On Days Soon To Pass

by Tyler Daniel Bean

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    Pressed on black vinyl with a full color jacket featuring art by William Schaff. Includes 19-page chapbook featuring lyrics and poems written by Tyler Daniel Bean. Limited to 350 copies.

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about

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“When I was twenty-three, I decided to live.” Now twenty-six, Tyler Daniel Bean was identifying a turning point in the development of his second album, On Days Soon to Pass. In the midst of a four-year bout with his major depression, he was working his way through the series of poems that would culminate in this album—all of which also constituted his capstone project for a master’s in literary studies and confessional poetry. He was aiming to discover a language of process that would lead toward preservation rather than annihilation, learning hands-on, not only what preservative writing is, but also how to reorient creative work to better engage with and project hope. Being the person you can live with, it turns out, is a recursively creative endeavor, an on-going challenge, requiring choice and assimilation. Dealing with mental health disorders particularly requires regular self-renewal: the recurring epiphany of interacting constructively with the world.

While on the surface On Days Soon to Pass confronts loss, fear, anxiety, and depression as often as it does love and joy, ultimately it presents a non-linear depiction of Bean’s on-going battle with the prospect of suicide. The first track, “Archibald Street,” is one starting point, but “All At Once,” at the end of the record, is another—the series of events in between shift in time, even within the songs, reflecting the evolution of subjective experience. Now complete, On Days Soon to Pass finds him on another side of all of this.

Bean was stultified when he first noticed that these pieces were presenting as suicide songs. It was 2012, just after the release of his first LP, Longing, and fearful, he stopped writing entirely. More than a year passed between penning the first songs for On Days Soon to Pass before beginning his master’s degree. It took another year for him to start writing creatively again—he was inspired by an idea that grew from his studies: the way fear and art can feed one another, “The object of fear must be objectified,” noted filmmaker Stan Brakhage, who used his greatest fears to identify the issues he addressed in his most powerful films. Bean spent the following year bringing light to what he feared most: loss—the death of his dog, Willow; the death of his close friend and band-mate, Chris Parmelee; one of his own near-death experiences, the one that caused him to want to live. Penetrating all of this, he found love. The overriding theme of the album is, “if you know me, will you still love me?” Which leads to the realization that the "you" Bean repeatedly refers to has been there all along, standing beside him when he writhed as well as when he flexed.

To understand this record is to look at its dark, dense surface matter, and see beyond it to the beacon that is love; it is to recognize that functioning in the face of fear is to strive to be fully human; it is finding a way to truly say "I want to live," even recognizing the relentlessness of the battle.

credits

released November 18, 2016

Tyler Daniel Bean - guitar, bass, and vocals
Joe Allen Cross - drums
Jessica Lynne McDermott - vocals
Shannon Stott-Rigsbee - violin and cello
Kevin Tyler Yando - guitar on "Archibald Street," "Willow I & II," and "FFFA"
Nyiko Beguin - synth on "Willow I & II"

Additional vocals on "Loon Lake" were performed by Shannon Stott-Rigsbee, Christopher Stott-Rigsbee, and Chris Shacklett.

Slide guitar on "FFFA" and backing vocals on "Willow I" were performed by Ryan Stack.

Ryan Stack engineered and mixed the album at Format Audio in Amesbury, MA and at 1130 ft in Rollinsford, NH.

Joe Cross was the assistant engineer.

Dan Coutant mastered the record at Sun Room Audio in Cornwall, NY.

Anna Blackmer, Rick Mastelli, Jan Maher, and Joanna Beall acted as writing mentors at different stages of the album's development.

Rick Mastelli wrote the album's liner essay from his personal involvement in the writing and recording process.

William Schaff painted the cover artwork with minimal outside direction, specifically from his experiences listening to the album.

Lauren Mazzotta photographed the artwork.

Justin Gonyea designed the album layout.

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Track Name: Archibald Street
I.

I showed up on your doorstep
last night
with my heart
filling the cracks in my teeth.

My fingers
were restless in my hair—
threading through those inside thoughts
we don’t talk about.

We sat in your breezeway
locking our mouths,
hoping it gets better,
But does it ever get better?

“It’s a nice night to die.”
we both held our eyes in the dimness
latticing our frozen bottles
and frozen dreams.

The clouds masked the stars,
And the gas we had left
wouldn’t take us
past Montpelier.

The last thing
I wanted you to know
was that I didn’t
want to see you go.


II.

I woke up with the sun—
only half-dead
on the inside—
and I cried,

cold and shaking
on your kitchen floor
with no place
to hide.

My lungs still walked
with an extra pace in their step,
And my heart still ached
the same.

My lungs still walk
with an extra pace in their step,
and I’m the one
to blame.
Track Name: Willow I
Our house
the garden
my body

burn it
I don’t want it
anymore.

I want your hair

in the sheets
in my clothes
in my food.

I want to lie

on the floor
on the grass
on my back,

wherever
you’ll find me—
forever, if need be.

I want to

be where you are
talk out loud
hear when you say,

You saw the squirrel again, today.

I want you to

stare in my eyes
yawn
and pant.

I want to be where you are.
Track Name: Willow II
This pressure,
this pain,
is my body

coming up against a wall
and not seeing it
as a wall,

but instead
as a field
in which I can grow,

in which I can throw
Willow her ball that
she’ll never run towards.

Still, I’ll throw it again
and I’ll pet her
and I’ll tell her

without you
I can’t make sense
of my life,

and she will tell me
it’s alright,
alright,

and it
will be
alright.

There is a life
outside my body
calling for me.

Today
I want to take it
seriously.
Track Name: Your Eyes
If you let me sit here
and know you
by the color of your eyes,

I will know you
as I know the grass as green,
the tomato ripe red.

I will be on the edge of you
surrounded by you
on the edge of you.

You will become fact.
It will be known regardless
of recurring change:

Your eyes will be your eyes always
honey brown
with rings of blue.

And I will know
as I know lying in the grass
or eating the tomato
you connect me to something,

something I didn’t know
was missing,
something I don’t know
how to name.
Track Name: FFFA
I.

With sweaty palms
I heard your voice

from a payphone
in New York State.

Could’ve sworn
I heard you calling for me,

“Baby, please come home,”
but it was just the dial tone.


II.

If commitment
becomes

a hollow word
for me to say

and loneliness
grows

with every smile
on my face,

what the hell
am I doing here?



III.

I live for my dog
when I’m alone,

but she won’t live forever,
don’t tell me, I know.

It only worries me
when I wake up from sleep,

and I’d rather kill myself
than go to work.

I’m terrified to make
calls from my phone,

I’d rather not bother
the people I know.

I’d rather let
the weights

weigh me down
than let it out.


IV.

If the whiskey burns harder, my dear,
fill them up taller, I’m dealing with my fears:

These nights I’d rather forget
than actually be here.

Growing old without stories to tell
of how I fell in love again.

Growing comfortable with myself,
so I can be comfortable when you leave me.
Track Name: Loon Lake
I.

Down by the water’s edge
I found a flat black rock
with no edges, no marks.

It seemed, in whatever
form it was, to be pure,
and it made me uncomfortable.

I took it in my palm,
wrapped my finger
around its curve,

and hurled it toward the water,
where it slid,
twisted, and turned

until it was gone.
In every ripple
lingered a thought of you—

brushing your hair;

dancing in the kitchen
as we wait
for the rice to cook;

burying your nose
in the thyme
growing in the sun room—

and I wailed like a loon,
but nothing called back.
I couldn’t hear you.


II.

I’m sick of being on the road
missing what’s at home
I never thought I wouldn’t want to do this anymore.

I’m sick of counting mile signs
feeling like I’m doing time
I never thought I wouldn’t want to do this anymore.

What if Willow died
when I wasn’t there
by her side?

And what about Montana,
on the side of the road?
I don’t want to die that far from home.

This game of risk/reward
doesn’t make sense
anymore.

I want to wail
like a loon
and hear you call back.
Track Name: On Days Soon To Pass
I.

Lately, when I’m alone,
I can’t even feel my bones.

The summer sun is setting west,
and I’ve given up all hope

of coming home
before the snow begins again.



II.

Last night, in bed,
I felt a lack in my chest.

You see, I’ve been afraid to tell you,
you appear in every thought of the future:

the blueberry bushes mature
and we’re still here;

Lu and Willow rest buried in the yard
and we’re still here.

But it’s nights like these,
When I’m not right in the head,

when I’m wishing I were dead
that I think:

how can I expect you
to see things the way I do

if I’m counting on you
to pull me through?



III.

O love, how can I find you
if the only thing I’ve been looking for
is a way to love myself a little more?

O love, how can I feel you
if the only thing I’ve been living for
will die before I do?

O love, how can I bear to see your face
if I’m not sure you’ll love me
anymore?
Track Name: When I Think Too Much
I.

There’s a memory of us
next to a fire in the woods.

Dancing in the smoke,
we were up to no good.

There were bottles on the ground
and a smile on your face.

But when Autumn came around,
you grew tired of me,

tired of your clothes,
tired like the leaves,

and when I saw you falling, spiraling,
I knew I couldn’t catch you.


II.

There’s a memory of us
in the car by your parents’ house.

I think I told you I love you,
but I can’t remember the sounds.

The moon, the snow, the world
was brighter than me.



III.

Am I better off
dead?

Am I better off
in the books you’ve read?

Am I better off
inside your head?

No, no,
I don’t think so anymore.


IV.

Who am I
to decide I’m the one for you?

I’m terrified,
and I’ve already ripped myself in two.

Where would I go
if I died?

Where can I go
since I’m still alive?

What if
I don’t want to be anywhere?
Track Name: All At Once
You could have left me
with frost-paled rosy cheeks

When I passed out drunk
on the side of the street.

The snow would’ve buried me
would’ve eased me to sleep

Where Willow would’ve
pranced round my feet.

But you didn’t; you chose,
to carry me home,

To thaw me
in your arms.

You are everything, all at once,
and I’m ready.