after two years of blood, sweat and blisters on their fingers, black lab’s fourth album is ready for launch.stripping away some of the gloss from previous efforts, two strangers is, in some places, more basic and straightforward than anything the band has done in years, breaking it all down to songs, guitars & drums. in other places, it is more lush — with a full orchestra, choir, piano and organ at play. in either case, the tracks are extremely focused, with Paul’s keen descriptions and melodies interwoven with Andy’s crisp guitar work.

two strangers is both deeper in feeling and more neutral in observation than anything the band has ever done. all the black lab touches are there — cutting lyrics and big vocal moments, bitter-sweet melodies that stick in your head, heavy guitars and dynamic leaps of sound and emotion, ballads full of longing and resolve. Andy plays like a man possessed, driving each riff and change down the middle of the songs, anchoring and binding and decorating until they pop out in 3D. Paul digs in to what he wants to say, never settling until the words and melody, the story and arc slide perfectly into place. his voice has never sounded as rough, powerful or as beautiful.

with Isaac Carpenter playing drums on many of the tracks, the songs swing from vulnerability to devotion, from confession to dissection, from cold-wave desperation to indie-pop celebration to post-grunge thrust. as always, each song is a distinct chapter while serving to tell a story as only an album can.

click LISTEN to hear six 90-second samples from the album. click BUY CD to order using credit card or paypal. click DOWNLOAD and you’ll get an email after checkout with a link to download a full CD-quality version of the album. the download also features two bonus tracks and ready-to-print CD artwork pdf’s with cropmarks. ALSO, check out the black lab scrapbook below, as well as the new t-shirts in the store!


track listing
01 this ship goes down deep
02 something you don’t know free download
03 bound
04 start a fire
05 always
06 slow down
07 the pain is gone
08 dying just to hold you
09 close to you
10 I believe it
11 say goodbye
12 love to love you

jump to lyrics


check out the scrapbook!

to celebrate the release of two strangers, we put together a full-color collection of stuff from the past and present black lab: liner notes for the new album, lyric drafts from various eras, an exclusive interview, press from the early days, set lists, laminates & backstage passes, fliers, random tour images, shots of the band in various incarnations, shots of Paul working out a beat, drafts of unreleased solo album covers, unused logos — all stuff you can’t find anywhere else, hand-assembled with love. we think you’ll come to jealously covet this beautiful 40-page artifact, once you get your hands on.get_yours2


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Scott Chesnut’s video for ‘something you don’t know’:


lyrics

this ship goes down deep. I can’t believe when you walk right in. I can’t believe that your temperature’s minus. I still need you to talk me down. I can’t believe that you’d suffer in silence. is it all just a lie that we all still believe in? if you tell me your lie then I’ll know your name. cause I have no shame I have no sadness I feel no blame I stumble forward. this ship goes down deep and I know no way of leaving. you won’t believe what you can’t accept. you can’t accept what is right before you. I still need you to hold me down. you make a joke but it couldn’t be more true. is it all just a lie that no one believes in? if I tell you a lie will you say my name? I’ll find a way to live without you I know it cuts too close to the bone. how can you live without me if I won’t go? I’ll find a way to live without you I know it cuts too close to the bone. find a way to live without me and I’ll come home.
el corazon
something you don’t know. you bear down live your life in the trenches you take whatever you get I see you and I swing for the fences hand you that homemade cassette well pray hard pray to your gods when nothing else seems to pay off I’ve got a rare gift and I’m willing to give it would you like to go for a walk? you’re a ghost town and maybe I’m a ghost but I will follow as deep as it goes there’s something inside trying to eat its way out from the middle from the back of your mind it kills you there’s something you don’t know something you don’t know I’ll go wherever you go don’t flash that innocent look you give as good as you get and I might need a room for the night yeah, somewhere bury my head don’t let go, go easy on me don’t let yourself tear us apart there’s a strange land hidden inside us and no one knows what’s in your heart there’s a party down your rabbit hole I’ll go down as far as it goes

bound. there’s a hollow at the end of the road a place where we used to meet up I’ve forgotten, I’ve forgiven us both for thinking it wasn’t enough lighting matches, hiding scratches finding out what was underneath all of this noise there’s a ferrous sun that shines on the living days crawl, nights fall it’s all the same one week, two weeks down the drain I know you know we are bound together too sad, too slow nothing changes I come, you go who’s to blame and why don’t you see we will always be bound together tell a story, one that’s never been told remembering how did it feel I’ve got letters, I’ve got songs that I wrote and a heart lined with chromium steel artifacts of darker passions I took the fragments and buried them under my bed and still that ferrous sun it shines down on the living days crawl, nights fall it’s all the same one week, two weeks down the drain I know you know we are bound together too sad, too slow nothing changes I come, you go who’s to blame and why don’t you see we will always be bound together cause I don’t I believe there is any way we could be severed

start a fire. I can hear half-remembered lies allusions to our history you can’t hide anymore. are you dissatisfied with my second person songs wishing for a girl to strike a match and start a fire – yeah start a fire in my heart. have mercy baby start a fire start a fire you’re the one and I used to be the place for you to run. a sideways glance a fantasy I cling to. I whisper to you while you sleep. the mirrored lens the sun against you skin and all the stupid stories that I spin. may lightening strike and start a fire start a fire in your heart. will you wait for me to start a fire start a fire you’re the one. I will always be the place for you to run. we crash on heaven’s floor. a chain of generations in decay. as I hold this pose I try to concentrate one thing at a time broken by the outburst of a kiss. oh, perfection calls so start a fire – yeah and let it go. a hidden world we never know where everything is new. I will wait for you to start a fire – yeah and make it grow in ways you will never know. well baby you’re the one. I will always be the place for you to run

always. It’s my favorite thing just sitting watching you sleeping. the secrets you keep go on and keep them someday you won’t need them. you always say I’m always gone but you’re always here in my heart. hey there child, hey there star I promise to never be far. I will always take care of you. most of the time I’m just grinding through my day trying to head your way. and most of the time I’m just trying in my way to keep the pain at bay you always think I’m always gone but you’re always here in my heart. hey there child, hey there star I promise I’ll never be far. I will always take care of you, yes I will. I will always…

slow down. even at the bottom of midnight when you’ve watched me come undone. even under cover of daylight when I’ve buttoned up my tongue. I’m living in a world of stage fright while you wait to see me undefended not pretending now. so put your arms around this hollow like a castle made of sand. put a wall between this sorrow and the riches in my hands. it’s about as far as I go to let you see my heart again it stands above this frozen road. slow down keep your eyes on me. slow down cause you’re almost free and all I want yeah all I need to say: it’s not so far away. so high that you get over and closer than your breath. so low that you can’t get under the moment of your death. I did not come here for saving I’m just trying to accept the way it is the way it is. you float along…

the pain is gone. I’ll take a photograph whatever makes you laugh but come on step out of the rain. you’d hate to catch your death all the life that you got left lit up like a candle on your face. there are words that are fading and I’m trying hard to say ‘em before they fall into the fog. but every single day once or twice an hour the shadow falls away and I see you walking in a straight line. and the pain is gone the pain is gone. I recognize it but it’s unfamiliar. now the pain is gone the pain is gone. I recognize it but it’s unfamiliar.yes there’s a place only you and I go. and there are things about me only you will ever know. I didn’t mean to push you didn’t mean to laugh when you fell I didn’t mean to shout when you got hurt. I didn’t mean to argue didn’t mean to criticize you and I’m sorry I said I didn’t like your skirt. there are demons that are screaming and I’m trying not to feed ‘em as I carry water for us through the dirt. but I always need you here I always need you near me I don’t know what I’d do if I was walking here without you. and this sweet dream will end and I will wake from this life again and again and again

dying just to hold you. I want your love your scent, your touch it’s not enough to dream this baby I want your love you smile, you go but I could show you what I’m made of you’re watching me from above but baby I want your love the wall comes down the dawn shines out I’m dying just to hold you dying just to hold you the wall comes down your light shines out I’m trying not to show you I’m dying just to hold you this stone, this heart it falls apart when you are gone you know baby I want your love a rag, a doll would you install as king of all maybe it’s not enough cause baby I want your love the wall comes down the dawn shines out I’m dying just to hold you dying just to hold you the wall comes down your light shines out I’m trying not to show you I’m dying just to hold you

close to you. let’s pretend I told you what I wanted make believe it fell within my reach would there be a place for what I hoped for? in the end would there be a place for me? get me high on something show me what to do I get by on nothing as long as something keeps me close to you there’s the matter of your fineness then there’s how I’d pay my way if you fall on my sword I will bleed out for us both if you fall on the road there will be nothing that I couldn’t hold get me high on something show me what to do I get by on nothing as long as something keeps me close to you

I believe it. it snows a day, a night, a week. I walk, I wade, go down waist deep. this grove, these trees burn with frost and I hear a voice I thought I’d lost. I believe it but I need to know. yeah I believe it but you need to show me. if you mean it I’ll never go (tell me if what I’m seeing isn’t you) each step, your breath against my ear. you’re face to face then disappear. you’re there, your hair is in my eyes. I trip, I fall but you catch my stride. and I believe it but I need to know. yeah I believe it. you need to show me what I’m seeing will never go (tell me if what I’m seeing isn’t you) I still believe we belong to the night

say goodbye. how am I supposed to feel? you strike at my achilles heel with everything that’s wrong I can’t make right. if I wait another hundred years the whispers set against the tears I’m never gonna be that shining knight. I find it hard to be down in this hole now I find myself walking down a hard road. if I can’t say it – if I can’t say goodbye. if I can’t say it – if I can’t say goodbye I know you never will. now I’m waiting for that setting sun to burn me down the day I’m done and spread my ashes out along the beach. but I find these days are pretty long this war with you goes on and on and I love you as I’m lying through my teeth. I find it hard to be up on this wall now I find myself trying to make a hard call. if I can’t say it – if I can’t say goodbye. if I can’t say it – if I can’t say goodbye I know you never will and twenty years of hell will rain down upon us like frogs upon the pharaohs. I have to say goodbye.
I have to say goodbye goodbye

love to love you. I would love to love you but I know that it would be wrong. you got someone waiting for you who’s never done me no harm. I would love to touch you like a building on fire in my chest. so the only voice I turn to is the one I use to confess. it’s already done it’s already done. I would hold my breath I would take those steps out of your living room and into the blue. so I hold my head and I take what’s left. you know I lost everything the day I met you. I would love to love you like the movie that plays in my mind. like the boy in sons & lovers when he first sees the girl in white. it’s already done the film’s in the can. I would hold my breath I would take those steps out of your living room and into the street. so I hold my head and I take what’s left. you know I lost everything – the place in the world where we are free in a different year in a different town that isn’t here that isn’t now. I can see your face I can read your mind in another place where you are mine. in another time.


let us know what you think of the album in the forum.

 

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