Sweaters For Saplings

by Matthew Stoker

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six demos recorded during March 2013
hello Montreal


released March 27, 2013

Matthew Stoker: voice/geetar/uke/everything
art by Dano Brown-Hozjan




Matthew Stoker Montreal, Québec

indie pop from montreal

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Track Name: Valentine's Day
all my friends are drunk
and i am still so sober
everyone is getting laid
and i am getting nada today
all the lights are out in
February sky tonight
i am going down to the riverside
to watch them

may they show me green
give me rose
any colour's charming i suppose
that will do
that will have to do

all the trucks get stuck
in the snow in the riverbank
and my feet threaten to pull the same prank
guess i've got myself to thank for going out
in all the snowflakes, looking upward
the darkness breaks
an incision gets sliced
through all that icy black

so show yourself to me
trailing all your colours
your dress of green, fringed with pink, let's
dance like lovers in violet

i don't care what that groundhog may or may not have seen
i would weather six more weeks of winter
if i could see the aurora like this one more time
i would weather six weeks without love

all in all it's been a good one
all in all it's been a pretty good valentine's day.

and i don't care i don't care
i'll just trip the light fantastic
on my own
i will weather six weeks without love.
Track Name: O Albertan (Song for Dano Brown-Hozjan)
o Albertan where did you sleep last night
(who was with you)
it's been so long since you've been round

o Albertan where has the time
(keep it with you)
the frontier days are gone by

so i'm hoping you don't forget where you're from
and you
remember more than grain silos and oil drums
in the mountains
of the yukon we met
the winter sun red like a low-lit cigarette
and below, the snow
cracking under our footsteps

it was there you said we're being born and we're dyin
at the same time; while sun sets it rises
and it goes and it goes and it goes
on like this, all season long
from the night there
comes a time where the darkness does give way
to a cramped space where the dawn and dusk embrace
slowly they melt into each other
like this for three hours

o Albertan where are you sleeping now?
(where is your home)
is it in the things you carry 'round?
the little pieces

like the pebbles caught between the treads in your shoes
these tiny gifts: these trinkets from the landscape
you walked through the mountains
you found breathing space
and now you're rethinking your relationship with place
i mean like how being home doesn't need to be a static state

now you've packed up your pens and moved to Vancouver
where the sun hides til the winter is over
and it goes and it goes and it wraps itself all up
in a shroud of fog

once you'd run with the wolves and chased all the ore
out of the ground where the river does break up
now you've gone and you've traded it all
for concrete houses
and the suburban basements
that's where you lay your head now that you've
said "goodbye" to the mountains
say "farewell" to the prairies
but that don't mean you can't carry them with you somehow.
Track Name: Freeze Up
the light is young
our bodies young

realization: our souls are old
our hearts are frozen

and they will stay frozen
while the ground does thaw
and they will stay cold
while the ice does melt
around us but winter
turning to spring won't change us
won't rearrange the pieces of our hearts
they'll stay cold and pure
and we won't lose our heads
the town this town won't change us
the wind will not shake at
the cabin door
our hearts trapped inside
with the stale air

our limbs in place
we succumb to stasis

our hearts to stone
if only glaciers would take their place because

i wish i were more like the ice
breaking off into the fresh sunlight
more than a glimpse
in the ocean's eyes
tears in the ocean's eyes
in the new sunrise, at the dawn of spring
the mountain stream
ice again
til the winter's end
until the spring comes back around
and the circle starts again

and always becoming.
Track Name: The Ballad of the AFB
we left Dartmouth with the ocean on our minds
we left Nova Scotia with the ocean on our minds
we left town with our rain boots on
one look behind us and the sea was gone
uh huh

went to Sackville with textbooks on your minds
off to Vancouver with a pencil case on mine
we shared letters and we rambled on
before we knew it, summer had come
uh huh

so cover me in seaweed baby
the ocean wants my ukulele
so throw it in
but spare your mandolin

went to the party with a bottle in your hand
went to the party with a sharpie in your other hand
signed a sock, spelled our band name wrong, i guess we all got pretty drunk
uh huh

i went to the Yukon with the frontier on my mind
climbed the mountain heard the calls of the wild
i went to Jack London's house, wrote a folk song on his couch
uh huh

so cover me in seaweed baby
the ocean wants my ukulele
i'm so glad to know 'ya
together we'll forget about Manitoba
and if music is honey
then let's all be bees
head on down to the hive and sing
nobody forget about the AFB

uh huh
uh huh
uh huh
my darling

uh huh
uh huh
uh huh.
Track Name: She's Leaving Hali
dim lights on the dockyards tonight
and just the two of us, alone watching them
i hope this rain doesn't pick up
we've still got yarn bombs left to place;
knit sweaters for the saplings
in the public gardens where she'd skip class
to spend spring days with me
and make our own examinations of each other
after tonight we're lonely lovers once again

She's leaving Hali
she's leaving her new-found half-home
she's gotta depart for the summer
go back to Toronto

and everyone's giving up their sweaters
and everyone's giving up their sweaters
and everyone's giving up their sweaters
for shorts and t-shirts and warmer weather

i'm watching the harbour
i'm watching her chest rise and fall
with the waves that enter the bay
it's here that i must stay for the summer
i've got a job here
i've got a bedroom at my mother's place
i've got my friends and relations
so we'll try not to get too entangled
in each other
but after all we're just lonely lovers
and after tonight...

there are trains to catch
there are busses to take
there are borders to go break down
there are bridges to make
across the country
from Ontario Place
back to Alderney Landing we'll communicate
there will be phones to dial
there will be letters to stamp

but for now the rain
soaks my sweater
as i lie next to her
she's growing farther away

She's leaving Hali
she's leaving her new-found half-home
she's gotta depart for the summer
go back to Toronto

now everyone's giving up their sweaters
now everyone's giving up their sweaters
and i would give up my sweater
to keep her warm
let it be my arms
let it never leave her.
Track Name: Warm Spring Air
i am a plant but what's more i'm a man
and i will take root wherever i stand
ready the troops: the seed brigades
then i'll launch my salvos off into the glades
and the
warm spring air
yes the
warm spring air

i am no peacock but you'll notice me
as i cast off my plumage to the oxygen seas
go forth my sons and go forth all of you daughters
may you colonize islands may you traverse these uncharted waters
thru the
warm spring air
yes the
warm spring air

i will dig, and i will
take my rightful place
in your garden
with the roses and
their thorns
and the pebbles

i will bask in the warm spring air and
i will thrive in the warm spring air and
i will rise with the warm spring air and
i will die in the cool fall breeze