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American Football (LP2)

by American Football

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1.
Where are we now? We’re both home alone in the same house Would you even know me if I wasn’t old me? If I wasn’t afraid to say what I mean? We’ve been here before but I don’t remember a lock on the door Is it keeping me out or you in? It’s strange how these city streets have changed faces like we did Would you even know me if time hadn’t stole me? If I wasn’t afraid to say what I need? We’ve been here before We’ll figure it out like that goddamn door We just need a skeleton key Leave me or don’t — I don’t care Just let me know when you finally drag your body out of bed and I’ll get my things
2.
My instincts are the enemy I warned you I’ve damaged good inside of me I need you to translate all the colors that I can’t see I think I’m in trouble Can you explain why all the reds look green to me? With my nerves exposed I can’t say no My instincts are the enemy I warned you I’ve malevolence inside of me I need you I want to taste a little bit of everything It gets me in trouble To fill my plate with the vacant and obscene With my nerves exposed I can’t say no I’m paralyzed Engaged in a civil war What can I do? Either way I lose and you lose too The days are nights and the nights are unbearable What can I do? I’m chained to this mood and you’re chained to me I keep asking different questions The same answer I receive I need you more than ever to tell me what you see
3.
Home is where the haunt is Those wounds won’t lick themselves It’s a good thing you’re not alone He’s been here all along You can’t see him but you know he’s there The ghost in the corner of the room He knows what you sleep in When your dreaming (and of who...) Some things never change Maybe that’s ok Home is where the haunt is The past still present tense You need more time to mourn But you shouldn't sulk for too long You look like hell An accidental version of yourself You can’t just forget all the other lives you’ve lived The ghost in the corner of the room He knows how you're feeling ‘cause you're dead to him, too Some things never change and maybe that’s ok ‘Cause I know how you hate to sleep alone
4.
Born to Lose 04:53
Born to lose A prophetic tattoo An animal in a zoo You won’t get out anytime soon Dead eyes and a mouth that can’t be cleaned I can only imagine where that dirty mouth is when it’s not on me Animals know not what they do Dead Eyes, why such vulgarity? I often imagine drowning in your skin Exactly where you end and my faults begin
5.
I’ve been so lost for so long Every street’s a dead end Every sign points behind me If you need me, don’t You can’t trust a man who can’t find his way home My impaired intuition is telling me to just give in If you find me would you please remind me why I woke up today I feel so sick Doctor, it hurts when I exist This isn’t the pain I’m usually in I hope it’s not contagious Maybe I’m asleep and this is all a dream I can’t believe my life is happening to me If you find me would you please remind me why I should wake up tomorrow This is me reaching out to you publicly What else is new? Maybe I’m asleep and this is all a dream
6.
Give me the gun I don’t care if it’s not loaded I’m not here to question your motives But I’m scared for us both I know where your mind goes when you’re left alone You’re so delicate Admittedly, sometimes I forget you’re made of wet paper
7.
I need a drink (or two or three) to fall asleep without you I’ve had the longest day I’m as blue as the sky is grey I need a drink (or two or three or four) to spend any time alone with me anymore Everyday a chance to change but the Devil will find a way As sure as the sky is grey I’m going to die this way How I wish that I were me The man that you first met and married I’m tired of fighting Endless thunder and lightning I can’t break this bender To it I surrender…
8.
Desire gets in the way You can’t hide such an ugly trait I know it’s not easy when everything you want is within your reach But better the bed you know than the bed that you don’t This fire burns incessantly I can’t lie — I kind of like the pain I know you’ll put it out You always put it out before it consumes me For you I’ll remain chained to the bed we’ve made But I get to choose your lingerie We’ll lie here forever like condemned criminals on trial I’m down for whatever The uglier the better
9.
Everyone is dressed up Everyone to the nines Someone must have found love or someone must have died This will be forgotten by history and scholars alike Another moment of import lost to time Wild nights when we were younger We thought we’d live forever At least we’ll die together If killing time was a crime we’d be on Most Wanted signs Our love will surely be forgotten by history and scholars Forever lost in time’s currents Everybody knows that the best way to describe the ocean to a blind man is to push him in In the company of others I’m reminded why we’re lifetime lovers The temperamental kind

about

Not long after Polyvinyl Records released American Football’s self-titled debut album in 1999, the band called it quits, having only played a smattering of Champaign-Urbana college house parties and sets at small clubs like Chicago’s legendary Fireside Bowl. Such an inauspicious turn of events made what followed all the more incredible. Over time, the record went on to become one of Polyvinyl’s best selling releases to date, and ended up serving as “one of the single most influential rock records of its time” according to Noisey and many others. To most everyone that found them after the fact, the band was no more than an apparition. The record the only artifact left behind as a timeless snapshot of a group of individuals in transition, newly discovered each year by a fresh crop of music fans reaching a similar inflection point in their own lives.

When American Football announced in 2014 that they would play live for the first time in 15 years, the built up appreciation for that eponymous LP physically manifested itself as they sold out 3 nights at Webster Hall in New York City in a matter of hours, and then went on to do the same at venues around the world. A quarter of a lifetime removed, and at times thousands of miles away from the house on the sleepy street in the middle of Illinois depicted on their debut album’s iconic cover, they found themselves playing to sold out crowds that numbered in the thousands in London, Tokyo, Barcelona and beyond.

The again self-titled American Football finds the band with new material that takes them on a serendipitous detour down a familiar road. It is replete with the swelling emotions that might be spurred on by locked away memories unearthed by a familiar scent or crack in the concrete, or the rush of warm apprehension when coming face to face with a lover left before the fire was close to going out. “The past still present tense” sings Mike Kinsella on “Home Is Where The Haunt Is,” but while the house on the cover and the title of the album are the same, they are made strange by time and new found perspective. “We’ve been here before,” he declares on album opener “Where Are We Now?”, “but I don’t remember a lock on the door.”

At a time when reunions have become rote, American Football is decidedly an anomaly. There is no past glory to relive or reignite, nor the burden to branch out and break from a well worn formula. Seventeen years later everything still feels brand new, because for them it is. They are a band that for one reason or another closed the lid on their creative output just as they were beginning an unforeseeable upswing, and are just now after a stasis returning to uncork it with the benefit of greater maturity and better musicianship. The sound is even more expansive, the lyrics less naive and more world weary, the songs have greater depths to explore and layers to peel back throughout. “You can’t just forget all the other lives you’ve lived,” Mike Kinsella sings, and every single one of the nearly two decades worth of experiences since they last put pen to paper as American Football seem to bleed through on this record.

American Football is Steve Holmes (guitar), Mike Kinsella (vocals, guitar), Nate Kinsella (bass), and Steve Lamos (drums, trumpet). American Football was recorded at ARC Studios in Omaha, NE, and SHIRK Studios in Chicago, IL, and was produced by the band and Jason Cupp.

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released October 21, 2016

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American Football Champaign, Illinois

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