do? They said it’d bring us closer but I feel so far away from you I know now we’re never going back I need more time but it doesn’t work like that I don’t have much to give but I’ll do what I can cause I don’t need these things to help me understand that we’ve been drawn apart we’re just drifters in the dark better find each other before the silence starts Am I the only one who hopes it comes undone? I want to move backwards I want to unset the sun It’s been the greatest lie but there’s no alibi they’re gonna find us guilty and we’ll never know the reason why I know now we’re never going back I need more time but it doesn’t work like that
4.
WHAT I TRIED TO SAY Hey hey, where ya been? Haven’t seen you back again Everyone was talking bout you just the other day I know you’ve been traveling some last we talked you had to run See, everything’s been different since you went away That’s what I tried to tell you it’s what I tried to say If only you could hear me you’d never go away There were times in our younger lives when we’d look into each other’s eyes and we’d say the things that never could be said with words I don’t know what ever changed I wish we were still the same I never thought I’d let you down but I know things are different now That’s what I tried to tell you it’s what I tried to say If only you could hear me you’d never go away It feels like only yesterday when we never said goodbye I still think about you every day but I often wonder why Was it ever really true? Or did I only dream of you? Cause now I can’t remember how it used to be Maybe I’ve been holding to on to what I want for way to long but letting go is harder than you’ll ever know That’s what I tried to tell you it’s what I tried to say If only you could hear me you’d never go away
5.
SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE There’s a side of me you’ll never get to see I don’t even know if it’s real People come and go they all pretend to know but no one talks about the way they feel I know there’s someone out there who might be heading somewhere they never meant to be tonight We should have seen it coming must have been a sign or something I hope there’s time to make it right I can’t believe it’s true what I just heard about you It goes against the laws of everything I knew Maybe you could smile and hide it all the while but you would never lie It isn’t what you do I know there’s someone out there who might be heading somewhere they never meant to be tonight We should have seen it coming must have been a sign or something I hope there’s time to make it right All this make believe is tearing us apart we’re staring through the screens at empty hearts I can see more light the farther out I go but I’m losing sight of everyone I know We’ll never be the same it’s still a waiting game I’m just holding on to what I thought was gone Maybe there’s no end it’s just like you once said if we can’t feel it now than it was never wrong I know there’s someone out there who might be heading somewhere they never meant to be tonight We should have seen it coming must have been a sign or something I hope there’s time to make it right
6.
03:58
EXIT DOORS Separate my love from everything I’ve said from everything I’ve done Take away my name Who do you think I am? What do you think I’ve become? I can’t see through anything anymore When did I go blind? I went walking through the exit doors ended up outside I thought I knew myself but now I’m not so sure maybe I’m somebody else Tell me one more time whatever happened in the end to all those dreams of mine? I can’t see through anything anymore When did I go blind? I went walking through the exit doors ended up outside I never had a reason I forgot what I believe in the truth is my religion now I can’t make a connection to what I see in my reflection tired of living in the shadow of doubt The one thing I still know I can hear your voice no matter where I go Underneath my skin there’s still a beating heart that wants to let you in I can’t see through anything anymore When did I go blind? I went walking through the exit doors ended up outside
7.
LIVING WITH MY PAST Do you ever think about the way things might have been if you two never met when you were young? Would you still be happy ? Or would you be alone? Would anything have changed if you had known? I’ve never been too good at living with my past I have these days when I want to take it all back It feels like I’m starting all over again I’ve been here once and I can tell you how it ends All of these people and these places, they follow me In the beginning, I bet you felt so sure That everything had fallen into place It’s never easy to make up your own way Some call it fear some call it faith I’ve never been too good at living with my past I have these days when I want to take it all back It feels like I’m starting all over again I’ve been here once and I can tell you how it ends All of these people and these places, they follow me Who in this world is watching over you? How did they find you this way? Could you go on just like you always do? What would you try to save? Wait until you’re ready wait until it’s true won’t be too much longer till it comes to you Everyone can see it we all know it’s there maybe you don’t want it, maybe you don’t care I’ve never been too good at living with my past I have these days when I want to take it all back It feels like I’m starting all over again I’ve been here once and I can tell you how it ends All of these people and these places, they follow me
8.
03:31
DARK LIGHT I’m talking to you and you’re talking me nothing but a mirror in between I’m telling you now I don’t want to let them down it’s a side of me no one else can see I’m looking you right in the eyes and telling you nothing but lies Something aint right and you know I’ve been gone for too long this time Low in the light, as it crawls from the night where this lonely city sleeps I’m awake and I see an old side of me and I wonder how I ever got away I’m looking you right in the eyes and telling you nothing but lies Something aint right and you know I’ve been gone for too long this time It might be true the things they say about you but no one knows you like the way I do Just give me time to try to fix this heart To turn on every light that I left dark It’s quiet here in this empty room I feel it wearing off soon I don’t know where to go with anyone I know you can see it when I try to tell the truth I’m looking you right in the eyes and telling you nothing but lies Something aint right and you know I’ve been gone for too long this time
9.
INSIDE OF EVERYONE I’ve been making up my mind and I’m trying to make it right if I could I’d take us back to the life we never had and we’d get it right this time But I’m talking to you now and I’m trying to figure out if there’s any of you left hearing anything I’ve said cause I’m feeling all this doubt I won’t let it fall on you if you tell me what to do you should know that you can’t make it on your own It’s like you’re barely hanging on you don’t even know what’s wrong all this time, you’ve been fading off from me it’s not the way it needs to be Inside of everyone, there’s a war that can’t be won so for now I think it’s best to put all of this to rest and don’t do what can’t be done If it’s hard to let it go, just remember who you know and the times that they were there running out of air, or standing in the cold I won’t let it fall on you if you tell me what to do you should know that you can’t make it on your own It’s like you’re barely hanging on you don’t even know what’s wrong all this time, you’ve been fading off from me it’s not the way it needs to be I don’t know if there’s a secret in the air but I know you and I are searching everywhere for a place to settle down cause we got far away from our early days and we got lost along the way People talk about their lives like there’s nothing there to hide you can see it in their eyes it’s really no surprise it’s how we all survive But yesterday is gone so whatever there went wrong is never coming back it’s buried in the past and now we’re moving on I won’t let it fall on you if you tell me what to do you should know that you can’t make it on your own It’s like you’re barely hanging on you don’t even know what’s wrong all this time, you’ve been fading off from me it’s not the way it needs to be
10.
03:52
CRIMINALS Say something to get me out of here and do the right thing There’s nothing worth fighting for this year I hope you find your diamond ring They’re the criminals and we’re the thieves always lying through our teeth Take it all back and choose your enemies but don’t be waiting round for me I called you to try to make you laugh but I couldn’t get to you today I saw you in a color photograph but now it’s turned to gray They’re the criminals and we’re the thieves always lying through our teeth Take it all back and choose your enemies but don’t be waiting round for me As the seasons start to turn and all the gold leaves slowly fall away all the daylight might disappear but I’ll still be right here Yes, I’ll still be right here Some oceans might pull their ships apart as their winds blow heavy gales If soft sorrow is sinking in your heart drop your anchor, wrap your sails

about

Timeless music often chronicles these uncertain, messy moments between what was and what will be. Albums like Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks," Springsteen's “Nebraska,” and Wilco's "Yankee Foxtrot” all traverse the gray space between broken marriages, broken dreams, broken bands and their great thereafter.

Andy Wagner's "Dark Light" is just such an album, one rich with sounds and sentiment that signal that dusky patch of road between then and now. This is deeply atmospheric, empty-interstate stuff, replete with reflection, regret and loss that moves from midnight to dawn, sadness to elation, past to present with mid- tempo grace.

Like his broad and ambitious previous effort, “Silos & Smokestacks,” “Dark Light” is an album of highway ghosts and backstreet apparitions. Where “Silos” cruises the wide Midwestern expanses of Wagner's youth — factories and farms, rest stops and roadside attractions — “Dark Light” drifts across his midlife, interior topography.

Despite his early protestation, by the titular track, we begin to know our way around this memory-strewn landscape.

"There’s a side of me you’ll never get to see," Wagner whispers in "Someone, Somewhere." "I don’t even know if it’s real.”

A brushed snare and fairway organ reminiscent of Springsteen’s “Brilliant Disguise” yields to a lilting piano as he slips into refrain. "I know there’s someone out there who might be heading somewhere they never meant to be tonight.” That someone is Wagner. And you.

Wagner’s sonic palette straddles a wide crevasse: the deep resonance of his weather-worn acoustic guitar is buffeted by electronic drums and synthesized keyboards. It's equal parts Radiohead and Richard Thompson, all shimmering guitars, blips and beeps, and undulated keyboard washes grounded by the steady, organic sounds of metal and wood. He sings in a deep baritone so intimate, you can hear the feelings well up in his throat. You can hear his heart beat.

credits

released July 21, 2015

All songs written, performed and recorded by Andy Wagner at Lampblack Audio - Chicago, IL

Piano recorded by Dan Dietrich at Wall to Wall Studios - Chicago, IL

Cover photograph by Matthew Rivera

Mastered and lacquer cut by Carl Saff - Chicago, IL

All songs © Andy Wagner 2015

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