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Houses

by Prairie Rehab

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about

Prairie Rehab’s fourth release Houses is an alternatingly anthemic and contemplative exploration of domestic life, in all its varied comforts and constraints. Inspired by her own life and experiences, lyricist and singer Lacie Williams touches on themes of marriage, parenthood, maturation, mistrust, and (even, occasionally) romance. Musically, the album bounces between ebullient Pop/Rock (“Houses”), ethereal Americana (“Autumn”), and layered Countrypolitan ("Please Please"}.

credits

released April 20, 2018

Lacie Williams - Vocals
Scott Swartz – Guitars, Pedal Steel, Keyboards
Ezequiel Valguarnera - Bass, Harmony Vocals
John Baldus - Drums, Percussion
Christian Schaeffer - Keyboards
Devon Cahill - Harmony Vocals
Ben Reece – Saxophone, Clarinets
Camille Cundiff - Cello

Recorded and Mixed by Scott Swartz at Filament Glow Recording, St. Louis, MO, additional recording by Jason McEntire at Sawhorse Studio, St. Louis, MO.

All Songs © 2017 L. Williams / S. Swartz (Filament Glow Music ASCAP), except Furious Love, Autumn, X's & O's, Catastrophizing, and Sigh © 2017 L. Williams (Filament Glow Music ASCAP}, Husbands And Wives © 1966 Roger Miller (Sony/ATV Tree Publishing BMI).

Cover Art by Julie McDonald
Photography by Rebecca K. Clark

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Track Name: Furious Love
Millicent, isn’t it frightening:
All the disquieting glimpses we’ve seen
Of cities in ruins and worlds set aflame?
Milly, deep-down, I’ve a bad feeling

And a furious love
But it’s tremulous, too
I’m curious, dear:
Is the nightmare over?

Been clutching my talismans, holding you tight
Closing my eyes lest the seas ignite
I’m weary from worry, suspicion, and shame:
Milly, I’ve tried, but I’m faltering

In my furious love
‘Cause it’s tremulous, too
I’m curious, dear:
Is the nightmare over?
Is the nightmare over?

So, take up the welcome mat; switch off the lights
And when they inquire, we can say Nobody’s home--

Not anymore

And my furious love
It is tremulous, too
I’m curious, dear:
Is the nightmare over?

And my furious love
It is tremulous, too
I’m curious, dear:
Is the nightmare over?
Is the nightmare over?
Is the nightmare over?
Track Name: Houses
I like your houses: pink-shuttered things
With a backdrop of sky so sky-like
Periwinkle and dove-grey

Undulating rows of wings:
Radiant from the touch of your hand
Radiant on the sun-smudged page

I like your houses
I like your houses

I like your people: slightly askew,
Careening through scene-on-scene of
Domestic grandeur

To whom everything’s brand-new
And whoever they are, they’re happier
Than anyone in this world

I like your people
I like your people

And your streetlamps, your sidewalks, the artful way
You manage to scrawl your name
I’ll keep us in stamps, keep us in chalks, keep us in clay
Keep back the dragons, glowering out-of-frame, threatening to
consume you

I like you when you’re sensitive-souled
When you’re a mensch or a pest
Or a bruiser, when you’ve steamrolled over me

And worn me rather thin
No matter your timing, no matter the mood I’m in--
No matter your timing, darling, no matter the mood I’m in

I like your houses
I like your houses
I like your houses
Track Name: Xs & Os
You, in the crook of a quarter-moon:
Ah, you should have seen me swoon

But how soon you would tumble to ruin
When I saw, when I saw, when I saw you were human

Little rows of x’s and o’s
Melt away like the frost on the windows

Rose petals pressed long ago
Fall apart as they slip from the pages:

Oh, it’s been ages and ages since then

But it’s okay: it’s only
A terminal case of ennui
And you and I face every day not knowing
What to say, what to say, what to say to each other

O, What to say, what to say, what to say to each other

Through the gloam, a lackluster glow
Flickers out in the deepening shadows:

Isn’t that just the way it goes?

But it’s okay: it’s only
A terminal case of ennui
And you and I face every day not knowing
What to say, what to say, what to say to each other

O, What to say, what to say, what to say to each other

Little rows of x’s and o’s…Little rows of x’s and o’s
Little rows of x’s and o’s…Little rows of x’s and o’s
Track Name: Credible Threat
Little empty-headed Michelle,
Where have all your thoughts gone?
Have they drifted to the bottom
Of a depth no one could possibly fathom?

Or trickled from a rift in your skull?
All the words you’d formed so nimbly
Seem to shrivel, turn to senseless drivel.

Although they may dismiss it as ridiculousness,
Every lapse and every slip,
Every slightly stuttered step
Make the things you’ve dreaded seem like a credible threat.

Isn’t it a pity, my dear:
Growing ever-dimmer?
Add the lemongrass and ginger
To the list of things you can’t quite remember,
Like phantoms slipping out of your sight.
Still, you stammer in the shadows:
It’ll come back, it’ll come back to me…right?

Although they may dismiss it as ridiculousness,
Every lapse and every slip,
Every slightly stuttered step
Make the things you’ve dreaded seem like a credible threat--
Seem like a credible threat.

Are you tired of feeling dumb?
Weary of this troublesome stuff?
Scared you’re becoming a burden
To everyone you love?

Well, just close your eyes, lay back, we’ll make a small incision;
And if all goes well
You’ll be blissful in oblivion
Even giddy, oh, but still empty-headed, Michelle.

Little empty-headed Michelle
Little empty-headed Michelle
Track Name: Autumn
How ridiculous we must look
Standing on our tiptoes:
Everyone knows how small we’ve been
Everyone sees we’re scarcely more than children

I’ve been waving my arms around
Trying to flag you down
Though you’re not listening, you still insist
You may not catch the words, but you get the gist

But on every still, grey, dreary day
I can see clearly
There’s nothing to say
And nothing to hear, save the sound of our voices decaying

I’ve grown tired of holding tight
Tired of the autumn
Tired of its languid skies of lead
Lying in exile on my side of the bed

And on every still, grey, dreary day
I can see clearly
There’s nothing to say
And nothing to hear, save the sound of our voices decaying

So, if you’re keeping the door open
If you’re counting the hours
Darling, stop hoping, stop waiting for me:
I’ve never been more sure, more sure--
I’ve never been more sure, more sure of anything

How ridiculous we must look
Standing on our tiptoes
Track Name: False Spring
False Spring
I’ve been tossing and turning
Wondering, Darling:
Just where did you go?

Starlings
Chitter on through the evening:
Are they grieving
The loss of the winter’s snow?

Or are they just like me:
Still cold, down to the marrow?

All I know is there’s a dress-coat in the closet
With a love note, still folded in the pocket

Falling
Into dreamlike
Memories:
Watching us break in two

From the One we were
To just Me…and…You

All I know is there’s a dress-coat in the closet
With a love note, still folded in the pocket

Draw me
Through the sunlight, dawning,
Over the starlings
Bursting into morning-song:

And I’ll reveal those things--
Sweet things-- kept secret for too long

All I know is there’s a dress-coat in the closet
With a love note, still folded in the pocket

In the pocket

False Spring…False Spring…False Spring…
Track Name: Sigh
Swallows met me at the threshold
I let the sunrise in:
Last night I slept unsoundly
Had that awful dream again

The one where all my skeletons
And every line I’ve bought
Come running after me:
I try to flee, but I cannot

O, Darling, they were hot-on-my-heels
In a wave of indignation
I offered my most ardent appeals
But they craved remuneration

What can you do but sigh?
What can you do but sigh?

The shadows overtake me
The swallows flit away
Replaced by apparitions
In a ghastly shade of grey:

Impetuous investments
The swindler on the street
The endless repercussions
Of the terms I couldn’t meet

No, really, it was not in the plan
But I’m prone to deviation
Glad-handing every confidence man
Who gives me a demonstration

What can you do but sigh?
What can you do but sigh?

I’m easily distracted
And given to digress
I’m wont to say I’m sorry
But I don’t want to confess

No matter how you treat me
Or how freely you repeat
The promise of reprieve
Well, I’d sooner take the heat

I’d sooner take the heat

What can you do but sigh?
What can you do but sigh?
Track Name: Hers
I hope you’re playing the piano
Staying up late
Because you want to

And not because the things
That haunted you still do

That through the screen door
Will come a cool breeze
Moving your fingers o’er the keys
And she’ll be right there, beaming beside you

Maybe she’s waiting at the corner
Radiant-eyed
And tempered brightly

With all the splendor of
Some treasured old upright

And she’ll be artless
Pretty
Winding up the tensegrity
Of your heart: it’s waiting to spring

It’s waiting to spring

And she’ll be singing
Something softly
And, honestly, much better than I could have sung for you

‘Cause I was not yours
But I hope that she’s yours
And I hope that you’re hers, too
Track Name: Mumble
I lie awake and strain to shake
The aching in my chest:
A nympholeptic on the verge
Of cardiac arrest

Suppressing the obsessions
That incessantly resound
Through the synapses you’ve severed
In the nerves you’ve wound around

Nothing smarts like the tender heart
Of a sentimental fool
So, would it kill you-- would it kill you
To give a little?

I vacillate, equivocate
I wait outside your door:
Your starry-eyed solicitor
And pettish bête noire

I don’t know what to do but to fracture for you
But to crack like a leaky cup--
But to murmur and sigh every time that I try
To speak up, to speak up

Nothing smarts like the tender heart
Of a sentimental fool
So, would it kill you-- would it kill you
To give a little?

I stand with my coat in my hand--
I stand with my coat in my hand
And the words in my throat,

But nothing comes out clearly
I mumble incoherently
But nothing comes out clearly
I mumble incoherently

Nothing smarts like the tender heart
Of a sentimental fool--

Nothing smarts like the tender heart
Of a sentimental fool--

Nothing smarts like the tender heart
Of a sentimental fool
So, would it kill you-- would it kill you
To give a little?

Would it kill you-- would it kill you
To give a little?
Track Name: Please Please
Infantilize every woman you see
Cuss the kids on the corner
Kick the dog, and poison the chickadees

The flickering eyes of the people you meet
Aren’t provocations, Baby:
Could you get over yourself, maybe?

Please…Please…Please…Please

The spectacle of a pink umbrella
Languishing on the front lawn
Still awaiting its reclamation

Scares you to death, as you peer out on the street:
Little bodies to riot
Little cries to disturb the quiet

Please…Please…Please…Please

In your dreams, all is plasticine-serene:
All is whitewashed and lacquered black
Tall fences and bottomless culs-de-sac

But the world comes creeping through the cracks
And you fall to your knees
Sighing in perpetual reprise:

Please…Please…Please…Please
Track Name: Flares
Flares into oblivion
Prayers on the lips of children
Who sees or hears? No one

But, then again, I must admit:
When I’m utterly desperate, I talk to No One.

Gossamer morning pours,
Swift, through the corridors
And over your features: you’re still

Blissfully at rest
Mysteriously blest by No One.

But I’ve seen your eyes grow tear-flecked,
Trying to decathect from me
When I’ve made you so terribly, terribly lonely

Fragmented, dissolute
Brutes, red in claw and tooth:
They’re ruthless, they’re barely human, they’re

Staring hungrily
At you: you’ll turn for me and find no one

But I’ve seen your eyes grow tear-flecked,
Trying to decathect from me
When I’ve made you so terribly, terribly lonely

Terribly, terribly lonely

And I’ve heard the words on your tongue
Each stammered incantation
Ascend into oblivion

But, Darling, know this:
If no one else is listening I am

Darling, know this:
If no one else is listening I am
Track Name: Catastrophizing
If I don’t tell you I love you
Before you go
How will you ever know

When you come
Plummeting out of the sky
Over Dayton, Ohio

When the engines fail
While the wailing mothers
Pray for time: O, but time
Belongs to others…now?

When the engines fail
While the wailing mothers
Pray for time: O, but time
Belongs to others…now…now…now…now

If I don’t tell you I love you
Before you go
How will you ever know?

If I don’t tell you I love you
Before you go
How will you ever know?

How will you ever know?

How will you ever know?

How will you ever know?

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