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Return to Desolation Lake

by Alpine Decline

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1.
Boy, they really got it in for you. Race across town, smash the lock, and break into a cold and empty room “No...” I tell myself a little lie. Everything will be alright if we could hold each other blameless. Hide from the wolf and we’ll be fine.
 I know it’s hard to understand.
 Think we can hold each other blameless, baby? Boy, what more could I have done for you?
 Could I have kept you sheltered from the vicious and the ignorant and cruel? No.
2.
This is a dispatch from the guest house, you see, we are making observations, occupying territory. (Questioning the wisdom that led us here: shot through a prism to reappear in some fattened landscape where the foundation's rotten, the language is poisoned, and our myths all forgotten. Questioning the wisdom that led us here. Shot through a prism to reassemble here, far from our home. It's been carried away. We huddle alone. Alone to make a sacrifice and take our previous life and forsake it... it's heartbreaking.) Sometimes get lost in a moment of passion and sometimes I get decimated, fervently pray for deliverance through action, some kind of redemption, and a message from the flood. This is a dispatch from the guest house, you see, we are changed beyond all recognition, well beyond the fantasy. (Questioning the wisdom that led us here: shot through a prism to reappear in some toxic landscape where the crisis come often, the gods aren't listening, and the priests are all plotting. Questioning the wisdom that led us here. Shot through a prism to reassemble here, far from our home. It's been carried away. We huddle alone. Alone to make a sacrifice and take our previous life and abandon it... it's heartbreaking.) Sometimes escape in a cheapened distraction and still my heartbeat in an ecstasy. And in between stations becomes a reaction, transformation to an effigy to burn.
3.
Well I got myself a place where I can write. Yeah it's supposed to be a place where I can thrive. Everyone says, "Congratulations, you've arrived!"
 Now I got myself a head full of blue sky, but I can't remember much of my previous life. There was no wisdom but it was pure... I remember, I felt so sure... and then I died. When I woke up it was warm and I felt fine. And I let a pink balloon replace my troubled mind. Seemed like a noble thing to do (at the time).
 So I'll lay a bed of stones beneath our feet, and I'll write an ending you'll try to believe. One where we stay in the garden forever. It's enough to be together, and look alive.
4.
Lately, a mirror come over our eyes, we struggle blindly to align our different phases. But baby, I reaffirm us to the truth, the promises I made to you remain unchanged. But I'm not telling any lies to protect you. But I'm not telling any lies to protect you. And I write to you in this corrupted language, and I will wait for you beyond these broken lines, beyond these hollow times.
 And I'll weave your likeness into holy visions, your name in poetry, your voice in the breeze through dream fields. But I'm not telling any lies to protect you.
 Baby, these are selfish times, but I won't forget you. Or the plan that we made and we swore we wouldn't stray, we'd see it through. But I'm not telling any lies to protect you.
5.
How do I save myself? How do I get back to health? And do I believe in miracles? Maybe you came here to help pull me out of my hell. That'd be some kind of miracle. When the fever comes down, you will still be around. I still believe in you. Discovered I'm still a mess, discovered we weren't blessed, and I stopped believing in miracles.
 It's true if you say that it's true. It's real if you say that it's real. I still believe in you. When the fever comes down, you will still be around. I still believe in you.
6.
This is a test
 See what ensues See where you stand Who we can use Water is here
 Our lands will improve The desert disappears Float a balloon These are the new rules The values have changed There was a better way
 It got a bad name These are the new rules
 The times they have changed There was a better way Remember it's name Come phosphorus rain Come light up the night The desert is tamed New children arrive
 To the song of machines The dream weapon flies Primal imperative Demands that we rise So rise
7.
Let me keep my spirit frozen in place. Hold fast desire. Never act in haste. Let me find grace and be bound by its weight to my word, and escape from this fate is assured. Let my heart stay true as the diamond cutter through a drop of dew, the vows of my lover.
8.
Peace in the present tense is hard to seize. Try new things from pharmacies, live out all my fantasies, and get lost in technology. We're all in the same bind, so hard to please. Happiness always recedes, tired of sating every need, it won't let go till I'm depleted. Such enlightenment is hard to fake. Return to Desolation Lake, a memory for memory's sake, we climb until our breath is taken. Velvet in the sky, rust in the stones. Have we finally come back home? Did we keep our spirits whole, or leave a fracture in our souls?
9.
I gave up our position and ran into a field. Who would receive my transmission, and what would it yield? Well, I don't know, but I hope it's soon. Bring our salvation or bring our doom. We seemed to me forsaken, abandoned in this field. But I felt this sense of mission, to me alone revealed. Why? I don't know, but I felt it still. Warm breath from the stars, through the tall pines a chill. Chained to the mast. Hold fast, we are running aground. Chained to the mast. I gave up our position and slow the years go by. No answer to me given, the universe expands and stars explode. My rebellion tamed, my veins turn blue, my position changed. Chained to the mast. It's a trap, and we're running aground. Chained to the mast.
10.
Then I get away down the stairs of the fire escape and into the night, where I can hide. Then I get a taste of what's in store. Then I get a glimpse of what's behind the exit door. Then I get away through the window, the shattered pane, I get flung out to the stars, into the void of the night, where I can hide (for now). Then I get away through the floor of the burning hotel and into the ground. I come alive. Then I feel the weight of what's in store. Then I get a glimpse of what's behind the burning door. Then I get away over the edge of the camera frame, I take shelter from the light exposing the end of the scene, and I can hide (for now).

about

Decompose to recompose - Alpine Decline returns with another high-altitude long player of overexposed psych/indie beatitudes, their first since moving back to their home base of Los Angeles. Return to Desolation Lake is the band's most tuneful and rueful collection yet - carefully, painfully rendered melodies for today's maladies.

credits

released March 13, 2018

alpine decline is jz/pz with yh: bass
produced and mixed by yang haisong
drums/bass/guitar/vocals recorded at ecstacy studios, beijing
modular synthesis embellishments recorded at psychic kong, beijing
master by henrik jonsson (masters of audio)
art by idle beats, shanghai
jacket photo by nevin domer
layout design by guo zhen
chinese translation by dong nan
North American Mountain and Wilderness Society A.S.C.A.P.
2018

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