The Narrow Valley

by Bryan John Appleby

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released November 13, 2015

Words and Music by Bryan John Appleby.
Produced by Sam Anderson.
Mixed by Nathan Sabatino.
Artwork by Christopher Harrell.
Back photo by Genevieve Pierson.
Copyright 2015 Bryan John Appleby LLC | All Rights Reserved



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Bryan John Appleby Seattle, Washington

The Narrow Valley takes dramatic steps away from heartfelt NW folk balladry to the sun-bleached landscape of his youth in central coast California. The new album showcases Appleby’s deftness in composition and arrangement, while still managing to deliver the epic line-by-line lyricism he is known for. ... more

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Track Name: The Fault Line
The Fault Line cracked a long smile
A hideous rock-tooth grin open wide
Broke down the dark green dawn and rolled along the lawns
Abaddon had come

“Wake up. Do you hear that?”
All the dogs along the block began to cry
A broken bedside vase, then our books flew from there case
And the walls began to shed their plaster hides
They were trembling like images hanging high
Of stones reflected on face of a mighty wave
Rising black against the sky

Then I stood helpless in the doorway
Just staring at the room on the floor
And you pulled my sleeve, said “It’s time to leave
Come let’s go. It’s time to go.”
Track Name: Costanoan Bones
Buried on the valley floor
Costanoan Bones
Are getting pounded by our bright new roads
We always kick it under the rug

Digging deep the roustabouts
Recklessly keep driving down
Now bottlenecked with no way out
I think we might have gone to far

All along we had it coming
Now grab a coat and get in the car
There’s nothing left for us in California
We gotta move on

The winded eucalyptus bend
And snapping in a heavy hand
The bratty child too fat to fend away the wild dogs

And all along we had it coming
Now Abaddon is moving quick
It’s coming down for good in California
We finally fucked it up
Track Name: Shoes and Hat
He forgot my favorite hat at home
She forgot to tie my shoes
Yeah I know how worn they both got
Just a couple of rags wrung dry
He grips the wheel why snapping at the dial
She wrings her wrinkled hands and looks outside
The silent sun is high

I might be sitting in the back but man, I’m gone
Track Name: No One Knows
Building airplanes in the basement
Plates are breaking one room up
Pretty soon they’ll both get tired and pass out cold

And every reckless evening
Slipping silent out the house
Walk between the rows and alleys on your own

And you might go down with the women
You might get off fighting cops
But right now you need the skyline
Breathing fast and climbing high along the roof tops

Had a dream of Santa Lucia
Flying high above the coast
Every roadside hawk was watching as you rose

But then you woke up in a bottle
And you could not reach the top
But a howling in the distance
Came to you right through the fog
And you might grow up wearing make up
You might find a town you like
Maybe somewhere near the border
With white dishes all unbroken in a pile

Narrow glow of dawn
You’re lying harrowed on the lawn
Where no one knows
Track Name: High Above the Blue
One day you wake up
High above the blue
In an lawn chair on the dunes
And written in the rose green glow,
“You can go easy, Now you owe nothing”

Look around while waiting at a light
See a washed out store front sign
In a window long been broke
Calling Everything Must Go
You think, “Most of all the thing you know”

There’s a wind ‘neath the door
Sounds you’ve never heard before
Branches clawing at the pane
Panicked animals are wailing

But the moon
He walks alone
The boy the low black clouds can’t hold
With a silver threaded light breaking in between the blinds
He is drifting through the formless night

Now that its over
Thrown an the new light
Wipe the dream that lingers in your eye
Track Name: Nothing Moves
The lights come up
And everyone moves out to the sidewalk
Smiling as the all drive home
Still you wait beneath the screen alone
Heavy in a coat
Blown out in both of the pockets
Lingering dark along the dead arcade
Wasting time, stay away

The page is way too thin
And breaking up beneath a dried out pen
There’s nobody on the roads
And you have nowhere left to go
It is not slowing down
It won’t go swift enough, nothing moves
Drag through a narrow town
Landlocked and dry
Track Name: Highway 1am
Dark fog, a lonely rag
Wrapped up around the house
My car is parked and running
Beer rolling down my mouth
Then I see him
He should be sleeping
Not staring at his old man on the stoop
Snap my fingers
Make him scatter back to bed
Crack another can
And lace my boots
Think to myself
Kid if you were me
Then you would too

Wind along down Highway 1
Blind in the ghosted dawn
Blending the lines
Barreling through the fog
Red trees are calling for my car

What am I doing?
Little white crosses line the road
Right before I pass out
I see you sleeping in your room

Rub my eyes and walk for miles
Back to you
Track Name: Shoepac's Daughter
In the twilight
Linen neckline
Hanging off your shoulder in the heroine light
I would follow
Through your window
Rose curtain blowing
Cut a whole in the night

They caught us throwing rotten oranges
From the one overpass at the edge of town
Hide down in a ditch, dark hair knotted on the ground
Your’e always soot-eyed and angry
The sanded hiss is the wind ripping grass off the dunes
No matter how hard we gnawed the ropes
They would all hold on

When there’s nothing
When it’s over
We will drift away
Leave it all behind
Track Name: Looking Down at You / Bookends 1 and 2
Coming from another room
The shadow of a nameless tune
The simple sun is sifting through the blue smoke from your mouth

The bended chair, the wilted rug
Your stubbled jaw, your pounded blood
Your heavy-lidded eyes look up to find me hiding at the top of the stairs

Your frozen face, the rigid end
Your parted hair and your paper skin
And furrowed lines like field rows or wakes behind a stone
Collected deeply cut behind two eyes I tried to know
And once again I’m looking down at something I don’t really understand
Track Name: Praise the Void
What a relief
No one can see
There’s a heavy lidded window closing off a room
I gotta leave

Sun faded sign
Hill Side Hotel
And everyone is severed from something or another
Gotta move on

The twilight, a warm wind blowing down the blue-black highway

Oh how it gave
Below the weight
The town laid waste
We’re better off anyway

What a relief
Sweet disbelief
Driving from the wreckage
The rigid valley left behind
High into the hills where we can see
Praise the Void