Shells Of Paradise

by Shells Of Paradise

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1.
L'ART EST MORT i'm only real in a quantum sense my every act is free from consequence someone constructed me from unconsciousness and i'm imaginary and so are my friends i was just thinking, what can i do right now, what can i do right now? just drawing up another plan published, accomplished, certified, distinguished, a pillar of the industry everlasting reverence, the boons are multitudinous from my instrumental property that was some being, to draw me up right now, to draw me up right now. then i became the damnedest man - i am an action i'm only to be read in the present tense my life's a complete sentence published, accomplished, certified, distinguished, a pillar of the industry everlasting reverence, the boons are multitudinous from my instrumental property rubbish, unfinished, ossified, extinguished, no more instrumental property no more instrumental
2.
Sway 04:02
SWAY a man of stone you were looking for a monolith unmovable I was whittled from a tree that won't stop at old growth over bones and wires over stubbled leather shot through with vines that turn my shades to the sunlight on his mountain's face to crack a smile means avalanche he is so set in his ways grown old before his era newer tools it took to chisel in initials and the hard and fastness of creation continually emblazoned with the latest rulings had to squint to see the finer print writ in a lingo and his face is falling when wider eyes and higher resolution show the same full panorama no ending or beginning hard yeah that was my way a monumentally solid state would a sharper peak in range be metamorphic enough to sway over black and tatters attitude, desire, shot skyward a vine turned my shades to the sunlight hard yeah that was my way a monumentally solid state would a sharper peak in range be metamorphic enough to sway hard yeah that was my way metamorphic enough to sway hard yeah that was my way but metamorphic enough to sway
3.
SUPERCOMMUTER (ALTERNATOR) been faced with the commonplace all my days on the highways of the gray the faces all the same, insane from behind windowpanes moebius trip of a middle lane taking its tollbooth takes the change never makes it never makes it there i see smoke where there is none that's how far it's gone maybe the fires of yesteryear or the burnings to come i see smoke where there is none illusions on the horizon on a gray screen saver bonfires rage they lick the stage these infatuations impair no inhalation could compare the screen wavers, fades the page moebius trip of a middle lane taking its tollbooth takes the change never makes it never makes it there i see smoke where there is none that's how far it's gone maybe the fires of yesteryear or the burnings to come i see smoke where there is none illusions on the horizon my car is gray and the highway and a brain i take another flyover, break a bottleneck we all rage we all rage we all rage we all rage we all rage
4.
True 03:17
TRUE on the computer pictures from a long time ago from before i knew you babe and we started taking our own yeah i caught a ride this time over here from the workplace, not hers i was ready to be by your side what do you say tonight? where do we show or should we hide? with you, why wouldn't i? that girl, no, don't worry bout her an innocent conversation the one you said is trying to take me she cannot fascinate like you do and you continue to so like i said and meant it, baby i'm true and i will be too, wouldn't you? true, true true so like i said and meant it, baby i'm true and i will be too, wouldn't you? true, true true true, true true and when we wrap the show, love i look around the room i'm seeing everybody but i'm looking up and down for you so like i said and meant it, baby i'm true and will continue to be to you true, true true so like i said and meant it, baby i'm true and will continue to be to you true, true true true, true true
5.
FOR THE TAKING diamondback water, you see her halfway 'cross the highway already snaking a getaway from the bootsteps of the speculators, us associates, it's ours for the taking cumulonimbus filter agave shadow sees the edges blur for one forever for one forever it said, alone or together, that never mattered we listen, everyone gets into the infinite whisper regardless of whether we tune to the chatter it gets in, the living prism, it gets in and it gives us the wisdom later in the glare the anvil evaporated; how is it now so clear? we loot for security meet our responsibility whenever we take up the trees we say "wait," "leave these three" an acre of dirt, what's the purpose? could serve up every amenity, I mean people are paying good money it's ours for the taking the trail you ran by day to walk at night a very different place gets to the heart of your nature incandescent and shaded it said, alone or together, that never mattered we listen and everyone gets into the infinite whisper over the weather no control ever it gets in, the living prism, it gets in and gives up the wisdom
6.
PHOTOCORROSION I bought a box to fit my family inside, a box of the proper pocket size it was the perfect way to keep us all together, a fine way to keep up with the times I see myself inside a bigger box to buy in a window to the world so wide I need a way to stay connected to the tether, I need a song to sleep tonight take the weight of victory take it upon yourself today display prosperity, go make it conspicuous that’s how I found my wife, all faint and feeling faded, so taken by the social life she needs escape, I need to be contained, I crave it, I’ll keep it on repeat tonight take the weight of victory take it upon yourself today display prosperity, go make it conspicuous we pose like we’re frozen no shutters are closing we symbolize emotions in photocorrosion
7.
Gotta Light 04:14
GOTTA LIGHT she doesn't want me doesn't want me to die i i let her take the wheel whole way she holds the keys and my itinerary she says stay with her sister she'll show me around stay me off the rye doctor i'm still with the devil and we have a laugh at it all she's such a natural ready to catch and i gotta light i call her goddess when she calls me to rise i i let her take the wheel been there she knows the way she'll drop me off and drive on as long as she she knows i'm alive i'm not gonna lie doctor i'm still seeing the devil in the night goin for a drive now i have her back and she is on my side she is medicinal her feeling is beautiful not so supernatural my burdens and worries all evaporate like alcohol thought collection stretch a leg they wanna wander she doesn't mind one sip o' that i'm gonna come to in the mud down by the river get up or swept away doctor i'm still with the devil and we have a laugh at it all she's such a natural ready to catch and i gotta light
8.
Hey Cobra 03:54
HEY COBRA in a summer you can touch the sun that spills all over all of us on a summer stretch the sky that wavers always overhead you can dance out of the way or grab hold and shake you can handle the haze you can take a heavy shape stay cool and full of fever be young and free and love her so cool and hey hey hey hey cobra don't get run over in a summer you can crush the heat that hovers over heavy heads and on a summer sprawl burning the new beginnings of us all and you can dance out of the way or grab hold and shake you can handle the haze you can take a heavy shape stay cool and full of fever be young and free and love her so cool and hey hey hey hey cobra don't get run over stay cool and full of fever be young and free and love her so cool and hey hey hey hey cobra don't get run over
9.
KEEP DREAMING thin convictions come in from the wind within, walled in with papers of our own construction am I on your mind or all in your head senses, electric connections to think we'd be considered existent oh the worlds we weave in between the winks we see impossible things one blink and we wake into fiction our final night I hope we can keep dreaming, keep dreaming living like this we can persist if we ever stop sleeping I believe we keep dreaming I know we can keep dreaming keep dreaming where the night goes on and on until we summon the dawn so on our final night I hope we can keep dreaming, keep dreaming living like this we can persist if we ever stop sleeping I believe, I know I believe we keep dreaming we keep dreaming oh, stop sleeping stop sleeping I know we can keep dreaming keep dreaming

about

This debut album by Shells Of Paradise was originally recorded 2014-2016, with individual tracks mixed and released 2015-2018 and remastered in 2018.

With the dissolution of the ZNTH incarnation responsible for Yr Damned Zenith, on which I played mostly bass, I was ready to get back into singing and guitar on stage. The Tom Florida album Black Light Moon was unveiled in March of '14, following fellow solo joints Autocorrect and Adult Contemporary and compiling thirteen songs on which I played every instrument. That album was a blast to write and record, but playing any of its complex tracks live as a solo act was, frankly, less fun. It had been several years since the Night School band broke up, and I couldn't wait to get back out there with some chords, some words, and some buds.

At some point the year before I had been introduced to Tiffany Criswell while browsing for vinyl at End of an Ear on South First Street. The fact that she was a drummer with impeccable taste in music stayed in the back of my mind and resurfaced when it was time to assemble the new crew. We booked a few hourly sessions in a practice space, tried out a few songs, and decided to keep it going. Her rhythmic style and tone matched ideally with the tripped-out rock'n'roll aesthetic I was aiming for, so we kept scouting for players, relocating jam sessions to the practice room in Tiffany's house on the East side.

Connections in Austin's pedicab world recommended I reach out to synth wizard Sam Chaney, who brought a digital finesse and plethora of key oscillations to the equation. Not long after, Ben "Beng" Goodman was brought into the fold, a multi-instrumentalist specializing in bass guitar I'd met at a psych rock show at Spider House Ballroom. We pulled together a set that included new tunes such as "True" and "Sway," as well as "Invisible, Man" and "Botany" from the recent Tom Florida record. The first shows and singles billed us as Tom Florida and the Episodes. But as we began to write new material together, even some songs where I played the iPad or no instrument at all, we concluded that a more fitting name was necessitated. An exhaustive designation mission was then set in motion, the moniker Shells Of Paradise resulting from a truly collaborative process.

At this time I was recording using Cubase and Reason on a PC at home, continuing to develop beats over which I could lay down my guitars and layers of vocals. I would bring a portable Zoom recorder to the practice space and get a nice stereo overhead mix of Tiffany's kit, later to be blended with, or in some cases replace, the programmed drums that predated the formation of the band. Some tracks also had bass or synthesizers I'd performed, but most needed the superior talents of Ben and Sam for the songs to fully be realized. Of these early Shells Of tunes, "Gotta Light" is a great example of what the band brought to the mix. I still like my solo edition of that song found on 2014's The Thirst EP, but the same track with Tiffany, Beng, and Sam on board shines so much more darkly.

It must be mentioned that this record came at an important moment in my life, chiefly written and recorded soon after a close brush and resultant forswearing of the spirits. Some of the lyrics from the Thirst EPs and the Shells Of Paradise album shine a light on the freedom and elation I'd been experiencing during this period. Even the lower-fi aspects of the record that illuminate technical limitations of the production seem to glow brightly with a kind of magic for me. The people, the songs, the feel: it was all beautiful. The phase of the band represented by this album came to a close a few years ago, but Shells Of Paradise lives on, with new sounds and songs coming through to you and more to come!

- Thomas David Fosburr

credits

released August 3, 2021

Thomas David Fosburr (aka Tom Florida), Tiffany Criswell, Sam Chaney, and Ben "Beng" Goodman comprise Shells Of Paradise.

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Tom Florida Austin, Texas

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